Coded review.

Sunday 16 January 2005

Screenshot Ah! My Goddess

Pic of the day: Heaven is always watching, but usually it's a lot more subtle than this. (Screenshot from the anime of the day.)

Ah! My Goddess!

No, I've not converted to Wicca or some sort of Hinduism or Neo-Paganism, all of which worship goddesses as the most natural thing in the world. Nor is this a statement I would ever make to a mortal woman, not even SuperWoman or Tsaiko. Rather, it is the title of an anime. So far there are only two episodes of this TV series, but wow. It is bound to be one of my all time favorites, despite the title.

Long-time readers may remember that back when I recently had got broadband and started downloading fansubbed anime, I was very excited about a series called Happy World. And then I soon became disappointed, as it ran off into ecchi (indecency) instead of working on its great initial premise.

I have also praised the anime Pita Ten, and even imported the soundtrack album from Japan and the English translation of the manga (comic) from Britain. In both of these series, the premise from the start is a lonely and unlucky boy who suddenly is sought out by a (female) angel come from Heaven to protect him and be by his side always. Well, you know what? I didn't know, but evidently this anime - Ah! My Goddess - was the original that started all this. Or rather the manga on which it is based. There has been a movie and some videos, but this TV series starts from the beginning of the manga and sticks pretty closely to it. This is widely regarded as a good thing.


So, the premise is that a fundamentally good boy suffers too much misfortune for Heaven to simply watch from the sidelines. A "goddess" descends to compensate him by letting him have a reward of his own choosing. To the surprise of the goddess, he chooses her. That's a bit ambitious, indeed, but his motives are pure enough. His wish is granted, and weirdness ensues.

This anime is really quite decent. Even when fantasizing the boy is merely romantic. I can see why he is still single although he is already in college... According to people who have read the manga, it has gone on for 16 years now (real time) and the main characters have still not gone all the way. So this should satisfy the moral minority among us. Of course, the whole goddess thing is a bit un-Christian, but it is pretty obvious that these are not deities in the theological sense of the world but more like angels, intermediate beings from a higher reality.


OK, this doesn't really look as exciting as it feels. I think the key point here is that it is really mythic. It is the descent of the mythos into everyday life. Keiichi is a thoroughly mundane boy. His misfortunes are numerous but not spectacular; it is all things that could happen to any of us and probably has, just not that thick and fast. To me, Keiichi represents the male soul without the anima (to use the Jungian term), that is to say, in the absence of the female element that should have made it complete. Belldandy (Japanese spelling of Verdandi, one of the three norns/fates from Norwegian mythology) is the incarnation of that female element: Scary and awe-inspiring, yet attractive and necessary. The missing part of life that, once found, can not be given up, no matter what the price.

Of course, this is a purely theoretical interest for me. ^_^

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Simple living
Two years ago: Do nerds beget autists?
Three years ago: What to remember today?
Four years ago: Patient bridge
Five years ago: Now more lonely knights
Six years ago: Nice try, subconscious

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