The final post in the Secret Santa series sees me take on Ah! My Goddess for a second time. The day after receiving gifts around this time of year has become a much different animal over the years. The rise of gift cards have meant a rush to stores to spend the contents of said cards. Some gifts get returned, of course, but when you don’t get a receipt and you really don’t want something there is always the option of the regift.
In thinking about why this one was selected, I can only think of one thing. They were absolutely determined to recommend Ah! My Goddess regardless of what was on my list of completed anime.
So I can only deduce that this person really loves this series, and to be fair it’s not a bad series to like. Now on to the actual content.
So the basic story behind Ah! My Goddess if you haven’t seen it is a fairly simple high concept. What would happen if an out-of-luck guy made a wish to have a goddess by his side forever? The story begins with an engineering student, Morisato Keiichi, playing the role of the former and his life is transformed by a phone call, an introduction to the goddess Belldandy and; of course, that wish.
As a result of his wish Keiichi goes through various trials. He’s kicked out of his apartment, grabs the attention of the campus idol only because of “framing,” then he has to find a way to stay with Belldandy while he is attending classes, then Belldandy’s sisters are introduced, then some other stuff happens and so on. Essentially it plays out episodically with characters coming and going outside of the main group of 4.
The story finally picks up in earnest from the end of episode 18, as the idea of trying to get Keiichi and Belldandy together begins to create a whole mess of problems for everyone. Those who do make it up to this point will be rewarded with a well-executed ending to the season. However, it takes a while for things to develop.
As I pointed out earlier, this was the 2nd time I had watched this series, so what did I make of it on the second pass? From memory, I had ranked this 82nd overall out of all anime I had completed, basically in the top 20%. On a 2nd viewing, I picked up on a few things I would not have noticed the first time through. The pacing doesn’t seem to become much of an issue if one is watching on a week to week basic, but marathoning it makes it obvious. There were also a few details I missed in the early episodes that I did not see the first time around, but those were largely items in the background. Still, there really wasn’t a good enough reason to change where I ranked it on a simple rewatch.
Conclusion: I went into this project not really expecting anything, except watching something new. Of the 2 new series one was mediocre and the other was a good series that fills one of the gigantic holes of series that I’ve never watched. I’ll probably do this again, but with at least a condition or 2 on what I want to watch.
Interestingly, when I was selecting for someone else, I hedged my bets and generally went for what I thought would be the best overall series that they had not seen. I think what probably would have worked best for anyone was to go for truly eclectic stuff that the other person had never seen before that the other person never would have been inclined to watch in the first place. I’m probably wrong about that, but it is something I will have to keep in mind for next year.