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lupercal's Review of Ah! My Goddess: the Movie

rated it: posted: Mar 10, 2005
Reviews: 517 | KF Animation Editor
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I haven't watched Ah/Oh/Ouch/Aagh My Goddess The Series. I was aware of it, but in the same way I was aware of Sailor Moon, Ranma and various other anime that I didn't really think looked interesting. Nevertheless, this movie came up with very good ratings at the online rental place I subscribe to, and despite assurances that it wasn't nescessary to have seen the series, I did a bit of research first. Good thing I did, because it turns out you really do get dropped into the thing on the assumption that you already know all the characters, so my first advice is probably don't bother with it unless you've seen the OAV or are prepared to at least familiarise yourself with it.

It's probably true that any spin-off movie benefits from your having watched the series first, and on that basis I'm giving AMG an extra half star, though quite honestly I didn't enjoy it all that much. I suffered from the same sense of boredom that I experienced during 'Escaflowne the Movie' (ok, perhaps not quite as severely, and I do think this was a slightly better standalone film)

Anyway, to those of you who haven't seen the series, this may not make a lot of sense. To those of you who have seen the series, you've seen the movie anyway, right? So why am I writing this? Ah, well.

Keiichi is this guy who somehow or other got hitched to a Goddess three years ago, when it must have surely been statutory rape, since she's about a million years old and he'd have been about 15, but nevermind. In anime adolescents go around marrying teachers, aliens, robots, goddesses, anything that moves and is older than them. I should be used to it. Keichi also has really distracting ears, whch have concentric ridges inside them. They remind me of some kind of vegetable, though I'm not sure which one.

Everything is going smoothly until Belldandy (sorry, but what sort of a name for a Goddess is that? Did Michael Jackson write the series?) - sorry, till Belldandy's old mentor Celestine causes her to contract amnesia, meaning she forgets everything about Keiichi. This is all part of his plot to subvert the order of Heaven. He's a bit of a rebel and has already been imprisoned for eternity as an inanimate object on the surface of the moon. Only problem is, I rather sympathised with his ideas. Maybe that just means the film is a bit more sophisticated than your average fare, and doesn't try to go in for simplistic ideas of good and evil. Or maybe it's just sloppy. Hard to tell.

So Keiichi and his various other Goddess friends try to restore Belldandy's memory and at the same time thwart Celestine's plans. This leads to a rather long-winded 40 minute Akira-type climax with a gigantic old man chopping down a DNA helix made out of tree roots, whatever the hell that's all about. No stranger than some of the things in Princess Mononoke I guess.

Actually, to me the whole basic premise of this film was rather... well, political. I don't know if it was supposed to be, but the clash of ideologies involved did seem to require you to reach at least a philosophical conclusion of some sort.

Am I being flippant with this movie? It's not that bad really. I'm just getting a bit tired of the sameness of a lot of anime. Particularly romantic anime (though I would have said the same about mecha anime before I more or less stopped watching it). And this is the big joke really. People who only watch anime would have you believe that it's western animation which is so predictable, when in fact anime is regimented into a handful of genres, and is still using the same vocal and facial mannersisms as in 'Astro Boy' over forty years ago. This probably shouldn't be that surprising. If you think of traditional Japanese art, the emphasis is on perfecting a form, not on innovation, and I've always suspected that this has spilled over into anime to an extent. The best anime is superb, but there is so much of it, and so little that's really different, that I'm afraid this is just another anime movie to me. Ok, not bad, not great.

PS I think you should definately watch anime, and definately watch western animation, and Russian and Czech and Danish and whatever else. That's part of what I'd like this site to do, to introduce people to stuff they wouldn't normally watch. It's already worked for me.

animated movie Ah! My Goddess: the Movie © Pioneer
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Ah! My Goddess: the Movie
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