Oh My Goddess!

From Academic Kids

Oh My Goddess!, known as Ah! My Goddess (ああっ女神さまっ Aa! Megami-sama) in Japan and in some English releases, is a manga and anime series by Kosuke Fujishima. Many people mistake this series as shōjo (for girls) because of its heavy focus on romance, but it is actually a seinen (men's) series.

The manga began in 1988 as an unintentional spinoff from You're Under Arrest. It proved to be popular, and a five episode OVA series began in 1991, produced by AIC. A comedic super deformed TV series, Adventures of Mini-Goddess, began in 1998, produced as part of the omnibus show Anime Complex on WOWOW. A movie was produced in 2001.

In January 2005, a new anime tv series (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=3639) began airing in Japan. Although it has the same voice cast as the 5-episode OVA series, it is a manga-oriented reboot.

Story

The story centers around Keiichi Morisato (森里螢一 Morisato Kei'ichi), a hapless college student who loves motorbikes (a passion shared by manga creator Kosuke Fujishima). One day, Keiichi makes a call that is redirected to the "Goddess Hotline" (a.k.a. Goddess Relief Office) — in the OVAs, he was trying to order noodles; in the manga and TV series, he was delivering a message — and the beautiful goddess Belldandy (ベルダンディー Berudandī; this actually means Verdandi) appears before him, offering him one wish. Keiichi half-seriously wishes that Belldandy (whom he finds very attractive) would stay with him forever, and his wish is immediately granted. This is complicated by the fact that Belldandy's two sisters, Urd (ウルド Urudo) and Skuld (スクルド Sukurudo), move in as well, and bring a whole lot of trouble with them.

Belldandy is one of the most recognized characters in anime, and is considered the inspiration to dozens of demure magical characters. The series is well-loved by fans for several reasons: its artwork is generally recognized as beautiful without any of the characters being victims of gratuitous fanservice, and the storylines balance screwball comedy with sweet romance that never gets saccharine.

A few complaints stem from the lack of progression in the later story installments, in which Belldandy and Keiichi have already been living together for years yet have not consummated their affection physically. Others see Belldandy's portrayal as an overly perfect wife character and servant sexist (It is countered this is similar to the ideal boyfriend characters in shōjo.). Fans contend that this may be due the more widespread familarity of the anime adapation of her personality, which is more demure and covers only a small part of the total story, while in the comic she is generally helpful towards everyone but has been known to lose her patience quite vocally. Belldandy is extremely optimistic, sometimes to the point of apparent gullibility. It is also generally agreed Keiichi is seen as capable, considerate, and extremely devoted partner -- a rare example in the gag-laden genre. (See also Tenchi Muyo!)

Bits of Norse mythology are incorporated in the comic. The three goddesses are based on the Norns (analogous to the Greek Fates) Urd, Verdandi/Verthandi, and Skuld, who represent the past, present and future respectively. The goddesses access a computer system called Yggdrasil, which in Norse mythology is the tree that holds up the world. The theme is to add dramatic color and is not strictly held to.

Naming

The original Japanese title is "Aa, Megami-sama" the translation of which led to a great deal of debate and flamewars amongst English-speaking anime fans of the early 1990s. The US-anime import company AnimEigo obtained the OVA rights and entitled them "Oh! My Goddess". Many felt the title should properly be "Ah! My Goddess." Ultimately Fujishima himself was consulted. His first reaction was side with the "Ah" camp, but once the term "Oh my God" was explained to him, he decided the "Oh" was more appropriate. Pioneer chose to use "Ah" in their North American release of the movie (possibly due to AnimEigo holding copyright to the "Oh My Goddess" title). "Oh My Goddess!" (The "!" at the end, rather than after "Oh") is the official English title for the manga, which is published by Dark Horse Comics. AnimeEigo later started using Oh My Goddess!. The bilingual release, which was released by Kodansha, uses Ah! My Goddess.

External links

es:Aa! Megami-sama fr:Ah! My Goddess id:Ah! My Goddess ja:ああっ女神さまっ pt:Ah! My Goddess

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