Ah! My Goddess: The Movie – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Aa! Megami-sama! Movie

 

Related: Ah! My Goddess TV (new prequel)

Ah! My Goddess OVA (original prequel)

Similar: My Bride is a Mermaid

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Supernatural Romance Comedy Drama Action

Length: 1 hr. 45 min. movie

 

Positives:

  • Gorgeous art and character design.
  • Good mix of drama, romance, action, and comedy.
  • One of the best soundtracks in anime.
  • Sympathetic villains.
  • Expands the lore and universe of the series.

Negatives:

  • I wouldn’t say no to a little more comedy.

Keiichi and Belldandy are in their third year together, a peaceful life living together as human and goddess with her sisters, Urd and Skuld. However, when a fairy releases a god from the lunar prison, Belldandy’s former mentor, Celestin, descends to Earth with corrupt motives. Furthermore, Belldandy has no memory of why Celestin was imprisoned to begin with, remembering only how much he taught her as a child.

When a virus infects Belldandy, her and Keiichi’s love is put the test.

Celestin and the fairy make for good villains, as I found them sympathetic in their ideals and motives, which brings a good moral conflict. Betrayal and a broken heart can hurt more than any monster. Keiichi has grown a stronger backbone, showing development to his character without losing his heart and innocence.

There is also a side plot about a sidecar motorcycle race at the university (the motor club leaders are back and funnier than ever). Kei and Bell race together as partners – she has become a racing pro over the years – but with the virus deconstructing her mind, they may have to find someone else to race, and the strange new woman is a little too eager to replace her. I thought this thread important, for it shares a passion the characters’ with us, the audience. Too often in romance, the writer forgets to show what it is the characters do during their free time – what is that makes them love spending time with each other? They could have made this thread longer, however.

At its core, AMG the Movie stays true to what the OVA series built, and since the newer Ah! My Goddess TV drew inspiration from the movie, you can watch either series prior to this. Expect the same great comedy, romance, and sweetness from Belldandy, one of my favourite characters in anime. The movie makes the most of the higher budget by adding more action with new spells, a grander scale for the finale and increased tension. The addition I enjoyed most was the greater exploration of heaven and Yggdrassil, receiving a good third of the runtime – the series only gave glimpses. I love the idea of Yggdrassil as this super computer powered by magic.

Ah! My Goddess the Movie is the best this beloved franchise has to offer. Each time I watch this anime, it brings a little warmth to my cold, dead heart.

Art – High

The same high quality art expected from the Ah! My Goddess franchise, even considering its age. With more action, we get to see greater animation and new spell effects. Love the creative design for Yggdrassil and heaven.

Sound – High

Great voice work, as seen in the series. In English, the actors are different from the series, though similar enough not to be a problem. I don’t know how many times I have listened to this orchestral soundtrack – the battle theme in particular.

Story – High

The movie distils all that is great about Ah! My goddess into a feature length story, only with tenser drama, sweeter romance, and more action.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Ah! My Goddess: The Movie is my go to feel-good anime. It was the first anime I owned on DVD; I have seen it a dozen times and I still enjoy it as much as the first. I recommend watching the original OVA or new series first.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

CharmGreat MusicStrong Lead CharactersStunning Art Quality

Negative: None

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