Manga Review: A.I. Love You
If you've already read Oh/Ah! My Goddess, then you really don't need to even pick up a copy of A.I. Love You. It's pretty much the same story, with a huge dose of Weird Science mixed in.
Basically, Hitoshi Koube is a high school student, with no brains, looks, or talent. Well, he was one talent: He's really good with computers. In particular, he's good at programming, and even programmed himself several artificial intelligences. One A.I. he happens to be very fond of is program number thirty, whom he nicknames Saati, an Engrish pronounciation of thirty.
Of course, he fails to power down his computer one night when a freak lightning storm hits and Saati jumps out of his computer into real life, becomes his live-in girlfriend, and uses her "powers" to make things a little more interesting for young Hitoshi.
Is This Just Archetypical?
One could almost forgive the Wierd Science rip-off if they had never read or seen Oh/Ah My Goddess before. However, while the series of events do go by a little bit quicker than Goddess, the events so far - I haven't read the whole series of either, especially since Goddess is still ongoing - but they seem remarkably alike. Perhaps this is typical of most shounen fantasy/slice-of-life.
Our protagonist is incredibly unlucky in the romance and popularity department, and some beautiful girl that fulfills the male fantasy: performing the stereotypical gender roles such as cooking and using her "abilities" to make his life easier. In Goddess, Belldandy had the powers of a deity, in A.I. Love You, Saati is still "online" as a program so she can talk to electronics. She can also run simulations in her mind to predict what will happen and then tell Koube what to do accordingly. Of course, Koube takes all the credit.
In Goddess, our protagonist genuinely likes Belldandy, at least in the T.V. series, and hence why he wished for her to stay by his side forever. In A.I. Love You I don't quite get that same impression from Koube. Koube is very thankful for all of Saati's help, but I don't get the impression that he loves Saati. It seems to me that Saati is just a way for our Hero to inflate his ego and feel better about himself. And that's where A.I. Love You fails.
Also featured is the popular school girl who gets jealous of the attention Saati recieves, and vows to be rid of her; the siblings - two other A.I. programs that come to life later in the series; the conspiracy to get Saati enrolled in school, and just about everything else offered in Goddess.
If you enjoy reading Oh/Ah! My Goddess then you might enjoy A.I. Love You. However, for those who are familiar with Goddess, the plot is going to be fairly predictable. For those of you who are not fans of Goddess for whatever reason, you're not missing much here. It's just more of the same, but offers even less. If you're hardcore and just want to collect anime for the sake of anime, then this would be worth having.
Otherwise, just watch Weird Science while reading Oh my Goddess and drinking enough saké to blend the two storylines together in your mind. It will be more fun and rewarding.
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