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Ah! My Goddess (Movie)
Movie: Ah! My Goddess
Ah! My Goddess, was a movie made back in 2000. This feature length film was directed by Hiroaki Gōda, and the screen play was written by Michiko Yokote. This animated movie had a massive following of supporters, and thusly, was co-produced by Kodansha, Dentsu, Sega Enterprises, Pony Canyon, Nippon Shupan Hanbai, AIC, MOVIC and Shochiku.
This movie was heavily based off of Kōsuke Fujishima's manga, Oh! My Goddess. The movie was well received by fans all over the world. Because of that, Ah! My Goddess, the movie also had a lot of backers in licensing. Geneon Entertainment in the North America, MVM Films in the United Kingdom, and Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand, just to name a few.
This anime is heavily steeped in themes of romance, as it is based heavily off of a romance manga. It's also got a fair bit of action, though, the way the goddesses fight, it very much carries a feeling of magical girl (without the ungodly long, and frilly transformations).
The movie assumes that you have some understanding of the series, and that assumption is that you know Belldandy came down from the heavens to grant a mortal man a wish, thus bonding him to her. Within that logic, this movie takes place during the third spring of her arrival.
A former mentor that Belldandy used to care deeply for, is released from a dungeon located someplace within the moon. The mentor erases all memories of the love Belldandy shares with Keiichi, the main love interest of the story. Through a series of events, her mentor's motivations become clear, as he tries to bring his version of justice down upon creation.
This is a movie that assumes you were a fan of the series before it came out, and thusly, it can be very unforgiving when it comes to character introduction. If you haven't watched the OVA's, or watched the animated series, or even just glanced at the manga, you'll probably be a little lost.
That said, the characters are depicted wonderfully, in fact, I particularly like a few characters better in the movie, than I do the anime series. For some reason, the characters in the movie, well some of them anyway, seem very close to their manga counterparts.
The characters come off strong, and really carry the storyline well. There are some occasions where they even save the movie, in some respects. Without them being so well written, there would have been times when the plot would tend to drag. If it weren't for the characters being so well depicted, this wouldn't be a very good movie.
You might like this movie if:
- You enjoy some magical girl, and romance themes.
- You have read and enjoyed other works from Kōsuke Fujishima.
- You are familiar with the Ah, My Goddess/Oh, My Goddess storyline.
- You enjoy animated movies.
Sub or Dub?
Unlike a lot of anime thus far that I've reviewed, this anime movie actually has an English dub. Now, it should be noted that this is surprisingly good in English. If fact, it's just as enjoyable as it's Japanese original. Some purists might think or say otherwise, but they're also the type not to be inclined to watch dubs often.
Really, over all, you're not losing out on content or character growth.
I've seen both, and I've loved both, but, for me English is just my cup of tea when it comes to this particular movie, however, I like the English voice cast. Then again, I really like Urd's voice actor, as she was also a voice for the Major in Ghost in the shell S.A.C. and that means a lot in terms of what I look for in a good dub.
Bottom line, if you don't want to read subtitles, the dub is just fine, and, fairly accurate, so you won't miss much. If you want to stuck with the original Japanese dub with subtitles, that's perfectly okay too.
They're both highly enjoyable.
Okay, I've got to say, that the Ah! My Goddess franchise has been near and dear to my heart ever since I was a kid. It has been around since the late eighties, so the following that loved it, grew up, or aged with it.
To prove a point, I remember getting an Urd action figure, because she was my favorite, and that was well over twenty years ago now. I grew up in the 90's, and as such, I saw the old OVA's. When the movie came out, I was so very, very excited. That said, the movie had a lot of highs and lows for me.
The music captivated me. Which given the type of series that it is, I expected beautiful singing, angelic soundtracks, lighthearted beats, and of course, strong overtones during dramatic scenes. This movie pulls that off wonderfully.
The visuals are still impressive to this day. For it's age, this movie still manages to pull off stunning scenery, it's beautiful. On top of that, the three sister goddesses are exactly what I expect of them, so that makes most of the characters shine.
The other positive thing is, since it has both a sub and a good dub, it can reach a wider rage of fans.
Time for the downsides.
The story is strong, but, in some places, admittedly, it could have used a little work. There are a few plot points that the fans really put a lot of weight on, and if you've read the manga you know what I'm talking about. If you've only been a fan of the anime and OVA series, the events toward the end are fitting and enjoyable...however, if you read the manga first, and follow that religiously, you may take disappointment with that plot element.
It might not seem like a big deal, but in some respects, it really is.
Again, although the characters are wonderful, this movie was not made for a new fans in mind. A lot of important character traits may get lost in the shuffle, especially the importance of World of Elegance (Urd's angel) and how significant it really is to see her fighting by Urd's side. The same can be said for Skuld and her angel, Noble Scarlet. To a lesser degree, even Belldandy's vocal patterns, which are distinctly a character depth for her, seem overt and yet, not explained well.
Cast Your Vote
Did you enjoy the Ah! My Goddess movie?
This is a great movie. It's not exactly old enough to be considered nostalgic to me, but, at the same time, it holds a place in my heart. Frankly, it is without a doubt a rewarding movie to watch. If you haven't gotten into the Ah! My Goddess series yet, this movie may not be the right place to start.
It's enjoyable due to it's overly fluffy moments, and yet, it can also be dark at the same time. It balances its themes, and its intent well. As with all of my reviews, based on a score of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and ten being the highest, I will give this series an easy going 8.5.
I would encourage any fan of anime movies, especially ones made around a time such as 1995-2005, to give this a watch. Like I've said before, this has movie aged well, and is still very enjoyable..it just isn't the best out there.
That says a lot, since I do love the series so very, very much.