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Ah! My Goddess vs Oh My Goddess

Updated on September 1, 2011
Bubblegum Senpai profile image

Nigel, AKA Bubblegum Senpai was voted most likely to die due to accident involving a cuddle pillow. Haruhi Suzumiya for Life.

A screenshot from "Oh My Goddess" as used in one of my videos
A screenshot from "Oh My Goddess" as used in one of my videos | Source

First of all, to the uninitiated: these are actually the same show. I get a kick over the little rivalry about which title to use. These are two different title for the same show. Most sellers, such as Amazon or similar merchandisers use the first title Ah! My Goddess, which is a literal translation of the Japanese title Aa! Megami-sama. I personally use the second title - at least when crediting the series in my videos - because the second title Oh my Goddess is the official English language title.

Both the TV series and manga (a graphic novel) have similar storylines, though the TV series goes into much more detail and storylines from the manga may be combined or in a different order. Here's a readers digest of the plot:

Keiichi Morisato, a young college student, accidentally dials the "Goddess Helpline" and is visited by a girl named Belldandy. Belldandy, claiming to be a goddess promises to grant Morisato one wish. Of course, Morisato thinks that this is some kind of joke so he wishes for "a goddess like you to be by my side forever." His wish is granted, registered in a heavenly computer system, and for all intents and purposes the laws of physics are rewritten to include "Belldandy shall be by Keiichi's side." Insofar as that should anything try to separate them, bad things begin to happen, often with hilarious results.

The title Oh My Goddess first appeared in 1994 when AnimEigo obtained the rights to publish the five-episode original miniseries (known as an Original Video Animation or OVA) in North America. Dark Horse comics followed suit when they began publishing the manga in English. However, while almost everyone pronounces it "Oh," many purists still use the title Ah! My Goddess in writing, and the "Ah!" title is definitely more popular.

As for myself, I use the title Oh my Goddess strictly for the fact that it is the official title in North America and English Europe. After all, a goddess by any other name would still be just as lovely, no?

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    • Bubblegum Senpai profile imageAUTHOR

      Nigel Kirk 

      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, CAN

      Anytime! I should clarify That FUNimation now distributes the series using the Ah! Title. Actually, in my digital archives, I use Ah! but when crediting the series on my Videos I use Oh.

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 

      7 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      I thought people just named it wrong. I like Ah! My Goddess better then Oh personally. I saw the whole series I liked it =3

      Thanks for clearing up the name thing!

      ~thranax~

    • Bubblegum Senpai profile imageAUTHOR

      Nigel Kirk 

      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, CAN

      And for some strange reason, the Kami are more revered usually than the Gods or Goddesses.

    • Bubblegum Senpai profile imageAUTHOR

      Nigel Kirk 

      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, CAN

      Correct again! Shinto does have gods and goddesses (-Sama) but they also have spirits signified by the suffix -Kami.

      Also, later on, we find out that there are nymphs and sprites... such as the one Belldandy's sister had been involved with.

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      That might be interesting, well I think also in Shintoism the Goddesses and Gods represent forces of nature, and calling them "spirits" or something might be a little more accurate. I was thinking that if Belldandy were a magical creature, but a less powerful-sounding one like "nymph" or "sprite" it would be not so offending.

    • Bubblegum Senpai profile imageAUTHOR

      Nigel Kirk 

      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, CAN

      You did bring up a good point in your hub. The series Ah! Megami-Sama is based heavily on Shinto theology and traditions, and while female deities were revered as much as male ones, Japanese society was (and is) still very male dominated.

      I think part of it is that in English there is no female/male assignments to non-noun words. As far as mortal work, ancient shinto/greek/roman/norse mythology holds that gods and goddesses are not infallable and are prone to make error in judgements. They also often abused their god-like powers.

      Ah!/Oh my Goddess borrows predominately from Shinto, Buddhism and Christianity for it's plot: all of which are male-dominated religions, especially in Asia. And also, it may not seem like much, but for what it's worth Morisato is a little more chivalrous and less chauvanistic than many other Anime characters I can think of, even within the series.

      Of course, I personally know very little about Wiccan spirituality - admittedly. So your viewpoint on these issues is very valuable because I could never genuinely express such views. Perhaps a new hub idea in your future? Keep me in the know, please.

      And Domo Arigato for your comments!

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      To answer your comment on my page about Belldandy. Well, it's not really an issue that she doesn't like it, she's obviously fine with things but it's still a kind of involuntary living situation which to me was a little too much like slavery to feel 100% right. And I used to be Wiccan and still hold the belief in goddesses as female manifestations of 1 deity, just like there are also male ones. So as someone who takes Goddesses seriously I thought it was wrong to make her a domestic servant even if she isn't upset about it. She's an immortal being with super-human powers and I think everyday chores are beneath her status and that the show did not respect Goddesses in the way that Wiccans and neo-Pagans respect them, taking their power as symbols of feminine empowerment away. The other goddesses might be better, but they all seem like subservient doormats or sexual objects. Belldandy seems like both, a man's fantasy of a pure, docile, domestic woman. It just didn't live up to what I thought Goddesses should be like.

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      I like Ah, My Goddess! over calling it Oh My Goddess because you're changing God (masculine) to Goddess (feminine), and to me the A sound is more feminine than the O. So it makes a nice female counterpart phrase to Oh, My God. I think it's because in Spanish, endings in "a" are usually feminine, and things that end in "o" are usually masculine.

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