After countless episodes of romantic hi-jinx and lost cardigans, the final volume of the second series of Ah My Goddess takes an unexpected swerve into darker territory that makes Berserk look like Hello Kitty. Not really, of course. In actual fact, this third volume (comprising a further eight episodes) delivers more of the same; but when it’s done this well, what’s wrong with that?
This disc kicks off following the events of the last volume, with half goddess, half demon Urd suffering from split personality disorder. Other highlights in this volume feature the unexpected arrival of the ruler of the demon realm (who happens to also be Urd’s mother), tiny ninjas (that used to be rats) and a battle over Keiichi’s heart that takes Belldandy and friends back in time.
In the first batch of episodes there is definitely more of an emphasis on the characters having wacky adventures and less on their more mundane existences- and less focus on the central relationship. There is also more screen time given to the other characters, whom I personally find to be more entertaining than the main couple. These episodes provide straight up, knockabout fun. The series is always more gently amusing than laugh out loud hilarious but there are more than a few moments here which will raise a smile. The writers seem to have been having fun, especially in the sending up of the tropes of ninja fiction in one episode.
Those of you who watch it for the more romantic side are catered for too, with a number of episodes that feature this aspect of the series. As with similar long-running series, it could be pointed out that their relationship never really goes anywhere; but for others the simple, innocent nature of their romance is part of the series’ sweet charm. Amusingly though even the other characters seem to be annoyed by the glacial place of the main couple’s courtship, trying to help move it on. At one point a character even describes their relationship as ‘sub-elementary school level’ in an enjoyably moment of self parody. The series does however end with the couple making a big step in their relationship (no, not that one; get your mind out of the gutter!) that will appeal to the more romantic of you out there. In truth, the main characters are just so damn nice that it is hard not to root for them, and only the more cynical viewers will not be willing them on.
As ever the production values here are top notch, with Kousuke Fujishima’s gorgeous original artwork faithfully translated to animation, and with music that fits the tone of the show perfectly. As before, Manga’s release is excellent with a generous helping of episodes and a quality dub.
This is an excellent conclusion to the series, although of course there’s no big ending. The series could easily continue after this season, but if not then this would be a fine way to go out. This volume is highly recommended to fans of the series and to anybody looking for a fix of the lighter side of anime in general.
Now that the series is complete it is also available as a reasonably priced complete series two boxset. The whole season comes recommended so if you haven’t been collecting the series up until now then this is probably your best option.
The only question now is will the Goddesses hear their fans’ prayers and grant their wish for a season three? Only time will tell.