Oh My Goddess!
I think I've fallen in love.
Oh My Goddess! is one of the most enjoyable OVA series I've seen in a great long while. It's not unique, but it is incredibly likable from start to finish. Besides having Belldandy, possibly the sweetest anime character ever to grace a television screen, this show never hits a sour note. Although there are a few holes caused by the adaptation of a long-running manga series into two and a half hours, this is an unabashedly romantic show you must see.
Keiichi, a college kid trying to fit in with the upperclassmen in his dorm, has been assigned to keep watch over the place while the rest of them are out partying. Incredibly hungry, he can't find anyplace that will deliver to him; in his desperation, he misdials an eatery and winds up with a Goddess Hotline instead. An incredibly cute young woman, Belldandy, shows up and tells Keiichi that she can grant him one wish. Thinking it was all a big prank, he wishes that he could have a girlfriend forever just like her. But it's no joke, Belldandy is happy to comply with Keiichi's request, and she will stay close to him as long as he desires. Problem is, it's an all guys dorm, and Keiichi finds himself kicked out in no time. Belldandy fixes up an old temple that they quickly make their home. As the episodes progress, we get to see the relationship between Keiichi and Belldandy grow despite the best intentions of her two goddess sisters, Skuld and Urd, and a mysterious secret that may pull these two lovers apart forever.
There is simply nothing to say in the negative about OMG's style, look, or quality. OMG is solid--each character is surprisingly detailed, and we get to know even secondary characters pretty well for a show of this type. The character designs are beautiful, the voice actors in the Japanese version well cast, and the list could continue. Although there are a few too many secondary characters that exist simply to bring them into the anime version, that's my only real complaint. Although some may look at the storyline as being similar to others--comparisons to Video Girl Ai, another favorite of mine, are inevitable, as well as other "ordinary guy stuck with extraordinary girl" shows--the handling of the whole story is at another level than others in its particular niche.
Some may also complain that Belldandy is too naive, too simplistically perfect, perhaps even too interested in Keiichi's interests...but that's their problem. Belldandy has Keiichi's happiness always in mind, and the relationship works because Keiichi is honestly interested in returning that happiness. What I appreciate about this show so much is that Keiichi doesn't flirt with other women or have a crush on somebody he can't have--almost immediately, once he realizes that Belldandy is serious about following through on her promise, he establishes that she is who he wants. Although he has the same nervous problems knowing what to do to express his feelings as everybody, the love between these two is somehow more genuine than what you see in most shows. It was incredibly refreshing to see a show that contained such a simple yet honest love story. If you don't like romantic stories, though, perhaps this wouldn't be your first choice.
Really, there is no choice for the discerning anime fan, particularly fans of romantic anime--you should see Oh My Goddess!, if only to revel in the beautiful animation and lovely characters. However, you're likely to fall for the charms of the starry-eyed Belldandy. I know I have!
Oh My Goddess! -- brief profanity, extremely brief nudity -- A