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Oh! My Goddess

Another major entry into the non-action anime market is the popular Oh! My Goddess series. It was originally conceived as a 22 volume manga series, but was adapted to a short-run OAV in the early 90’s. The first OAV contains only 5 episodes, but a series featuring 48 shorter episodes was later released. Most fans are loyal to the original 5-episode OAV because it is more relevant to the manga series. Surprisingly enough for a short 5 episode run back in 1993, the series also received a full-length movie production in 2000.

The original title, "Aa! Megamisama," caused some confusion when it was translated to English for the American audience. Originally translated as Ah! My Goddess, the series was later revised to Oh! My Goddess by the request of its creator, Fujishima Kosuke. Many fans debate the correct translation, but Fujishima suggested that Oh! My Goddess was a better play on words of the English phrase "Oh my God!"

The story is not your typical anime action thriller. No, this is a romance/comedy more along the lines of light-hearted titles like Love Hina. It begins with the atypical protagonist, Keiichi Morisato. He’s a college engineering student who’s a bit of a computer geek. One day he’s working in his dorm taking phone calls, but doesn’t receive any food for the day. So instead of going out to grab something, he tries to call for some deliver. After a few attempts at finding a place that will deliver, he accidentally calls the "Goddess Hotline." The woman on the other end of the line suggests that she come in for a consultation and Keiichi agrees. To his surprise, she suddenly steps out of a nearby mirror and introduces herself as a Belldandy, a goddess that can grant him only one wish. Keiichi thinks it’s all just a practical joke and says on a whim that he wants her as his girlfriend. Much to his own chagrin, Keiichi gets a dose of reality when she agrees and he gets kicked out of his dorm for having a girl there.

The rest of the story follows their journey to find a place to live, followed by a visitation by Belldandy’s sister-goddesses Urd and Skuld. They show up later in the series out of concern for what’s happening between Keiichi and Belldandy. You’d think that with only 5 episodes the story wouldn’t be as engrossing as it is. That’s what makes Oh! My Goddess a great feel-good television experience: though it’s not particularly philosophical, it’s a fun show to watch.

Interestingly enough, the story is based on something more serious: Norse mythology. According to myth, there are three goddesses (Verdande, Urda, and Skuld) who represent the three Fates. There’s also a sly reference to Yggdrasil, the tree of life that binds together life and death. It’s represented by the computer system that God uses in the series to create reality.

If you’re looking for some good-natured fun with a bit of sexual innuendo, then Oh! My Goddess is a great series to pick up that won’t drain your wallet!