Tag Archives: angels

Ah My Goddess! Flights of Fancy

Type: Also known as Season 2

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Synopsis: Keiichi is basically still living the swell life. After somehow ending up with the goddess Belldandy and her two not-so-wicked sister, Urd and Skuld, he’s more or less adjusted. He and Belldandy even manage to get closer on an emotional level, which is cool I guess. I mean, this kinda comes back to bite them when Urd’s mother, the LORD OF TERROR, decides to mess with them because why not? Can their love overcome the devil herself!? (Spoilers: Yeah, probably).

Synopsis: The animation seems to have gotten a bit of an upgrade between seasons, but not by much. I liked this season’s plot better than the first season. Aside from a few fluff episodes, the core story for season 2 is the growing intimacy between Keiichi and Belldandy, specifically on Belldandy’s side. This season, Belldandy experiences jealousy and possessiveness for the first time (she also gets drunk, which is always funny). Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship are given several tests time around, and Belldandy’s new feelings boost the drama. Don’t get me wrong, this ain’t Days of Our Lives or anything, but I’m glad Belldandy and Keiichi were back to being the focus of the show after the lackluster second half of season 1. I also forgot to mention this last time, but I love the scottish influenced opening melody.

Cons: Again, nothing too bad or good. Aside from Keiichi and Belldandy, the other side stories are the inner turmoil between Urd’s goddess and demon sides, and a mini-arc about Skuld’s first love. A lot of episodes are still skippable, and you will most likely want to skim through a lot of this. Also, and I forgot the mention this last time, but this series has the weird habit of ending the plot two episodes early, meaning we essentially get two extra episodes for finales. That’s just weird.

Watch it!?: Did you know that Manga lasted 26 years? (3/5)

MPV: Belldandy

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She was rounded out a bit more

Best Episode: Ep.20 “Ah! It Doesn’t Matter Where, So Long as We’re Together!” (there’s nothing quite as romantic as a private dance together).

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Ah! My Goddess

Type: Sometimes pronounced “Oh!”

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Synopsis: Some college shumck strikes the lottery by accidentally calling a “goddess help line.” Surprisingly, this wasn’t a sex thing, because an actual goddess shows up to grant him a wish. He offhandedly wishes that the pretty goddess would stay with him forever, which forces this trans-dimensional being to be shackled to our mortal plain. But she’s cool with it. The duo  live out the rest of their days in psudo-marriged life, complete with in-laws and relatives.

Pros: This was a pretty good love-comedy. The first seven episodes were a solid relationship show, barring the fact that most of the emotional anxiety came from the male side. You care more about Keiichi and Belldandy as a result. They actually had a scene were they just talked to each other all night, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in an anime. Episodes 8-12 introduce a second goddess named Urd. She plays the sexy one, but the show doesn’t strays into harem territory, which was actually surprising. Episodes 12-26 introduce a third goddess, Skuld, who I could have lived without, expect for the fact that she was really good in one episode. This was overall a pretty tepid show, with not real frills, but you can burn through it pretty fast in a fast food kind a way.

Cons: Nothing good, nothing bad. Average. You can skip a few episodes without missing anything. There were a few characters I disliked. Skuld’s kid act could get annoying. The snobby girl Sayoko was largely pointless. There’s also a demon bottle at one point that was pretty racist. Pretty super racist. As mentioned above, I felt that the added characters diluted the Keiichi and Belldandy story. Maybe if the other goddesses had popped in every once in a while instead of staying permanently, it would have worked better. Still, I liked the show overall.

Watch it: Easy watch (3/5)

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MVP: Keiichi and Belldandy

I hope these crazy kids make it

Best Episode: Ep. 26 “Ah! Being an Adult is Heart-Throbbing?” (The one time Skuld was watchable)

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Steel Angel Karumi 2

Type: This Really Sucks

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Synopsis: 75 years after the Steel Angel Karumi learns to that a robot can feel real love and emotion, we learn that she was put into a statue for lol’s. She is awakened by Nako, the female descendant of either Karumi’s first true love, or his brother. It’s cool either way, since Karumi instantly fall in love with Nako, because any semblance of free will she gained from the first series was an illusion. Such is the tragedy of Steel Angels.

Pros: Again, this is really short. At 15 minutes (more like 8 min) each, these 12 episodes will go by fast. You don’t need to have watched Steel Angel Karumi to enjoy this. Any prior knowledge may even prove detrimental. Karumi’s English voice acting is still great, although a bit more nasal than before. Whether this was intentional to differentiate from her past performance or not is unknown.

Cons: Same problem as the original. Nothing super wrong with it, but still average. This one is more slice-of-life than it’s predecessor, but that’s fun in it’s own way. It did bug me that the main character’s catchphrase was “This really sucks,” mostly because it felt a bit lazy. On a personal note, I was bothered by Karumi’s ultimate fate. The show suggest that after the events of Steel Angel Karumi, Karumi and the rest of the angels were shut down and had their memories wiped. This negates all the messages of love and freedom that the first anime made. That’s really sad when you think about it.

Watch it?: Pretend it’s non-cannon (3/5)

MVP: Uruka Sumeragi

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The real star of the show

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Master is a Girl” (robot maid)

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Steel Angel Karumi

Type: 15-minute long episodes

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Synopsis: Unknown to any historian, Japan apparently had mecha-tanks and android-angels from the future in their military by the 1920’s. Beating out American super-soldiers and British time travelers by several decades. One day an angel named Karumi is put in a cave, probably for having pink hair or something, and is found by a boy named Nakahito. She becomes his disturbingly clingy maid, then hilarity ensues.

Pros: I saw this in English, and I have to say, kudos to the voice acting team. Karumi’s voice actress was particularly good, and managed to make a character the said “master” half the time enjoyable. This may be a weird thing to say, but this show had the best whispering I’ve ever heard. Really nuanced. I just flew right through this show, though that may have been because of the 15 minute episode length. The humor is excellent, partially because some of the dialogue had curse words in it.  Any anime that gets the characters to say “fuck” and “shit” gets a pass in my book.

Cons: If I hadn’t watched it in English, I think my feelings for the show would be more negative. Even with it’s short length, this is a pretty by-the-books anime. Robots that may or may not be dangerous, an obsessive love interest, three girls that each fit a certain stereotype. It’s saving grace really is it’s length, because I don’t think I’d be able to handle 24 full episodes of Karumi saying “master.” (It’s just so condescending).

Watch it?: Fun in English, probably not as much in Japanese (3/5)

MVP: Karumi

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Love will save the world

Best Episode: Ep. 6 “Sisterly Love” (Love Shack)

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Chrono Crusade

Type: Kinda like Fullmetal Alchemist, but not

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Synopsis: The year is 1928, see? The Church of Mary Magdalene fights demons in the mean streets of New York, see? One of their star members is Sister Rosette, see? She wears a highly inappropriate high-cut skirt for a nun and teams up with a devil named Chrono, see? Their looking for Rosette’s brother who was taken by this guy whose basically Satan, see? At some point they also team up with a cute apostle and busty bounty hunter, see? I hope you were reading this in an Edward G. Robinson voice, see?

Pros: This is a very solid action anime. I was particularly partial to the American setting, since I had a reference for the scope of the conflict. When they mentioned Denver, I knew their problems were for real. The version I saw was in English, and I must say, Chrono Crusade had some very stellar voice acting. Sometimes dubs are just phoned in, but you could really tell that the actors where giving it their best. The voice actresses for Rosette and Satella impressed me in particular with their wide range of emotions. The relationship between the eventual foursome of Rosette, Chrono, Satella, and Azmaria was very fun, and the eventual romance between Rosette and Chrono felt earned.This show also had a particularly slimy antagonist in Aion, whose smugness really made you want to punch him.

Cons: Well, you see, that is to say, the thing is….there is nothing particularly wrong with the show. It was honestly a solid manga-based anime. But there was just something missing that kept it from being more memorable. This thing really reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist, especially with Rosette being such a hot-head, while Chrono was so calm. But I can’t really call Chrono Crusade better. I enjoyed it for what it was, but it didn’t wow me. The anime actually diverges from the manga, so maybe that’s what made it feel vanilla. The ending was also kinda a downer.

Watch it?: A good show with great voice acting. Not a must see, but still entertaining (3/5) 

MVP: Aion

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He’s such a sleeze!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Hellhound” & Ep.18 “Photograph” (one’s funny, one’s sweet)

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Shuffle!

Type: Not a board game

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Synopsis: It starts off as a contest between the demon realm and land of angels, then it forgets about that after the third episode. Then it’s  turns into a show about a five-way love contest, where two of the participants just happen to be demon/god princesses. Then if forgets about the princesses and changes into a show about a love triangle involving a childhood friend and really, really sick girl. Then the girl gets sick. Then it ends.

Pros: The show really shines when its a drama, something I never thought I’d write about a harem anime. But its true. You see, the show starts out as a regular harem show, with the spice of demons and angels as the, seemingly, main love rivals. This goes on until episode 12, when the girls “dark pasts” are revealed. It takes an unexpected turn by going into demon world stuff, then really takes a left turn when you learn about Rin and Kaede’s origins. I particularly loved what the show did with Kaede. Chicka is disturbed. It’s messed-up, but at the same time really engrossing. I didn’t see the second part of Shuffle! coming, which made it all the more intriguing.

Cons: The first half of Shuffle! is really cookie-cutter. It’s not bad, but anyone whose ever seen a harem/high school anime will see the story beats a mile away. Still, its enjoyable enough. I should also point out that while I loved the second part of the show, it used the “multiple personalities” cliche on three of the girls! Plus the magic thing? Not that important. To be honest, my favorite story arc involved not magic whatsoever.

Watch it?: Ep. 1-11 for harem lovers, Ep. 12-24 for drama lovers (3/5)

MVP: Kaede Fuyou

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This chick is crazy. I love crazy!

Best Episode: Ep. 19-12 Kaede Arc (This shit just got real)

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Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Type: Touched by an Angel

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Synopsis: Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow

Pros: It’s like Adult Swim, Comedy Central, and Japan had a five week orgy whose essence became sentient after getting really, really drunk.

Cons: It’s crude, extremely sexual, and covered in poop jokes. No wait, I’m suppose to be doing negatives right now. In all honesty, if I didn’t know for a fact that this was made in Japan, I would be calling this the most American Anime I’ve ever seen. The animation looks Western, the humor is most definitely western, and I’m pretty sure it’s set somewhere in the good ol’ USA. I found this extremely refreshing, but anyone looking for a “traditional” anime will be disappointed, and possibly offended.

Watch it!?: I’m mad at myself for not watching it sooner. (5/5)

MVP: Panty

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Bitchy Angel, Hell Yeah!

Best Episode: You should really just watch all of them (They’re each special in their own way)

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Kamisama Kazoku

Type: Anime Jesus

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Synopsis: Imagine if the Son of God was born in anime Japan and was partially in love with a pink haired angel living in his parent’s house? You refuse? Well too bad! Samatarou, a.k.a. Jesus, is a god in training living with an angel, Tenko, who is supposed to guide him on his rode to divinity. Sadly, the show missed out on the opportunity to create a 13 member harem to act as Samatarou’s apostles.

Pros: The show is divided into three story arcs that sorta bleed into each other, creating an overall plot. These arcs, while fairly melodramatic, are engaging enough  to make you stick to the series. The show is filled with gags that take advantage of the whole “god” angle, such as Tenko shooting steam out of her head whenever aroused or angered. Once I got to the last episode, I was left wanting more. As I should be.

Cons: The first thing you’ll notice is that the show mixed theologies slightly. The concept of Polytheism is combined with Christian religion, creating a world where multiple gods and angels reside. So Samatarou is not THE son of God, he’s just A son of A god. Samatarou himself presented a problem at first, as his character was presented as whiny and stubborn. This, thankfully, is resolved after the first story arc. In the last story arc, the show presents the concept of Devils, beings who reap human souls for consumption. When a Devil attack Samatarou and his family, the family is almost immediately demolished.  I now that you can’t use the “fight fire with fire” strategy when fighting true evil, but you would think Gods and Angels would have some concrete way to defend themselves.

What it!?: A truly solid show which goes by a lot faster than you’d think (3/5)

MVP: Tenko

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My guardian angel

Best Episode: Ep.7 “Growing Girl” (teenage parent *nodding disapprovingly*)

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Angel Beats!

Type: People trying to fight anime girl God with guns

Synopsis: A plucky girl in limbo decides to fight off destiny by forming a club of rebels without causes for her own cause. They incite terrible theological conflicts in the form of rock concerts and gun fire. The girl really goes to a lot of trouble in order to not graduate from high school. Because, like all anime heroines, she will disappear from existence once high school is over.

Pros: A strong balance between comedy and drama. Angel Beats! did something I really liked. It was able to be super silly and heartbreakingly tragic at the same time. The basic premise is that the cast is in limbo because they had unfulfilled lives. Some dies young, some didn’t accomplish goals, and other just had tragic lives. This early revelation creeps up and eventually takes over the show, making the first episode and last episode almost seem like different shows. Even the three main characters Otonashi, Yuri, and Angel grow considerably over the course of the show, gaining almost a surprising and welcome level of depth. But the humor of the show is able to keep on par with the emotion of the show. Every character has some sort of shtick soo stupidly funny (morons, muscled geeks, Christ-wannabe, ect). Then there’s limbo.  Limbo prevents anyone from dying, so we get a lot of humorous deaths (*spoiler: one involves a rocket desk).

Cons: Some of the inner logic of the show is confusing at times. I’m not really sure why limbo would be hackable. Or how could a bunch of young people build a secret weapons factory. And some of the cast backstories are either too melodramatically clique (twins, little sisters) or non existent (only 7 out of 15 cast members get one). Aside from that, I kinda wish it were a little longer, maybe in OVA form. The cast grows on you, and I wish I could have spend more time with the supporting cast and learn about their whole deal (I mean, wouldn’t you want to know what a Ninja and an American break dancer are doing there?)

Watch it?: Angel please. Of course you should. (5/5)

MVP: TK

Drop that beat son!

Best Episode: Ep.13 “Graduation” (what a long, strange trip its been)

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Heaven’s Lost Property (Season 1 and 2)

Type: Angel-robot things fall to earth and shack up at a dude’s house

Synopsis: One day a pervy guy named Tomoki openly declares that he wants nothing more from life than peace and quiet…then a busty angel/robot falls on top of him. After a quicky “careful what you wish for” experience, Tomoki is forced to provide this trouble magnet room and board. The angel/robot boob girl soon attracts other angels/robots, forever ruining Tomoki’s afternoon plans of peeping from the bushes while the girl next door undresses.

Pros: I really like the cast. Tomoki is a harem protagonist, but his unapologetic (almost prideful) pervyness makes him one of the funniest male leads I’ve ever come across. The robot/angel girl’s, Ikaros’s, naivete and love of watermelons were very endearing and funny. Then their’s Sohara, Tomoki’s neighbor who keeps him line with super powerful karate chops. Last but not least are Eishiro and Mikako, both very smart and level headed (but not without their own quirks).The show’s also very funny, like almost to surprising levels (fan service jokes, crazy new girl at school jokes, naivete jokes, evil mastermind jokes, etc). But it can also elicit emotion when it brings up the plight of the angel/robots (angeloids). So, all in all, and enjoyable anime revolving around naive robotic girls and humans (now was that so hard?).

Cons: The anime kinda lacks resolution. The premise describes Ikaros as an “angeloid,” a robot created by angels. The angeloids are continually abused by the “Master of Synapse” (basically the head angel). The show does a really good job at making you hate the “Master” (I felt my fist clenching more than once), but he never gets his comuppens (Now, to be fair, the manga that the anime is based on is still going). But outside of that, I got nothing against it. It balances humor, action, and melodrama avidly. Kudos.

Watch it?: Hell Yeah! (4/5)

MVP: Ikaros

Who can hate someone who loves watermelon so much?

Best Episode: S2, Ep. 10 “Peek Into the Fantasy Field” (A real man never apologizes for his pervert nature!)

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