10 of 37 people found this review helpful
22 of 22 episodes seen
AMG is your standard romantic comedy (rom-com), complete with a rather pathetic male lead and a huge amount of large breasted females around him. It has its quirks, such as supernatural elements in the way of Goddesses and demons, as well as some robots, but the main focus is on the comedy side, with the supernatural stuff often used as a means of getting more laughs out of viewers.
Keiichi, the pathetic male lead mentioned above, lives with no less than three Goddesses: Belldandy, a doormat who has no evil in her heart and would do anything for Keiichi; Urd, Belldandy's half Goddess, half demon big sister who likes wearing revealing clothes and attempting to push the lead couple closer together and Skuld, Belldandy's younger sister who wants all of her big sister to herself and is an expert at building machines. The four different personalities work well together, with Urd being my favourite by far because she comes across as the most real character and has had the most development in AMG to date.
A few weeks after finishing the first season (S1), I typed up a very short review. I commented that, although the plot didn't really advance after the start, instead going around in a seemingly endless circle, people would walk away glad that AMG is a 'circular' series because it's so heart-warming and charming.
After finishing season 2 (S2), I'm starting to think I was incorrect. The fact that the relationship between Keiichi and Belldandy didn't advance beyond them 'sort of' confessing their love for each other wasn't a bothersome issue in S1 because it dealt with the start of the story, including the introduction of all the key characters. It also ended fairly strongly for the start of a lengthy rom-com saga, with the last few episodes being about Belldandy stopping the Lord of Terror from destroying the world.
In S2, however, there was only the introduction of mostly unimportant characters to draw the viewers attention away from Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship. And there was no Lord of Terror type of story this time around to the end the series purposefully. Apart from one or two episodes that continued on from where the previous episode ended, the entire series was episodic. Even the final episode that aired on TV (22) was random, with little to no build-up. While I'm not doubting that all the content included in the series was taken from the manga, it wouldn't be unfair to label most of what was included as filler designed to stretch the story beyond reasonable limits. The manga is still on-going after something like 20 years, and I read that Keiichi and Belldandy STILL haven't kissed even in the manga, so I'm sure it'll only get worse in the future TV series. I'm hoping not but I can't see any way for the story to have lasted for so long without 90% of the chapters not adding anything constructive.
Watching S2 actually made me start to dislike both Keiichi and Belldandy. Keiichi's a complete loser, lacking any backbone, and his inability to even openly admit his love for Belldandy after living in the same house for over a year made him look really, really pathetic. It's normal for the lead character of a rom-com to be like that but the endless length of AMG makes it much more of an annoyance. And as for Belldandy, her carefree and 'love everyone, no matter what' attitude became bothersome as the series went on. You'd expect a woman to get a little sexually frustrated with a guy who can't even bring himself to kiss her, despite his obvious feelings, yet she seems more than happy to go her entire life without so much as kissing...unless cooking gives her orgasmic pleasure, which isn't out of the question going on how much she cares about what Keiichi thinks of it, her passive personality is as fake as you can get -- it'd only work well in an erotic game.
The only episodes I truly enjoyed, aside from a few that made me laugh, such as the one involving the plum spirit singing about how he loved Urd, were those that attempted to add character development, and those were few and far between. There was one episode near the start that presented Tamiya, the comical senior who bosses around wimpy Keiichi, as a real person who could fall in love, and there were another two that attempted to develop Skuld, the kid Goddess who wants Belldandy (her big sister) all to herself, into a more mature character by bringing a young male into the picture...but that was it really in terms of character development. Near enough everything else could be discarded without it damaging the series.
Another issue I have is how the supernatural (the Goddess and demon stuff) was handled. I'm well aware that, first and foremost, AMG is a rom-com and that the viewer isn't supposed to take anything seriously. However, I can't deny that it bugged me how Urd, a Goddess and one of Keiichi's harem, casually revealed her mother to be the leader of demon kind, and the same goes for seeing the leader of demon kind become just another member of Keiichi's harem. Goddesses are supposed to stop demon kind from doing demonic stuff, yet the three Goddesses at Keiichi's house see no problem with talking to them and being friendly... Shouldn't they attack demons on sight, not befriend them? It's all a bit too silly, even for a rom-com.
As for the visual and sound side, AMG (both seasons) is the most visually pleasing rom-com anime I've seen. The range of colours used is impressive, the art is very consistent, the animation is good when it needs to be and the computer graphics blended in well. The new music used in S2 isn't as good as the music from S1 but that isn't a big issue when S1 music gets used as well. In short, there are no problems.
If there's to be a third season, I hope Sayako, the posh chick and 'queen' of Keiichi's college, appears more. She only appeared during the early episodes of S2, which is a shame when she was probably my favourite character in S1. I also hope Megumi, Keiichi's tomboy of a younger sister, appears for more than a few seconds in any future AMG offerings. I can understand why most of the S1 supporting cast didn't get much time in S2 - they'd already had their own episodes in S1 - but they are far better characters than the likes of Peroth; the Goddess who acts like a hooker (I got the impression she only 'helps' humans sexually). I'd hate to see more poor characters thrown in and less time being given to the more likable characters...
Anyway, enough. I rate the series 7.5/10 and, despite its flaws, hope a third season will be created. If there's still no progress after that then I'd consider dropping everything AMG, but until then I'll stay interested in seeing more of Belldandy.