Reviews of Oh My Goddess (1993) and related work
Oh My Goddess (1993)
A lonely guy who’s into motor sports gets a wish-granting goddess to live with him. They fall in love, in a very timid, slow and harmless way. Supernatural obstacles appear.
Supernatural romance. Cute but edgelessly passive. Belldandy is the perfect example of the mild-mannered, cake-baking, traditional female stereotype who seems to speak only in the course of inhaling, despite possessing awesome cosmic (read maternal) power.
References here: Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation (2001/2005), Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan (2005), Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (2017).
‣ Adventures of the Mini Goddesses (1998)
Apparently for their own amusement, the three goddesses reduce themselves to miniature size when Keiichi is not around (and he never gets closer to being around than having a shadow and voice in some episodes). Urd and Skuld waste their days together with their favourite house rat, while Belldandy takes care of the house. Most of the episodic plots revolve around some harmless problem which the goddesses attempt to overcome as adventurously as possible.
Light super-deformed comedy, with lots of parodies. No overarching story whatsoever, plenty of metafiction.
Often childish, shallow and predictable, but it keeps pulling off neat tricks. For instance, one entire episode is a mute journey through the city on a rainy day, and another is a lengthy Berserk (1997) skit. When Urd replicates herself hundreds of times to look for something, many of her copies run off to form a Lord of the Flies-esque tyrannic society, and war erupts. Quirkily good. The original title means “I guess it comes in handy to be small”.
‣ Oh My Goddess: The Movie (2000)
Grandiose/pretentious expansion of the original premises into a war between inscrutable Heaven and a philanthropic Lucifer figure who was once Belldandy’s teacher.
Extremely supernatural action, romance. Impressive in scope, pace and graphics, but it fails to carry any point to back up with these fine qualities.