The Oh My Goddess! OVA series was released in Japan from February 21, 1993-May 17, 1994. The series, which was based off of a manga by Kosuke Fujishima, was directed by Hiroaki Goda. The animation was done by Anime International Company, and the series was produced by KSS, Tokyo Broadcasting System, and Kodansha. AnimEigo used to have the licensing rights for the OVA in the United States. As of this writing, the OVA is unlicensed in North America.

Oh My Goddess! The Collector’s Edition
English Publisher: AnimEigo
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 20, 2006

This DVD release of Oh My Goddess! is a three-disc set. The first two discs have two episodes, while the third disc only has one episode.

The story of Oh My Goddess! opens with a first year student at the Nekomi Institute of Technology named Keiichi Morisato who was left home alone by his dormmates. He becomes hungry and tries to order dinner. In the process of doing that, he accidentally dials the Goddess Relief Office, and this summons a goddess named Belldandy to his dorm room. Belldandy says she can grant Keiichi a wish.

Thinking it’s a prank set up by his dormmates, Keiichi wishes for Belldandy to stay with him forever. When Belldandy says his wish has been granted, Keiichi is taken aback because women are not allowed to be in the dorm. At that moment, his dormmates return and find Belldandy. As punishment, Keiichi and Belldandy are kicked out of the dorm.

Keiichi tries to find someplace to stay for the night, but he is unsuccessful. Through overuse of her magic, Belldandy leads Keiichi to an abandoned temple. The next morning, Belldandy uses her powers to restore the temple, and the two of them begin living there. Suddenly, Keiichi’s younger sister, Megumi, drops by. She’s about to start attending the same school that Keiichi goes to, and needs a place to live. Belldandy invites her to stay.

A few months pass, and everything is fine… until Belldandy’s older sister, Urd, appears. Urd begins meddling with things in order to try to advance Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship. Unfortunately, everything she tries backfires. Her last resort is a love potion that she gives to Keiichi, and the effects of this potion almost tear Belldandy and Keiichi apart. As punishment for her interference, Urd is banished from the heavens.

Belldandy’s younger sister Skuld also makes an appearance. She’s lonely and wants Belldandy to return with her to the heavens. Skuld tries to interfere in order to break up Keiichi and Belldandy, but it doesn’t work. A few months later, bizarre things start happening at the temple, and it must be determined what is happening and how it will affect Keiichi and the goddesses.

Oh My Goddess! is one of the earlier titles to use the “harem” concept, which was shown as the story progressed. Of the three additional characters that were introduced, Urd seemed to add the most. While Urd and Skuld both served as obstacles for Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship, Urd had a strong personality and she really made herself known in the story. To me, Skuld didn’t have quite as dynamic of a personality as Urd did. For the OVA telling, Megumi didn’t really add a whole lot.

I’ve read some of the manga series, so it’s interesting to see that the OVA decided to leave Sayoko Mishima, a girl trying to get Belldandy away from Keiichi, out of the story. Perhaps the director of the OVA felt he needed to pare the story down a little for an OVA, and ultimately had to decide to leave Sayoko out of it.

Even with those observations, I found the episodes in the series to be compelling, and they left me wondering what would happen next. The storytelling and animation complemented each other well, which made this series an enjoyable viewing experience.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, all of the discs contain these bonus features in common: Special Audio Options (Dub Your Own and Commentary with the American voice actors and directors), Image Gallery (includes stills from the OVA done in a slideshow format), and trailers for various AnimEigo properties.

The first disc’s extras also include “Character Cards,” which is a slideshow of character artwork; “Character Designs,” which is a slideshow of character model sheets; and “Program Notes,” a text-only history of the series and a primer on Japanese sounds for pronunciation. The Program Notes are done in a slideshow manner, where the viewer cannot control how quickly the slideshow goes by. If you can’t read all the text fast enough, you keep having to go back with the “back” button on the remote until you’ve read it all. After a while, this became rather annoying and frustrating.

On the second disc, the extras also include: information for the two episodes included on the disc, such as various pictures and text related to the episode that include storyboards and text-only interviews. Unfortunately, these are done in the same slideshow manner as the Program Notes on the first disc. There are also Program Notes on this disc, which include the credits and lyrics for the opening and ending theme songs.

The last disc’s extras also include a text-only interview with producer Toru Miura, which is done in the same slideshow style of the Program Notes on the first disc. There’s also information on the episode included on the disc, which is done in the same way as the episode information on the second disc. There’s also a “manual” for Nekomi Institute of Technology included, which features a campus map and information on the clubs, as well as a mockup of a student newspaper and an ID card.

You can also see a karaoke version of the opening and ending theme songs, complete with Japanese lyrics printed on the screen. You can also see a textless version of the opening credits, as well as of all five versions of the ending credits.

The Oh My Goddess! OVA is decent for what it is, but viewers who are already familiar with the manga are going to notice how much has either been changed or removed from the original manga source material. I think that viewers who don’t have any familiarity with the original manga will probably be able to enjoy this OVA more than viewers who are fans of the manga.

Unfortunately, this box set is now out of print. If you’re interested in adding it to your anime home video collection, be sure to look around at various outlets that sell used DVDs and try to find the best bargain.

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