The Adventures of Mini-Goddess

TV series - 48 episodes

This is the main bulk of the ĎOh! My Goddess!í anime, but rather than telling a main story, it decides to give us a collection of comic parody shorts, each only about seven minutes long, including opening and credits!

Goddesses Urd, Skuld and Belldandy are living with an average college student in an old temple, but when heís not around they shrink themselves and take part in some very strange adventures and accidents with Gan-chan, one of the rats that also lives there. And it all gets that bit wilder when Mara (or Marller as they call her here) the demon decides to stir things up.

To those that know the OAVs, movie or manga this series may come as a bit of a surprise, being based on a collection of four panel comic mangas. The episodes all parody something, from the films Die Hard and Godzilla to a three wishes scenario and fantasy RPG. Very few of them actually connect to each other, with only a few two parters and the final episode that refers back, but they are all comic in nature. The success of the comedy varies from episode to episode, and I have to say that the first one is probably the least enjoyable of the lot, so you shouldnít let that one put you off the rest. Itís all very light hearted and fun, and even the melancholy dialogue free Ďrainy dayí episode that they do (a take on other such shorts) feels like it belongs, breaking up the zaniness with a focus on the softer side of Urd. In fact, Urd is the undisputed star of this show, with Skuld and Gan-chan taking second billing and Belldandy often in a minor supporting roll, but after the manga and other animated material sheís had plenty of time to shine already.

There is virtually nothing that could be considered objectionable about this show. Urd is open about her sake drinking and gets one or two nude shots, but nothing with any detail. Sheís scaled down to four head height proportions anyway, so it hardly matters. Some of the things that happen to the hapless Gan-chan look rather uncomfortable, like inflamed eyes and mouth from having hot pepper powder poured on him, but heís a cartoon rat, itís not that bad.

The animation is simple, reasonably fluid when it needs it but making lots of use of stills, sliding shots and the like. The character designs are okay, sort of what youíd expect from the mini versions of the goddesses, but they lack an inherent cute factor that they have in the manga. Belldandy in particular looks too plain and generic in her face at times, but overall itís pretty nice to look at, if simple.

Opinions on the dub will vary depending on what youíve already seen of the animated Oh! My Goddess dubs. Skuld is fine, her voice, while a little annoying at times, fits the character to a T and it played nicely throughout. Urd, like in the movie, seems to lack the cheekiness that she had in the OAVs, and it would have come across so well here. Itís not a problem really, she is well played and gets the visual cues down fine, but it feels like thereís something missing at times. Belldandy sometimes sounds a bit forced and is overdoing the stereotype of her, but the episodes that she takes a prominent role in are okay. I can quite believe Gan-chan, but Mara lets the side down (and itís the only dub there is for her since itís the only animation she appears in). The overt antagonism and personality just didnít work for me, largely because it wasnít there. She was never dynamic enough with her voice, even if Mara is a tomboy of sorts. Overall Iíd say not great, but some episodes are better than others.

This is an enjoyable bit of poking fun at various anime, TV and film themes, and while the episodes are something of a mixed bag the whole package is very enjoyable. Some episodes have more replay value than others, and the intro gets very tiring after 48 episodes, but itís worth a look, especially if you have some knowledge of the things they are parodying.

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