Aa! Megami-sama! TV - 16: Ah! Catastrophe Arrives. An Auspicious Sign Stands?

Title:Aa! Megami-sama! TV
Episode:16: Ah! Catastrophe Arrives. An Auspicious Sign Stands?
Marller has resurrected in some coffin, and she's out for revenge as these three goddesses have humiliated her so much. Her primary target will still be Keiichi whom Belldandy's presence on earth is linked to - and after being defeated by Banpei-kun once again, Marller comes up with a more subtle plan: She takes over the body of Keiichi's sister Megumi [image1] (during the process she transforms the Earth Spirit guarding Megumi's appartment into a teddy bear)! And she will unleash her ultimate weapon - Senbei, the God of Poverty! [image2] (Well, more like a genie in a bottle, actually.)
Well protected against detection, Megumi-Marller now joins Keiichi [image3] and Belldandy, waiting for an opportunity to have Senbei make the boy unlucky. And there are many of these, meeting Sayoko at the campus [image4] or surprising Hasegawa while changing in the Motor Club's rooms being just two of them [image5]. But the real battle starts when Keiichi has to drive a drag car in a race, and Marller seals Belldandy's powers to prevent her from helping her boy... [image6]
[2005-05-07, Devil Doll]
This is a strange episode - I love and hate it at the same time. Lots of nice scenes mixed with embarrassing stuff and nonsense. (The original story has been manga volume 7 chapter 45; the anime added a lot of details from Marller's perspective.)
On one hand I like certain elements very much, such as the cameos of many characters we know already. They're all used in credible little roles (my favourite today being the brave Earth Spirit); it is a strength of this series to have enough established characters for this purpose so that it doesn't have to introduce ever new ones to push the story forward.
Then again, this episode is in fact driven forward by the new character Senbei. He's funny (the "law of preserving the total quantity of happiness", his puns, his playing with foreign languages and accents) but this can easily be overused. He's a character for one episode only, albeit a great one.
And then there are the leads. No Urd or Skuld this time, Marller is a mixed bag (funny in several scenes but her long monologues and premature claims of victory are almost Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon style), Keiichi is in good shape today...
... but Belldandy is acting so stupid that it hurts. ("Onii-sama"!? And Belle even remembers that Megumi had classes in the afternoon, and the weather report...) That's the main downside of this episode: Some of the silly-funny scenes that turn out to have a totally different result than Marller & Senbei had planned took so long that I almost suspected Belldandy was aware of the danger all the time, and that in fact she was the reason of the result! (At least Marller thought so, as we can see during Senbei's final attack.) But Belldandy denies this to Keiichi at the end of this episode, and we know she won't lie about this. How can Belldandy be so incredibly thick? (I agree with her statement of "I've failed as a goddess" this time.) Well, that's because the series author decided her to be this way - back in episode 9 of Aa! Megami-sama! TV already Urd stated that Belldandy isn't aware of anything around Keiichi. But how can she then suddenly act so powerful, understanding the importance of the kaki leaf in absolutely no time? And if so, just why did Keiichi have such an immense luck during this episode if not caused by the help of his goddess? Is just her mere presence sufficient for Keiichi's luck, and she's still not aware of this?


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