Aa! Megami-sama! TV - 19: Ah! Don't Look at Me with Those Eyes?

Title:Aa! Megami-sama! TV
Episode:19: Ah! Don't Look at Me with Those Eyes?
Keiichi's and Belldandy's relation still (!) isn't going anywhere (remember the debacle of episode 18 of Aa! Megami-sama! TV) - sigh.
This time, Urd is going to "help" Keiichi by brewing a potion [image1] that would make the person taking it a little more outgoing.
Unfortunately, two unexpected things happen: Skuld messes around with this potion's ingredients, and it's not Keiichi ending up taking the pill - but Belldandy! And the result turns out to be slightly different [image2] [image3] [image4] [image5] [image6] from the original intention...
[2005-06-01, Devil Doll]
A shy but gentle boy attending university, suddenly living together with a beautiful but 'untouchable' girl who's in love with this boy and sneaks into his bed at night; another girl at university who'll never show her feelings about this boy although she happens to go out with him; an annoying brat preventing the couple from getting closer to each other; and a female senpai of the girl who starts to respect the boy with time and turns into his guardian as well... oh, you expected me to describe Aa! Megami-sama (Keiichi / Belldandy / Sayoko / Skuld / Urd)? But actually I was describing Ai Yori Aoshi (Kaoru / Aoi / Tina / Mayu / Miyabi)...

Well, the anime writers try to choose reasonable manga chapters and make reasonable anime episodes from them. But the anime series lacks the underlying connection and development of the manga. This episode is a good example for what I'm talking about.
Manga volume 7, chapter 43 (that's what this story is taken from) starts with a different premise: Chapter 41 & 42, "The Trials of Morisato", provided the Moonstone story where Keiichi saved all three goddesses from a serious crisis! That's why Urd makes the potion - she feels indebted to Keiichi. In the anime this whole background is lost, thus we basically get another "Skuld vs. Urd" battle with Belle and Keiichi being mere victims. And I already got enough of these. I loved episode 17 of Aa! Megami-sama! TV so much: It was different, and serious, not silly. That's what all episodes featuring Sora stand for - it's not that I like her character itself so much more than all others, it's just that she only appears in episodes that focus on characters instead of lame jokes.
And Skuld's interference in this anime episode is remarkably stupid. In the manga she had a different reason to change the potion, and this worked much better for me (it also made the ending more predictable but more funny as well IMHO). I'm sick and tired of Skuld bombs at each and every location; shouldn't the police have arrested her already? I also dislike the bunch of underwear references of this episode (that's why I started with this comparison above), together with the disturbing music. This episode earns the series' high score in respect to fan-service. What's more, two of those episodes in a row aren't twice as funny as one.

Then again, I like how they did this episode; there are certain elements that worked better than in the manga. Such as the way how Belldandy took the pill, for example - in the manga Urd aimed the pill at Belle directly. Which makes a difference because here Keiichi would have had the chance to get a clue in time. (Unfortunately, he doesn't.) The element of the clock was funny. The Banpei-kun scene was great. And the church scene... well, would the U.S. allow to air this on free TV? I liked Belldandy's role in this episode: She's, well - different, but not unreasonably so. (Except for the "smell" scene, that is.) The can, the chocolate stick, the dust in her eye... nice. I also like how Keiichi is questioning his attitude; then again, that's part of what makes this episode so similar to Ai Yori Aoshi. And I especially like the wonderful use of colors in this episode - look at the screen-shots.

So in the end, all is not lost - and episode 20 of Aa! Megami-sama! TV will be better, starting with a very different premise.


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