|Aa! Megami-sama! TV
|9: Ah! The Secret of the Queen and the Goddess!
|The Nekomi Tech Institute is running its annual beauty contest to elect the "Miss Queen of the Campus". With Mishima Sayoko as the reigning champion and both Belldandy and Urd in the competition a conflict is inevitable, and Urd isn't considerate at all about this. The resulting chaotic events lead to Sayoko losing her queen title [image1] but Urd revealing her weakness, and Belldandy ruling supreme once again, if only by showing a little more goddess power than necessary. Later a totally drunk Sayoko is floating through the air [image2]... and awakes with a paper note in her hands.
Now Sayoko and Toshiyuki, the dethroned Nekomi champions, team up to investigate the nature of these superhuman abilities of the celebrity sisters. But just causing potential situations where Belldandy would apply her powers [image3] proves insufficient as several inscrutable coincidences prevent this.
So they move on to phase 2 of their operation, targetting more vulnerable people from Belle's environment [image4]... which is where things start to get totally out of control [image6]. But don't you underestimate the abilities of an angry goddess! [image5]
|[2005-03-13, Devil Doll]:
I loved manga chapter 15 where the idea of this episode 9 starts from, so I am a little sad that they took a completely different path here. But it is a chilling ride, well worth watching this episode several times.
It still bothers me how carelessly both goddesses are using their powers in public, and still almost nobody entertains suspicion. And while this episode credibly explains how both Mishima and Toshiyuki turn into a bitter enemies of the goddesses (we remember the traffic scene from OVA episode 1 but using it here in a different context works even better) I think their actions are way overdone: Kidnapping and even torturing Keiichi are serious crimes - would they actually go that far? Wasn't Sayoko about to start liking Keiichi not long before? And Mara didn't even enter the arena...
One more thing that I consider rubbish is the "proof" Sayoko demands from Belldandy at the end - hasn't she seen more than enough already?
On the other hand, a number of elements work exceptionally well, making this episode a highlight for me so far. First of all, Urd absolutely shines. She can be funny and teasing, thus being entertaining for the audience; at the same time she can be considerate and a powerful fighter despite her obvious weakness, and in fact she is taking good care of her little sister who's not really aware of the dark sides of life. Belldandy shines as well during the second half of this episode, making use of all available auxiliary forces while still adding a funny comment now and then (such as about Keiichi's height).
Another great element is how Sayoko is exploiting Keiichi's love of machines in general, something that she must have figured out during her investigation - we'll probably need this element in many episodes to come. The tactics of the enemies are well considered - it is fun to watch their efforts, and how they only partially succeed.
[AstroNerdBoy -- 13 March 2005]
I'm going to echo Devil Doll's remark about Urd and Belldandy's blatent use of power/spells in public. I forgave Belldandy's changing in front of that little girl and her mom because Belldandy was new. But now, there's no excuse IMO. Not only does it make Belldandy look stupid, but it makes everyone look stupid for seeing these things and not putting 2 + 2 together. I suppose that's supposed to be funny, but it is not.
While I'm glad the US markets will soon learn that Enka music is what puts Urd to sleep and NOT bloody polkas (thank you Dark Horse and Studio Protius), I didn't like the fact that humans were able to learn this secret and use it against Urd. Actually that Aoshima learned it wasn't so much the problem as it was that the first time the music was played, Urd drops like a sack of potatoes. Later when they use the music against her, she's able to fight it, which is how she's been in the manga against Enka. Again, I think this was supposed to be funny, but it was not. And what the smeg was with that so-called animation when Urd was put to sleep a 2nd time? Gah! This is starting to get ridiculous!
Again I'll agree with DD on the good. Urd was great in this episode and Belldandy was good as well. I like that Sayoko and Aoshima are now firmly shown to be opposed to Urd and Belldandy. My hope is that Sayoko will continue to pursue K1 as was done in the manga.
Ultimately, another good episode despite my complaints (the good outweighs the bad).====================================