Genres: comedy, drama, romance, supernatural
Plot Summary: One year after goddess Belldandy emerged from Keiichi Morisato’s mirror and promised to stay with him forever, a new threat to their happiness emerges, one that could end the contract between Belldandy and Keiichi.
Story – 2.5
Progressing from the first season, Ah! My Goddess hits off rather well. I must say, that the plots got better and more engrossing until the end, and the show was very well put. As we travel along Keiichi’s path to telling Belldandy his feelings, we have all kinds of silly and purely entertaining episodes. I think if you just saw the show in pieces and never knew what you were watching really, that this season would be very enjoyable. It is fun, but one can’t ignore its flagrant violation: Namely, that Keiichi doesn’t want or desire to confirm his love for Belldandy via an ‘eternal’ union of marriage. The first season had us seeing Keiichi finally admit that he likes Belldandy. The second season however, in the first 5 episodes or so, goes on an arch about the bigger picture and how Keiichi and Belldandy need that permanent contract of love. In fact, you’ll find the rest of the episodes hint towards this as things get more unstable with Belldandy. Even the Earth Goddess’ appearance seems to confirm for Keiichi the grave need for him to find a more permanent approach with Belldandy as well as answer what his true intentions are.
First we start with Keiichi coming on a high after the Lord of Terror fiasco, until he is told that the contract between him and Belldandy have been lost in all the mess. Right here the show has an excellent opportunity for Keiichi to progress from the first season, and with Urd very sweetly sacrificing her freedom to put back the information in the system, it certainly felt like a romantic’s dreams. In the very next episode we even see a Christmas scene where Keiichi wants to cement the relationship via a ring…romantic, and can this be? An engagement!?! Umm…no. instead, more wishy washy “let’s stay together and just be more than friends”. Sure, its technically not the “friends-with-benefits” package, but that’s only because Keiichi is genuinely an honorable man. What happened to the awesome, grown-up version of Keiichi from the first couple episodes? Completely forgotten.
Instead, since the show cannot answer what love really means here, we are all treated with a distraction by another goddess named Peorth, the Earth Goddess, who appears to offer Keiichi the physical need he is wanting. In fact, Peorth is under the impression that Keiichi entered into the contract for this purpose. Wait a minute, your asking. I thought Keiichi was an honorable man? He is, and part of being a man means getting married and having children. The fact that there exists fr Keiichi this need for the ultimate expression of love, further alienates the story from where the rest of the series takes us. Don’t get me wrong, the naiveness of Keiichi is hilarious whenever its presented, but from a story stand point you get this sinking feeling as if Keiichi has not matured much at all. He has gotten it in his head that being in a bath tub with Urd is a bad idea or that Peorth, like Urd was in the first season, is trying to catch his love through food/drink. But aside from this, Keiichi is no closer than a middle school kid to expressing his commitment to the person he likes. Its depressing.
Around mid-story, we do have an interesting change in Belldandy. For the first time Belldandy is jealous with all the other goddesses going after Keiichi’s affection (took her long enough), and the resulting emotions is quite shocking and a pleasant twist to things. Because the contract is sorta of in a limbo of sorts, Belldandy recognizes that their time together may be much shorter than she was expecting, and this shortness is causing her to doubt herself to being fully capable of pleasing Keiichi as she desires to. All of this confusion adds another facet to the scene, namely that Belldandy is slowly turning into a demon from all of this. For the first time also, everyone else aside from Urd begin to worry a bit about Belldandy’s feelings and are concerned at Keiichi’s unwillingness to commit to a full relationship, and that felt reasonable. If only those thoughts would remain consistent throughout the series. Alas, it seems that the show can only establish how much the goddesses are trying to hook up with Keiichi throughout the series (save Skuld of course), and we’ve already seen this a thousand times.
Having said all this, Flights of Fancy didn’t completely forget its roots, and presents a minor and major arc that really was impressive. Skuld has been pining away since her magical ability isn’t ready for her own little angel, and through some great scenes with bikes and a first love, Skuld’s magical powers get awoken and she is able to call her own little angel. The arc was very satisfying and really showcased how much fun Skuld is aside from her robots always blasting Keiichi, of course. The major arc is much more involving and we got to see more of our favorite trouble maker Urd encountering a former lover of hers. Yes, the arc is complete with Keiichi having to run for his life from a jealous Angel and in part from Marller, the local demon hack, Urd’s personality is split into her two races (well, angel and demon). What transpires is messy good fun with some actual drama since the Demon Queen Hild has come again this time for Keiichi.
From Goddesses to Demons, you’ll find what Hild brings is pretty nifty with that alternate reality she has magically imposed onto Keiichi. Unlike the other try-hards, Hild has altered Keiichi’s past (and no, we aren’t really to question the validity of this all) and made it near impossible for Belldandy to get him back. The frustration and despair was pretty deep for the series, and I thought good fodder to hopefully enhance the relationship between man and goddess. Safety in trust, safety in commitments, we all seek this. Life is turbulent enough as it is, and Belldandy is forced to despair ever having any kind of relationship with Keiichi and even potentially becoming a Demon from this all. It’s really quite satisfying to see the actual plot thicken and the way Keiichi is able to free himself from Hild’s attempt at changing memories. If only the series had truly desired this.
Everyone wants safety in friendships. However, Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy seems content on resting in a “its-fine-to-live-with-you-but-never-ask-you-to-marry-me” kind of nonsense. The words “I love you” then are put into deep question to their validity and in short leaves you irritated that Keiichi doesn’t want to get serious. If a ring means nothing, if going to the ends of the earth to speak to come back to Belldandy isn’t enough to say yes and at least get engaged, I don’t know what is. This kind of half-baked maturity of Keiichi just leaves the ashes in your mouth throughout the whole season, despite the great content since you know its all in vain. Such disregard to the feelings of the viewers gets this awesome show a huge ding in its ratings. If you are clueless to love, then I think you’ll find this story very amusing. Otherwise, like me, you will be very frustrated that Keiichi just repeats season 1.
Emotional Draw – 3.5
Flights of Fancy is even funnier than the former season, and that was a high order to pass up. All the usual gags and misadventures of Keiichi return with an even cleaner delivery, from love potions to Christmas parties gone afoul to an sensuous earth goddess who tries constantly to feed tainted food to a wary Keiichi. Certainly, the episode where Urd, Peorth, and Skuld mix that potion that backfires on them was really funny. I laughed so much at the predictability of the scenes as Keiichi is trying his best to avoid the inevitable.. It was classic stuff. If only I wasn’t so bothered by the misdirection of the first few episodes, I would have enjoyed the series a lot more.
Still, Skuld gets herself a lot of laughs trying to ride a bicycle and the boy who helps her. Even if the romancing was on a childish level, no parent could not help but break a smile watching it all come out or when she is attempting to get her little angel, it was fantastic. And boy, was the angel episodes so cute the way Skuld was discovering her emotions…it felt like you were with her on her journey to growing up a little.. And….speaking of romantic elements…well, a crash and burn with more bright moments. And its not because the romancing wasn’t on, it surely was. But if we are talking about Keiichi and Belldandy, well you know what I think. What still earns a well done is Urd’s romantic adventure with her former boyfriend. That arc was so funny but also very touching as Urd starts to remember who the nice Angel she’d had dated for some time. The music, sure it was corny, but it felt right at home here in Ah! My Goddess! And hey, a few bugs on Keiichi never hurt to laugh at either.
Some of my favorite scenes include when Urd makes a potion designed to help Keiichi get through his attempt to say he loves Belldandy (big whoop at this point), but Peorth messes with the brew causing it to go horribly wrong, and Keiichi is forced to to run for his life. “Don’t you care about my feelings?”, “I can’t do anything about your feelings!!” Ah….those two phrases bring back a lot of laughs, as will you through this show.
Characters – 4.17
Keiichi – 3.5
Keiichi is mainly solid throughout the series. However, because of the lack of character growth, your investment in him is held back unnecessarily and I felt impacted his character. You’ll definitely get to see some of the grownup outlook he has early on in the series, so why the shift backwards I will never understand. Drew Aaron, the English Cast member, performs well enough with this character again, nailing a lot of the tender scenes that Flights of Fancy is spoiled with. However the lack of character growth stymies the performance a lot.
Belldandy – 3.4
Now here’s a character that has no soul, and yet is able to produce tender scenes with some magnitude as the series progresses. Some of this might be Eileen Stevens‘ fault in the Dubbed version, but I believe you will find this Belldandy much more believable as she begins to unwrap her feelings and convictions towards Keiichi. Just wish that she went all the way…
Urd – 4.9
A classic half demon and half angel, Vibe Jones sails with flying colors once again in this series. Arguably your favorite goddess, she’s always into something regarding Keiichi and I really liked how her sense of responsibility is gradually being developed in the series. Sure, Urd never forgets herself, but what a great performance with the romancing scenes…kudos to Miss Jones, who is a relative unknown actress in acting…a shame really.
Hild – 4.5
Just when you thought the series couldn’t get any more crazy, Hild has to barge in a ruion everyone’s parade. Her rather strange behavior all stems in her desire to get to know the goddess she had born, I felt that Hild’s character showcased much more of her power in this series than prior. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, who many know as Tsunade in the Naruto franchise does an excellent performance on Hild and I believe nailed the spots in her role wonderfully.
Peorth – 4.1
Eccentric, and all about the earthly passions of men that she represents, Peorth was quite the odd one. Her character warms up well with Keiichi and she’s always trying to seduce him humorously with what she believes was a genuine request from Keiichi, even if he doesn’t separate the boundaries well enough. Juliet Cesario does a great job on Peorth, which is great considering her career in acting has only just gotten started.
Skuld – 4.6
The little kid that could, I must say that this series I really warmed up to her performance. It probably helps she had several episodes all about her, but I believe Annice Moriarty took advantage of her role rather well.
Creativity – 4.3
The scenery in Ah! My Goddess! Flights of Fancy are quite well done. There are a lot of beautiful scenes to go with the poor story progression that is quite lovaly to look at. As usual, the goddesses have this pointed face to themselves (aside from Skuld), but I liked the drawing style and thought it fit well. Music was about the same as previous, and that is acceptable enough. As far as the ending goes, I really liked the different child memories we are taken too, and the different facets of Keiichi we get to see, it really helped make the romancing of Keiichi and Belldandy work well. SO WHY DIDN’T THEY COMPLETE THE STORY….sigh…oh well.
Grade Overall –
Overall Score – 3.41
(Ah! My Goddess! Flights of Fancy fails to really capture the essence of the series not so much in its gags, but not in progressing the story. And this lack of attention to the story cripples the series and never lets it reach the heights that Ah! My Goddes! really deserves to reach.)