MC x Goddess pairings may be common in anime now, but we know Keiichi x Belldandy were one of the OG icons of this trend!
By: Nicole S. Castro on August 11, 2022 at 12:02 PHT
In the 2020s, we know it's pretty common in anime for main characters to wish for a goddess to stay with them forever.
But let's not forget one of the "OG" anime series in 2005 that made this plot device iconic: Oh My Goddess!
Oh My Goddess! (Japanese: ああっ女神さまっ, Romaji: Aa! Megami-sama), or Ah! My Goddess!, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kōsuke Fujishima. It was serialized in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon from September 1988 to April 2014. In 2009, Oh My Goddess! won the 33rd Kodansha Manga Award for the General category. The official English translation of the manga series is licensed by Dark Horse Comics.
Before the TV anime, the series was adapted in a 5-episode original video animation (OVA) by AIC in 1993-1994. The series was then remade into the 24-episode TV anime we know now as Oh! My Goddess, also produced by AIC, which aired from Jan. 6, 2005 to July 7, 2005.
This much-loved series also has a 48-episode spin-off TV anime by OLM titled Oh! My Goddess: The Adventures of Mini-Goddess which aired in 1998-1999, an anime film in 2000, and a sequel TV anime titled Oh! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy (2006).
Plot and Throwback (anime)
Oh My Goddess! stars the extremely unlucky college sophomore Keiichi Morisato (CV: Masami Kikuchi). He's the typical young adult male who is struggling with both his finances and his non-existent love life. In fact, he's so unlucky that one day he accidentally calls the Goddess Help Line which prompts the goddess Belldandy (CV: Kikuko Inoue) to appear before him and grant him one wish. Belldandy explains the wish will restore the world's balance which has gone lopsided due to Keiichi's bad luck.
Keiichi, who is obviously skeptical, jokingly wishes that Belldandy will stay with him forever. But to his shock, his wish is actually granted and now he has to find a new home because the dorm he lives in only allows males.
After finding stable shelter at an old Buddhist temple, Keiichi's life gets even more chaotic and interesting when Belldandy's older sister Urd (CV: Yumi Touma) and younger sister Skuld (CV: Aya Hisakawa) start living with them. Urd comes up with all sorts of schemes to get Keiichi to confess his feelings to Belldandy, while Skuld constantly finds ways to interfere.
How did the anime end?
The 2005 TV anime ends with Belldandy, Urd, and Skuld defeating the antagonist, The Lord of Terror (CV: Chafurin), a virus that runs on the complex computer system Yggdrasil which controls reality and maintains all of the goddesses' information and contracts.
The Lord of Terror transfers himself over to Keiichi, driving Belldandy to sacrifice herself as the Lord of Terror's new vessel. But his transfer to Belldandy fails because she has a different wavelength from his. Without a new vessel, the Lord of Terror is quickly forced to transfer itself to a floppy disk and is erased by Skuld with a magnet.
With Yggdrasil down after the final battle, all of the goddesses' contracts and penalties become void, including Belldandy's contract with Keiichi. But Belldandy chooses to stay on earth because she sincerely loves Keiichi, and he returns her feelings with a kiss.
Not gonna lie, Keiichi is one extremely lucky guy (despite all of his other misfortunes). Kinda makes all the bad stuff all worth it, huh? (Also, this unlucky guy protected by a strong woman dynamic reminds us of Izumi and Shikimori from the 2022 anime Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie!)
But what really made Oh My Goddess! work as a series was the amount of relationship development Keiichi and Belldandy had. It's not the grand schemes by Urd that bring Keiichi and Belldandy together, but the small, mundane moments when they care and look out for each other. By the end of the series, they just feel so domestic and together that no one ever doubted Belldandy would willingly stay.
As Filipinos who want what others have like to say, "Sana all!"
Digest by AniradioPlus
NICOLE S. CASTRO
Nicole is based in the Philippines and works as a freelance Japanese Translator/Interpreter and copywriter (English). She is a JLPT N2 passer who watches anime to "study" for N1. She has a long career history on LinkedIn (with primary focus on media and translation), but her anime watchlist is much, much longer.