Ah! My Goddess
Volume 3 - With or Without You

Starring (voice): Kikuko Inoue, Masami Kikuchi, Aya Hisakawa and Yumi Tôma
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 18 June 2007

The story of a typically reserved engineering student who unwittingly acquires his very own sex goddess after mis-dialing a number for takeout, this anime series comes from the long-running manga of the same name. In the latest volume
Keiichi must deal not only with Belldandy's drama, but also with that of her sisters. Skuld, Belldandy's younger sister, might possibly be the worst of the bunch, as she's constantly hogging Belldandy for herself. Making matters even more complicated are The Campus Queen and her devilish pal Mara...

Ah! My Goddess is based on the original story by Kosuke Fujishima, which was serialised in Kodansha's monthly magazine Afternoon. The four episodes on Volume Three include:

Ah! The Demon Arrives and Wreaks Havoc: Tamiya and Otaki are compelled to buy a strange CD while browsing in a weird shop. There seems to be some odd writing on the CD, but the two students can't get it to play on their CD player. Using a flash of, for want of a better word, inspiration the two decide to attempt to play it on their old record player. The resulting music is a little odd, but not as odd as the fact that they have managed to release a demon spirit that was trapped inside the CD. The demon introduces herself as Mara, a demon, first class, and she's ready to mess up the goddesses' plans, starting with Keiichi.

Ah! Choosing between the Goddess and the Queen: Mara offers Sayoko a plan to get Belldandy out of the way, so that she can be campus queen once again. Sayoko agrees and manages to take the demon CD from Urd. Keeping her promise, Mara casts a spell that shifts Keiichi's heart balance so that Keiichi becomes fixated on Sayoko, forgetting about Belldandy.

Ah! Who Does Big Sister Belong to?: The goddess server in heaven has gone crazy. Bugs have really worked their way into the system causing Keiichi's world to start to come undone - he is turned into a paper thin version of himself. Apparently it's all because of Belldandy's unstable heart. Skuld, Belldandy's younger sister, arrives from Heaven, to try and talk Keiichi into breaking his contract with Belldandy, so that Belldandy can go back to Heaven and help fix the computer problems. Skuld's bug blasting machine isn't working and the bugs continue to mess with Keiichi's world. The race is on to repair the machine before Keiichi, who has now transformed into a miniature version of his former self, comes to any serious harm.

Ah! Teaching a Lesson Called Competition: Skuld's wants to spending her entire time with Belldandy, and gets upset when Belldandy goes to school each day with Keiichi. Skuld decides that if she takes apart Keiichi's bike, he won't be able to take Belldandy to school. Because she is a mechanical genius, Skuld gets carried away and ends up upgrading the bike by mistake. When Keiichi's sister Megumi, who is an engineering student, pays a visit, she notices Skuld's upgrades and starts to point out some faults with them. This angers Skuld, who thinks she knows more about mechanical engineering than anyone. The result being that Skuld challenges Megumi to design, build and enter a robot into a competition to see who has the best skills.

Extras are a little thin on the ground. All we get are a Line Art Gallery and a Screen Shot Gallery.

While there are only four episodes on this collection, compared to the last two volumes which have five episodes each, this release still represents great value for money. The show has just the right balance of humour and drama to ensure that the viewer never gets bored.

This is certainly a collection worth owning.


Darren Rea

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