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Oh My Goddess! Anime Review

Oh My Goddess! Box Art

Oh My Goddess!

4.5 stars / OAV Series / Comedy / 10-up

Bottom Line

So light and sweet you can't help but love it.

It’s Like...

...A college-age romantic comedy drenched in sweet, goddess-flavored honey.

Vital Stats

Original Title


Romanized Title

Aa! Megami-sama!

Literal Translation

Oh! Goddess!

US Release By



Semi-Dramatic Love Comedy

Series Type

OAV Series


5 episodes; 30 minutes (1-4) or 40 minutes (5) each

Production Date

1993-02-21 - 1994-05-17

What's In It


Look For

  • Pretty Goddesses
  • Divine Intervention
  • Phone Calls From God
  • Motorcycle Drag Racing

Objectionable Content

  • Violence: 1 (mild)
  • Nudity: 1 (mild)
  • Sex: 1 (mild)
  • Language: 1 (mild)

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Plot Synopsis

Meet Nekomi Technical College student Morisato Keiichi. He's a little unlucky with the girls due to his being... vertically challenged, but basically average. Until, that is, one day when he's sitting around the dorm playing answering machine. No sooner does Keiichi dial a wrong number while trying to order lunch than he's looking a goddess in the face and being offered a single wish. An offhand remark later, and he's nabbed himself his own permanent goddess, the beautiful and supernaturally sweet Belldandy. This would be great if it weren't for his men-only dorm... and her sisters.

And that's only the beginning of the trials and tribulations that come with living with a beautiful goddess... er, exchange student. Make that goddesses: Urd, her older bombshell of a sister, and Skuld, the youngest of the trio and a mechanical genius.

Quick Review

Switch to Full Review

Oh My Goddess! has long been a fan favorite, and deservedly so--it has to be one of the sweetest anime series ever made. The story has its share of comedy, and dramatic moments too, but the overriding theme is just a good old fashioned so-sweet-your-teeth-hurt romance; you're just not going to find a cuter romantic comedy anywhere. The character and costume design are lovely, the art a pleasure to look at, the character animation is outstanding, and the veteran Japanese voice cast--Belldandy's pleasantly melodic voice in particular--everything you could hope for.

If you would even consider watching a sweet love comedy, this is the one to get.

Read the full-length review...

Full Review

Switch to Quick Review

Oh My Goddess! has long been a fan favorite, and deservedly so--it has to be one of the sweetest anime series ever made. The story has its share of comedy, and dramatic moments too, but the overriding theme is old-fashioned so-sweet-your-teeth-hurt romance; you're just not going to find a cuter romantic comedy anywhere.

In general, the story is well-written and fun, but other than being a rather mellow relative to its more dramatic or comedy-oriented kin, it definitely doesn't tread any new territory in the genre. Oh My Goddess! is categorized as a comedy, and that tends to be the tone--after all, you can't stick three goddesses and a college student under the same roof and not have some funny situations arise, albeit relatively low-key ones. The story also has a comparatively high proportion of drama, although the problems of these lovers tend to be pretty trivial.

The lack of serious drama isn't an issue, though, because the two main characters are just so nice that you get the feeling nothing could pull them apart. Fortunately, the story never goes overboard with the inevitable tense moments. The first three episodes of the series are particularly light; in the final two-parter, things take a significantly more dramatic turn (though there are still a few light moments). I'm impressed by how well the uncomfortable situations and light drama throughout the series work; it has just enough of a tug at the heartstrings to keep you riveted. The reason for this would probably be the flip side of how cute the main couple is--their relationship is so innocent and sweet that even minor trials have enough impact to keep things interesting.

But the story isn't what made Oh My Goddess! so popular. As with any super-popular series (including Kousuke Fujishima's other one, You're Under Arrest!), it's the characters that carved a special niche in the hearts of fans. Archetypes though they may be, you've got a great mix of personalities, and you just can't help but like them. I suppose some people might be put off by Urd (though I wasn't), and you might not be the biggest Skuld fan (then again, you might be), but it's almost impossible not to like Belldandy--she's just too sweet and innocent not to love.

The character designs are a treat--clean and attractive. They're based on the manga at the time the series was produced, which (due to Fujishima's art improving) actually look much better than the art at the beginning of the manga. The costumes are also noteworthy--the clothing is stylish and imaginative (true to the original), and is beautifully drawn as well.

Other than the great clothing and character design, the art in the series isn't particularly noteworthy, but the animation is. There's little action, so the animation never gets to flex its proverbial muscles, but the character animation is outstanding--uniformly natural and full of life and flavor despite a modest frame rate. The backgrounds are less memorable--generally simple and painted in soft strokes and pastel colors. In fact, the whole series has a kind of sot-focus look to it. It isn't a big deal, but it makes for a distinctive feel, and works well in the flashbacks and the few scenes that take place in the heavens. While overall it isn't the flashiest of series, it is a pleasure to look at.

Finally, the voices. The original Japanese dialogue is well cast and features some of the better voice actors in the business. All of the primaries are very well acted, but Kikuko Inoue gives Belldandy's voice a smooth, sweet-as-honey tone that's never too perky and stands out from the norm. Even the minor characters are well acted, and all the performances are very distinctive; Yuriko Fuchizaki's Megumi, for example, is chipper with an ornery-little-sister edge, and Keiichi's former dormmates are an amusing lot. The subtitles, as expected from AnimEigo, are of uniformly high quality.

Although I have not personally seen the dub, I have it on good authority from someone who actually tried out for the part of Keiichi that the guy who got it couldn't have done a better job. The rest of the casting is also good, with a particularly great performance behind Belldandy's voice.

Summing up, Oh My Goddess! is one of the romantic comedy classics of anime, and deservedly so. The story is light but not over the top, and has enough drama to keep you interested and involved. The character designs, clothing, and full-of-life character animation are a joy to look at, and the characters themselves have everything that anime fans love. If you would even consider watching a sweet love comedy, this is the one to get.

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Related Recommendations

If you liked this, you'll probably want to give Fujishima's other series, You're Under Arrest!, a try. It's funnier, has more action, and is much lighter on the romance. There are also three other Oh My Goddess anime incarnations: A movie, which is significantly more serious, Adventures of the Mini Goddess, a pure-fluff side-story, and the much newer TV series.

Notes and Trivia

A five part OAV series based on the long-running and extremely popular manga series by Fujishima Kousuke (available in English from Dark Horse). Fujishima's other well-known work, You're Under Arrest!, also features an exclamation point in the title--the guy likes those, doesn't he?

Dark Horse's original English release of the manga (in standard US comic format) skipped some parts, which later appeared in the now-defunct monthly anthology Super Manga Blast. There has since been a second edition of more proper manga-style books published, which include the formerly skipped material.

Speaking of the manga, several characters appear in the opening animation but are never introduced in the series; they are (of course) from later in the manga. There has since been a movie and a lengthy string of TV series produced, which more or less follow from this original anime adaptation.

As noted in AnimEigo's always-thorough liner notes (available on their website), the names of the goddesses are based on the Norse gods of the future, past, and present--Skuld, Urd, and Verthandy, respectively. Where did Belldandy come from? When you try to pronounce "Verthandy" in Japanese, about the best you can do is "Berudandi," which AnimEigo decided to translate as Belldandy. Another translation note is that the original title was "Aa! Megami-sama!", which very literally translates into "Oh! Goddess!" Due to the very similar English expression, AnimEigo added the "my" to it. Later releases by other companies have used "Ah" instead of "Oh."

US DVD Review

AnimEigo originally released the series on two hybrid DVDs, then later on a combined special edition. The original discs boast digitally remastered video, audio commentary by voice actors Juliet Cesario, Scott Simpson, Pamela Widener and the dub voice director, Scott Houlel, a music and sound effects only audio track, and an image gallery.

The box set adds "Dub Your Own OMG," an interview with Producer Toru Miura, "Inside Nekomi Tech," karaoke, and even more images.

I've only seen the box set version personally, but the video is about as good as you could ask for with older source material like this. The transfer is very clean, and there are no compression artifacts at all (no surprise with only about an hour of material per disc); the video is a little on the soft side, but that's not AnimEigo's fault. The Japanese audio is quite clean, although if you compare the opening song to the English voice track it doesn't have quite as much punch and clarity, no doubt due to age. The whole thing comes packaged in a nice tri-fold art case similar to Pioneer's classic TV releases. My only complaint is that they used some animation stills for the front cover; I think the Fujishima-painted artwork used on some of the older releases is prettier.

Parental Guide

Almost nothing objectionable in the story, except for a few of Urd's not-so-subtle hints, making for a 10-up at most.

Violence: 1 - There are a few tense moments, but never anything serious.

Nudity: 1 - Some bathing suits.

Sex/Mature Themes: 1 - Mostly just innocent romance, but Urd gets a tad raunchy once or twice.

Language: 1 - An occasional expletive.

Staff & Cast

Original Japanese Cast

Belldandy: Inoue Kikuko
Keiichi: Kikuchi Masami
Urd: Tooma Yumi
Skuld: Hisakawa Aya
Megumi: Fuchizaki Yuriko

Episode 1:
Tamiya: Yanada Kiyoyuki
Ootaki: Futamata Kazunari

Episode 2:
Mishima Sayoko: Asami Junko
Aoshima Toshiyuki: Tobita Nobuo
Man: Makino Yoshiki

Episode 3:
Tamiya: Yanada Kiyoyuki
Ootaki: Futamata Kazunari
Aoshima Toshiyuki: Tobita Nobuo
Announcer: Itoo Miki

Episode 4:
Tamiya: Yanada Kiyoyuki
Ootaki: Futamata Kazunari
Mishima Sayoko: Asami Junko
Hasegawa Sora: Ootani Ikue
Lord: Ogawa Shinji

Episode 5:
Belldandy as Child: Tooma Yumi
Morisato Keiichi as Child: Ogata Megumi (Emi?)
Jewelry Store Attendant: Asami Junko

English Dub Cast

Belldandy: Juliet Cesario
Keiichi: Scott Simpson
Urd: Lanelle Markgraf
Skuld: Pamela Weidner
Megumi: Amanda Spivey
Tamiya: Marc Matney
Ootaki: Sean P. O'Connell
Mishima Sayoko: Belinda Bizic
Aoshima Toshiyuki: Scott Bailey
Guys: Matthew Johnson, Jack Skinner
Announcer: Stephanie Griffin
Hasegawa Sora: Stephanie Griffin
The Lord: Dave Underwood
Newscasters: Jo Ann Luzzatto, Pablo "Doc" Fraga
Yet More Guys: Patrick Humphrey, Scott Bailey

Additional Voices (Episode 1): Dave Underwood, Mark Franklin, Patrick Humphrey, Nick Manatee, Scott Bailey

Additional Voices (Episode 3): Bob Weidner, John Jeter, Jean Jones, Travis Stanberry


Based on manga "Aa! Megamisama!" by Fujishima Kousuke

Producers: Shindou Masao, Takimoto Hiroo, Asaga Takao, Miura Tooru (AIC)
Director: Gooda Hiroaki
Screenplay: Hasegawa Naoko
Character Design: Matsubara Hidenori
Chief Animation Director (2): Honda Takeshi
Chief Animation Director (3,4,5): Matsubara Hidenori
Animation Director: Matsubara Hidenori (1), Kitajima Nobuyuki (1,3,4), Kitajima Nobuyuki (2,5), Oohashi Yoshimitsu (2), Nishii Masanori (3,4), Ogura Nobutoshi (4), Gooda Hiroaki (5)
Art Director: Katou Hiroshi
Photography Director: Konishi Kazuhiro

Music Director: Yamada Tomoaki

Opening Theme: "My Heart Iidasenai, Your Heart Tashikametai"
("My Heart" Won't Let Me say, I want to be Certain of "Your Heart")
Lyrics: Hasegawa Taka
Music and Arrangement: Yasuda Takeshi
Singing: Goddess Family Club (Inoue Kikuko, Tooma Yumi, Hisakawa Aya)

End Theme: Congratulations!
Lyrics: Hasegawa Taka
Music and Arrangement: Yasuda Takeshi
Singing: Goddess Family Club (Inoue Kikuko, Tooma Yumi, Hisakawa Aya)

By Kodanshi, Tokyo Broadcasting System, KSS


Formerly available in North America from AnimEigo on a 3-disc hybrid DVD set; their license expired in 2010 and it is now out of print and older copies of this version are rather expensive. Was previously available on two hybrid DVD volumes (much more readily available), and prior to that on 5 subtitled or dubbed VHS tapes or a set of three bilingual LDs.

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