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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/25/2009 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    What is the right way to review Fan Fiction that is found to be lacking in readability? Step 1. Hold your nose. OK, I’m sort-of joking there, but in a lot of cases it’s good, even necessary advice. Many, many people seem to want to write Fan Fiction without ever taking the trouble to learn how to write anything. Some of them have good, interesting story ideas which they proceed to bury under lousy, sloppy writing. A number of such examples have motivated me to write a kind of general-purpose review that points out the most common lapses I’ve found. Since I have no desire to be bitten by Muphry’s Law, I am submitting my review for review before I start using it. (Yes, I do mean Muphry’s Law, which refers to pointing out someone’s writing errors, and then making similar errors in your complaint. Very red-face-making.) So here is A General-Purpose Review For Badly Written Fan Fiction. Let me know what you think: ————————————————————————————————— You are probably not going to like this review, but you need it. I want to read more good stories, but so far yours is not one of them. I’m not trying to insult you. I’m not trying to discourage you from writing. I’m trying to encourage you to write stories that people will want to read. Do you want a lot of Favorites, and Follows? Do you want good reviews? If so, your writing will have to change. It’s not easy, but it can be done. A story is not about the writer. It is about the reader. If you write a story that nobody wants to read, you have just wasted your time. If you do not convey your meaning in a way the reader will understand, have you really told your story? ALWAYS keep the reader in mind. NOTE: I spent hours composing this article, and made it general-purpose, so it can be re-used. I want everybody to read this, and maybe gain something from it. Your story may not have all the issues noted here, so ignore those that you are SURE don’t apply. I have found these problems to be depressingly prevalent in Fan Fiction, and most stories I drop this on as a review exhibit all of them to at least some degree. I have only one piece of advice to give on story construction: Don’t start it off with a history lesson. Start with something happening, even if it’s an event as mundane as a character getting out of bed, or eating lunch. Drop the readers straight into your first scene. It gives them questions — who is this, why is he/she important, what will happen? Fill in background as it becomes relevant. I can’t give advice on plotting, pacing and characterization. I’m not certain of my own ability in those areas. However, when it comes to the mechanics of writing literate English, and expressing ideas clearly — I have got that DOWN. All those pesky rules they taught us in English class exist for a reason. Language is a tool, and if it is not used correctly it will not achieve its purpose. That purpose is to accurately convey ideas from a speaker, or a writer, to a listener, or a reader. In order for that process to work, both parties have to use the same protocols, the same rules, and represent their ideas in similar ways. If people ignore the rules, or make up their own, none of them can communicate. Unfortunately, that is a wide-spread problem in Fan Fiction. I call it ‘The Infinite Number Of Monkeys School Of Writing’ and find story after story ruined by its influence. I think it’s an aspect of Sturgeon’s Law: ‘Ninety percent of everything is crap’. It takes a lot of care, and hard work, to lift our writing out of the crap and into that golden ten percent. So, here are my Five Rules For Better Writing: 1. Spelling. Check it. Then check it again. Then check for commonly swapped words: you’re - your, who’s - whose, its - it’s, lose - loose, that - than - then, and about 40 others. 2. Punctuation. Use it! Correctly! 3. Sentences. Don’t just string a lot of words together. They have to make sense, too. That's what grammar is for. 4. Paragraphs. When you start a new theme, for extra emphasis, or every time a different character speaks. 5. Tenses. Don’t mix past and present tense in your exposition. Past tense works best in a narrative story, and most stories are narratives. Dialog can be present or past tense, depending on what your character is talking about. Sentences. I could go on all day about sentences. They are the building blocks of a story, and it’s critically important to get them right. A sentence should have structure. It should relate to the sentences before and after it. If it doesn’t, it’s probably time to start a new paragraph. Your sentence must express your idea in a way the reader will understand clearly, and it should end when its task is complete. The next sentence should express your next idea, and so on. There are no prizes for atrocious 300-word run-on sentences that should have been split up into six paragraphs! I have seen that. I would like to never see it again. Looonnnng sentences are tiring. The poor readers have to remember how the sentence started and everywhere it goes until they get to the end of it — only to embark upon another word marathon after finally reaching that long-anticipated period. Do that a few times and most readers will just up and quit on you. You can’t stop them. You can’t force them to keep reading. You only write the story once. If you make it readable, if you make it enjoyable, it might be read thousands, even hundreds of thousands of times. That’s worth a little hard work. Spend some of that work on your story summary. It’s the first example of your writing that your prospective readers will see. You have 384 characters to write something that causes people to think, ‘I want to read more’. If the summary sucks, they will think your story must also suck, and not even bother to click on it. Take care with your first chapter, too. It’s the second example your readers see. Work that thing over and polish it until it shines! Your second or third chapter may be a timeless literary masterpiece, but nobody will ever read it if your first chapter didn’t hold their attention. Your writing represents your thinking. If my writing were careless, sloppy and confusing, most people would conclude that I was too stupid to do any better, and wouldn’t waste their time reading it. I always take care with my writing so people won’t have a reason to think that about me. You never know who might read it. Good writing takes practice. Everything you write is an opportunity to practice writing it readably, understandably, and correctly. That’s what I do. I always take a little extra time to ensure that everything I write expresses what I want it to say clearly and accurately in grammatically correct, properly punctuated English. The more I practice, the easier it becomes. Now that you’ve read this message, read your story again and ask yourself: Which one is easier to read? Which one conveys its ideas most clearly and effectively?
  2. 4 points
    I asked my 13 year old daughter to draw me Belldandy, this is what she posted: And apparently, according to her, that was just a mindless warm-up sketch. Stay tuned.
  3. 4 points
    Couldn't decide if i posted this here or in the art gallery. Since it's SS related, here it goes. I did not make this drawing. It was made on request by EastCoastCanuck user, from DevianArt. Cookies for those who can immediately tell which scene this belongs to.
  4. 4 points
    From Pixiv. Belldandy doing her best ^_^ impression, it would seem.
  5. 4 points
    Well, looks like it's official. Kodansha has greenlighted a third OAD that will be distributed with the next volume of the tankouban, volume 46. While this is probably the first of many announcements for the 25th anniversary of the series, it's simply the first that we've became aware of. Please note that there is no infomration available as to what the new anime production will cover. Feel free to speculate on what the episode will be about and as more information is revealed, this original post will be updated with new information as well as with information relating to the online release. OVA Episode 3 (2013): HQ Download:
  6. 4 points
    Since receiving requests for it,I've completed one more pinup for Hild.Hope you all like it..
  7. 3 points
    Riiight... Scarred survivors season 1 finale... Peorth entering Tyr's chamber. Have another one in the works, but it will only be posted when a brave soul discover where that door model comes from... The runes in the door mean "Tyr" and "Ansuz" btw...
  8. 3 points
    1/6 scale, 11in./27cm. character doll, custom hybrid of OBITSU corp. doll body mated with late-1990's TAKARA/HOBBY BASE Belldandy doll head;
  9. 3 points
    Shady phone camera, i know... Just something i made for you guys, since i'm on duty and had a wet piece of paper and a pencil on my hands. Done in 15min, with a dirty eraser and bad lightining... Added a beard 'cause i can't image a Seal without beard. Deal with it. If you guys are interested can make a real attempt during the weekend, when i'm home and have dry paper and decent pencils at my disposal. That, ofc, is gonna cost you tasty spoilers.
  10. 3 points
    Let's see if I can't keep you occupied. On IdiAmeanDada's prompting, I did some more horrible fanart for the story. This is for a scene in one of the later chapters, so I'll just leave it here without any context.
  11. 3 points
    Normally I hate celebrity news and think that anything related to it decreases your IQ just by reading or listening to it, but it's somewhat relevant to this site. From this article from Anime News Network. I had to admit, I was sort of surprised to learn that Fujishima himself wasn't married up to this point. Not sure why, but I sort of just assumed that he was and that his wife stayed out of the limelight. Regardless, seems Fujishima got married to a cosplayer named Nekomu Otogi earlier today (she's apparently famous, but then, I've never paid much attention to that 'scene' to begin with). The, er, interesting thing about this is the age gap between them: Nekomu is 20 and Fujishima is 51. I have to admit that makes me rather uncomfortable, but hey, I guess it's good the guy's at least taking responsibility for knocking her up. Congrats to the both of them.
  12. 3 points
    Some of our members are aware that I've become stricken with a nasty viral infection of unknown origin. The particulars aren't important but that someone had asked if I made preparations on what to do with the site should anything happen to me. While we do receive regular donations from some of our members, I have opted to renew our domain name for the next two years, instead of the customary yearly domain renewal that I had previously committed to over the past ten years. Considering that our hosting fees are placed on subscription level (this is something that I set up with Paypal where our hosting pays are paid automatically), we should be fine for the next two years, in the event that something happens. Suffice it to say that I plan on sticking around for a long time to come and that this community will will continue to exist as long as our member support it.
  13. 3 points
    Also factor in that they don't have to pay rent or a mortgage on their lodgings (which would be a huge deal in any Japanese city). That, combined with the fact that the goddesses barely need to eat or drink (Belldandy has stated that she doesn't physically require food and doesn't eat often, since she considers it "disrespectful" to eat something when it doesn't nourish you) and they conjure their own clothing with magic. That's three basic neccessities of life that the goddesses get for free, or close to it. With both Keiichi and Bell working, that's basically a whole extra paycheck every time. We've never really seen Bell spend too much on herself, but even if she did, she could easily sock away a lot of extra cash fairly quickly. The only thing the goddesses seem to use would be the utilities - they all bathe, and Urd and Skuld probably make up a bulk of the electric bill (Urd with the TV, and Skuld with her inventing.)
  14. 3 points
    It's nice to have those that have knowledge about the Japanese market posting in this thread. It grounds speculation a bit more that way, obviously. That said, I do think that the question really isn't "Can Mr. Fujishima continue making stories for the series?" but rather "Will sales plateau or even decline in the future?" This is what everyone's been getting at, of course, but I think it bears repeating that's going to be our final decision as to whether the series continues. I think vanagandr is quite right that the way Fujishima is positioning things does seem like he could be preparing for a possible cancellation as it would still be ending on a major plot point (i.e. Keiichi and Belldandy's marriage). Even if it seems that Japanese corporate culture, apparently, doesn't favor reinventing the wheel I think that we're still seeing a slight branching out of the material. This is a new direction for the manga and I think that it might very well be slight experimentation to see how things go sales-wise. There's been a lot of buildup to it and it marks an important moment for the characters. I think around 72,000 copies would probably be a good number for a series that's 20+ years old. It signifies to the audience that the story has the potential to go in new directions so it might be an attempt to bait readers back into the franchise. I'm admittedly not very well versed in anime or manga, but I'd think that since Oh My Goddess! has had the longevity it has, it'd strike me that this next step is a big deal. They're one of the media's most long standing couples, I'd imagine. I just hope that, if cancellation isn't in the future, then Fujishima doesn't put us back to the status quo once again and that K1 and Bell tying the knot isn't going to be dropped. They deserve to have an emotionally and physically mature relationship by now, I'd reckon. Certainly, too, there are stories left to tell. As Avinash said, marriage doesn't necessarily denote an end. Hild's sure to be a bit mad about being forced to eat crow regarding the success of the two at the Judgment Gate and passing Tyr's test; even if the series were to end around the time they exchange vows, I'd bet Hild will try to disrupt in some way or reveal some kind of plan (as was mentioned). Then there's the issue of a kid or kids. I don't know if it's that big of a deal actually; I can't see Belldandy or Keiichi pressuring one another for them so long as Keiichi's mortality is left unresolved. Nor do Keima or Takano seem like the type who'd pressure their to have grandchildren considering how unorthodox they are. I think if push comes to shove, Keiichi would choose godhood over leaving Belldandy alone for the rest of eternity, but it might take some extraordinary circumstances to get him to do so. That's definitely arc-worthy for sure.
  15. 3 points
    Fan art found on

    © Fujishima Kousuke (original character), 猫ちゃん (image)

  16. 2 points
    So, figured it would be a good idea to post a forum here detailing the latest joint effort between a series of writers on this site. Some of the ideas and material going in to this fanfic are going to be rather controversial, and that doesn't include the dirty mouths everyone's seemed to have gained throughout the first chapter alone. For anyone who's curious, this is a fanfic inspired by one of IdiAmeanDada's dreams where Keiichi was leaving to save Belldandy Rambo-style, and then expanded upon by HotelKatz into a quick stand-alone fic for the 'What If...' storyline. IdiAmeanDada, who's retired US Navy, had me beta read it, and active military myself, it caught my eye enough to the point where I ended up adding to the story as well. Scarred Survivors is the result of this mad combination of a civilian, retired military, and active military coming together and drawing from their own unique ideas and experiences to create a world that at times may seem painfully familiar, and at others times alien and farfetched. At some point, it's content expanded to the point where HotelKatz and IdiAmeanDada spoke about creating two separate stories rather than leaving this as a lone 'What if' chapter, and as such a more child-friendly, 'safe' version (uncorrupted by me, I swear to god) which is chapter 55 of the 'What if' storyline. Scarred Saviors, the version that has been expanded upon and then manipulated into something that is only a former shell of it's brightness, can be found here: I suppose this is another kind of 'reboot' of the series, though the direction taken is quite different from probably anything that has ever been tried with this series before. For those who hold a vested interest in the story, I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to discuss it thoughout this forum.
  17. 2 points
    Yet another winter fic where I write 500 word chapters. Tempted to expand on the sister switch, like replacing one of the norns with Lind, Chrono, or Peorth. Maybe I should go wild and even expand it to Sora, Chihiro, Shiho, Sayoko, Megumi, Mara, Hagal, Thrym, or the other demons? Keep in mind that Hild, Ansuz, and Takano would be excluded, as those kinds of switches would be too far complicated for me or this story.
  18. 2 points
    Truth to be told, I'm not so sure about who's exactly the victim here, but there's a lot going on to make a manga out of it. To begin with, we're not talking about a woman who just showed up out of nowhere, but someone who's been in a relationship with him for 15 years. And not only that, but said man just went ahead and married someone entirely different because he apparently got her pregnant. While I may not know all the details about this story (nor I care, as I hate celebrity gossip stories), I can't quite say that this is merely the woman's fault. Also, Mr Fujishima's attempts to hide the fact that he was even married seems kinda weird to me. Almost as if he knows that part of what he's doing is problematic, and merely tries to cover it up. Again, this isn't my place to condemn anyone from a moral point of view, but at the same time, that's what happens when someone bites more than he can chew. Of course, that's just me, and in the end it's a ongoing legal dispute that's going to get settled regardless of our opinion, but I can't quite say that I'm terribly sympathetic to Mr. Fujishima on this occasion.
  19. 2 points
    Well 1.Keep in mind that goddess physiology isn't exactly the same as human physiology... 2.For Lind, she needs intensive care, plus a chest tube inserted into her chest (most likely in her upper chest since she may have what we medics call a pneumothorax..air in the chest due to an injury). The chest tube will be connected to what we call an 'underwater seal' (a special bottle filled with fluid) to allow air escape from the chest. ). (For the interested....chest tube insertion: The aim of all that is to allow the lung to re-expand while the chest wound heals.(so that the patient can breathe properly again eventually If the lung does not re-inflate after five days, Lind might need an operation.A chest op. 3.For Urd...if the seizures last longer than 30 minutes , it's intensive care, and a long period of rehab, depending on how well she does neurologically once she regains full consciousness Assuming the seizures just happen for a few minutes , well, she might recover fully...hopefully (But since we don't know much about ten-dimensional being neurological physiology...). 4.Word of Elegance...hmm...if the wound does not reach a major vessel or spinal cord...yes, the answer is that it is possible she might live . BUT If the wound hits a major vessel...because hanging around the back is a giant vessel called the aorta which is responsible for pumping blood all over your body...speed is of the essence (as in...get a chopper down there to take her straight to the nearest good hospital, with a full surgical team on standby.). And if the spine is affected...well...let me say that the hole better not be anywhere near the back of the upper neck...because death is certain if it is.Lower down, disability is a major risk...depending on the level of injury to the spinal cord.
  20. 2 points
    i think i can finally pronounce this costume well and truly finished to my satisfaction, now that i've just completely remade the Apron from scratch, the original Apron once being the last remaining element carried over from the original factory costume. now, almost everything's handmade, save for the shoes, -highly modified TAKARA "Jenny" Pink Pumps- and the Cat Ear hairband - hairband taken from MegaHouse MOON PHASE "Hazuki" also highly modified- and i've finally well and truly made the "Sweet Lolita" Maid costume of my mind's eye for my sweet, gentle Miss Asahina♥
  21. 2 points
    Fans have been creating fan fiction for Oh My Goddess dating as far back as the late 1990's, back when Dark Horse Comics was publishing the manga series in a comic book style format (only a select few of us are aware of the publishing format for manga back during the 1980', 1990's and early 2000's. Back then, every publisher released manga in a 32-40 page comic book format. Manga published as TPB's really wasn't a desire and it was Tokyopop who only published manga in TPB's, along with the manga publisher, Seven Seas. It wouldn't be until around 2004-2005 when publishers would ditch that format and start publishing manga in TPB form. I remember when the first comic book copy of Appleseed Book 1 Volume 1 was fetching for $35-50. Even though price guides didn't value manga that high, comic dealers started to clue into that fact. Even Oh My Goddess #1 was fetching for around $15-25. Eventually, monthly price guides periodicals started recognizing that there was a collectors market for comic book formatted manga titles. I just remember when fan fiction back in those early days was an underground community and there's a lot of classic Oh My Goddess fan fiction that most fans aren't aware of. I'll see what I can do about posting links to some of them.
  22. 2 points
    Unfortunately, we have lost a large majority of Ah! My Goddess fansites, message forums and more since I first created my site back in 2004. It's only through the miracle of donations from our members and other supporters that we've been able to keep this community going. For me and Sugoi, we started out at another Oh My Goddess fansite and community called Noble Scarlet, which is now defunct and I got my inspiration for my site while a member of that community. While that site has long since disappeared, this site has went through many changes (one thing I'm planning to do is bringing back a lot of the articles, image galleries and features that were a highlight of this fansite. I still have all of that content, which I'll be bringing back to the site over the next few days. But, with gigabytes of images and other content, it may take some time to get them all back online. I'm always taking suggestions on how to make the fansite and the community better and I'm always open to feedback on this issue. If you have any suggestions, send them my way. I might even scavenge older fansites through archives and bring that content here.
  23. 2 points
    Lol This interlude thingy is going to be better than i expected, it seems =) My turn! **The dancing queen** *A SS spin-off* Urd: Ok Lind, time for one last lesson before your date. Lind: another? After learning how to sit, eat and talk like a lady, what else is left to re-learn? Walk? Urd: that too, you walk like a soldier on a forced march! Lind: **grumbles** Urd: Anyway, no girl should ever go out on a data with a man without knowing how to dance! Lind: Dance? Urd: Dance! Lind: Dance, as in...dancing? Urd: like in moving your body while holding another person. Lind: So. Dance then... Urd: yes! Lind: **tries to run for the hills** **urd catches her by a foot** Urd: oh nononono...You're not running away from this! **ties her up** And now, for your dancing teacher, i present you Bell! **Bell enters the room** Lind: There's no way in hell i'm learning how to dance. Belldandy: Yes you are. Do you want to make a fool out of yourself and step on poor Mr. Jackson's feet all the time? Lind: **grumbles** Belldadndy: sorry, i couldn't quite hear that dear. Lind: I said NO! Belldandy: good. Now, shall we begin? Lind: **is untied and is looking miserable** I have 2 left foot. I'll never learn how to do this on time. Urd: Lies. If she could teach Mara how to waltz, she can teach you too. I'll let you know my sister is the best dancer in all Asgard! **Belldandy smiles,** Lind: who's Mara? Urd:**sweatdrops** Err...old friend. No one you ever met before. Has lead for feet and still learned how to waltz nonetheless. Lind: **is suspicious, but let's it drop** Yea. And i'm a freaking Valkyrie! I just doesn't work! Belldandy: Nonsense! Now, let's stop this argument and start already. Time is running short. **Grabs Lind and places her hands on her arm and holds her hand** Belldandy: this is where you should place your hands. Now just follow my lead and try to relax. **5 minutes later* Urd: and 1,2,3, 1,2,3, that's it girl, i've told you! My sister is the best dancer in the whole Asgard! and 1,2,3. Belldandy; thank you Urd. **winces as Lind steps on her toes...again** Lind: I feel like an idiot. Urd: You're doing ffiiiiiiine! Just keep going! and 1,2,3, 1,2,3. **Keiichi opens the door and takes a look at the scene. Urd: oh hi there Keiichi! Keiichi: What's going on? Urd: Bell's teaching Lind how to waltz. For her date with Brian. Keiichi. Fuck my life. I'm still having a hard time imagining it. Urd: **winks** me too. Keiichi: Anyway, since we're all here, care to teach me too? Never been much of a dancer, might as well stop looking like an idiot anytime i have to waltz. Urd: Sure, i'll pair up with you! **light bulbs break over their heads, the window glass starts to break** Belldandy: NO! Lind: I'm sorry, have i stepped on you again? I did it, didn't I? Belldandy; No! I mean, yes...that's not what i mean! Lind: what then? Belldandy; **points at Urd** You can't dance with Keiichi! Keiichi: Why not? You're busy with Lind, i'm sure she can-- Belldandy: I'll pair up with you. Urd, you're taller than me and will make for a better Jackson's manequim. Let's switch. Urd: You're sure? Lind was doing fine with you. Belldandy: And she'll do it even better with you, i'm sure. You can dance as well as me when you want to. Urd: **raises eyebrow** Ooooook. Lind: (whispering): your sister has a bad temper when it comes to Keiichi. Urd: tell me about--ouch! Lind: sorry! Urd: Nononono, this just won't do. Stop trying to get away from me like i'm cotton candy melting and hold on. Then just follow my body's movement. It's not hard. Lind: I'm trying! Urd: No you're not. Imagine this is a kata or something. Whatever makes you move your feet! Lind: if this was a kata, you'd be on the ground already. Urd: Really? Wanna take this to the garage? we have a sparring mat over there and we can-- Belldandy: **raising her voice and looking mean** No fighting! Urd and Lind: **grumbles** Keiichi: Thanks for teaching me Bell. Belldandy: It's nothing Keiichi. Had i known you wanted to learn before, i would have taken time to teach you. Keiichi: yeaa.....well, it's not something i get to do very often you know. But i'm tired of looking like a clown when i do. Belldandy: You tease. Look at you, you're doing great (he's doing miserable...) Urd: Look at them! He's even worse than you! Lind: **grumble** Shut up and keep dancing Urd.
  24. 2 points
    I wouldn't be surprised if I was probably one of the more open-minded about doujinshi here. Most of the time, I figure it's either money or an opportunity to put one's own fanfiction into pictures and get paid for it. I go and read what strikes my interest. I stay away from the hardcore stuff. So yeah... most of the time whenever I see doujinshi, I make a little prayer in my head for it to be a humorous little story, even if it does get a little vulgar. I admit to a 50/50 record or so for it. I tend to throw away that prayer whenever I see A!MG doujinshi, as I recall Rule 43 of the internet, "The more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt it." I do admit to looking at a few, as some of the artwork for a very small number is good for a few panels and covers. But that's about it. Most of the A!MG doujinshi stuff follows that internet rule to a sick degree.
  25. 2 points
    Sup guys, this is the mastermind speaking. So yeah, I've been to this forum before in the past, but left a few years ago. Only really got back into Oh! My Goddess after browsing through fanfics on FFnet and well, stumbled upon this one. I was really taken with the fanfic, so I decided to make a trope page for it seeing as it lacked both a review on the site, and I do truly believe the story is good enough to warrant its own page. Seeing as making pages for fanfics on tvtropes is a completely free action, I said why not. I do apologize if I got some things wrong while picking tropes. Do feel free to edit the page however you like. I after all, made it all on my own without any checking or editing from anyone else so it is bound to have mistakes. I don't mind if you even remove some entries. I made it because I really think the story should have one. It is just that good in my eyes. I plan to add tabs that keep track of the awesome/heartwarming/funny/tearjerking/nightmarish parts of the story. Many people like to read those too as well. So yeah, hi there.
  26. 2 points

    From the album IdiAmeanDada's gallery

    Found this on Pinterest of all places.
  27. 2 points
    IdiAmeanDada told me to introduce myself three days ago, and I guess it's about time. I've been a little busy. I offered to proofread Scarred Survivors; Idi and Nena agreed, and I've been making notes of the few misspellings, misplaced words, conflicting tenses, etc. that got through their own proofreading. I've gone through a third of the story so far. It's easy and fun for me; I read the story, and when I spot something I make a note. I've been an electronics engineer and programmer for over 30 years, recently laid off from a great job because the price of oil went down and half their business dried up. I did four years in the US Navy, so I have some idea what Keiichi's duties are like. I read a lot of science fiction, military fiction, military science fiction and fantasy. And, of course, I like anime. I think most people would if they gave it a chance. With all the free time I've had recently, I got into fan-fiction and started a VanDread story. IdiAmeanDada reviewed it, we exchanged a few messages, and he got me interested in Scarred Survivors. Of course, I had to watch Ah! My Goddess first. Well worth it. So, there you go. A few things about me, in case anybody's interested. -------------------- Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!
  28. 2 points
    Here's another pinup pic I managed to finish this week.This time featuring Bell.
  29. 2 points
    If the directions to your house include the words, "Turn off the paved road...", you may be a redneck!
  30. 2 points
    i just found this lovely Japanese decorative doll at my local GOODWILL for around $20. She is LARGE, about the size of a VOLKS Super Dollfie, i'd say, about 30-odd in. or so. she lacks an actual body under the non-removable fabric Kimono, but that drawback aside, she is a Magnificent display piece. these are known as "Ningyou" dolls. this one, specifically, is by the "OKAMA NINGYOU" Brand. these were once fairly common in Japan as gifts to a newlywed couple, and as home furnishings for personal household religious shrines and such. Ningyou dolls such as this one were among the highest quality ever made. these sorts of dolls have been around for at least 40/60 years, IIRC, and were common souvenirs of U.S. military servicemen stationed in Asia back in the Cold War era when the U.S. actually maintained significant permanent presence abroad. i believe the doll i have here dates to sometime in the 80's~90's, and was among the zenith of quality and realism in this now seemingly fading/lost Japanese art. imagine the quality and detail of today's VOLKS Super Dollfies, matched with the exquisite old-world elaborate detail of this Ningyou dolls' Kimono... She does have a rather lovely, Serene sort of expression. i believe i shall be calling her "Miyuki"
  31. 2 points
    According to this article on ANN their baby was born. The tweets were on the 26th and say the baby was born yesterday, so the birthday would by July 25. Interestingly neither of the parents say whether they had a boy or girl... I guess they want to maintain some privacy in their lives. Good for them! It sound like Nekomu is planning on returning to professional cosplaying once she is able to, but she also sounds very happy in her message. It is actually very sweet the way they talk about each other.
  32. 2 points
    I'm still hoping that Kodansha pushes forward with a new season. Last time there was any serious anime production for the series was back in 2005. Hopefully, they'll produce two more seasons of the anime series.
  33. 2 points
    Straight from Anime News Network. Seems that Dark Horse Comics announced on Saturday at Anime Expo that they're going to release 15 omnibus editions of Oh My Goddess! with "larger art size, improved paper [quality] and more color art inserts." Even if we might not get the Blu Ray releases over here in the West, this sure is nice, though no release date was announced. Then again, I did just start buying the manga (up to volume 17 at the moment) so it's more than a little annoying. :p Wonder how much they're going to charge for them; hopefully not an arm and a leg...
  34. 2 points


    This is a page from a doujinshi made by Magu Shunichi featuring Belldandy.

    © Fujishima Kousuke (original character), Magu Shunichi (image)

  35. 2 points
    A Belldandy fan art made by NeMO at Link: http://touch.pixiv.n...ust_id=43480848

    © Fujishima Kousuke (original character), NeMO (image)

  36. 2 points
    I Kiss Your Lips by blightedangel Bit of a fun piece here. The artist blends Urd's current look (straight hair) with her old outfit. The sort of American cartoon style works well here.
  37. 2 points
    Belldandy's physical beauty is a simple shell through which her inner beauty shines through to create her total effect. Its much like a painted shade around a oil or candle flame, the shade may be beautiful on its own, but its true glory isn't seen until the lamp flame within adds its glow of highlights and shadings to the surface. Thus, a simple Cosplayer could never hope to match the real Belldandy. That said, the young ladies are all beautiful in their own ways and if they touch your hearts with their beauty and expressions, then they've achieved their goal of cosplaying Belldandy.
  38. 2 points
    Whirlwind will become a top notch automotive design company with Keiichi as Head Designer and Engineer His reverse Trike Bike design will become a worldwide sensation after he turns it into a fully electric vehicle Belldandy will become chief of public relations and the spokeswoman for the brand
  39. 2 points
    I think the problem is that anime shows that are generally adapted into live action films or properties are often met with skepticism that they are white-washed with American or British actors. But, I think an Ah! My Goddess live action film could certainly pull it off because it's not inherent to that series. While Jennifer Lawrence could fit that bill, she is a highly sought after actress, given that she's currently being tossed between the X-Men franchise and The Hunger Games series. Long as neither Kristen Stewart (twilight) nor Meagan Fox (nTransformers) are cast for any such film adaption, then I would be open to it. Megan Fox simply cannot act and Kristen Stewart has too much drama going on. Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect for the role as Belldandy simply because she seems to be your typical "All American" girl that lives next door. But, I also think that they should choose actors or actresses that are unknown. For Keiichi? Absolutely no Toby Maguire, no Shia Lebeouf and nobody that sounds like a whiney geek on steroids. Sorry to say it, but I thought Shia's acting in Transformers was way too geeky for those films and his acting annoyed me to such a horrible degree.
  40. 2 points
    If you put the media streaming online for a reasonable (keyword) price, then you can make money. . .sometimes. Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll are all examples of companies that charge fees and are turning a profit. Clearly, people, even in the younger generation, are willing to pay for entertainment, but it has to be offered to them at they price at which they value it. Admittedly, this acceptable price is considerably lower than the pre-internet business models were using, so there is going to be some adjustment in every industry that revolves around the sale of copyrighted media. Its no surprise that many larger media companies are unwilling to adopt less profitable business models; this is how we end up with proposed (American) legislation such as SOPA and Protect IP. The smaller companies though, like MediaBlasters, who cannot make effective use of these laws, are forced to adopt new business models or die, which, in the long run, I believe is a good thing. Yes, people are going to lose their jobs, but perhaps the anime industry in the current era is larger than its consumer base. Adjustment may be needed for survival. I am suspicious of claims that the publishing industry's success is tied to general economic prosperity. In the recent past, this has not proven to be the case. The publishing industry as a whole has been on a steady decline uninterrupted even by the economic slow-down that occurred following September 2001, or the boom that occurred in the next couple years after it. Publishing, like many other similarly affected businesses, is almost entirely reliant on presumptive enforcement of copyrights to bring in money, meaning that people bought published material because of the assumption that the copyright was enforceable. As the consumer base has drastically altered, making use of file-sharing, it has seriously jeopardized the ability of companies to effectively enforce their copyrights and the presumption of enforcement has been seriously undermined. There are some signs that the decline of publishing industry is bottoming out as alternative methods have been adopted, but in no way is this tied to the overall economy.
  41. 2 points
    Banpei's Hat. 3/31/2007 Sometimes the strangest things lead to an article. In this case I got to wondering about the circle on Banpei's helmet and came up with what might be an interesting bit of trivia. The conclusion of all this is just my speculation, but it could have been what was in the back of Mr. Fujishima's mind when he first created the character. Besides the obvious robotics, the most distinguishing element of Banpei's appearance is his large round hat or helmet. It's usually colored red when shown in color, and has as its most distinctive feature a round circle painted on its front. That this circle often opens up as a hatch to reveal anti-Mara weaponry or a headlight when he's in motorbike mode is immaterial, the circle is always there whether needed or not in whatever form or mode Banpei is in. Spotting what looked like a similar circle on the helmets of a couple other anime/manga characters, I thought I should look into what, if anything, it might signify. So far I've found nothing, but the search did lead to another, very likely meaning. The hat/helmet Banpei is wearing is undoubtedly based on the Jingasa style helmets of the Edo and Menji restoration periods. These are often seen being worn by foot solders of these periods and were especially common amongst early musket and rifle troops. Appearing very much like the standard civilian woven bamboo hats they're often mistaken to be, the Jingasa was actually woven with two or three layers of interlocked bamboo strips then covered in paper and heavily lacquered. They were commonly painted black for infantry, but clan and family colors were not uncommon. Two large pads were tied inside it that rested on top of the wearer's head like grips on a pair of wire rim glasses and two soft cloth loops hung from these to secure it around the ears. A final cord was used to tie the loops together under the wearer's chin or hang the hat across their back. The result was a light, water proof piece of head gear that was remarkable effective at protecting its wearer from over head sword and other cutting edge weapon blows and deflecting missiles aimed at it. The slope and shape had evolved to provide maximum protection and when later versions started being made out of woven, riveted, and finally cast or stamped metal, the outward appearance remained pretty much the same. (The Jingasa remained in use by the Japanese military up through the Russian campaign around Port Arthur where it proved its usefulness in trench warfare. It was only phased out as the needs of more modern combat required a helmet that didn't keep catching on the underbrush or banging into the soldiers next to it.) These were the helmets of the common solders, the grunts in the ranks as it were. The samurai wore splendidly ornate helmets featuring demons or family symbols, as did nobles and other warriors of note. To see a ranked swordsman or mounted warrior wearing one usually means something special. This doesn't mean they couldn't be very fancy in appearance though. It was common for the retainers of a noble or samurai to have that person's family or clan symbols painted or engraved on their Jingasa and there are some beautiful examples in existence today in various collections. These of course were usually worn by bodyguards or ceremonial guards, the average rank and file usually just had a symbol or simple mark to identify who they were soldiers of. (This tradition continued through World War II with the omnipresent star on Japanese army helmets, signifying service to the Emperor.) Back to Banpei. As you have probably guessed, it seems obvious to me that putting that style helmet on Banpei was obviously intended to play up his role as the guardian of the temple. But more than that, the circle on the helmet isn't really a circle, its an oval shape just like Skuld's goddess marking, and as I recall Skuld's goddess uniforms and clothing all tend toward reds and pinks. So we see in Banpei's helmet a visual reference to the old family retainer, Lady Skuld's sworn foot soldier in her red colors and bearing her family symbol on his helmet. Once again, something the Japanese would probably catch right away but requiring investigative work for us Gajun. Addendum 1/1/2008 Further confirmation of the intent to make Banpei a symbolic foot soilder in the old Japanese tradition is given on page 176 of the Oh My Goddess! novel, First End.
  42. 2 points
    New drawing to add to this series.. so Mara is now in court with Sayoko as her attorney.Peorth begins the examination with Keiichi acting as witness.Behind the bench sits Chihiro as judge while Lind looks on as the bailiff.I'll have to continue this with at least one more pic to conclude the series..
  43. 2 points
    I hope the attachments show these sketches adequately. Enjoy! Please click on it to animate the sketches.
  44. 2 points
    Hey,how's everyone been in this place?I know I haven't posted or visited here in awhile,mostly because I've lost track of Ah My Goddess related things,but I've recently created some new fan arts for old time sake.I've posted these up in my Devart gallery but I'll post them here too for a bit more exposure.. All five goddesses drawn up with an office lady theme,sort of a follow up to the Hild and Mara ones I did a little while back.Hope you enjoy these..
  45. 2 points
    Oh/Ah My Goddess Trivia and Observations Part One – revised on 1/10/2010 This is the portion of the Oh/Ah My Goddess Trivia and Observations list that contains most of the original topic’s material with only the items combined with RanMaFan’s Observatory topic or the three created topics removed. I’ve also deleted a couple posts that really weren’t germane to the topic or were wrong. It was a revamping that was long overdue and in the process I’ve rechecked my sources and other peoples assertions along with volume, chapter, and page numbers, and I feel everything is as correct as I can make it. (By the way, there are still a lot of errors in Dark Horse's Colors Encyclopedia as far as chapter and pages go, along with a few misleading entries, so be careful!) Hope you enjoy this reworked topic and feel free to add to or correct it if you find something. BOTTOM OF THE BARREL TRIVIA Tigers and Skuld bombs and bras, oh my! Tiger Stripes – (Timotheus) Volume 8, chapter 50, page 78 – as an example… You know how Urd likes to have tiger stripes on her bathing suits and goddess outfits? Well that's a reflection of her demon heritage. It was actually from a LUM site, but someone there explained that tiger skins and striped clothes were a traditional Japanese sign of a demon and that's why LUM wears a tiger striped bikini and boots. I'm assuming Mr. Fujishima would have had the same idea for Urd. Skuld's Seemingly Endless Supply Of Bombs And Weaponry In Her Blouse. – (Timotheus) As we were out running errands one day, I mentioned the "Skuld's bombs in her blouse" anomaly. My daughter commented on how it was just like in a video game, where the lead character seems to be able to pull an endless supply of weapons from out of thin air. Knowing Mr. Fujishima's obsession with video games, this just might be his way of paying a little homage to that situation. To put it more clearly, if Skuld was a character in a video game, no one would wonder how she keeps pulling an endless supply of bombs and weapons out of her blouse as she walked through the game. The cute part is that she's doing it in a supposedly realistic world. As Mr. Fujishima might say, "It isn't important that you know how she does it or that I know how she does it, only that Skuld knows how she does it." The ultimate, bottom of the barrel, useless, Oh/Ah My Goddess! bit of trivia imaginable. Divine Foundation Garments – (Timotheus) I found a discussion thread on the Animeboards site about goddess anatomy that intrigued me, but they never completely answered the question. So using their data and formulas, advice from my wife and daughter, and my handy little deci-inch ruler to measure some ratios, here it is: Belldandy's bra size is a 34B (or C) and Urd's is a 36C (or D). (They seem to have become larger in the more recent manga.) These are not to be construed as absolute figures however, there is a great deal of variation in the body dimension ratios of the goddesses as drawn in the manga. These are based on what seems to be the middle of their ranges. If anyone feels they have a better estimate and feel they need to correct me, go right ahead. ------------- Volume 6, chapter 41, page 135 – (Timotheus) In the Trials of Morisato, part I, Dark Horse translated the banner behind Keiichi as "Oh Keiichi, Our Hero!" An independent translation (Nekomi Kodai) translated it as "Oh! My Morisato!!" a closer pun to the series' title. Volume 6, chapter 41, page 116 – (Timotheus) Keiichi also brings home "131 ice cream", a pun on the Japanese version of Baskin Robbin's 31 flavors. ------------- Fun Facts - Robot Wars edition Volume 6, chapter 40, page 90 - Keiichi does Hamlet (Dark Horse version) "Alas poor BMW! I knew it well..." Volume 6, chapter 40, page 89 to 100 – (Timotheus) Keiichi's hair magically returns to normal at the NIT MCC junkyard. He starts the story with his hair still braided up from when he was possessed by the LoT. The braid remain visible in different panels until the one where he goes, "WHA-?!" after Tamiya points out where the raw materials for the robots are. After that happens, no braid. Volume 6, chapter 40, page 105 – (Timotheus) Skuld’s robot in Robot Wars was a victim of the dreaded Japanese R/L phonetic conundrum. In the original Japanese illustration it is called the “Hyste-l-ic Wheel, in Engrish, and this name was carried over into the TV anime version. Dark Horse, when they redid the chapter the first time for English release touched up the drawing to read Hyste-r-ic Wheel, correcting the spelling. But you could still see traces of where they had done the rework. In the current release Dark Horse has cleaned the illustration up very nicely and you would never know it had been changed. But in the original version it was proof of the continuing confusion between Rs and Ls for even Japanese goddesses. ------------- Fun Facts - Meet Me By The Sea Shore Volume 8, chapter 50, page 79 – (Timotheus) Urd is using a TV set as her crystal ball to tell Keiichi's fortune. Volume 8, chapter 50, page 83 – (Timotheus) The Banpei Deep Six Marine Upgrade has Horus style eyes painted on its prow like ancient Pre-Roman ships did to help them see their way across the waves. ------------- Fun Facts – Life is Just a Game of Sugoroku Roulette Besides being an extremely Norn-like game (you turn the spinner and what luck and fortune sends your way happens to you, all supposedly arranged randomly but secretly controlled by a goddess of fate), I started wondering just what "Sugoruku" might mean, so I did a little digging. Others with more factual knowledge are welcome to add or amend. Sugoroku is actually a children’s dice game very similar to backgammon or chutes and ladders. It was originally introduced from China a few hundred years ago as a popular form of gambling and as such was repeatedly declared illegal by the Japanese government. When it was finally supplanted by other forms of dice games of chance, it became a simple form of home entertainment. Probably because it is the nature of the game for the players' fortunes to go up and down (as in chutes and ladders) the game's name became identified with that of the Game of Life when that board game was introduced into Japan in 1968, although the official name for the Game of Life is the Jinsei Game. So even though the game is played with a spinner and no dice are involved, apparently the name Sugoroku and Game of Life are connected in Japan and Mr. Fujishima was only having a minor amount of fun calling the game "Life Sugoroku Special". Primary sources from Wikipedia Volume 3, chapter 18, pages 36 through 46 – (Timotheus) If you look at the playing pieces on the Life game board carefully you'll note some connections and foreshadowing for later stories. (These are my opinions, please judge for yourself.) Keiichi is driving the NIT MCC Mazda T2000 Off-Road three wheel special from the Golden Hammer race. Megumi's car is the two seater sports model she gets turned into in Sympathy for the Devil. Sayoko's piece is hard to see, but sort of looks like the sports car she blew the engine out of earlier in Those Whom Goddess Has Joined Together..., Otaki's car and pieces appear to be that of the Slag Brothers from the Hanna-Barbara cartoon series "Those Wacky Racers" which was seen in Japan. Tamiya's vehicle is a steam roller. Urd has what could be an ambulance and her piece is wearing what could be a fire helmet with a crest ridge. Only Bell's vehicle has remained unreferenced, and if anyone can, please do. The cars are identifiable by their hood and trunk outlines. Compare the pieces with the referenced vehicles in their stories. Volume 3, chapter 18 – (Timotheus) It's also interesting how many New Years customs Mr. Fujishima managed to cram into the first few pages of the story: New Year's greetings cards. A bowl of persimmons or oranges on the table. The first calligraphic writing of the year with a brush. Making resolutions on New Year's morning. The wearing of Kimono's or one's best clothes (except for Keiichi). Paying calls on friends and relatives at their homes. Television personalities wearing traditional garb on air. Special foods for New Year's Volume 3, chapter 18, pages 27 & 28– (Timotheus) In addition, that's a statue of the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" monkeys on the TV set and a picture of Belldandy and Keiichi thumb-tacked on the bulletin board along with a play on a product name – Poji Color instead of Fuji Color. ------------- The ChazS Collection Volume 8, chapter 50, page 96 – (contributed by ChazS) Urd is familiar with Shakespeare, too. "The course of true love never did run smooth" -- A Midsummer Night's Dream (and she mentions Shakespeare's use of love potions in OAV #2). Volume 4, chapter 26 & 27, page 69 & 87 – (contributed by ChazS) Keiichi's complaint that he had been "turned into a newt" is a possible reference to the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Volume 15, chapter 90 – (contributed by ChazS and Timotheus) In "Hand in Hand," Belldandy repairs a computer, which forthwith begins to sing "A Bicycle Built for Two" ("Daisy, Daisy..."). This is an allusion to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which the evil supercomputer HAL, when he regresses to his "childhood," sings the same song. (This is the Dark Horse version, in the Japanese text the Mac computer starts singing “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb...”) Volume 13, chapter 73 – (contributed by ChazS) When Urd rides the unicycle in "Childhood's End" (the chapter title is the name of an Arthur C. Clarke story) she has her arms folded. That is far harder than riding with arms outstretched! Volume 1, chapter 2, page 37 – (contributed by ChazS) It is commonplace for characters to fall down in surprise. I believe, however, that Bell does so only once -- in chapter 2, when Sada says "Hmm. I'd better watch it again." Volume, chapter, page – (contributed by ChazS) Funny things on top of head: Sea slug (Keiichi in Meet Me by the Seashore, Sayoko in I'm the Campus Queen), cat (Urd, in Hand in Hand), Vanir bird (Belldandy, in A Goddess Never Forgets), Sigel (Keiichi, in the Dr. Moreau arc), and Keiichi (Sudaru, in The Third Goddess). Volume 20, chapter 128, page 15 – (contributed by ChazS) In The Endless Battle, part 1, Urd exclaims "Mini-Urd MIRV!" A MIRV (Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicle) is a nuclear-equipped missile whose payload splits apart during flight into several independently targeted nuclear warheads. They were a major point of contention in the arms control talks of the 1970s. Volume 29, chapter 188, page 134 – (contributed by ChazS) Volume 31, chapter 195, page 20 The way in which Urd is depicted on the sixth page of chapter 188 is suspiciously similar to the way Belldandy is depicted in the climax of chapter 195. This would explain the onlookers' reactions. Volume 1, chapter 2, page – (contributed by ChazS) Belldandy was familiar with tea before she came to Earth, but was not initially knowledgeable about the various types and forms of tea makers on earth. Volume 1, chapter 3, page 74 – (contributed by ChazS) While never mentioned in the spoken text, on the back of the note the priest left for Belldandy you can clearly read his name "From Koshian". Volume 8, chapter 49, page 46 – (contributed by ChazS) In Lunchbox with Love, Sora's Home Ec report, on the left, says "I'm sorry but perhaps Sora would benefit from practicing her cooking at home. Possibly in an air lock" On the right, only two words are un-obscured: "She" and "poison". (This is only confirmed for the Dark Horse second translation version) Volume 28, chapter 180, page 96 – (contributed by ChazS) In the Polka-Dotted Cat and the Magic Broom, part of the broom race arc, Bell and Hild fly past the "Shohei" hotel. It’s possible that this is the now completed building that Urd and Shohei Yoshida climbed up in Urd's Fantastic Adventure. Volume 8, chapter 50, page 96 – (contributed by ChazS) Just re-read Belldandy's Tempestuous Heart (DH version), and sure enough, just like in episode 19 of the TV series, Urd's incantation is "Naanderuta-aaru (Neanderthal) Kuroman-yohn (Cro-Magnon) Ausutoraro (Australopithecus) Jawa (Java) Pekin (Peking)". TV anime, episode 19 - (contributed by ChazS) Not sure if it counts but I noticed something while re-watching episode 19. When Bell is with K1 in his futon and wakes him up, her nightgown is exactly the same as the one Urd was looking at in the magazine at the start of the episode Volume 1, chapter 5, page 97 - (contributed by ChazS) In chapter 5 when we first meet Sayoko, the idea that she is in some sense "assaulting" Keiichi is reinforced by the visual double entendre in the panel where Keiichi is on his back and Sayoko is saying "Tell me!" ----------- Volume 20, chapter 128, page – (contributed by L3gOla5) In the DH translation of the "Endless Battle Part One", Urd says, "When You Lose... Go cry to NBS for running When Plants Attack." This could be a slight reference to TBS which stands for Tokyo Broadcasting Station I think. So NBS possibly stands for Nippon Broadcasting Station. Volume 20, chapter 128, page – (contributed by JusenkyoGuide) JusenkyoGuide replied to the above entry with this: The only NBS in Japan that's on TV is Nagano Broadcasting System. There IS a Nippon Broadcasting System, but they are an AM radio station and a part of Fuji TV system. I'd say NBS is a dig at PBS and NHK though. ------------ Volume 7, chapter 44, page 48 – (Timotheus) In the Queen of Vengeance, Sayoko is running around with a box of "OTAKI Fried Chicken". (This might be a Studio Proteus gag, as Otaki is the correct singular form of Otaku when applied to a single person. It's also a town in the south of Japan known for having a warm climate even in winter and a town in New Zealand, another warm place.) ------------ (Timotheus) I read somewhere that Japanese custom wouldn't allow Keiichi to marry until he's graduated and gotten a job. If that applies to OMG then you can guess when the final parts of the story might begin. ------------ Volume 7, chapter 45, page 83 - (Timotheus) Someone else pointed this out, but it's worth posting here as part of the collection. There's a visual pun incorporated with Senbei that I just found out. In the Japanese version of the text, Senbei's happy dance is called his dance of poverty. From his body position the dance is obviously some sort of LIMBO, and since the Japanese word for poverty is BINBO, I'm sure you can figure out the joke. ------------ Volume 1, chapter 1 – (Morisato Kun) Morisato Kun Reports that while searching in the original papers of Kosuke Fujishima on (a Japanese language version of wikpedia, I would guess) he discovered that the original name of Otaki-senpai was Hikozaemon Ohtaki, not Aoyama Ohtaki as it has been reportedly listed in other locations. (I certainly don’t have the resources to question his findings.) ------------ Relocated from the Mini- and Multi-Goddess topic – Goddess Swimsuits Volume 12, chapter 69, pages 67 to 78 - (Timotheus) For those who may not have noticed (or cared to) the bathing suits worn by the Mini-Goddesses during the opening credits for the later Mini-Goddess episodes are the same suits the goddesses are wearing at the water park during the group date with Peorth in The Dating Game, Chapter 69 of the Peorth arc, TPB #12, March 25, 1994 release date (Dark Horse Release date September 1999). The Mini-Goddess series was first shown on Japanese TV starting in April 1998 at the same time the Dr. Moreau arc, part 3, The Trap Of Dr. Moreau!, chapter 116, Vol. 19 was released. Roughly four years later. Likewise in Episode 9 of the TV anime season two, the swim suits worn by the goddesses (including Peorth) and Keiichi are the same as in the manga, although Urd's was simplified for animation purposes. ------------ Fun with Ten-Dimensions Volume 6, chapter 39, page 70 - With the glorious restoration of the ten-dimensional toad to its rightful position of honor atop Skuld’s head in Confession, page 70, lower right hand panel, possibly because of the overwhelming insistence that this be done that I directed toward Mr. Horn, I feel it is my further obligation to explain the pun and the situation to those fans who may not understand it, since Dark Horse seems to have completely abandoned the editorial notes for these releases. (It’s alright I suppose, I’m sure it’s just a case of not enough time to get everything done. Researching trivia can be very time consuming; I know.) Anyway, the Lord of Terror has asked Skuld to make a ten-dimensional scythe, or “kama” in Japanese. What Skuld has presented him with are, as the signs imply, a ten-dimensional Toad and a ten-dimensional Rice Cooker. While the ten-dimensional part is the same for all three, the Rice Cooker is a gohan-suki KAMA, and the Toad is a KAMA-gaeru. Both are puns in Japanese on the word for Scythe, KAMA. In the original Japanese text the LORD of Terror is exclaiming, “Stop that! I don't like bad puns!” This may not be quite as completely a throwaway joke as it first appears. Earlier Belldandy is written as saying they need to stall for time and this could be Skuld’s way of doing just that, stalling the Lord of Terror with unnecessary delays over puns. Research source, Ed Chang's Translations at Nekomi Kodai. Corrections welcome. ------------ Japanese Sound effects and what they mean. This is a neat compendium of Japanese manga sound effects that have been compiled at this link site. I thought others might enjoy it and find it useful. The original site has disappeared but I've found two copy sites of it and there are probably others. try here - or here - but it's no longer here - As an example of something I figured out from this site, I'm sure everyone who's watched the OAVs remembers Urd's "tanning oil" that was going to make Belldandy all "mello-mello", a term not found in the Japanese dictionaries I've located. Most people could probably guess the general meaning based on the illustration, but it was still a little unclear what the exact intention was. Well, since "L"s and "R"s are pretty much interchangeable in Japanese phonetics, when I saw an entry for "mero-mero" ( to go limp or floppy), I realized that this might be what the script for that scene actually had written down and it was subtitled "melo-melo" as a understandable mistake. It would certainly make sense to say that Belldandy would just go limp (as in unresisting and compliant) if Keiichi rubbed Urd's oil all over her body, which is what the illustration shows. (Note - Bell might go mero-mero if K-1 rubbed anything warm and lubricating all over her body, whether Urd had mixed it up or not.) ------------ Rats In Space For those interested in such things, probably the best use of Oh/Ah My Goddess animation in a music video adaptation is in "The Not-So-Right Stuff" by Strike Otoko. Based on the two Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses episodes where Gan-chan wants to fly and the music and lyrics of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)" it's like they were made for each other. The video was a runner up in the serious/dramatic catagory at Otakon 1999 but does not appear to be available on the web. I saw it at AnimeCentral, so it's probably only available on a special release disc from either Otakon or its creator. Either way, if you can get a chance to see it, it's well worth the time. (And if you find out where to get it let me know.) ------------- Site Administrator solves Mini-Goddess Trivia Riddle To give our Glorious Leader his due, while he was engaged in his pursuit of news items to increase the sites post count he encountered a news blurb about a Japanese amusement park that had built a scale replica of a space shuttle launch in its Lego land exhibit. This unexpectedly solved another of Mr. Fujishima's little riddles. A while back there was some discussion as to what Mr. Fujishima (or whoever) had in mind when he put NASU (NESU) on the side of the Saturn V that launched Gan-chan into space in the Mini-Goddesses series. At the time it was just supposed that this was another example of just transposing a letter in a familiar logo. But The Lego area at the Nasu Amusement Park has had a Space Center feature for some time and this is just the latest of its creations. No doubt at one time they featured a Saturn V with Moon Module Payload and it takes no stretch of the imagination to see Mr. Fujishima borrowing the idea, hinting that Gan-Chan's launch vehicle is a Lego model revamped by Skuld or that she copied it from the model. Or perhaps he's joking that the Lego Space Center is the closest thing that Japan had to a real Space program, or at least close in size to the Mini-Goddesses.
  46. 2 points
    The next character in this series: Lind. Tried a less likely 'AMG character turned pinup model' for this one..
  47. 2 points
    I thought this article was fascinating. He spotlights his Belldandy figures:女神降臨-Megami-Kourin.html Oh, and congratulate me elsewhere on the 125,000th posted message.
  48. 2 points
    Goddess - Demon Facial Markings – rev 6/7/2009 This topic will replace the old Facial Markings Topics. Noted Contributors: Holy Bell, Avanish Tyagi, Keiich Morrisato, Kleo This topic can be considered a companion piece to the article… Japanese Driver's Licenses and the Goddess Connection – rev 6/7/2009 The following topic does not represent the beliefs and opinions of the Goddess Project Administration and is presented here for information and discussion purposes only. All subject material is the work of Timotheus and represents his research and opinions. Please direct all questions, comments, criticisms, profanity, and death threats to him and not our beloved administrator who is getting stressed out. The Ojiisan Clause: I should also add that it is entirely probable that Mr. Fujishima has never thought things through to this degree and is just “winging it” as he goes. This is an interpretation of what he’s shown and represents an attempt to develop a rational system of interpretation from his writings. Mr. Fujishima has more than likely developed his own ideas on the subject based on his own beliefs, readings, and experience, but feels no obligation to be consistent in their use. If he wants to change how things work in his world, he can (and has), and all I, or anyone, can do is scramble to alter our own ideas to catch up when he does. 1.0 – WHY FACIAL MARKINGS? 1.1 - The omnipresent facial markings that characterize the gods, goddesses, and demons of Mr. Fujishima’s world are also one of the more inconsistent elements in his story as well. While visually the most noticeable special attributes of his divine and demonic characters (who would otherwise appear to be totally human in appearance), the terms of their actual use and application have been remarkably erratic throughout the story. Any attempts to apply rules or rationalizations to their use, forms and functions (including my own versions) have usually wound up being shot down at some point later in the story. 1.2 - Of course the most logical reason that the gods, goddesses, and demons have facial and forehead markings is because Mr. Fujishima thought they would look neat when he first drew Belldandy. In fact the idea actually predates Belldandy. When the original advertisement for the ‘You’re Under Arrest’ Tee-Shirt contest was drawn with Miyuki dressed as a megami-sama appeared, she had a forehead symbol clearly displayed above her eyes. Whether this was supposed to be a jewel on a headpiece or something imbedded in her skin isn’t clear, but the idea was definitely there (although there were no cheek markings). And according to an earlier statement by Studio Proteus (at that time the translators for Dark Horse) this illustration was the inspiration for a second You're Under Arrest advertisement that showed the cast of ‘You’re Under Arrest’ praying to a goddess of luck so they could win a later contest and it was this goddess that became the inspiration for Belldandy and the Oh/Ah My Goddess series. By implication (she was said to closely resemble Belldandy as she appears in the first chapter), she also must of had the facial markings on her. 1.3 - The fact that deities and demons are often depicted with forehead and cheek markings is fairly well established in most Asian countries. Statues and illustrations of Hindu and Buddhist gods, goddesses and their avatars usually have a forehead marking to symbolize their enlightenment. Placed above and between the two normal eyes, this location is connected to the so called “third eye” through which the conscious mind sees through the illusions of the world around it and into the “truth” of the spiritual world beyond. By having these marks on their foreheads, the deities are shown to be in constant awareness of this higher “truth”, or enlightenment. 1.4 - In Japan this symbolism has been carried over to representations of some Shinto deities as well, although since the actual development of visual images for most Shinto gods and goddesses was actually a result of the influence of Buddhism, the use of a common symbology isn’t all that surprising. Demons and other supernatural beings also have all sorts of markings displayed on their faces to help identify who and what they represent including crescent moons and calligraphy characters, all of which is exposed to popular knowledge through statues, paintings, tapestries, Mandela, wood carvings, theatrical masks, religious illustrations, Saki labels, literature, mythology, and anime and manga, It would be unsurprising therefore for a Japanese artist to assume a god or goddess would have markings on their faces to symbolize their divinity and to use such markings to help identify such characters in their story; which is what Mr. Fujishima probably decided to do. It certainly helps you keep track of who’s who in the stories and gives the divine and demonic characters a special air about them. 2.0 - HISTORY OF FACIAL MARKINGS IN OH/AH MY GODDESS 2.1 - The many sizes of Belldandy’s forehead marking 2.1.1 - Initially, Belldandy’s forehead marking (and to a much lesser extent her cheek markings) were part of a running sight gag. In the first chapter it is displayed very prominently and other than making sure we see that her communications beam to the heavens is connected to it, the forehead mark remains the same throughout the chapter. In the OAV anime version of this scene the symbol elongates and then glows before sending the message to the heavens and later repeats the elongation and glow when Belldandy is shown working some major form of large scale magic, namely in the restoration of the temple scene. In the TV anime the symbol also glows and emits a beam during this scene but remains the same size. In both anime versions the facial marks do not change size when Belldandy changes her outfit. 2.1.2 – In manga chapter two however the forehead symbol takes on the role it is to play for the next few chapters. When Keiichi comments about how Belldandy’s appearance stands out so much, she immediately uses her powers to changer her clothes. At the same time her facial markings shrink down to very small dots, as if to make them hard to notice. From here on Belldandy’s facial markings will be constantly changing size in the story, usually in response to her emotional state or need to use her powers. The first example of this is shortly thereafter in chapter two, when she is surprised by the emotional energy in Sada’s apartment. Keiichi immediately notices that the mark on her forehead has changed size to which Bell comments that it just does that sometimes when she’s surprised. Nekomi Kodai. Ed Chang Translation… Keiichi: What's with your forehead...? Belldandy: Oh, when I'm surprised... Belldandy: It becomes like this. 2.1.3 - From then until chapter 14 the mark on Belldandy’s forehead is part of the story’s visual background, remaining small and hard to see normally and only becoming large and prominent when she uses her powers or is surprised or worried. The mark is actually still rather small when the Buddhist priest comments on it in chapter 3. (For what it’s worth I believe this has nothing to do with Hindu cast marks but rather that he is associating it with the marks on the Buddhist avatars that symbolize their enlightenment. He is considering the possibility that Belldandy may have achieved the same level of enlightenment as one of these avatars and is in disbelief of this accomplishment.) 2.1.4 - In chapter 14 Urd arrives, and she too has facial markings on her forehead and cheeks, but they are of a different symbol than Belldandy’s, a triangle instead of an elongated diamond. Also, her markings do not change size throughout the story and at anytime thereafter. Belldandy’s markings also begin to stop changing size like they had been at this time, though the process takes awhile to stop. They continue to appear as either long diamond slashes or dot-like diamonds at various times, but the distribution of these sizes is no longer related to events in the story and eventually an average size seems to stabilize out before the Lord of Terror arc. (Chapters 34-39) 2.1.5 - In chapter 36 Belldandy decides to break her seal earring and release all of her goddess powers to combat the Lord of Terror which is possessing Urd. With Skuld’s help she succeeds and besides turning her hair color to platinum blond also changes her forehead marking into a much larger and complex design, signifying her increased capabilities no doubt. She retains these features until she reseals it herself in chapter 40 at which point her forehead symbol returns to about the size we’re used to now. From then on there’s still a little fluctuation in size until chapter 43 at which point Bell’s markings remain fairly constant except for differences that are probably due to perspective or drawing differences. 2.1.6 – This flexible nature of forehead markings was never exhibited by any other divine or demonic character in the story. Skuld’s, like Urd and Mara’s, remained consistently the same size from the time she was introduced until the current chapters, barring normal variations for drawing and perspective. The same can be said for any other divine or demonic being introduced after chapter 43 – Peorth, Velsper, Hild, Lind/Rind, and the host of background gods and goddesses we’ve had glimpses of. In this Belldandy remains unique in having had a forehead emblem that changed size. 2.1.7 – There have been several discussions about whether or not the ability (at least in Belldandy’s case) of the goddesses’ forehead symbols to change size and shape was still a part of the O/AMG universe; and it is most certainly true that we haven’t seen any examples of this happening since chapter 43 even when events have happened that would practically demand that sort of change to the symbols. This would seem to provide visual evidence that this particular plot aspect may have been abandoned and is no longer part of the story line. BUT Mr. Fujishima hasn't expressly SAID anything or implied in text that they remain a constant size and shape and could just as easily have them change size in the next story without explanation or controversy. So while I agree it isn’t an active part of the story now, it should still be considered as a possible element of the story. At best we can agree to say he seems to have phased it out for now and leave it at that. 2.2 - Demon Markings 2.2.1 - Back in chapter 26 we were introduced to Demon First Class Mara (or Marller) who also has cheek and forehead markings. In Mara’s case her forehead markings take the form of two red slashes in the form of an open “V” and we’re told later on that this is a generic marking for a Demon First Class. And indeed in The Lord of Terror arc as first Urd and then Keiichi are possessed by the demonic entity called the Lord of Terror the same red slash open “V” appears on their foreheads as well as the cheek marks. Likewise when Mara possesses Megumi and reveals her forehead marking to the Earth Spirit in Megumi’s apartment, she merely says, “This is the demon/devil I am” pointing to the mark, with the implication that it would instantly be recognized as that of a demon First Class and not just her mark. All well and good. 2.2.2 - Then we come to the Demon Urd arc (chapters 60-64) and see that the demonic version of Urd retains the same markings as the goddess version. This of course had to happen in order for the two versions of Urd to appear identical so they could be confused with each other, a primary plot point of the story arc, but it does undermine the monopoly of the open “V” as the only demonic marking. Still it can be argued that Urd is only a Second Class deity whether she’s a goddess or demon so she wouldn’t get a demonic First Class “V” and since this time its an actual clone rather than a possession her normal Yggdrasil signature might remain in effect and her demonic side would retain its old markings. But it does raise some questions. 2.2.3 – And next we have the Velsper arc (chapters 94-101) and it becomes clear that Mr. Fujishima has changed the rules. Velsper is an acknowledged demon First Class in the story, yet when Keiichi uses water to expose Velsper’s disguise, it’s revealed that he has a four pointed star emblem on his forehead and not the open “V” slashes. This emblem is carried over to his cat form and is seen to be the source of some of his/her remaining powers, so it’s obviously meant to be a permanent attribute of the character. Later when Hild appears in chapter 135 she has a six-pointed star on her forehead and when Belldandy is supposedly “turned” by having the demon helper/familiar implanted in her, her facial markings remain the same like Urd’s did in the Demon Urd arc. As a final group of examples, the crowd of lesser demons on the bridge that Velsper flies Glühende Herz (Blazing Heart) under do not seem to have any markings on their faces at all, but then they’re just rabble. (Just for whatever, Urd’s equilateral triangle is one half of the two equilateral triangles superimposed on each other used to make Hild’s six pointed star. Daughter, half-demon, half Hild - half Father, half symbol, get it?) As for the TV anime, when Belldandy looses her license her markings remain intact. It isn’t until she first tries to use her powers after getting a demonic license by “mistake” that her old markings are replaced by a new, open, red triangular marking to symbolize her now being a licensed demon. There is no sign of the old “universal” demon First Class open “V’ double slash. Her old blue vertical diamond is finally returned when her old license is restored. 2.2.4 - It would seem therefore that from at least chapter 60 on that Mara’s open “V” has become just her personal mark and that demons from then on have individual markings the same as gods and goddesses. (Hegall and her crew all seem to have hair styles that cover their foreheads so we can’t see their markings if they have them, which is probably a clever ploy by Mr. Fujishima who may be running out of symbol ideas.) 2.3 - Now You See Them, Now You… 2.3.1 - One of the larger areas of discussion concerning the goddesses’ facial markings has been - can ordinary people see them? This argument has gone around and around for quite some time with many interesting theories put forth, some of which will be mentioned further on. 2.3.2 - The only official, verbal mentions in the manga of the goddesses’ facial markings have been a few by Keiichi, once by the temple monk in chapter 3 , and Megumi in chapter 226 of the Memory Loss arc. Otherwise no one seems to notice or comment on them. Even Sayoko, when Belldandy revealed her goddess form to her, didn't comment on them, and Sentaro doesn't ask Skuld about them, though he's the first to actually seem to wonder where she came from. So for awhile there was a strong case to be made that even though Mr. Fujishima was drawing them so WE could see them, the average person in the story could not. 2.3.3 - After all, it would be perfectly acceptable to assume a god, goddess, or demon could have markings on their faces that symbolized their divinity or spirituality and could only be seen through a spiritual or "third eye", thereby limiting them to being noticed only by those people with strong spiritual powers themselves, such as hereditary priests and priestesses (Shinto), trained monks, or people with a special affinity for the supernatural (like the Morisatos). But this concept hasn’t really held up too well under heavy examination. (The only person we KNOW that has consistently seen the markings on the goddesses, gods and demons is Keiichi, and they've been successfully hidden from him by Mara while possessing Megumi, Velsper in the Velsper arc, and by Urd in the TV anime. But this doesn’t mean he’s the only one who’s actually seeing them all the time, he’s just the only one who’s commented enough on them for us to be sure he does.) 2.3.4 - While Megumi’s commenting on all the goddesses having similar facial markings in chapter 226 sort of pushed the argument over the edge toward the forehead and cheek emblems always being in view, there was plenty of other evidence for the facial markings being visible to everyone in the story. When Sayoko was imagining Belldandy in all the different witch roles in chapter 75 and Aoshima was imagining Bell as a magician or psychic in chapter 21, the chibi-forms being depicted all have her facial markings, implying they think of her with those markings. And the Belldandy cosplayers in the Queen Sayoko arc (chapter 82-83) all have her facial markings on as well, so it's logical to assume that they were aware of them and considered them part of Belldandy’s appearance (although that could also be a function of how Mara's contract has effected their perception). The facial markings have also shown up in all the photographic representations of the goddesses and demons seen to date in both manga and anime, and as we all know, the camera never lies. 2.3.5 - So based on all current information, the current general consensus seems to be that everyone can see them, they just don't react to their being there unless there’s some special reason for them to do so. The explanations proposed for this are highly varied and rather far ranging. - The first and foremost reason whether or not the other characters in Mr. Fujishima’s stories notice and react to the goddess and demon markings seems to be whether he feels it would help his plot out at that moment. If the story calls for it, someone will notice them with no further explanation and the rest of the cast will continue to blithely ignore their existence. This is a rather pragmatic reason but is the one most likely to be in effect as it doesn’t involve Mr. Fujishima coming up with any back story or reasoning why. - Second would be the politeness factor, that the Japanese would just assume the facial markings are part of the goddesses' culture and wouldn't point them out or stare at them to avoid being rude. While there was an initial comment in chapter 2 about how strange Belldandy's garments were, no one mentioned her facial markings (it was dark out though). It’s very possible that in the interests of not causing any embarrassment for a visitor or themselves the people around the goddesses would make it a point to avoid any referencing or commentary about something as obviously unusual as the facial markings. - Third could be a visibility issue. While the markings are very clear to us looking at the drawings, they might not be nearly as visible to people looking at them in "real" life, having more of a faded tattoo or shadow on the skin effect. This is PURE SPECULATION, but it would help explain their not being very noticeable and would go along with the people that have noticed them being those with supposed strong spiritual senses (the monk, and the Morisatos) and therefore more observant of such things. Of course their being depicted in bright blue and red in the color images does detract from this theory’s plausibility. An idea that has been suggested along these same lines (by Holy Bell) is that of how their size and scale would appear if they were depicted in real life. Manga characters are drawn with their body proportions all out of scale, exaggerated bodies, gravity defying hair, and huge eyes so more emotions can be fit in. This same artistic effect could be considered as being applied to the goddesses’ facial markings. Therefore, if the goddesses’ faces were depicted with realistic proportions their eyes would be much smaller and their facial markings could be proportionally smaller as well, thus making them much more discrete and easier for the other characters in the story to overlook. - A Fourth idea that has always had an appeal for me was the "It's somebody else’s problem" field effect, where people see them, but don't notice that they see them unless it's pointed out to them or they have a strong reason to see them. Again, this is PURE SPECULATION without any in-story support. 2.3.6 – There are probably other theories out there, but I couldn’t find them while scanning the forum so I’ll leave it at this. If I find more that look worthwhile I’ll edit them in. The final conclusion for this subject for now though as said before is that the facial markings of the gods, goddesses, demons, and other supernatural beings in Oh/Ah My Goddess are visible at all times to everyone around them and just why the human characters don’t seem to notice or care is an unknown quantity. 2.4 - Where Did the Designs Come From? 2.4.1 – An obvious question that often comes up concerning the goddesses’ (and other beings) facial markings is where did Mr. Fujishima get the inspiration for the designs? Do the different markings have any meanings or are they based on any sources? 2.4.2 - Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge they are just random symbols that Mr. Fujishima picked for whatever reason and assigned to the different gods, goddesses and demons as he felt like it. He may have had some personal quirk in choosing them based on something, like his habit of naming the Nekomi Institute of Technology Motor Club members after plastic model companies or the mini-ninjas after Bullet Trains, but what that might have been has not been mentioned in any fan source I’ve had access to. That Belldandy’s might have been based on actual religious markings from a Mandela or scroll illustration is possible and that Skuld’s is similar to the heraldry used by some noble clans on their retainers armor has been noted before, but these are just speculations. 2.4.3 - All that can be said for certain is that Mr. Fujishima doesn’t like reusing the symbols and tries to give each being he graces with one their own unique style. With the exception of Mara’s open “V” slashes, he’s never duplicated a forehead emblem, although he’s used hats, hairstyles, and other head gear to cover a lot of foreheads so it can’t be seen if they have a marking there or not, probably to save him the trouble of having to come up with them. If anyone knows of a possible source of inspiration for the goddesses’ forehead markings please let us know. 3.0 - WHAT ARE THE FACIAL MARKINGS AND WHAT DO THEY DO? 3.1 – Textual Sources 3.1.1 - Like so many other aspects of the goddesses world, Mr. Fujishima has been rather careful not to let himself be locked down on this subject in any way. This is the “official” explanation from page 175 of “Rules Of The Goddess World, An Encyclopedia of Goddess Terminology” in the book - Ah! My Goddess, Colour: “Emblem Program – The emblems on the goddesses’ foreheads are control programs that manage the essential functions of the present, past and future. During Yggdrasil’s system failure, these programs broke down, resulting in Urd regressing and becoming a child and Skuld rapidly aging as an adult.” Which is essentially a rewording of the explanation given by Belldandy to Keiichi in chapter 41 during the aftermath of the Lord of Terror arc: From the Nekomi Kodai translations by Ed Chang... Belldandy: The crest program is malfunctioning! Keiichi: Program? Belldandy: The crests on our foreheads control various aspects of our programs. Urd has the crest of the past. I have the crest of the present. And Skuld has the crest of the future. The power balance has shifted and it's run loose, so Urd's running into the past and Skuld's shifted into the future. 3.1.2 - But does this really cover all there is to know about them? Sadly, it does seem to be all the direct textual sources that I can find. So what about information inferred from the story? 3.2 - Power and Data Transmitter/Receiver? 3.2.1 - In chapter one of the series Belldandy explains how her job functions like that of an antenna, collecting and transmitting information to Yggdrasil for processing (or granting wishes). We are also shown how this is done by a beam of energy that is shot from her forehead symbol up into the heavens through the roof of Keiichi’s dormitory (and leaving a hole behind). Later, in the Fourth Goddess arc, a similar energy beam is transmitted by Peorth’s forehead symbol when she confirms Keiichi’s wish. This energy beam transmission is repeated in both the OAV and TV anime versions of these scenes with both Belldandy and Peorth and a further repetition of it happens with Belldandy when Keiichi restores his wish in episode one of the second season TV anime after Yggdrasil has supposedly lost the original wish due to the damage caused by the Lord of Terror. Velsper also demonstrates some ability to use his/her forehead marking as a transmitter/emitter when he/she uses it as the emission source for his/her neko-beam (cat-laser) in chapter 141. 3.2.2 - From these examples it can be easily assumed that the facial symbols and especially the forehead ones are intended to have a transmitter/receiver function that involves sending and receiving information to Yggdrasil and Nidhogg, with the amount of visible activity around the markers being related to the size and volume of the energy and information or instructions being passed on. From this it can be inferred that there might be a continuous level of low level power and information transmissions going on between the symbols and Yggdrasil and Nidhogg at all times that causes no visible activity to an outside observer. 3.2.3 - Also considering their identical locations and apparent interchangeability with demonic symbols, it might also be assumed that the two classes of symbols are external connections to the same internal functions of the beings who display them and that these internal functions are the same in both types of beings, so it’s primarily the external symbol connection that determines which system, demonic or divine, that being is using to utilize their powers. This would greatly simplify the idea of switching sides between demonic and divine while still allowing the positive and negative factors influence as described in chapter 31 to play their part, since this would determine what initial type of connection the being would develop. (see the Goddess Early History, revised, September 2007, section 4.2 for further details) 3.3 - Information Database Source? 3.3.1 - There is a tenuous chain of evidence from which it may be inferred that the forehead markings of the demons and goddesses could contain a source of information that while invisible to normal vision can be read by other supernatural beings and allows them to obtain certain basic background information about each other. This is not a strong chain of evidence, the primary link coming from the Dark Horse translation of chapter 45 with no corresponding independent translation to back it up and involves just a single situation between Mara and the Earth Spirit (Third Class) in Megumi’s apartment and not any of the goddesses. 3.3.2 - But the Earth Spirit is still able to tell that Mara is a Demon First Class just from looking at her facial markings, so this could imply that this sort of information is encoded in them. Unfortunately this example could also be explained as another instance of Mara’s open slash “V” still being just considered the universal symbol of a Demon First Class at this time and thus no hidden information being implied. So while it’s tempting to think that the facial markings might be displaying details of their owner’s status, this remains a very iffy possibility and not given a lot of importance. 3.4 – The Markings Themselves 3.4.1 - The first point that should be made is that according to the illustration drawn by Mr. Fujishima of Hild holding Urd as a baby, goddesses are born with their facial markings and therefore they are not assigned to them. Thus facial markings are the result of hereditary factors and must be considered in genetic terms. This would explain why beings that possess such markings would all have different ones, with any similarities in appearance that might occur being along family lines and not even then necessarily. The symbol’s shape being unique to the individual, the emblem would no longer symbolize demonic or divine orientation as such, although the individual’s family’s alignment might affect its initial shape. Therefore, if the individual was later possessed or changed alignment due to external forces and/or had its material signature changed as far as Yggdrasil or Nidhogg was concerned, their forehead marking might be caused to change to reflect this new allegiance as a result of internal alterations. (In Urd’s case this probably wouldn’t happen as her forehead marking is most likely already aligned to both systems. Another possible reason it didn’t change in the Demon Urd arc.) 3.4.2 - While the exact nature of what initially creates the markings would be different depending on whether you followed the 11-dimensional model of the goddesses’ reality based on conclusions generated from the Technical FAQ article or were more inclined to use a more traditional spiritual and metaphysical version of their world, it is highly likely that the facial markings we see are actually just the shadows or “footprints” ordinary mortals can see of the sensory organs or spiritual connections (ultra-dimensional or purely metaphysical) that lets the deities and demons communicate and pass instructions to and from Nidhogg and Yggdrasil. Thus they are a physical part of the god, goddess, or demon and as such could only change form if the instructions that guided Yggdrasil as it created that being’s body were changed in some manner. 3.4.3 - Accepting this proposition, it is then almost certainly true that those beings with three facial markings have stronger connections to their cosmic control systems than those with only two connections who in turn exceed those with just one and then finally those without facial markings as such but only have body patterns. This would imply a hierarchy of some sort based on these facial markings and one that should be discernible by observation of the various non-mortal characters. This will be looked at later. 3.5 - Angels and Facial Markings 3.5.1 - While this is another area that must be classed as mostly speculation, it would seem likely at the moment that only goddesses (and maybe gods) with forehead marking can be bonded to angels. 3.5.2 – That the bond with an angel must be earned and is only for goddesses (or gods) with certain levels of power and maturity is clearly implied in the various manga chapters they're discussed in. It is also fairly clear that age is a factor, probably because a god or goddess has to be old enough to be sufficiently developed physically and mentally to sustain the rigors of supporting an angel, the exact age when this level is reached varying from deity to deity but in general being between the ages of 12 to14. But it does not seem to be restricted by whether they have a First or Second Class license. (Urd and Skuld have angels and they're Second-Class Goddesses) 3.5.3 - It does however appear that there is something in a deity's physical appearance that may have something to do with their eligibility for an angel. So far only goddesses with forehead markings have been shown to have angels, implying that a deity's parentage or genetic background may have something to do with their capability to handle the symbiotic partnership. (Now watch as Mr. Fujishima shoots this one down.) 3.5.4 - In the final scene in the movie when Yggdrasil is being restored, Peorth and the other goddesses in the control center are almost swept along by the Norns' song and begin to sing along with it themselves. Gorgeous Rose immediately appears from Peorth to aid in the song, but Chrono, Ere, and Ex are embarrassingly angel-less. While this may have just been to save on animation time it could also indicate they don't have angels, and since the three tech goddesses also do not have forehead symbols this could be considered evidence to support this theory. In addition it can be pointed out that there has been no indication of their having angels in the TV anime nor did Chrono hint at having one or of expecting to get one in the manga. 4.0 - FACIAL MARKINGS, LICENSE CLASS, and SOCIAL CATEGORIES (I will include parts of the old topic and its lists at the end of this article for reference, but I’m rewriting the conclusions and speculations section here to reflect what has been revealed and speculated on since that article was written.) 4.1 - The End of the Dream 4.1.1 - The first time I worked on this subject I produced a listing of all the non-human characters that had appeared in the manga, movie and OAV anime up to that point and divided them into license class, what sort of markings they had, and whether they had been seen in the heavens, the mortal world, or both. From this I developed a rather extensive system connecting the presence or absence of forehead emblems to the goddess licensing system, access to Yggdrasil, and the abilities of beings to travel to the mortal world and/or the heavens. The system seemed logical, fit in with the other projected rules of the goddesses’ world as developed from the FAQ Technical Articles, the Goddess License System as projected from the Japanese Drivers License System, and other sources, and in general seemed to hang together as a logical possibility. 4.1.2 - Then Chrono flew her broom into a high tension line in the hills over Nekomi in Chapter 231 and, as Kleo put it, “bye-bye to the theory that only goddesses with forehead marks can come to Earth...” and much of the rest of it. 4.1.3 - Ah, the joys of trying to develop hard rules of a technical nature from flexible media sources. Sadly, we'll never know if needing forehead markings to access Yggdrasil’s powers when a god, goddess, or demon came to the mortal realm actually was something Mr. Fujishima had in mind and he just conveniently forgot about it because he wanted to follow this new plot idea and it would get in the way, or if it was just a statistical abstraction as far as Earth appearances were concerned, but as it stands now, all a goddess needs is her cheek markings to get by on here on Earth. 4.1.4 - Forehead markings might still be needed to ACCESS certain higher levels of Yggdrasil's powers on Earth though, there still being considerable evidence from Belldandy, Peorth and Velsper as to the emblems having data and energy transmission properties. And in that case the forehead markings might potentially be indicators of the class/license status of the deities involved even if they don’t restrict access to the mortal world. We’ll just have to see. 4.2 – First, Second, and Third Class Licenses? 4.2.1 - While their distribution seems to have gone through a few different phases in the early years of the manga, by the time the movie went into production (chapter 107) facial marks on supernatural beings could be broken down into three distinct groups, those with forehead and cheek markings, those with cheek markings alone, and those with either no facial markings or facial markings that did not conform to the basic pattern displayed by gods, goddesses and demons. 4.2.2 - Non-mortal beings with no facial markings, or with a facial and/or body pattern, or a forehead mark and no cheek marks appear to all belong to various classes of low level demons, earth spirits, and earth bound supernatural beings that for the most part are not seen to travel to the heavens. The exceptions to this are some high level spirits who possess forehead markings and for this reason may have access to the upper realms. (examples are Troubadour and the fairy being that helps arrest Celestin in the movie) This would support the theory that certain types of facial markings symbolizing connections to Yggdrasil are necessary for any being to visit the heavens and fit into the environment there, either because of its multi-dimensional nature or metaphysical structures, otherwise they are limited to the mortal realm. 4.2.3 - Cheek markings currently seem to be standard for all heavenly dwellers. Admittedly the control room techs in the Mystery Child arc had no facial markings, however, since the Mystery Child arc was written about a year before the movie was started, cheek marks as standard may have only been decided on at that point for the movie. And although the Almighty One was also depicted in the OAV anime without cheek marks, all the other heavenly occupants both before and after the Mystery Child arc have been shown as having at least check markings. (The gate doesn’t count; she’s a self aware manifestation of an elemental structure of the system and not a mere being.) Since the forehead markings seem to be more related to power and information transmission/reception, it would seem logical that the cheek markings are mostly for telemetry and support systems linkages, providing basic support for the god, goddess, or demon while they are in the heavens, hells, or in the mortal world. 4.2.4 - Whether or not facial markings have any direct bearing on goddess/demon license status as far as First or Second Class goes has become a non-issue for the most part. About all that’s left is the statistically clear point that only gods, goddesses and demons with forehead markings have been referred to or implied as HAVING First or Second Class Licenses or been seen to possess angels. All of the young gods and goddesses seen in the testing hall when Urd went for her First Class Goddess test (along with the testing matron) were shown to have forehead markings, while goddesses with only cheek markings, such as Chrono, Ere, Ex, and the goddesses that took Celestin to Belldandy in the movie or were shown taking care of her when she is sick in the TV anime are not described or implied as having a license class, even in their profile sheets. 4.2.5 - It is therefore probable that this represents a split between two groups of gods and goddesses, one with forehead markings and one without, The forehead markings are required to achieve the higher forms of access to Yggdrasil, allowing them to achieve First and Second Class Licenses comparable to automobile licenses. The gods and goddesses without forehead markings are restricted to the lower ranking licenses, similar to those given out for motorcycles and could be considered a Third Class License that might also apply to the higher level natural spirits. And as with the actual Japanese Drivers License system, there could also be some overlapping between the higher level motorcycle and Second Class Licenses as to power and abilities. 4.2.6 - That cheek markings are sufficient connections to the Yggdrasil system for providing heavenly support to any divine being whether they are in the heavens or on Earth has been firmly established; so it would only be whatever additional data connections and power transferring capabilities their forehead markings provide them that would give those that possess them an advantage over those that do not in being eligible for such higher grade licenses. It may be possible for those without forehead marks to advance sufficiently in ability to earn a promotion and be given a forehead mark and access to the higher license classes, but there's no evidence of that in the stories. 4.2.7 - The demonic realm would most likely have a similar system in place for its licenses, but there has been no actual mention of such a thing in the manga. (Of course, there are other combinations and systems that could work just as well here that don’t involve the facial markings at all, any of which could be what Mr. Fujishima has in mind, if he HAS any system in mind.) 4.3 - Possible Scandinavian Mythological Background, Aesir and Vanir 4.3.1 - While it may or may not have anything to do with Mr. Fujishima’s ideas concerning the social and license classes of the gods, goddesses and demons, it still makes for some interesting comparisons to look at the mythological sources. 4.3.2 - The first point of interest is that the Teutonic/Norse apparently didn’t see any actual difference racially between the gods and the Jötun. They were interchangeable physically and the terms were used more as a clan or family designation. There were both gods and Jötun in the Aesir, Vanir, Elves, Disir, and Heipter (the Norse equivalent of demons). Individuals switched sides and alignments relatively regularly with little difficulty, even passing from mortal to immortal status on rare occasions. Thus the situation in Oh/Ah My Goddess with the demons and gods being inter-compatible fits the mythology quite well. 4.3.3 - Norse mythology recognized two main groups of gods, the Aesir (sky gods) and Vanir (Earth gods), who had common powers and abilities. The Vanir lived below/around Midgard and generally were in charge of keeping things running, while the Aesir guided people, watched out for problems, and generally did management work. (There was also a group of older gods/giants/beings who had actually made the world and everything in it and who still helped keep an eye on things. Mimir and the Norns were considered to have belonged to that group.) The Aesir were considered the stronger gods, but the Vanir were more numerous and heavily intermixed with Jötun and Elves. 4.3.4 - From this it's easy to speculate that, like the Norse prototypes, there could be two categories of gods in the heavens, one with forehead markings and one without. I'm guessing the ones with the forehead markings would compare to the slightly higher Aesir and are the ones most likely to be in active or management roles, while the Vanir would be the ones without forehead markings and are in operations and maintenance. Which class you are is decided at birth by your markings, though whether your parents are the only determining factor for your markings isn't absolutely clear. While I'm not certain if only Aesir could achieve a First Class rank, it seems like only deities with forehead markings have First or Second Class licenses, so this may be a restriction (Skuld even says in the series that some goddesses can't even take the test.) 5.0 - The Old Topic – With Some Revisions 5.1 - Distribution of Body and Facial Markings amongst Supernatural Beings and Their Relationship to License Status First, let me say that this subject is even more of a speculative venture on my part than before. Most of it is inferences from very slight, and often suspect, evidence. And as I've said before, the only person who can say for sure what's what in the Aa! Megami-sama! Universe lives in Japan and has been known to revise the plot on occasion. Of course, it's Mr. Fujishima's story and he can change its parameters whenever he wants. That being said, this subject started when I got to wondering about the Goddess/Demon/Earth Spirit markings and classifications in the manga and anime. So I did a survey to see if I could learn anything from how they were distributed. This first section is, for the most part, just observations from this research and I'll discuss my interpretations from them later. If anybody thinks I've overlooked or missed something please point it out. I'm notorious for missing the obvious. What I've tried to do is organize all the divine/supernatural beings that have appeared in the manga and anime so far (TPB 20 and the movie) into groups based on their facial markings, licenses (when given), and where they had been seen operating to see if there were any connections. (Due to the knowledge that Mr. Fujishima did some major rework on his story about that time, I consider trends and character images from before Skuld's arrival to be less definitive than after.) 5.2 - The first group has both forehead and cheek markings (Capital letters indicate a known First Class license.) BELLDANDY, Urd, Skuld, PEORTH, LIND, Celestin, MARA, Hild, VELSPER, the high gods around Celestin in the movie. 5.3 - The next group have only cheek markings (In many cases the characters (*) have headgear so you can't see their foreheads). manga - healer god(*) movie - caregiver goddess, control room goddesses, Celestin's captors(*). 5.4 - The next group have no facial markings manga - the control room goddesses, Senebee, lesser demons and spirits, engine trolls. (The control room goddesses in the Mystery Child Arc do not have cheek markings, but this story predates the movie by a year and is the fourth time we see other people in heaven. The other times are the healer god, the first mention of the Plum (cherry) Tree spirit, and Peorth. The Mystery Child arc was written about a year before the movie was started, and cheek marks on lesser gods and goddesses may have only been decided on at that point for the movie.) OAV - Kami-sama (*) (In the OAV, only the mouth and nose of Kami-sama are shown, and that shows no sign of cheek markings. We never see his forehead, so we don't know about forehead markings.) 5.5 - The next group has only a forehead mark Troubadour (The first time he appears as the "Cherry Tree Spirit", he has long hair covering his forehead so we can't see if he had a marking. But he definitely has one the second time we see him.) 5.6 - And finally, the last group has no facial markings as such, but do have body patterns (Close examination of Megumi's earth spirit guardian makes me consider his mask-like markings to be part of a general body pattern.) manga - Megumi's Earth Spirit (Third Class) anime - Morgan Le Fey 5.7 - Within these groups certain trends appear (Disproved conclusions have been removed.) Only beings with forehead markings have known first and Second Class Licenses. Small spirit beings are only seen on earth and have no facial markings. Some large earth spirit beings have body markings that may function like facial markings and are only seen on earth. 5.8 - And finally a few general observations about the movie that probably don’t belong here but were included originally. The judgment gate must be located in our 3-dimensional world or else mortals couldn't go there to be tested. Morgan Le Fey's power is at least in the same category as Urd's. And she can at least temporarily overpower Belldandy (although Bell isn't really fighting back at that point). When Celestin joined his consciousness with Morgan's, he had no ability to interface with Yggdrasil (or the heavenly system) on his own. Those connections would have been lost when he lost his physical body (hence the punishment). His knowledge of their operations would have remained; he just wouldn't have the means to do anything with it. Even with Morgan's assistance he was still very limited as this only gave him access to her level of Yggdrasil's functions, and these must have been restricted to earth-only operations (the moon is part of our 3-D universe) as he needed to use Belldandy's connections (either as a Norn or goddess) to infiltrate Yggdrasil's operating systems. That he could influence Bell and infect her with his virus so quickly was due mainly to his knowing how her magical programming worked and that she wouldn't have shielded herself against him. Still, he couldn't do much by himself while on earth (implying Morgan didn't have much access either). It's only after he's pulled the programming codes he needs from Yggdrasil through Bell's virus and integrates them into Keiichi's body that he can start his "final solution". (This also would imply that mortals can be upgraded to a certain extent.)
  49. 2 points
    THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ALL THE RELEASED OH/AH MY GODDESS MANGA CHAPTERS IN SEQUENCE AND THE TV ANIME EPISODES THAT SEEM TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. The list has been broken down into Trade Paperback segments for convenience, Beneath each chapter is the season and episode number of the TV anime shows that appear to have been based on or at least used noticeable elements from this chapter. Those chapters with no entries beneath them have not been referenced in the TV anime. This should help demonstrate how much of the manga has not been included in the TV anime yet. This is a work in progress. I still have the last few episodes of the second season to watch and categorize, but I should have them done by this week end. Hope this proves of some interest to someone. So far the TV anime has used approximately 92 out 245 manga chapters for story elements. TPB #1 Kodansha Chapter 1 - (Wrong Number) The Number You Have Dialed Is Incorrect Episode 1, TV anime, Jan. 6, 2005, Ah! You're A Goddess? Episode 2, TV anime, Jan. 13, 2005, Ah! Can The One Who Believes Be Saved? Kodansha Chapter 2 - (Into the Lair of the Anime Otako) Lair Of The Anime Mania Episode 3, TV anime, Jan. 20, 2005, Ah! Studying, My Family, And A Goddess! Kodansha Chapter 3 - A Man's Home is His ... Temple? Episode 3, TV anime, Jan. 20, 2005, Ah! Studying, My Family, And A Goddess! Kodansha Chapter 4 - (College Exchange ... Goddess) College Exchange Goddess Episode 4, TV anime, Jan. 27, 2005, Ah! The Goddess And The Queen Of The School. Kodansha Chapter 5 - Those Whom Goddess Hath Joined Together, Let No Woman Put Asunder Episode 4, TV anime, Jan. 27, 2005, Ah! The Goddess And The Queen Of The School. Kodansha Chapter 6 - (2SLP Camera - Mission Accomplished) Single Lens Psychic: The Prayer Answered Episode 1, TV anime, Jan. 6, 2005, Ah! You're A Goddess? Episode 2, TV anime, Jan. 13, 2005, Ah! Can The One Who Believes Be Saved? Episode 6, TV anime, Feb. 10, 2005, Ah! Unexpectedly Finding Something Blessed? Episode 5, season 2, TV anime, May 4, 2006, Ah! The Wavelength That Captivates Love? Kodansha Chapter 7 - The Lullaby of Love Episode 5, TV anime, Feb. 3, 2005, Ah! Living Under One Roof! Kodansha Chapter 8 - (The Megumi Problem) The Blossom In Bloom Episode 6, TV anime, Feb. 10, 2005, Ah! Unexpectedly Finding Something Blessed? Kodansha Chapter 9 - (The Apartment Hunting Blues) Apartment Hunting Blues Episode 6, TV anime, Feb. 10, 2005, Ah! Unexpectedly Finding Something Blessed? TPB #2 Kodansha Chapter 10 - (Naked Victory) An Honest Match Kodansha Chapter 11 - (Let Flowers Bloom) This Life Is Wonderful Episode 7, TV anime, Feb. 17, 2005, Ah! The Place To Express Your Feelings Kodansha Chapter 12 - (Leader of the Pack) Love Is The Prize Kodansha Chapter 13 - System Force Down Episode 13, TV anime, April 7, 2005, Ah! Just Who Does Onee-sama Belong To Anyway? Kodansha Chapter 14 - (Sexy Sister) Oh My Older Sister Episode 8, TV anime, Feb. 24, 2005, Ah! Taking An Examination Of Love, First... Kodansha Chapter 15 - I'm the Campus Queen Episode 9, TV anime, Mar. 3, 2005, Ah! The Secret Of The Queen And The Goddess Kodansha Chapter 16 - What Belldandy Wants Most Episode 3, season 2, TV anime, April 20, 2006, Ah! I Offer You This Feeling on Christmas Eve! TPB #3 Kodansha Chapter 17 - Turkey With All the Trimmings Kodansha Chapter 18 - Life's Just a Game of "Sugaroku Roulette" Kodansha Chapter 19 - (Final Exam) Upon Close Examination Kodansha Chapter 20 - (Belldandy's Narrow Escape) Belldandy in Danger Episode 7, TV anime, Feb. 17, 2005, Ah! The Place To Express Your Feelings Kodansha Chapter 21 - (The Secrets Out) Exposing a Secret Episode 9, TV anime, Mar. 3, 2005, Ah! The Secret Of The Queen And The Goddess Kodansha Chapter 22 - (Winner Take All) Who Will Win the Champion Flag? Episode 10, TV anime, Mar. 10, 2005, Ah! Will The Auto Club Win? Kodansha Chapter 23 - What A Miracle Episode 10, TV anime, Mar. 10, 2005, Ah! Will The Auto Club Win? TPB #4 Kodansha Chapter 24 - (A Wing And A Prayer) The Flying Motor Club Episode 10, TV anime, Mar. 10, 2005, Ah! Will The Auto Club Win? Kodansha Chapter 25 - (Love Potion #9) Let’s Take the Love Seeds Kodansha Chapter 26 - (The CD From Hell) The Nemesis Episode 11, TV anime, Mar. 17, 2005, Ah! A Devil Has Come And Is Creating A Calamity. Kodansha Chapter 27 - (Mara Strikes Back!) Mara’s Counterattack Episode 12, TV anime, Mar. 24, 2005, Ah! What About The Balance Between The Queen And The Goddess. Kodansha Chapter 28 - (Scales of Love) Balance-Ball Amour Episode 9, TV anime, Mar. 3, 2005, Ah! The Secret Of The Queen And The Goddess Episode 12, TV anime, Mar. 24, 2005, Ah! What About The Balance Between The Queen And The Goddess. Kodansha Chapter 29 - (Sympathy For The Devil) The Worst Day of a Demon Episode 11, TV anime, Mar. 17, 2005, Ah! A Devil Has Come And Is Creating A Calamity. Kodansha Chapter 30 - (Mystical Engine) Engine O’ Mystery TPB #5 Kodansha Chapter 31 - (Valentine Rhapsody) Valentine Capriccio Episode 7, TV anime, Feb. 17, 2005, Ah! The Place To Express Your Feelings Episode 12, TV anime, Mar. 24, 2005, Ah! What About The Balance Between The Queen And The Goddess. Kodansha Chapter 32 - The Third Goddess Episode 13, TV anime, April 7, 2005, Ah! Just Who Does Onee-sama Belong To Anyway? Kodansha Chapter 33 - (The Goddesses Big Crisis) The Goddesses’ Greatest Danger Episode 13, TV anime, April 7, 2005, Ah! Just Who Does Onee-sama Belong To Anyway? Kodansha Chapter 34 - Terrible Master Urd arc, part 1, (Urd Goes Berserk) Urd Goes Wild Episode 22, TV anime, June 9, 2005, Ah! A Devil's Whisper, Along With A Pot!? Kodansha Chapter 35 - Terrible Master Urd arc, part 2, (Urd's Terrible Master) Terrible Master Urd Episode 22, TV anime, June 9, 2005, Ah! A Devil's Whisper, Along With A Pot!? Kodansha Chapter 36 - Terrible Master Urd arc, part 3, The Ultimate Destruction Program Episode 23, TV anime, June 23, 2005, Ah! The Savior, Together With the Sound of a Flute!? TPB #6 Kodansha Chapter 37 - Terrible Master Urd arc, part 4, (Urd Calls Forth The Beast) Urd Wakens the Wolf Episode 23, TV anime, June 23, 2005, Ah! The Savior, Together With the Sound of a Flute!? Episode 24, TV anime, July 7, 2005, Ah! Together With You Forever! Kodansha Chapter 38 - Terrible Master Urd arc, part 5, The Secret Of The Lord Of Terror Episode 24, TV anime, July 7, 2005, Ah! Together With You Forever! Kodansha Chapter 39 - Terrible Master Urd arc, part 6, Confession Episode 24, TV anime, July 7, 2005, Ah! Together With You Forever! Kodansha Chapter 40 - (Robot Wars) Robot Battle Episode 14, TV anime, April 14, 2005, Ah! Is The Name Of The Showdown "Education". Kodansha Chapter 41 - Trials of Morisato, part 1, Episode 26, TV anime – OAV release, Dec. 24, 2005, Ah! Being An Adult Is Heart Throbbing? Kodansha Chapter 42 - Trials of Morisato, part 2, Urd's Fantastic Adventure Episode 25, TV anime – OAV release, Dec. 24, 2005, Ah! Urd's Small Love Story TPB #7 Kodansha Chapter 43 - Trials of Morisato, part 3, Belldandy's Tempestuous Heart Episode 19, TV anime, May 19, 2005, Ah! Don't Gaze at Me With Those Eyes! Kodansha Chapter 44 - The Queen of Vengeance Episode 9, TV anime, Mar. 3, 2005, Ah! The Secret Of The Queen And The Goddess Episode 2, season 2, TV anime, April 13, 2006, Ah! The Troubled Queen of Vengeance? Kodansha Chapter 45 - (Mr. Unhappy) The Man Who Invites Misfortune Episode 16, TV anime, April 28, 2005,Ah! Catastrophe Arrives! An Auspicious Sign Stands? Episode 4, season 2, TV anime, April 27, 2006, Ah! I Want the World to Be Filled With Happiness? Kodansha Chapter 46 - Thank You Episode 15, TV anime, April 21, 2005, Ah! A Heart Stolen By A Goddess. Kodansha Chapter 47 - Goodbye and Hello TPB #8 Kodansha Chapter 48 - The Forgotten Promise Episode 23, season 2, TV anime – OAV release, Feb. 23, 2007, Ah! The Promise that Time Exceeded!? Kodansha Chapter 49 - (The Lunch Box of Love) Lunch box With Love Episode 17, TV anime, May 5, 2005, Ah! What Are Ability and Effort? Kodansha Chapter 50 - Meet Me By The Seashore Episode 18, TV anime, May 12, 2005, Ah! Fated Confession in the Moonlight! Kodansha Chapter 51 - (You're So Bad ) No, Sweetie Kodansha Chapter 52 - Ninja Master Episode 19, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 10, 2006, Ah! A Goddess’s Love Can Save the Ninjas! TPB #9 Kodansha Chapter 53 - Law Of The Ninja Episode 19, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 10, 2006, Ah! A Goddess’s Love Can Save the Ninjas! Kodansha Chapter 54 - Together For Never Episode 20, TV anime, May 26, 2005, Ah! Save the Goddess. If You're A Man!? Kodansha Chapter 55 - (Jealous Love) Can't Stop Being Jealous Episode 6, season 2, TV anime, May 11, 2006, Ah! Is That Jealousy!? Episode 12, season 2, TV anime, June 22, 2006, Ah! The Tears of a Goddess and His Dream! Kodansha Chapter 56 - It's Lonely At The Top Kodansha Chapter 57 - (Fallen Angel) Tainted God Episode 15, TV anime, April 21, 2005, Ah! A Heart Stolen By A Goddess. TPB #10 Kodansha Chapter 58 - Play The Game Kodansha Chapter 59 - Sorrow, Fear Not Kodansha Chapter 60 - Demon Urd arc, part 1, Karaoke Hell Episode 15, season 2, TV anime, July 13, 2006, Ah! The Goddess and the Dream! Kodansha Chapter 61 - Demon Urd arc, part 2, Evil Spirits: 200 Proof Episode 15, season 2, TV anime, July 13, 2006, Ah! The Goddess and the Dream! Kodansha Chapter 62 - Demon Urd arc, part 3, Skuld Strikes Back! Episode 15, season 2, TV anime, July 13, 2006, Ah! The Goddess and the Dream! Episode 16, season 2, TV anime, July 20, 2006, Ah! Not Fearing the Darkness, Shine Brightly! TPB #11 Kodansha Chapter 63 - Demon Urd arc, part 4, The Battle For Urd Episode 15, season 2, TV anime, July 13, 2006, Ah! The Goddess and the Dream! Episode 16, season 2, TV anime, July 20, 2006, Ah! Not Fearing the Darkness, Shine Brightly! Kodansha Chapter 64 - Demon Urd arc, part 5, Shadow & Light Episode 16, season 2, TV anime, July 20, 2006, Ah! Not Fearing the Darkness, Shine Brightly! Kodansha Chapter 65 - Super Urd Kodansha Chapter 66 - Peorth arc, part 1, Fourth Time's A Charmer Episode 7, season 2, TV anime, May 18, 2006, Ah! I Will Fulfill Your Wish! Kodansha Chapter 67 - Peorth arc, part 2, I'll Do Anything For You Episode 7, season 2, TV anime, May 18, 2006, Ah! I Will Fulfill Your Wish! Episode 8, season 2, TV anime, May 25, 2006, Ah! I Want to Be of Help to You! TPB #12 Kodansha Chapter 68 - Peorth arc, part 3, The Battle For Keiichi Episode 8, season 2, TV anime, May 25, 2006, Ah! I Want to Be of Help to You! Kodansha Chapter 69 - Peorth arc, part 4, The Dating Game Episode 9, season 2, TV anime, June 1, 2006, Ah! The Goddesses Decide the Victory With a Date! Kodansha Chapter 70 - Peorth arc, part 5, When A Man Loves A Woman Episode 9, season 2, TV anime, June 1, 2006, Ah! The Goddesses Decide the Victory With a Date! Kodansha Chapter 71 - Peorth arc, part 6, A Goddess Never Forgets Episode 9, season 2, TV anime, June 1, 2006, Ah! The Goddesses Decide the Victory With a Date! Kodansha Chapter 72 - Peorth arc, part 7, Men Are From Earth, Goddesses Are From Yggdrasil Episode 10, season 2, TV anime, June 8, 2006, Ah! That One Word I Can’t Get Myself to Say! TPB #13 Kodansha Chapter 73 - Childhood's End Episode 13, season 2, TV anime, June 29, 2006, Ah! Wake Up That Feeling! Kodansha Chapter 74 - Crazy Little Thing Called Love Episode 13, season 2, TV anime, June 29, 2006, Ah! Wake Up That Feeling! Kodansha Chapter 75 - The Queen And The Goddess Kodansha Chapter 76 - Hail To The Chief Episode 11, season 2, TV anime, June 15, 2006, Ah! Grab Your Dream With That Hand! Kodansha Chapter 77 - Forever Grrls TPB #14 Kodansha Chapter 78 - Live To Work, Work To Live! Kodansha Chapter 79 - Pretty In Scarlet Episode 14, season 2, TV anime, July 6, 2006, Ah! My Dear Cupid! Kodansha Chapter 80 - The Goddess's Apprentice Kodansha Chapter 81 - Queen Sayoko arc, part 1, Call Me Queen Kodansha Chapter 82 - Queen Sayoko arc, part 2, And Then There Was One TPB #15 Kodansha Chapter 83 - Queen Sayoko arc, part 3, Sayoko Or Bust Kodansha Chapter 84 - Queen Sayoko arc, part 4, At Sayoko's Side Kodansha Chapter 85 - Queen Sayoko arc, part 5, Back Where You Belong Kodansha Chapter 86 - Megumi Verses The Queen Kodansha Chapter 87 - The Secret Of Speed Kodansha Chapter 88 - Two Hearts Beat As One Kodansha Chapter 89 - Another Me Episode 21, TV anime, June 2, 2005, Ah! The One I Yearn for is a White Winged Angel! Kodansha Chapter 90 - Never Let Go Episode 4, season 2, TV anime, April 27, 2006, Ah! I Want the World to Be Filled With Happiness? TPB #16 Kodansha Chapter 91 - I Wanna Hold Your Hand Kodansha Chapter 92 - Welcome Kodansha Chapter 93 - The Sorrows Of Bampei Kodansha Chapter 94 - Mystery Child arc, part 1, The Boy Who Could See Goddesses Kodansha Chapter 95 - Mystery Child arc, part 2, The Beginning Of The End Kodansha Chapter 96 - Mystery Child arc, part 3, Memories Of Youth Kodansha Chapter 97 - Mystery Child arc, part 4, Return Of The Goddess TPB #17 Kodansha Chapter 98 - Mystery Child arc, part 5, Light And Shadow Kodansha Chapter 99 - Mystery Child arc, part 6, The Trouble With Doublets Kodansha Chapter 100 - Mystery Child arc, part 7, Time Without End, Hope Without End Kodansha Chapter 101 - Mystery Child arc, part 8, Turn Back, Oh Time Kodansha Chapter 102 - Come Walk With Me Kodansha Chapter 103 - Learning To Love Kodansha Chapter 104 - Almost My Hero Kodansha Chapter 105 - Traveler arc, part 1, Unlicensed Goddess Episode 20, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 17, 2006, Ah! The Place Doesn't Matter As Long As the Two of Us Are Together! TPB #18 Kodansha Chapter 106 - Traveler arc, part 2, Wide, Wider, Widest! Episode 20, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 17, 2006, Ah! The Place Doesn't Matter As Long As the Two of Us Are Together! Kodansha Chapter 107 - Traveler arc, part 3, As Long As You're With Me... Episode 20, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 17, 2006, Ah! The Place Doesn't Matter As Long As the Two of Us Are Together! Kodansha Chapter 108 - Traveler arc, part 4, Traveler Kodansha Chapter 109 - Traveler arc, part 5, Missing Time Kodansha Chapter 110 - The Phantom Racer, part 1, The Ghost Of The Pass Kodansha Chapter 111 - The Phantom Racer, part 2, Sightings Kodansha Chapter 112 - The Phantom Racer, part 3, Three Of A Perfect Pair TPB #19 Kodansha Chapter 113 - The Phantom Racer, part 4, Welcome Back Kodansha Chapter 114 - Dr. Moreau, part 1, Meet Dr. Moreau!! Kodansha Chapter 115 - Dr. Moreau, part 2, Android Dreams. Kodansha Chapter 116 - Dr. Moreau, part 3, The Trap Of Dr. Moreau! Kodansha Chapter 117 - Dr. Moreau, part 4, Man? Machine? Kodansha Chapter 118 - Dr. Moreau, part 5, The Sign Of Life. Kodansha Chapter 119 - Sora Unchained, part 1, I Choose You, Sora. Kodansha Chapter 120 - Sora Unchained, part 2, The Shortcut To Winning. Episode 17, TV anime, May 5, 2005, Ah! What Are Ability and Effort? TPB #20 Kodansha Chapter 121 - Sora Unchained, part 3, The Director's Curse. 10th Anniversary issue, Japan Episode 17, TV anime, May 5, 2005, Ah! What Are Ability and Effort? Kodansha Chapter 122 - Sora Unchained, part 4, Special Training Episode 17, TV anime, May 5, 2005, Ah! What Are Ability and Effort? Kodansha Chapter 123 - Sora Unchained, part 5, Drive Kodansha Chapter 124 - Sora Unchained, part 6, Miles and Miles Kodansha Chapter 125 - Sora Unchained, part 7, The Race Gets Hot, A Goddess Gets Hotter! Kodansha Chapter 126 - Sora Unchained, part 8, The Best Magic Kodansha Chapter 127 - Sora Unchained, part 8, The Best Magic Kodansha Chapter 128 - Endless Battle, part I Kodansha Chapter 129 - Endless Battle, part II TPB #21 Kodansha Chapter 130 - Hild arc, part 1, The Devil Inside Kodansha Chapter 131 - Hild arc, part 2, Go Your Own Way Kodansha Chapter 132 - Hild arc, part 3, A Goddess Never Forgets Kodansha Chapter 133 - Hild arc, part 4, The Cat That Stretched Kodansha Chapter 134 - Hild arc, part 5, The Final Option Episode 16, season 2, TV anime, July 20, 2006, Ah! Not Fearing the Darkness, Shine Brightly! Episode 17, season 2, TV anime, July 27, 2006, Ah! The Advent of the Great Demon Leader! Kodansha Chapter 135 - Hild arc, part 6, She’s A Devil Woman Episode 17, season 2, TV anime, July 27, 2006, Ah! The Advent of the Great Demon Leader! TPB #22 Kodansha Chapter 136 - Hild arc, part 7, Let's Make A Deal Episode 17, season 2, TV anime, July 27, 2006, Ah! The Advent of the Great Demon Leader! Kodansha Chapter 137 - Hild arc, part 8, Sister Act Episode 17, season 2, TV anime, July 27, 2006, Ah! The Advent of the Great Demon Leader! Kodansha Chapter 138 - Hild arc, part 9, Maybe ...? Episode 17, season 2, TV anime, July 27, 2006, Ah! The Advent of the Great Demon Leader! Kodansha Chapter 139 - Wicked Game Episode 18, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 3, 2006, Ah! Do Demons Have Dignity? Kodansha Chapter 140 - Morisato Residence, Rooms To Let Episode 18, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 3, 2006, Ah! Do Demons Have Dignity? Kodansha Chapter 141 - Sparkle In Her Eyes Episode 18, season 2, TV anime, Aug. 3, 2006, Ah! Do Demons Have Dignity? TPB #23 Kodansha Chapter 142 - Parent's arc, part 1, Bell And Keiichi And The Terrible Guest Kodansha Chapter 143 - Parent's arc, part 2, Dad on the Run Kodansha Chapter 144 - Parent's arc, part 3, Garden of the Goddesses Kodansha Chapter 145 - Parent's arc, part 4, Dad in Hell Kodansha Chapter 146 - Parent's arc, part 5, Moment of Decision Kodansha Chapter 147 - Parent's arc, part 6, Mother's Battle, Father's Battle Kodansha Chapter 148 - Parent's arc, part 7, Let's Dance TPB #24 Kodansha Chapter 149 - Parent's arc, part 8, Running Dialogue Kodansha Chapter 150 - Parent's arc, part 9, The Path of Belief Kodansha Chapter 151 - Parent's arc, part 10, Prepared to Win, Prepared to Lose Kodansha Chapter 152 - Parent's arc, part 11, The Real You Kodansha Chapter 153 - Hot Spring arc, part 1, The Hot Springs Episode Kodansha Chapter 154 - Hot Spring arc, part 2, I Dub Thee, Yuufuin Kodansha Chapter 155 - Lind arc, part 1, Fighting Wings Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! TPB #25 Kodansha Chapter 156 - Lind arc, part 2, Battle and Joy Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 157 - Lind arc, part 3, A Dance of Feathers Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 158 - Lind arc, part 4, The One-Winged Angel Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 159 - Lind arc, part 5, Devil of a Plot Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 160 - Lind arc, part 6, What Times Demand Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 161 - Lind arc, part 7, Binary Wings Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 162 - Lind arc, part 8, Goddess of the Ax Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! TPB #26 Kodansha Chapter 163 - Lind arc, part 9, Flight of the Fighting Wings Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 164 - Lind arc, part 10, Pleasure and Duty Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 165 - Lind arc, part 11, With the Binary Angels Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 166 - Lind arc, part 12, To Call You Friend Episode OAV1, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! The Descending of the One-Winged Angel! Episode OAV2, season 3(?), TV anime, December 8, 2007, Ah! Two of Us, Together in Joy! Kodansha Chapter 167 - Blue Lance arc, part 1, Inside Belldandy Kodansha Chapter 168 - Blue Lance arc, part 2, Landscape with Angels Kodansha Chapter 169 - Blue Lance arc, part 3, What We Would Save TPB #27 Kodansha Chapter 170 - Blue Lance arc, part 4, The Great Earth Search Kodansha Chapter 171 - Blue Lance arc, part 5, Kiss Me Goodbye Kodansha Chapter 172 - Rubber Band War arc, part 1, Shoot or Die Kodansha Chapter 173 - Rubber Band War arc, part 2, Horseshoes and Hand grenades Kodansha Chapter 174 - Machiners arc, part 1, Is Here She? Kodansha Chapter 175 - Machiners arc, part 2, That Flying Entity Kodansha Chapter 176 - Machiners arc, part 3, Sign of Gratitude TPB #28 Kodansha Chapter 177 - Singing Competition arc, part 1, Little Voice, Great Sorrow Kodansha Chapter 178 - Singing Competition arc, part 2, Those Who Guard and Those Who Plunder Kodansha Chapter 179 - Singing Competition arc, part 3, What Can I Do For You Kodansha Chapter 180 - Broom Race arc, part 1, The Polka=Dotted Cat and the Magic Broom Kodansha Chapter 181 - Broom Race arc, part 2, Fastest Broom, Greatest Race! Kodansha Chapter 182 - Broom Race arc, part 3, Courage and Trail TPB #29 Kodansha Chapter 183 - Broom Race arc, part 4, The Barriers That Bind Kodansha Chapter 184 - Broom Race arc, part 5, Heaven and Hell Kodansha Chapter 185 - Blue Lance's Name arc, part 1, Beautiful Name Kodansha Chapter 186 - Blue Lance's Name arc, part 2, Wanted Kodansha Chapter 187 - First Class Goddess Test arc, part 1, The Path to First-Class Goddess Kodansha Chapter 188 - First Class Goddess Test arc, part 2, The Power of a First-Class Goddess TPB #30 Kodansha Chapter 189 - First Class Goddess Test arc, part 3, Happy! Happy? Kodansha Chapter 190 - First Class Goddess Test arc, part 4, The Herald of Happiness Kodansha Chapter 191 - First Class Goddess Test arc, part 5, Rain & Happiness, Cause & Effect Kodansha Chapter 192 - First Class Goddess Test arc, part 6, For Whose Sake a First-Class Goddess? Kodansha Chapter 193 - I Love You arc, part 1, Important Words Episode 24, season 2, TV anime – OAV release, Feb. 23, 2007, Ah! The Song of the Lover That Shakes the Heart! Kodansha Chapter 194 - I Love You arc, part 2, Love Overflowing Episode 24, season 2, TV anime – OAV release, Feb. 23, 2007, Ah! The Song of the Lover That Shakes the Heart! TPB #31 Kodansha Chapter 195 - I Love You arc, part 3 Episode 24, season 2, TV anime – OAV release, Feb. 23, 2007, Ah! The Song of the Lover That Shakes the Heart! Kodansha Chapter 196 - Gate arc, part 1, Return Kodansha Chapter 197 - Gate arc, part 2, Door Of Interdiction?! Kodansha Chapter 198 - Gate arc, part 3, Caught? Caught! Kodansha Chapter 199 - Gate arc, part 4, Goddess's Mission Kodansha Chapter 200 - Gate arc, part 5, The One Who Will Open This Door Is You. TPB #32 Kodansha Chapter 201 - Gate arc, part 6, Let's Meet Again Kodansha Chapter 202 - Lorelei arc, part 1, Paradise On Earth Kodansha Chapter 203 - Lorelei arc, part 2, First Encounter Kodansha Chapter 204 - Lorelei arc, part 3, The Sound That Reaches, The Voice That Doesn't Kodansha Chapter 205 - Lorelei arc, part 4, Grand Showdown Kodansha Chapter 206 - Lorelei arc, part 5, Festival TPB #33 Kodansha Chapter 207 - Motorcycle Summer Camp arc, part 1, The Thing I Want To Make Kodansha Chapter 208 - Motorcycle Summer Camp arc, part 2, A New Door Kodansha Chapter 209 - Motorcycle Summer Camp arc, part 3, Debut Kodansha Chapter 210 - Motorcycle Summer Camp arc, part 4, A Journey's Opening Cheer Kodansha Chapter 211 - Motorcycle Summer Camp arc, part 5, Goddess Dash Kodansha Chapter 212 - Motorcycle Summer Camp arc, part 6, The Wind We Feel Together TPB #34 Kodansha Chapter 213 - Return to Chihiro's Shop arc, part 1, Happiness, Three Times Faster Kodansha Chapter 214 - Return to Chihiro's Shop arc, part 2, Engine of Happiness Kodansha Chapter 215 - Return to Chihiro's Shop arc, part 3, Happy Monkey Generation Kodansha Chapter 216 - Return of Sentaro arc, part 1, For Your Sake I'll Fly-y-y Kodansha Chapter 216 - Return of Sentaro arc, part 2, My Important Words, Your Cool and Clear Future Kodansha Chapter 218 - Return of Sentaro arc, part 3, A Goddess's Divine Protection Kodansha Chapter 219 - Return of Sentaro arc, part 4, To a Higher Place! TPB #35 Kodansha Chapter 220 - Old Camera arc, part 1, The Goddess Beyond the Lens Kodansha Chapter 221 - Old Camera arc, part 2, Camera Talk Kodansha Chapter 222 - Old Camera arc, part 3, Camera’s Memories Kodansha Chapter 223 - Old Camera arc, part 4, The Flower Can Continue To Bloom Kodansha Chapter 224 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 1, Drunken Queen TPB #36 Kodansha Chapter 225 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 2, And Then, Oblivion Kodansha Chapter 226 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 3, Temporarily-Named Great Detective’s Reasoning Kodansha Chapter 227 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 4, Why Does My Heart throb So? Kodansha Chapter 228 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 5, Overwritten Coupling Kodansha Chapter 229 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 6, Treachery, Collapsed Kodansha Chapter 230 - Megumi & Missing Memories arc, part 7, That Sentence, Again TPB #37 Kodansha Chapter 231 - Chrono arc, part 1, The Maid That Fell From The Sky Kodansha Chapter 232 - Chrono arc, part 2, Melancholy of the Clumsy Goddess Kodansha Chapter 233 - Chrono arc, part 3, World Without Sound Kodansha Chapter 234 - Chrono arc, part 4, Change of Tone Kodansha Chapter 235 - Chrono arc, part 5, The Error Diffusion Amplifies Kodansha Chapter 236 - Chrono arc, part 6, Heavy Work TPB #38 Kodansha Chapter 237 - Chrono arc, part 7, The Motif Escaped To ... Kodansha Chapter 238 - Chrono arc, part 8, Chrono's Dance Kodansha Chapter 239 - Chrono arc, part 9, First Class Goddesses Don't Lie Kodansha Chapter 240 - Demon Revolt arc, part 1, Rebellion Kodansha Chapter 241 - Demon Revolt (Hagall) arc , part 2, Opposing Flags 20th Anniversary Issue Kodansha Chapter 242 - Demon Revolt (Hagall) arc, part 3, TPB #39 Kodansha Chapter 243 - Demon Revolt (Hagall) arc, part 4, Kodansha Chapter 244 - Demon Revolt (Hagall) arc, part 5, Kodansha Chapter 245 - Demon Revolt (Hagall) arc, part 6,
  50. 2 points
    Part three - Megumi Morisato, sister to the star. Revision history - 3/31/2007, 5/31/2007, 2/7/2009 3.1 Morisato Megumi is an interesting character in her own right. She seems to have been even more overlooked in the AMS! literature than Keiichi, yet she's the sixth oldest developed character in the series. (Only Bell, Keiichi, Tamiya, Otaki, and Sayoko have been around LONGER than Megumi. And Megumi has had more face time and background given than the NIT MCC sempais. Chapters Megumi has appeared in up to the parent's arc - 36.) ========================================================== The following is a listing of all the stories Megumi has appeared in, with a commentary on how she's presented and what I think this says about her personality. ========================================================== Repeat Warning ---- There will be a great deal of spoiler material here if you haven't read these stories. SO BE WARNED! ----------------------------------------------------------- 1) The Megumi Problem - APRIL 1989 issue Kodansha chapt. 8, Vol. 1, Feb. 25 release Megumi first appears dressed rather tomboyishly, wearing what looks like the sort of gear a motorcyclist might wear riding cross-country in rough weather. (All weather overcoat, double layer gloves with free fingers, jeans and jean jacket.) Her parents have had enough trust in her to let her travel on her own, but they still feel she should stay with her older brother (or uncle in the OAVs) until she's orientated. A feeling Megumi seems to be in agreement with. She immediately makes some assumptions about her brother's situation with Belldandy (which later prove to be slightly erroneous) and begins teasing him about it. Her general approach is that of someone who is very attached and emotionally close to the subject of her humor, and so feels no need for restraint in assaulting his pride and self-esteem. But while giving Keiichi grief like a good little sister should, she's also sensitive to the situation and doesn't want to upset his "arrangement". That she is supposed to have a more, call it "modern" outlook about romance and male-female relations is shown by her response to Belldandy's statement about being there for Keiichi alone, but she can also respect Bell's feeling that way if it's about her brother. (This aspect of the story has been curtailed somewhat in both the OAV and TV anime.) She's rather cocky and self-confidant, and immediately rises to the challenge of trying to stump Belldandy; which shows that her competitive nature was planned from the very start. The results of this battle of knowledge also display one of the themes of “Oh/Ah My Goddess!”, that the true purpose for competition is to improve YOURSELF by striving against others. Megumi's comment at the end about how she can solve a problem because she tried to stump Bell with a similar one demonstrates this idea. The entrance exam also shows that despite all her outward self-confidence, Megumi can still use a little support and reassurance in the pinch. Side Trip .......... Megumi's age relative to Keiichi varies according to the source. In the manga and TV anime she's two years younger. In the OAV anime she's one year younger. For biographical purposes we'll stick with two years. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 2) The Apartment Hunting Blues - MAY 1989 issue Kodansha chapt. 9, Vol. 1, Mar. 25 release The first element that struck me in this story was how Megumi's statement that she had just started looking for a place to live yesterday paralleled Keiichi's method of looking for a job in Live To Work, Work To Live! Apparently stalling on important decisions is a Morisato tradition. (i.e. Keiichi-Bell, important decision.) The second element is that she has prepared a handout sheet describing what she wants in an apartment. I don't know if this is a standard procedure in Japan, but it seems to indicate a very methodical mind for Megumi that sets standards to be met rather than taking what she can find. It's also hard to know if we should believe her statement that she was aware of apartment costs before Keiichi gives her the rental magazine. That whole conversation could have been the result of fast thinking on her part to cover her miscalculation so Keiichi wouldn't think less of her. (Keiichi also does the "just kidding" routine when he tries to cover himself after something he says seems to backfire. Like asking for a goddess to stay with him forever.) Next we have Megumi asking Belldandy into her room for tea and rice crackers. There seems to be a couple of motives behind this: One, to reassure Belldandy that Megumi really intends to move out so Bell will be free to do whatever she wants with Keiichi. And two, to try and get a better understanding of this strange foreign woman who's come into her brother's life. (Filling in for their mother, Takano, as it were.) Both actions show Megumi as caring about her brother's well being while not wanting him to be aware of it. (This element is highly emphasized in the TV anime.) Megumi's comments the next day seem to indicate real happiness on her part to be able to do something with her brother, while her attitude toward their lack of success (more worried about a brain freeze from chugging a cold soda than no leads) implies her absolute confidence that her brother will come through for her somehow (which he does). The final scene shows her correctly interpreting her brother's action for what it was and charging past him to see what he's hiding. Again, while she trusts and respects her brother, her respect doesn't extend to letting him hide anything from her. (Although its probably safe to assume she wished she hadn't seen what she now thinks he was hiding.) ------------------------------------------------------ 3) Let Flowers Bloom - JULY 1989 issue Kodansha chapt. 11, Vol. 2, May 25, release A great deal of Megumi's "Brat" reputation comes from this story. And she probably deserves it. From her first "Hey, I help pay for the food." to "Well, I asked if you wanted it." she's depicted as generally giving her brother the all grief she thinks he can take without actually being disrespectful. Then after ragging on him a bit over his love life, she turns around and tries to help him out in that department. It's very probable that while Megumi obviously thinks of her brother in the fondest terms possible, she's also convinced that he's got a way to go in the intelligence department and that's why he needs someone like her (or Belldandy) to watch out for him. Its also implicated that while she's still not quite sure about this strange foreign woman, its obvious that Megumi thinks she's perfect for Keiichi and it's up to little sister to make sure Kei-chan doesn't blow it. -------------------------------------------------------------------- 4) What Belldandy Wants Most - DEC. 1989 issue Kodansha chapt. 16, Vol. 2, Oct. 25 release Megumi is at the temple watching TV with Urd. The first interesting point is the implied concept that Urd knows Megumi well enough to ask her over to watch TV with her (this may just be a Dark Horse invention). More importantly, we learn Megumi is something of a material girl. Her ideas concerning a good gift for a girl are all high-end electronics or A/V equipment. This personality trait will be repeated later. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 5) Life is Just a Game of "Sugaroku Roulette" - FEB. 1990, issue Kodansha chapt. 18, Vol. 3, Dec. 25 release Megumi shows up at the door with rice cakes, demonstrating her intention to fulfill her New Year's obligations to her (local) family (Keiichi). (She will repeat this performance next year.) Apparently, she just meets the others there, as Tamiya was unaware she was Keiichi's sister. Keiichi is surprised to see them all. My guess is he hadn't considered the idea that as the head of a household (the temple), friends and relatives were now obligated to come visit him for New Years, and that he now had an obligation to entertain them. Megumi again demonstrates her preference for electronic A/V equipment (a video camera) as a highly desirable gift. -------------------------------------------- 6) Final Exam - MAR. 1990 issue Kodansha chapt. 19, Vol. 3, Jan. 25 release Megumi has a brief appearance reacting to the crash of the computer lab net. --------------------------------------------------- 7) Winner Take All - JULY 1990 issue Kodansha (chapt. 23) chapt. 22, Vol. 3, May. 25 release Megumi is seen once behind Urd while she's doing her cheerleader routine. --------------------------------------------------- 8) What A Miracle - AUG. 1990 issue Kodansha (chapt. 24) chapt. 23, Vol. 3, June 25 release A brief cameo for Megumi, just long enough to make a side comment about Urd's over-enthusiasm about their chances of winning and then disappears. ----------------------------------------------------------- 9) A Wing And A Prayer - DEC. 1990 issue Kodansha (chapt. 28) chapt. 24, Vol. 3, Oct. 25 release Another brief cameo for Megumi, just long enough to make another somewhat bratty objection to Tamiya's over-enthusiasm and then disappears. --------------------------------------------------- 10) Mystical Engine - JAN. 1991 issue Kodansha (chapt. 29) chapt. 30, Vol. 4, Nov. 25 release Megumi is seen twice, hanging with the other club members during the meeting at the start and, snoozing with them during the race. -------------------------------------------------------------- 11) Sympathy For The Devil - FEB. 1991 issue Kodansha (chapt. 30) chapt. 29, Vol. 4, Dec. 25 release Megumi is again fulfilling her obligation (somewhat grumpily) to visit her brother for New Years. As in Mr. Unhappy, while Megumi is present for the whole story, much of what happens with her cannot be considered typical. The personality elements that are most evident (to me at least) are: One, Megumi doesn't panic easily. She adapts to situations quickly, rationalizing what doesn't make sense and dealing with immediate aspects. (As in Queen Sayoko.) Two, when faced with a crisis she decides she can't handle, she immediately turns to her brother for help. (Implied in this is the conviction that her brother will somehow find a way to solve her problem.) And three, she tends to get impatient (and irate) when faced with a crisis and she thinks others aren't taking it seriously, but will act rationally as long as she feels things are being done about it. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 12) Terrible Master Urd arc, part 1, Urd Goes Berserk - JUNE 1991 issue Kodansha chapt. 34, Vol. 5, Apr. 25 release Megumi has a brief appearance when Urd borrows her motorcycle. Nothing really useful is displayed as to Megumi's personality, other than she's willing to loan something as valuable and personally important as her KSR to someone she considers a friend of her brother. It just shows that like her brother, Megumi tries to be helpful when possible and really can't say no to a person in distress (even when she probably should). ------------------------------------------------------------------- 13) Terrible Master Urd arc, part 6, Confession - NOV. 1991 issue Kodansha chapt. 39, Vol. 6, Sept. 25 release Megumi has a brief cameo watching the TV coverage of the convention hall disaster. ---------------------------------------------- 14) Robot Wars - DEC. 1991 issue Kodansha chapt. 40, Vol. 6, Oct. 25 release Arriving at the temple to check on Keiichi and the others (with all the strange and destructive events on TV lately and the fact that K-1's phone didn't work, Megumi is justified in being worried), Megumi is first impressed by how cute Skuld is and (being a bit of a brat and seeing that Keiichi is okay) can't help but tease him a bit about whether she's Keiichi and Belldandy's child. This inadvertently gets her off on a bad footing with Skuld right off the bat. Then we get a demonstration of how mechanically adapt Megumi is as she almost instantly recognizes the "improvements" Skuld's built into Keiichi's BMW and accurately predicts the problems that Skuld has overlooked. Skuld sees this as a challenge to her technological superiority (her "special" area, as opposed to her sisters' areas of supremacy), and things might have become explosive except Belldandy steps in and calms things down. Tamiya and Otaki appear with their solution to the proper arena for Skuld and Megumi to square off in, and the tale takes off. (Once again, Belldandy expresses the theme that competition is primarily to be considered as a way for individuals to improve themselves; therefore the challenge for each contestant must be made as equal as possible to give each a fair chance to exceed their capabilities.) During the rest of the story we learn several things about Megumi: She's a good design engineer, creating the Pot Shaker Dragon from the piles of scrap provided. She's a good design mechanic, assembling her creation from said piles of scrap. She's a good project manager, enlisting a team of competent assistants and coordinating their efforts to help build her creation. And most importantly, she's a good strategist, analyzing Skuld's creation's strengths and weaknesses and improvising a method of dealing with it by rethinking her own machine's capabilities. She shares these abilities with her brother, who will display his version of them in "It's Lonely At The Top." (She also expresses another theme of the series; that while individual effort is impressive, it's also limiting. The best results come from working together as a team and sharing abilities. This is also repeated in "It's Lonely At The Top.") In the end, Megumi displays a fine sense of sportsmanship, neither gloating over her victory nor acting at all superior about Skuld's defeat. She presents herself as a gracious winner, complimenting Skuld's efforts and trying to be as friendly as possible. An all around good person, just like her brother. And just like her brother, her efforts at good will end up being turned against her and she still winds up paying the penalty for crossing Skuld. ------------------------------------------------- 15) Mr. Unhappy - MAY 1992 issue Kodansha chapt. 45, Vol. 7, Mar. 25 release As in Sympathy For The Devil, while Megumi is physically present for the whole story, only her actions at the beginning and end count for analysis purposes here. In the beginning she has the presence of mind to yell "rape" when Mara grabs her, the sort of call that would most likely summon help if any were around. Then, as she realizes just how much danger she's in, it's Keiichi she pins her hopes on for rescue, indicating how much faith and respect she really has for him. Later, as she tries to figure out what she's doing behind the Nekomi campus, her mind quickly comes up with the only logical solution she can think of, sleepwalking. Then when she sees the Sonic doll, she somehow senses its importance to her and picks it up to take with her. This could be another example of the Morisato's having a feel for the supernatural. -------------------------------------------------------- 16) Together For Never - FEB. 1993 issue Kodansha chapt. 54, Vol. 9, Dec. 25 release Megumi and Jun are walking across the Nekomi campus discussing the situation of their women's softball club (including how hard it's been to even get such a team started in their predominantly male university. Besides introducing her into the story, it also shows (along with Play the Game) just how determined and creative Megumi can be when she decides she wants something (to play softball). When they encounter Keiichi and he essentially demands that Megumi put him up for the night, they 're rather frightened by his appearance (which, as depicted, seems a fairly rational response). Sitting alone later with Keiichi, Megumi quickly gets up to speed on the situation between him and Bell, showing how quick thinking and observant she can be. Realizing that their relationship (which in all other aspects has matured to a state of complete personal dedication between them) has stalled on the subject of intimacy; she states her belief that under the circumstances the physical side of their mutual love must be dealt with, and soon. She then tries to encourage Keiichi to go for it; adding that (based on her own opinion of such things) if Belldandy is a normal girl, she must feel the same. Then, after being so supportive of Keiichi in his time of need, but still being his sister, she leaves with a final little dig at Keiichi's ego. Keiichi finds himself in agreement with Megumi's observations, except for the fact that Belldandy isn't a normal girl. Megumi is shown as perceptive and (somewhat) compassionate in dealing with her brother's problem, while at the same time commenting repeatedly on how she really shouldn't stick her nose in. An explanation for this could be that while she doesn't feel she should be directing Keiichi's life; she also feels obligated to fill in for their mother and help her poor clueless brother achieve happiness. What's really interesting is that Megumi and Urd have such similar ideas about certain aspects of inter-gender relations. Maybe they ARE better friends than the manga would let us believe. --------------------------------------------------------------- 17) It's Lonely At The Top - APRIL 1993 issue Kodansha chapt. 56, Vol. 9, Feb. 25 release Megumi is shown as wanting to celebrate what she sees as her brother's good fortune at being elevated to a position of trust and authority. Rebuffed by Keiichi and being made aware of his problems, she quickly has an idea of how she can help him and sets off to put her plan into action. Keiichi is stunned when she shows up later with 200,000 yen to help finance the motorcycle. His happiness at his sisters' efforts is somewhat tempered later when he learns the stores she got the money from expect their sponsorship to be formal. While it didn't really affect the race, it does put a further large burden on Keiichi. First to win and, more importantly, then to go around and thank all the businesses involved and provide information about them to the media and help them advertise their support. Megumi's efforts have just dumped a whole new load of responsibilities on him. Still it shows what a resourceful, quick thinking person she is (like her mother) and how dedicated she is to being dependable for her brother. --------------------------------------------------- 18) Play The Game - JUNE 1993 issue Kodansha chapt. 58, Vol. 10, Apr. 25 release Once again, Megumi turns to her brother for help in a crisis, and as usual, while he personally doesn't seem to resolve the situation, his presence catalyzes the events that lead to the contest. He's also the key player in the final action that saves the day for Megumi, once again showing that while she's never quite sure just how he does it, calling on her brother for help always manages to somehow turn the tide for her. There is a translation glitch here that I want to point out because it changes the meaning of the story somewhat. Nekomi Kodai, Ed Chang translation: Megumi-chan: But will I get better when I grow up? Keiichi-chan: Yeah! Megumi-chan: Good Enough that you can count on me? Keiichi-chan: H'm, let's see... Megumi-chan: I won't give up softball until you can! Megumi: I won't give up! Dark Horse translation: Megumi-chan: So you mean I can be better when I'm bigger...? Keiichi-chan: Sure you can! Megumi-chan: Good enough to beat you, Keiichi? Keiichi-chan: Well, I don't know about that! Megumi-chan: Then, then... I'll NEVER Quit softball! EVER! Not until I can beat my big brother! Megumi: I'll NEVER quit... As you can see, this changes Megumi's motivation from becoming better than Keiichi to becoming so good at playing that she'll never be the one who loses a game for her brother (or her team) again. The latter is a more Japanese attitude, working hard so as not to be the weak link in the group's efforts and being able to live up to the expectations of someone she respects and wants to have respect her. It also spells out the difference between her and the baseball team's captain. Megumi wishes to save her club both for herself and the other members so they can play the game and better themselves at it. He's only doing it to show off his power as the best player and captain and to achieve his personal goal of a girl manager to wait on him. ----------------------------------------------------- 19) Sorrow, Fear Not - JULY 1993 issue Kodansha chapt. 59, Vol. 10, May 25, release Again, we see Megumi turning to Keiichi for help when her own efforts have failed. Even though he's totally against it, Keiichi compromises as best he can to help his sister out. That this is a real effort on his part is shown by his comments on how she shouldn't have put herself (and by extension himself) in this position in the first place. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 20) Peorth arc, part 1, Fourth Time's A Charmer - FEB. 1994 issue Kodansha chapt. 66, Vol. 11, Dec. 25 release While Megumi doesn't appear in person, she does have a part as the source of the camera Keiichi is taking pictures with. Even though she has a good camera, Megumi is again demonstrating her passion for high-end gadgets by buying a newer, better one. And she displays a flair for salesmanship (possibly learned from her mother), by first hooking her brother with the idea of the camera, and then hitting him with the cost. (I really don't know if 30,000 yen, or $300, is a good, fair, or high price for such a camera, but Keiichi seems more upset about the fact that she made him pay for it.) --------------------------------------------------------------------- 21) Peorth arc, part 3, The Battle For Keiichi - APRIL 1994 issue Kodansha chapt. 68, Vol. 12, Feb. 25 release While Megumi gets quite a bit of face time in this story, she's really there mostly for comic effect. About all of her "real" personality that's shown is a somewhat disparaging comment about how Keiichi has apparently fallen asleep in the middle of working on his motorcycle. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 22) Queen Sayoko arc, part 5, Back Where You Belong - SEPT. 1995 issue Kodansha chapt. 85, Vol. 15, July 25 release Megumi has a brief part, just long enough to show how the students of Nekomi Tech are very hard to faze. She quickly accepts the situation as only meaning she gets a day off and leaves without further worry. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 23) Queen arc, part 1, Megumi Verses The Queen - OCT. 1995 issue Kodansha chapt. 86, Vol. 15, Aug. 25 release Megumi is shown as having no interest in challenging the Queen or the race tradition of the mountain road. All she wants is to be able to take her class. However, once engaged in the competition, she quickly accepts the challenge and races with everything she's got. (Much like her father is said to race.) There is a translation glitch here that I want to point out because it changes the way the story expresses one of its internal plot points. During the second race, Dark Horse successfully translated the gist of the Queen's thought comments on the upslope that going against gravity her motorcycle had the power advantage over Megumi's 80cc KSR. On the down slope though, they only translate her comments about how far ahead she is and leave out the most important comment. It always bothered me why the heavier, more powerful motorcycle wouldn't have a similar edge when going with the gravity well. From Nekomi Kodai, Ed Chang translation: Queen: Now it's just to run down the slope. Queen: That's right... Queen: This (her motorcycle) is heavy, so going down there's a disadvantage... Queen: But the descent isn't important for this match. After all I'm... (so far ahead). Then Megumi flashes by. The point made is that because the Queen's motorcycle is so much heavier and more powerful, she has trouble controlling it on the down slope and lacks the confidence to go all out down hill. Megumi, on the other hand, on her lighter, more maneuverable bike, has the skill and will to take the down slope at full tilt, thus passing the Queen's larger cycle and proving she's the better rider. Just like she did in the first race. This demonstrates the first moral of this arc, that ability and determination will always beat raw power. From what we learn later in the Parents arc, this attitude (and racing ability) is probably something she and Keiichi have inherited from their father, and that Megumi will demonstrate this to the Queen by having her race against Keiichi (whom Megumi considers a better rider than she is) and Bell.) --------------------------------------------------------------------- 24) Queen arc, part 2, The Secret Of Speed - NOV. 1995 issue Kodansha chapt. 87, Vol. 15, Sept. 25 release First we see Megumi demonstrating her bratty side by yelling "thief" to upset someone she thinks is just looking at her bike. Then we see how she cleverly tries to get out of the confrontation by admiring the Queen's motorcycle and changing the conversation to discussing its virtues. Failing to sneak away after this ploy, she conceives a new way to convince the Queen that her KSR was only incidental to her winning the race. She immediately heads to the temple to wait for Keiichi. While there, she does some maintenance on her KSR, prompting Belldandy's comment on how she takes such good care of her bike. After covering some embarrassment over admitting that, Megumi then states the second theme of the story, if you're going to push your motorcycle to its limits, you have to keep it in perfect shape. Keiichi arrives, and correctly interprets Megumi's presence as her wanting something from him. Bell revises her earlier comment to how Keiichi takes such good care of Megumi. Now it’s Keiichi's turn to be embarrassed (showing how similar the siblings are) and he quickly turns the conversation back to what Megumi wants. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 25) Queen arc, part 3, Two Hearts Beat As One - DEC. 1995 issue Kodansha chapt. 88, Vol. 15, Oct. 25 release Again, Megumi shows her bratty side by annoying the Queen during her morning poem/meditation, then she springs her surprise explanation. At first totally against it, the Queen is convinced by Belldandy to go along with the plan, much to her surprise. (Belldandy may not have used magic, but she used some method of persuasion on her. That Bell makes this effort could be interpreted as she really wants to experience this race as Keiichi's partner and thereby share the thrill of competition with him.) The first theme is then repeated, as Bell and K-1 overtake and then pass the Queen, although the reality of the Queen's fears are also demonstrated by the near accident. It turns out the near accident is a reason to repeat the second moral of this story arc, that if you intend to push your motorcycle to its mechanical extremes, you'd better maintain it in perfect condition. Both these ideas would seem to be something they probably learned from Keima, who also comments on motorcycle care early in the Parent's arc (part 1, A Disturbing Guest) while Takano explains his all or nothing way of racing much later. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 26) The Phantom Racer, part 1, The Ghost Of The Pass - OCT. 1997 issue Kodansha chapt. 110, Vol. 18, Aug. 25 release Megumi joins the story on the side of the road through the Inokura Pass. Bell and Keiichi have gone out to ask her if she's heard anything about ghostly sightings. She hasn't, but adds she'll check. Then she calmly (and without really looking) raises her hand in a "halt" manner, immediately stopping all the motorcyclists passing on the road behind them. After chiding them for calling her "Queen", she rather royally inquires if any of her subjects have heard anything. They have, and as the story starts becoming a discussion, she again cuts it off in a regal manner. Then inquires of Keiichi if the ghost is supposed to be fast. He looks worried and asks if she's planning what he thinks she's planning. We next see her on the side of the road at night, commenting on how she's got to see how fast this ghost is. Her attitude is reminiscent of how her mother will act later on, plus showing how she has accepted her role as "Queen" while still denying the actual title, like her father. This acceptance seems to include the need to measure her ability against this new situation to prove herself worthy of the title, although her love of competition and the thrill of facing a real challenge is probably also part of her motivation. (Like it is for her brother and Belldandy.) --------------------------------------------------------------------- 27) The Phantom Racer, part 2, Sightings - NOV. 1997 issue Kodansha chapt. 111, Vol. 18, Sept. 25 release Megumi is confident at the start of the race. No one has beaten her yet on the Inokura Pass highway. Without really looking at her opponent she takes off, planning to follow her standard procedure for such races. While a bit surprised that her opponent hasn't passed her, she enters the down slope side with practiced assurance, racing at high speed and practiced techniques. Then she discovers her opponent is still with her. Realizing this is going to be a real race, she begins strategizing her moves. When she finally realizes it’s a real apparition she's racing, it seems to only double her determination. Its only when it proves capable of maneuvers she can't hope to match that she begins to give up hope; but she still keeps going, thinking the phantom wants to lead her somewhere. Then her knowledge of the road warns her of danger ahead and she avoids a potentially lethal situation the ghost seemed to be leading her into. This is the first time she becomes truly emotional in the race, raging angrily at the spirit for playing a dirty trick and trying to lure her into danger in violation of all the rules and ethics of fair competition. Suddenly spotting a headlight ahead of her, Megumi thinks it’s the ghost, back for another try. She angrily spins around to face the spirit's challenge as many times as it takes until she gets her revenge. But the headlights prove to be Keiichi and Belldandy, also here to challenge the phantom of the pass. This story is interesting in that it shows Megumi first racing in a very technical style, using her knowledge of the road to her best advantage, and then switching under pressure to a more instinctual style until her technical knowledge resurfaces to warn her in time. It also shows her as rather fearless and more concerned about her personal honor than a possible threat from the paranormal. (A family trait, perhaps.) (From the next story, it would appear the phantom wasn't trying to actually hurt Megumi, but rather following its habit of leaving the road and disappearing after beating an opponent. In this case, Megumi kept following it rather than give up. Most other riders would have stopped or fled after being passed by it.) ------------------------------------------------------------------- 28) The Phantom Racer, part 3, Three Of A Perfect Pair - DEC. 1997 issue Kodansha chapt. 112, Vol. 18, Oct. 25 release Megumi is initially surprised to see Keiichi and Belldandy, but more surprised at what they're riding on. She does a quick repeat of Skuld examining Bell's bicycle, then asks what they're there for. Keiichi admits it's for the same reason she's there, and they share a sister-brother moment. Then she sends them off with a warning and a call to avenge the family's reputation. Her final comment implies her confidence (justified) in her brother and Belldandy's ability to handle the situation. Once again, Megumi is shown as quick thinking and mechanically observant. She's also shown as understanding (and sharing) her brother's attitude toward racing and confidently believing that he is (at the moment) still a far better racer than she is. THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS FOR THE PARENT’S ARC. Revision date 5/31/2007 - This article is actually part of the revised topic "Keiichi, We Hardly Knew Ya" specifically the Megumi profile section. The chapter-by-chapter analysis in that section was originally written before Dark Horse had released the parent's arc. So subsequently, when I went back to update the article I found myself interpreting these stories in far greater detail than was needed just for Megumi's part in them. These are also the stories that form the basis of much of the earlier sections about Keima and Takano, so an in-depth look here also applies to those subjects as well. They are also a key point in describing the current relationship between Keiichi and Belldandy, so even further investigative effort was justified. The final version of this section will be left in the Megumi profile section, but it will also be posted as a separate topic for discussion. -------------------------------------------------- 29) Parents arc, part 1, A Disturbing Guest - JUNE 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 142, Vol. 23, Apr. 25 release Chapter notes... It may not be clear, but at the start of the story Chihiro is trying to con her way into sharing Keiichi's lunch. She has a plain bowl of take-out Raman while he has one of Belldandy's box lunch specials. After a couple of conversation starters from Chihiro ("I was thinking..." DH, "Would you like the air conditioning turned on?" K) Belldandy of course invites her to share and she innocently accepts as if that was the furthest thing on her mind. (Page 12 - Chihiro is actually saying she doesn't see any resemblance between Keiichi and his father.) (Page 21 - Reverse Belldandy's third and fourth word balloons for the passage to make better sense.) (Page 14 - Megumi's comment as she sits in the chair is more along the lines of wondering if their mother Takano is all right. The Dark Horse version is an obvious change to support her questioning her parents later as to why only Takano and she can get close to Keima.) Megumi notes... Megumi is (perhaps understandably) upset about their father's arrival. This is also apparently the first time she's met Chihiro, so she hasn't been hanging out around Keiichi and the crew too much lately. As always, Belldandy has a soothing effect on people, but Megumi's panic returns quickly. Keiichi joins her when he learns the reason, as he realizes what such a visit means he has to do on short notice (mainly, explain Belldandy). An interesting point is how Megumi chides her father at one point about his actions, asking him to get down from where he's jumped to get away from Chihiro. It could be she feels it's also her job to fill in for her mother when dad gets out of control. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 30) Parents arc, part 2, Father Running Wild - JULY 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 143, Vol. 23, May 25 release Chapter notes... Keima further demonstrates his skill as a mechanic, this time easily beating his son in a mechanical skills contest. We finally see the full extent of Keima's phobia over being touched by strange women as he goes into full panic mode. We are also shown a demonstration of how Keima can forget his errands, and how concerned he is with keeping his promises to his wife. It's also interesting that he asks Megumi what time it is, not Keiichi. It may be he's used to the women in his life keeping track of such things. Megumi notes... Megumi knows instantly what's about to happen when Chihiro slaps Keima affectionately. Megumi states how she has never been able to catch up with her father when he's going full tilt. The best she can do is just keeping up with him. This may be a bit of sexism on the part of Mr. Fujishima, that is, at comparable skill levels girls will still be slightly weaker than boys. While both Keiichi and Megumi know the only way to stop Keima when he's in a panic mode, it's Megumi who first suggests it and convinces her brother he has to do it in spite of his misgivings. Again Megumi takes the lead role. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 31) Parents arc, part 3, Goddess's Garden - AUG. 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 144, Vol. 23, June 25 release Chapter notes... First we see Keima showing his stubborn side as he refuses to take any form of thanks from Chihiro. In this chapter we learn that Peorth has decided to stay around for a while, “on vacation”, and what happened to Sigel and Banpei during the Hild arc. Megumi notes... Megumi is honestly worried about how Keiichi is going to explain the situation he's in with Belldandy to their father and seems actually impressed with Keiichi's attitude that he should just state things as they stand and not apologize or try to hide anything. It's note worthy that Keiichi makes the comment (Japanese text) that he could consider it practice for later on. Practice for discussing his relationship with Belldandy with whom? Bell herself, or perhaps her parents? Megumi has obviously not been around the temple for a while (at least for the last few weeks) as she's unaware that Peorth has rejoined the inhabitants. She's also pretty sure her brother wouldn't have the courage to ask Urd and Skuld to make themselves scarce while Keima is there. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 32) Parents arc, part 4, Father's Hell - SEPT. 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 145, Vol. 23, July 25 release Chapter notes... (The blouse Belldandy is shown wearing on the cover page for chapter 145 was used for one of her outfits in the TV anime and one of Kurthy133's cosplay outfits.) Classic examples displayed in this chapter of: Skuld's having prepared plans for possible future problems only to discover they aren't working out quite the way she thought they would. Banpei's use of magic markers to display his emotions. And one of those rare situations where even Belldandy is a bit stunned at what she sees before her (she has a sweat drop too). Keiichi is more resigned than stunned while Megumi seems to have received the full effect. It's amusing to note that exactly what happened is not shown, only the aftermath. Leaving it to our imaginations to decide from the lead-in what heights of insanity were reached before Keiichi, Bell, and Megumi arrive on the scene. Noteworthy points; the three goddesses are still on the table (whatever happened occurred so quickly they haven't had a chance to react); Sigel is still conscious, tied to Keima, and looking at Megumi and crew; and the mini Banpei have not only been stunned into deactivation, they are scattered about as if tossed or thrown wildly. In case it wasn't noticed, those are high quality leather racing gloves Takano is removing in the last panel, implying her interest in racing as well. Megumi notes... Repeat, Megumi has obviously not been around the temple for a while (at least for the last few weeks) as she's unaware that Peorth has rejoined the merry cast of inhabitants, although she does seem to have been aware of her existence (no introduction shown). (While she probably met Peorth back in the Fourth Goddess arc, such a meeting wasn't shown in that series.) ------------------------------------------------------------------- 33) Parents arc, part 5, Decision Time - OCT. 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 146, Vol. 23, Aug. 25 release Chapter notes... This next few chapters are some of the most instructive chapters of the series, so I'm going to go into them in much greater detail than usual. Much of the background material for Keima and Takano in the previous section comes from these chapters and an effort will be made to emphasis these elements. WARNING! LOTS OF SPOILERS! It begins with Keima waking up in a meadow and hearing a song of some sort (we see that it's a song later). He looks about and discovers an enormous tree before him (Yggdrasil?) Walking around the tree he continues to hear the song all about him, then realizing something is above him he looks up to see what is obviously Belldandy in full goddess regalia and wings descending toward him. At this moment he awakens at the temple. At first a little sad that the vision he saw was just a dream, he's startled to hear the same song again. Looking about in amazement he sees Belldandy in goddess-like serenity singing next to him. His earlier dream flashes back and he envisions Belldandy in her goddess avatar again sitting in the giant tree. The vision disappears, replaced by Bell in her normal clothes sitting on the walkway with him. She continues to sing as she turns and smiles at him, and a confused and somewhat bemused Keima sits and listens as she finishes the song she was obviously singing just for him. The importance here is that Keima is shown as having visions of Belldandy as a goddess and in situations that relate back to her role in the heavens, either because OF the song or because something in his nature responded TO the song that way. The distinction is significant and we'll see later that it is probably the second reason. Still under the spell of the song/vision Keima starts to ask if Belldandy is something supernatural, but Bell smiles back as he speaks and the spell is somewhat broken. Feeling his earlier question would have sounded foolish, Keima pauses then thinks of a far more important one. He comments on how much Keiichi seems to like her, and Bell responds with a full blush and the admission that she likes Keiichi too, very much. Keima somehow senses just how powerful and compelling Belldandy's affection is, and she then goes on to the most important exchange in the chapter. Dark Horse's version seems to have been written to make the "thank you" at the end more logical but detracts somewhat from the power of Belldandy's statement. The phrase "to walk with you until life ends" is as close to a vow of total commitment as you can get and actually is used as a marriage proposal. So in this scene Keima is symbolically asking Belldandy if she is going to marry his son, and she says yes. Here are both versions (NK - Nekomi Kodai translation. DH - Dark Horse translation.): NK Belldandy: I ... made a promise. To always be by his side DH Belldandy: I ... made him a promise. I told him I'd never leave his side. NK Keima: ... I see. So you will walk with him then. (Note, not a question) DH Keima: ... Did you? Will you walk with him for me? NK Belldandy: Until ... life ends. DH Belldandy: Yes. Until the end. NK Keima: ... Thank you. DH Keima: ... Thank you. Things having gotten rather dramatic, so it's time to cue the comic relief as the other three goddesses pratfall their way onto the walkway to help cure Keima of his fear of women. As they topple onto him, Keima starts to go into panic mode, only to be halted by a karate chop to the head by his wife, Takano. (Note Keiichi is the one who exclaims, "Takano?!" or "Takano-san?!" and Megumi is the one who says, "But why are you..." or "Why!?" next to him. Dark Horse's layout makes it look sort of like its Skuld saying it.) (The seiyuu for Mara in the audio dramas and mini goddesses is Takano Urara. Whether this is another of Mr. Fujishima's little guest references is unknown.) Takano is shown from the start as a direct speaking, take-charge sort as opposed to Keima's more tentative and holding back attitude. She first explains how she had to follow Keima down because he forgot to bring the rest of the food she had prepared her kids and it would only be good for a day. The implication (K-1 and Megumi's "ha-ha-ha") is that this is a normal thing with Keima and somewhat expected. (The really interesting point is that she's driven half the length of Japan to deliver some sort of perishable commodity that could probably be picked up locally and at far less than the cost of the gas involved after having already sent her husband on a similar mission just before her. I smell excuse to visit kids without looking like we are.) She next more or less demands (in a politely motherly way) for Keiichi to explain the situation. (That is, the living at the temple with all the women. One point that is never explained is how Takano knew where the temple was that Keiichi was living at if Keima didn't. Probably just a plothole, but then again...) From Keiichi and Megumi's facial expressions (especially K-1's eyes) it's obvious that Takano's question involves how her son has come to be living in a private residence (on temple grounds) with three beautiful women and a young girl. Keiichi struggles to come up with a coherent answer, but Takano proves impatient and suggests a couple solutions of her own: Takano: I got it! *pon* (At this point Takano uses the phrase ending "be", an accent that marks her as from the country. This accent is considered rather demeaning in modern Japan and even people who might have grown up with it try not to use it front of anyone other than family and close friends. In Japanese manga and anime this accent is used as a sort of "bumpkin" or "hick" kind of speech, further reinforcing the stereotype. It should be noted that when Takano talks to the other goddesses later, she does not use this sort of accent. Her use of it now might be to reinforce the silly reasons she's coming up with for Keiichi's situation. Keiichi: Eh!? Takano: This place is a convent. Keiichi: Everybody has hair... Takano: I guess you're right. (Specifically, a Buddhist convent. Buddhist nuns will shave their heads as well as monks.) Keiichi: It's begun... Megumi: It's always been like this. (Apparently Takano likes to make wild guesses about things based on little knowledge, possibly a ploy to distract attention while she does her serious analysis.) Takano: I got it, this place is an inn, and you're the resident manager. Takano: That one's Ichinose-san, there's Yotsuya-san, Roppongi-san... Keiichi: What kind of story is that. (Characters and plot from the series Maison Ikkoku) Takano: Everyone here is your girlfriend. Keiichi: Sorry. Takano, reflecting on the posibility of her son being a ladies man: There's no way. (Common harem manga/anime plot situation.) At this point Takano pauses to exchange an almost knowing look with Belldandy, and then they introduce themselves. Takano gives Bell the perishable food (possibly some fish dish, according to the bag label) she'd brought with her, seemingly recognizing her as the mistress of the house, then cryptically announces that Bell is the girl Keiichi loves (or likes a lot). Keiichi is stunned, how could Takano know that already? Takano at first says it because she's his mother (and thus automatically knows such things), and then adds as an afterthought that she heard Keima and Bell talking earlier. Keiichi still feels it unlikely that she should be able to tell the depth of their feelings from just a partial conversation, so Takano drops the little bombshell on Keiichi that Bell had answered Keima's commitment question with a strong affirmative, much to Keiichi's surprise. She then challenges Keiichi to prove his commitment by racing his father. Keiichi agrees. Implied in this exchange is that Takano has a habit of appearing to be able to read her children's minds and of challenging them to back up their beliefs, training them to not hide things from her (because they can't) and making them decide what's worth putting up a fight for (is the reward or the belief worth the risk involved). Megumi notes... Nothing much Megumi specific in this chapter other than she stands by her brother and pretty much responds to their mother's actions in the same manner as he does. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 34) Parents arc, part 6, Mother's Battle, Father's Battle - NOV. 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 147, Vol. 23, Sept. 25 release Chapter notes... The chapter starts with a recap of the end of the previous chapter, with Takano asking Keiichi if he'd be willing to prove the strength of his affection for Belldandy by racing Keima. After a brief pause for thought, Keiichi readily agrees, but goes on to point out his motorcycle has a sidecar, making it unsuitable for racing. Takano smiles and indicates that Keima and Megumi have already started detaching the sidecar. When Keiichi begins to bring up another possible problem, he's stopped by the sight of Megumi walking past with the necessary tools and parts to revamp the BMW's suspension for sidecar-less operation. I don't think he was stalling, but rather just being practical and reviewing what had to be done. After watching his mother's hand gestures Keiichi realizes there's no point in worrying about it, if Takano says it will happen, it will, and just joins in with the work of conversion. At this point Keiichi makes the interesting statement of calmly telling Keima that this time he's going to win. Keima replies equally calmly that that's something Keiichi can say after he's actually won, and goes on to point out that so far Keima has beaten his son in racing 97 times. Keiichi marvels that Keima has kept such close track. It's obvious that this racing against each other is an important thing between father and son, and that winning and losing in these races has great significance to both of them. There's a lot going on in the next sequence. While Keima has apparently accepted Belldandy for his son without reservations, Takano is of a more inquisitive nature. She has nothing against Belldandy as of now, but she wants to know a lot more about her before she'll feel comfortable leaving her son in her care. But Takano isn't the direct sort, she likes to put people into situations and then judge them by their reactions. That's what the whole Belldandy - Takano conversation/bet sequence is about, Takano trying to get a handle on Belldandy emotionally. Keiichi finally announces his BMW is ready and he and Keima mount up, already in their mentally competitive zones. But since this is Takano's show, she has to decide where they are to race. She unhesitatingly turns to Megumi who just as quickly suggests the mountain road between the two Nekomi Campuses. Belldandy points out (in the interests of fairness) that Keiichi is very familiar with this route while Keima has never ridden it before. Takano brushes this objection off, continuing to display her confidence in HER husband's ability to win anywhere. The two Morisato males take off with a bit of showboating wheelies and seemingly ignore Takano's parting instructions to not get hurt, much to her annoyance. Megumi sees this as normal family dynamics, while Bell doesn't seem at all expressive. Meanwhile, back in the temple, the other three goddesses are also preparing to move out (Skuld has some sort of drive transmission, Urd has an sealed ampoule of some sort, and Peorth has a rose). Their plans, whatever they were, are cut short by an innocent seeming Belldandy who appears before them and asks where they're going, thus ending "Operation Keiichi Definite Win". Belldandy and Takano continue to bond as Bell offers tea and yokan, then Takano spots the TV in the tearoom. There are two guest reference jokes in the sequence where Takano is examining how many channels there are there on the mainland. The first is a fast one, Dark Horse prints it as, "Iwata I Hate You!" while Nekomi Kodai shows it as, "Iwata-san, you're in last place." But both may be references to Iwato Mitsou, the seiyuu for Gan-chan. The second gets a bit involved. Nekomi Kodai... Reporter: Good evening, this is investigative reporter Miyamura Yuuko... Yuuko: Right now it's very dark, and I don't like it... TV Screen: Investigative Reporter Miyamura Yuuko Yuuko: I'm at a place called Inokuradai... *BU* Dark Horse... Reporter: Good evening and welcome to Yuko Miyamura's - News Attack!!! Yuko: I'm afraid to close my eyes... I'm afraid to open them... TV Screen: Attack Reporter Yuko Miyamura Yuko: For they say Inokuradai is home to... *Click* Yuko Miyamura was the voice actress for Asuko in Evangelion, along with many other roles. At the time she was doing a cameo part as a TV instructor in the film Battle Royale (which came out in Dec of 2000 in Japan) This is an actual drawing of the actress with her hair the way it was in the movie, reprising her role in the movie, so someone (whose initials are KF) was having a bit of fun with her. (From the Dark Horse notes section, TPB #23, editor Carl Horn) Urd at this point turns off the TV and informs Takano if she wants to watch it she has to "win the right". Peorth then offers the usual games the goddesses play to determine television privileges. Takano sort of sniffs this off and produces a rather professional looking Mahjong set, which she quickly sets up with what can only be considered practiced ease. Expressing disbelief that the three goddesses don't know how to play, Takano sets about explaining the game to them while Megumi marvels in the way daughters do about their mother's foibles that she can't believe Takano brought a game set with her. At this point it should be pointed out that in Japan Mahjong is not a parlor game but rather a more serious pastime, occupying a position similar to stud poker as a recreational occupation. It's usually played for money and even between friends the play is serious. Its not the sort of thing respectable young ladies are supposed to be involved in. Takano's whole attitude during this sequence is that of a Mahjong shark luring fresh marks. The chapter ends with Belldandy getting Megumi to serve the tea and yokan so she can go outside and dispatch a mini version of herself. Megumi notes... Megumi works on converting Keiichi's motorcycle as an equal with her father and brother, and knows where Keiichi keeps his hidden parts. Takano then turns to Megumi for a good location for the race, not Keiichi or the other goddesses. Like Keima, she also seems to consider Megumi as the child to turn to for advice and information of that nature. Megumi does not accompany them to the race site, however. This competition is to be between the males of her family. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Parents arc, part 7, Let's Dance - DEC. 2000 issue Kodansha chapt. 148, Vol. 23, Oct. 25 release Chapter notes... In this chapter we finally see a display of Keima's fatherly pride in his son and how far he has come in his skills and abilities. But apparently to Keima the most important aspect of this feeling is that he no longer needs to hold back and can compete against his son with everything he's got. Next we hear Keiichi comment on how he's still in awe of his old man's abilities and that in spite of his earlier words, he's not sure if he'll beat him. At this point we have a discrepancy between the Dark Horse text and Nekomi Kodai text that does change the story angle a bit. In the Dark Horse version, panel one on page 152 has Keiichi thinking, "But some little voice tells me... ...I shouldn't give up so easily." Nekomi Kodai's version goes - Keiichi: "Maybe I can't win..." Then another voice says, "That's not true." The second voice turns out to be Belldandy in her mini-form. Thus the remaining four panels on the page are: Keiichi wondering who said that, then him looking down and being surprised by something so that he lets go of the BMW's handlebars and startles Keima by his erratic behavior, Keima then wonders if this was some sort of focusing technique on the part of Keiichi, and finally we're shown what has surprised Keiichi, Belldandy standing on his jacket zipper. With Mini-Belldandy now with him, Keiichi explains just how good his father is at racing and that his only hope for victory is that he has special knowledge of the road ahead and without it he would never be able to beat his father. That and he has the aid and inspiration of a goddess on his side. The chapter ends with Belldandy enjoying how father and son seem to anticipate each other's moves and counter them in a pattern that almost looks as if they were dancing. Megumi notes... Megumi is not in this chapter ------------------------------------------------------------------- Parents arc, part 8, About Meeting While Racing - JAN. 2001 issue Kodansha chapt. 149, Vol. 23, Nov. 25 release Chapter notes... A lot happens in this chapter, but not much of an instructive nature. It's mostly just for fun and set up for later. It begins with Belldandy continuing to emote over the beauty of Keiichi's and Keima's riding against each other, then there's a brief father-son moment over riding motorcycles, this is disrupted when Keima's bike kicks up a stone that knocks out Keiichi's headlight. Keiichi tries to continue the race, relying on his memory of how the road runs, but Keima knows the race is over, since to continue at any rate of speed would be foolish for his son. Then Belldandy steps in and creates a light bubble around Keiichi's BMW so he can see the road again. At first confused by what has happened, Keima decides that since Keiichi's light is back the race is on and its time to get serious. (The drawings imply Keima's attitude is that if it isn't bothering Keiichi, he's not going to worry about it.) The story returns to ace reporter Yuko Miyamura, who is apparently interviewing the former Queen of the Inokuradai pass about the earlier ghost motorcycle sightings. As the interview progresses, Keima and Keiichi come roaring around the bend, Keiichi's BMW all aglow with its goddess induced aura, and scares the bejeezes out of the news crew, who promptly call their producer who has their production van at a row of vending machines down the road. The chapter ends with Keiichi beginning to review his secret plan to beat his father. Megumi notes... Megumi is not in this chapter ------------------------------------------------------------------- Parents arc, part 9, Towards The Believing Road - FEB. 2001 issue Kodansha chapt. 150, Vol. 23, Dec. 25 release Chapter notes... This chapter continues from the last one, as Keima begins to wonder what Keiichi is doing since his actions aren't making sense, then Keima realizes what Keiichi's plan was and that he can't avoid it. Keiichi is just starting to congratulate himself when a situation neither of the racers could have planned for occurs. The producer in the TV news van is backing across the road, checking out his crew's report of a ghost motorcycle. He's positioned in such a way that the road is blocked and there's only room for one motorcycle to squeeze between it and the guard railing at a time. One of the racers will have to drop back quickly or there's going to be a crash, but whoever does so will definitely lose. Keiichi and his father exchange glances, each deciding whether or not to play chicken. Keiichi has a brief flashback of his mother asking if he would protect this girl with his life (Dark Horse), or "I'll see your resolve then" (Nekomi Kodai), and Keiichi, without much further emotional thought knows what he has to do. Belldandy, sensing his decision agrees completely, and Keiichi drops back behind Keima. Megumi notes... Megumi is not in this chapter ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 35) Parents arc, part 10, Prepared To Win - MAR. 2001 issue Kodansha chapt. 151, Vol. 24, Jan. 25 release Chapter notes... Continuing from the previous chapter, Keima is at first surprised, and perhaps a little disbelieving that Keiichi gave up his chance so quickly. Keiichi again surprises him by apparently attempting to continue the race on the other side of the guardrail. But before any further emotions can be expressed, the open space between the guardrail and mountainside disappears in a dense growth of weeds. Keima shouts an involuntary warning as Keiichi disappears into the undergrowth. Fortunately there is no sign of a crash or other extreme ending and Keima assumes Keiichi and his BMW have soft-landed in the brush and it will just take a while for him to get out. Sadly, Keima continues the race, he's honor bound to finish the course so as to actually win it, but this was not how he wanted it to be. He'd much prefer a neck and neck with his son (and maybe losing to him wouldn't be all that bad, as long as it was an honest win.) Then, out of a drainage culvert, Keiichi and his BMW reappear on the road next to the totally astonished Keima. (Mr. Fujishima has included two drawings, one an aerial view, to show how Keiichi accomplished this.) Father and son break out into happily relieved laughter over the situation and continue the race, Keima in the lead and Keiichi right behind trying to find a way to pass as Belldandy once again comments on how beautiful the harmony of their racing together is. Back at the temple, the Mahjong contest has reached a crescendo as Urd, Peorth, and Skuld all are very close to winning with spectacularly rare and difficult combinations. Then Takano beats them all with a very ordinary, but still very winning rack. The impression that Takano is some sort of Mahjong sharp is continued, not that she cheats (which the goddesses may have been doing a bit of) but that she is very good. (Nekomi Kodai had a very good analysis of the four Mahjong hands in question, which I'll repost in the trivia topic.) (**) Meanwhile, Megumi has stopped Belldandy in the inner hallway and tries to apologize for all the disruption her parents have caused in Belldandy's household. Megumi seems to feel it is her duty to run interference and apologize for her parents' unusual behavior (as opposed to the behavior expected of senior Japanese family members.) Belldandy basically tells her not to worry, she's enjoying meeting Megumi and Keiichi's parents and finds the great love they have for each other and their children to be wonderful. Megumi is rather amazed that Bell feels that way, as most people think her parents are rather strange. But based on body language, Megumi too has always felt a great love between her parents and is grateful that Bell can sense it. More than ever she feels Belldandy is the right person for Keiichi, but before she can finish her statement Bell announces the racers are back. (The artwork implies her split-off mini-form has returned to her.) The ladies assemble at the temple gate behind Takano and wait expectantly for Keima and Keiichi to stop. With Takano posed dramatically above them, Keiichi announces ruefully, "I didn't win." Takano looks down with her eyes closed, her image that of someone who's heard what she expected. Belldandy appears a little sad (probably for Keiichi's sake) while the other three goddesses exchange questioning looks while commenting, "he lost?" Then Takano, with a mother's concern and no triumph in her features says basically, you forfeited the race didn't you. Bell and Keiichi both look surprised at this (it was the truth). Takano descends from on high toward her son and explains that she could tell that her husband and son were now equals in their skill as riders just from the way they started, so Keiichi should have pulled at least even with Keima. But she knew her husband would never back down in a race situation with someone he felt worthy of racing against, so if a situation arose where someone would have to give way for the other, she was sure it would be Keiichi. When Keiichi asks if that means she thinks he lacks determination she chastises him. When a person has something in their life worth risking that life to protect, she says, their normal resolve should be to always come back alive from dangerous situations in order to BE able to protect that something. Do or die situations are rare and not risking one's life or the lives of others is the more honorable action in almost all cases. She finishes this explanation with a look and a slight dig at Keima, who blushes embarrassedly because he knows that he's been guilty of just that sort of risk taking behavior in his races (including this one) in spite of having expressed the same opinion at different times in the past. Takano then smilingly announces that since she won the bet, it's time for Belldandy to tell her who she really is. As she waits in happy expectation the other goddesses stand aghast, Megumi, for some reason, looks stunned, Keiichi appears shocked, and Belldandy rather serenely replies, "Of course, I'm a..." Megumi notes... See above. (**) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 36) Parents arc, part 11, That "True Self" - APRIL 2001 issue Kodansha chapt. 152, Vol. 24, Feb. 25 release Chapter notes... Continuing from the previous chapter, Belldandy prepares to explain that she's a goddess. However, she only manages to get as far as the first syllable ("G-" for goddess in English, "Me-" for megami in Japanese) before the other three goddesses and Keiichi cover her mouth with their hands. She tries this a couple of times before Keiichi steers her away. Keima and Takano try guessing various words that begin with "G" in English (and "Me" in Japanese) in an attempt to figure out what Bell's saying, until Urd distracts Takano by reminding her they haven't finished the Mahjong game. Keima is left looking rather pensive, as if determining a course of action, then he asks Megumi if she has a gas torch. Keiichi and Belldandy get away from the temple residence and have a brief but meaningful discussion about if and why Bell shouldn't reveal she's a goddess to anyone. Bell asks if this would apply to even Keiichi's parents, and he admits that they probably have an idea about what's going on already; being how they are (implying he's always found them to be very perceptive of things). He then repeats his intent to always be there for her and they return to the residence without seemingly having made a decision. This is the first of two places where the Nekomi Kodai translation significantly differs from the Dark Horse version in this chapter and to my mind fits the pictures better. As Keiichi walks into the Tearoom he sees Peorth, Urd, and Skuld sitting with books or boxes on their heads, obviously the penalty decided by Takano for losing the Mahjong tournament, as Takano is seated happily watching the television. Keiichi's side commentary fits in either version. (Additional information from Tri Ring, "Mahjong starts with 30,000 points for each player symbolized by sticks instead of chips and kept in a box. The representation of the three with boxes on their head means that Takano sucked all three dry of their sticks which is quite rare." Aha! so that's what that meant! Further support for the notion that Takano is indeed a Mahjong Shark! And here she's just playing for fun. I wonder what percentage of her kid's college funds has come from the local Mahjong Parlors. You know, that would go along with the cultivated "Rural Hick" accent, cute lil' innocent housewife in from the country looking to play a little Mahjong with the big bad city professionals.) Next panel we see Takano turned around with a smile and in the Dark Horse version calls to Keiichi and begins to mention the envelope Chihiro (who as far as we know she hasn't met) gave Keima. For some reason this causes Keiichi to go into a panic and he blurts out something about how it was for helping at the shop. This really makes no sense and Takano's confusion is justified. In the Nekomi Kodai version Takano calls to Keiichi and begins talking about the "True Self" thing again, a much more believable reason for Keiichi to go into panic mode and it's he who starts blabbing about a ticket Keima got for a hot spring, which is what confuses Takano. Successfully diverted from the "True Self" question again, Takano tells Keiichi that Keima wants him outside (and apparently this applies to all the goddesses as well). Once outside, Belldandy is struck with an almost childlike wonder by the gift Keima has made for her, a glass feather, and asks if it's really for her. An embarrassed Keima says it is, and that he's made one for each of the ladies of the household. Urd, Skuld, and Peorth press forward to see what he has for them, their sudden presence triggering a panic retreat on Keima's part. The glass feathers are highly appreciated by the goddesses, who seem to respond to them on a more ethereal level than one would expect, briefly revealing themselves in their winged goddess avatar forms to a suitable startled Keima and Takano. The moment passes quickly, leaving Takano and Keima a little stunned and unsure of what they just saw. (The goddesses all have the classic, "What, nothing unusual here" looks about them as they sit on the porch while Keiichi has a rather pained "I didn't see anything" look about him. When the parents look to Megumi for some sort of confirmation, we see that she's been playing with Velsper and missed the whole exchange. Hence the reason Keiichi is thanking Velsper for side tracking her.) Still, Takano begins to put what she's just witnessed into words, that Belldandy's "G-" is for "goddess," so Keiichi leaps in with the first lame distracting question he can think of to change the subject. (The crossed hands are a negating hand signal from Japanese quiz shows.) Why can Keima only stand to be by Takano (and Megumi)? Megumi jumps in and choruses the question as something she'd like to know too. Takano smiles (maybe with a little nostalgic affection) and answers its because he truly loves them. Belldandy takes this calmly as nothing new, but Keiichi and Megumi are a bit stunned. Since they've been at the temple Keima has been able to be close to Belldandy too, so that must mean he loves her as well! This line of thought isn't pursued any further and we next see Keima and Takano getting ready to return to their home the next morning. This is the next spot that Dark Horse and Nekomi Kodai differ noticeably in their interpretations. In the Dark Horse version we see Takano sitting in her car saying "see ya" then she adds, "Oh yeah Bell... tell me..." at which point Keiichi freaks and leaps in to interrupt her statement, surprising both Belldandy and Megumi and provoking his mother to ask what's wrong with him. Not particularly coherent but not wildly improbable. In the Nekomi Kodai translation she again starts out with "Bye then." but pauses to add "Ah, that's right, Bell-chan... Shoutai-" at which point Keiichi leaps in because he thinks what Takano is saying is Shoutai, the Japanese for "true self" and is about to ask about Bell being a goddess again.. As he flies past, Takano finishes her statement with "-jou, I'll give one to you." What Takano was saying then was she would give Belldandy a shoutaijou, Japanese for a written invitation, implying that she and Keiichi should come and visit at anytime. If you look in the car Takano is holding a square piece of paper as Keiichi makes a fool of himself. In this version Takano again asks her flustered son, "What ARE you doing?" at this point. While I'm not certain, I believe this would indicate that Takano has also accepted Belldandy as potential family. (It's possible this paper is the sweepstakes ticket that comes up later, but there's no evidence one way or the other.) Takano then lowers her sunglasses and drives off, followed by Keima giving his son and daughter a more comradely slap on the back and hand before he too takes off after his wife, leaving Keiichi and Megumi standing and wondering why they had come down to see them in the first place. It's Belldandy who answers them, saying their parents were just worried about them and wanted to make sure they were okay. She then makes one of her magical gestures, fingers to mouth. As we see Keima and Takano driving side by side on the road back, they're somehow discussing who Belldandy really is. How they do this over the engine noise is unknown and I don't think it was supposed to indicate mental telepathy between them, but it's an intriguing thought. Nothing is actually said conclusively, but both parents seem to have a similar feelings about Bell and her "true nature". In the last double page panel we see that Holy Bell is overhead escorting them back home. Obviously Belldandy also cares a great deal about them as well. As a final bit, we return to the location where the arc started in the offices of Whirlwind where it is disclosed that Chihiro had given Keima a free lottery ticket for a hot spring vacation as her compensation gift and that somehow Keima has given it to Bell and Keiichi. While Chihiro goes on about how Keima deserved it, Keiichi can't help but consider how cheep Chihiro is. This plays off against Chihiro mooching a meal from K-1 and Bell at the start of the arc and definitely fits into the next set of stories. I believe this is the point where Mr. Fujishima decided to make Chihiro being a bit stingy part of her character profile. Megumi notes... Not much new here that hasn't been shown before, other than it's interesting that the trouble was taken to explain why Megumi didn't see the goddesses exposing their inner avatars. The implication is that she would have seen it as clearly as her parents and Keiichi and drawn much stronger conclusions from it because of her additional experience. ==================================== 3.2 So what do these appearances tell us about Megumi? Revised 2/7/2009 3.2.1 While sharing many attributes with Keiichi, Mr. Fujishima has tried very hard to make Megumi's personality distinctly different from her brother's by giving all the traits they share in common her own unique spin. They're both intensely competent motorcycle riders, exhibiting the same skills and abilities as their father. Keiichi, however, is a more technical rider while Megumi is a more instinctive one. That is, Keiichi uses his experience and knowledge of the dynamics of riding to plan his moves. He decides what actions he's going to take based on the situation; they may be split second but they're still calculated. In this respect he resembles his mother, the gambler. Megumi is more inclined to just open the throttle wide and trust her feel for the road, riding the way her father does. In either case, once one of them has run a course a few times, they develop a mental map of the best way to handle it. They both are very skilled mechanics and engineers with a "feel" for machinery, much like their father. They both have the necessary talent to visualize what must be done to get from what they have to what they want and how to go about it, but their versions of this ability are interestingly reversed. In Megumi's case, she uses her talents mostly for practical purposes, being primarily interested in getting the maximum performance out of her work. Her approach to such work is very matter-of fact, but at the same time she's highly creative, visualizing things that have never been before and seeing how to put them together. The Pot Shaker Dragon is an excellent example of such designing from the ground up. For Keiichi, however, mechanics and engineering is more of an emotional thing and he's inspired by both the technical results and the beauty of creation in what he does. But he's not all that creative himself. If he already knows what it is he's trying to design (like a hill climb motorcycle), he can assemble and modify existing systems to reach that goal as well as anybody. Likewise, when given a pre-existing object, he can almost intuitively sense how it is supposed to work and how to restore or mend it. (That's why he's so good at repairing things.) But when it comes to creating something completely new, he has trouble visualizing it and often has to rely on the inspiration of others. He’s better at taking something pre-existing and seeing a new way of using it. Once this initial conceptualization has occurred, he can take over the process of creating it, but he sometimes needs help for that first big step. This difference between the brother and sister can be related to how their parents are portrayed. Megumi is more like her mother on the outside, direct and practical, but closer to her father on the inside, artistically creative, imaginative, and having a strong sense of personal honor. Keiichi is more like his father on the outside; shy, trustworthy, trying hard to not disappoint anyone but leery of responsibility, while being more like his mother on the inside, observing, calculating, and decisive when the time comes. Megumi and Keiichi also seem to share their father's desire to avoid certain responsibilities, while at the same time taking those responsibilities extremely seriously once they have them. Neither of them actively seek positions of authority and reflexively fall back on the "just kidding" defense when it looks like their actions are about to get them into an uncomfortable situation. And both of them are markedly unhappy when circumstances force them into a position of authority. This attitude is not that uncommon for people who feel strongly bound to honor their promises and personal responsibilities. The stronger this feeling, the more likely they are to want to avoid being put in a position to have to be that way. Megumi's determined stance to NOT be called the "Queen" of the mountain race circuit parallels Keima's insistence that he not be called "Father". But once she's accepted the fact that she's been handed the position, she quickly adopts to the other bikers treating her that way, accepts (and makes use of) the authority that comes with it, and when a new challenge appears (the "ghost" motorcycle) feels obligated to defend her position. Her referring to Keiichi and Belldandy as the "true" king and queen of the mountain pass is both another way of denying her title, while at the same time showing her respect and admiration for her brother and his girl's abilities. Keiichi's version of this attitude is best demonstrated at the start of "It's Lonely At The Top." Further manifestations of it will be dealt with in his own section. 3.2.2 Momma Megumi ......... In most ways though, Megumi seems to resemble Takano; with her no-nonsense, take charge attitude and slightly cynical observations of the world around her (especially her brother's activities in the romance department). She also seems to share her mother's talent for being able to cover for herself when she's challenged. And finally, she seems to feel a responsibility to act as a surrogate for their mother, advising and looking out for her brother in a maternal manner while trying not to appear so. 3.2.3 Clothing and Romance.......... Much has been said about Megumi's personal appearance (or lack there of). Mr. Fujishima sometimes comes across as a frustrated fashion designer, creating all sorts of fancy outfits for the goddesses and other female cast members to wear. Fancy, frilly, fantastic, or fundamental, they all have an obvious feminine flair to them. But in Megumi's case he seems to have made a special effort to dress down her femininity. Sora Hasegawa is seen wearing outfits with more sex appeal than Megumi and even Mara finds her wardrobe uninspiring. Not that Megumi's taste in clothes is overly butch; they DO have a certain girly look to them, sometimes, but in general its jeans, shorts, Tee shirts, jean jackets, and duffel coats. And of course boots and riding gaiters. About the sexiest outfit we've seen her in was her bicycle shorts and Tee shirt top in the "Battle For Keiichi." (Of course she was supposed to be acting romantic in that story.) Megumi herself, we're told, is supposed to look kind of cute close up (by Mara, of all people; but then she would know.) and her character was designed by Mr. Fujishima to have a generally cute look. So what's with the lack of fashion sense? (While not in the manga story itself, Mr. Fujishima has done some stand-alone portraits of Megumi that reveal a far more flirty, feminine side of her. We also see her putting on make-up in the opening credits of the OAV and looking much more girly in the second episode.) Essentially, I believe what's being show with her character is that while she still maintains a certain female bias in its selection; Megumi is primarily picking her wardrobe for functionality. She's more concerned about how suitable something will be for her real interests, riding and working on her motorcycle, than in if someone (or anyone) will find her attractive in it. And this, I think, is supposed to show that Megumi isn't all that interested in girly romance stuff, like obsessing over boyfriends and such. Not that she's looking in any other directions either, it's just that she's not interested in playing those games. However, as the most recent story arc with her in it seems to show (chapter 224) she IS interested in boys in general. Megumi has shown that she has firm ideas about how relationships should work, so she's thought about the concepts and is all in favor of them (especially for her brother). But having established her standards, she’s now too busy living her life and exploring the new freedom she's just discovered while being on her own at college to want to compromise herself just to tie herself down with some male. Besides, if she's following her family's tradition, she probably figures that eventually she'll run into the right man (like her mother found her father and Belldandy found her brother) and THEN she'll make her move, he’ll be hers, and that will be that. So for now it’s just keeping her eyes open and watching the herd. 3.2.4 Big Brother is Watching Her .................... While I'm certain it isn't meant to imply anything bad about their family, Megumi seems to (secretly) be in tremendous awe of her brother. This could possibly be a result of their growing up in a rural area so they were rather isolated and little sister only had her brother to really measure herself against. This respect and affection for her brother has resulted in several of Megumi's personality traits as seen in the story. First of all it's made Keiichi Megumi's rival and the target of her adolescent rebellion. That's where her bratty attitude toward him comes from. Second, he's her primary playmate; she often only had him to do fun things with so she thinks of him in those terms. That's why she's hung around the NIT-MCC as much as she has even though she doesn't seem to be a member. Third, he's also her role model, so she judges herself against him in measuring her accomplishments. Fourth, he's her protector, the person she instinctively looks to when she feels helpless. And finally, he's the leader in her personal world, and like any good team member she wants to be his trusted supporter. 3.2.5 Conclusion.............. In many ways Megumi has been represented as a typical Japanese younger sister wrapped up in a very untypical package. This makes her personality appear somewhat contradictory. While a seemingly independent, no-nonsense modern woman quite capable of looking after her own affairs, she continually turns to her big brother for help whenever she feels she's in a bind and worries about fulfilling her family obligations to him. She greatly enjoys teasing him and leading him on, but also respects and looks up to him and definitely wants him to respect her and feel confident he can count on her support when things get tough. She can't help trying to expedite her brother's romance and has definite ideas about what it should involve, but doesn’t seem to be to forward about revealing her own affairs of the heart. All in all, Mr. Fujishima probably intended Megumi to be a sort of combination female version of Keiichi (only more self confident), and his idea of a modern Japanese girl (probably based on the girls he's met in the racing and manga fields), both traditional in her attitudes toward family members and personal responsibility, yet also refusing to be defined by them and seeking her own place in the world. She's certainly been all of the above. We’ll see what this new Megumi story arc (chapter 224) adds to our understanding of Keiichi’s little sister. ==================================== 3.3 – Profile Update Based On Dialog and Graphic Interpretation of Chapter 224 - Drunken Queen, and Chapter 230, Those Words, Again, Added 2/7/2009 In the original profile of Morisato Megumi given above, my original conclusion was that Megumi was not really interested in looking for a boyfriend, although she wouldn't have anything against finding one. She was not the sort of girl to sit quietly and wait for some guy to make her life complete, she'd go out and make her own life the way she wanted it and if some guy wanted to come along for the ride all well and good. The events of these chapters haven't really changed that view tremendously, but I now concede that Megumi is a little more of a traditional Japanese gal in wanting to have a boyfriend, but the terms are still her own. Megumi has always been shown as having firm ideas about how relationships should work, and would obviously be applying them to her own search for a partner. So the male students of Nekomi Tech had better be on their guard because this is one little sister who is not going to sit passively by and wait for the boys to get up their nerve and decide she's good enough. If Keiichi could manage to go after and win someone as far superior to himself as Belldandy, Megumi should be able to get someone decent, even if she is superior to them. (Belldandy pulled it off, right?)

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