Ah! My Goddess is a romantic comedy. Main character is Keiichi, an eternal loser with a perpetual stroke of bad luck. When he has to stay home while his sempai from the motor club are out for a party, he accidentally dials the Goddess Assistance Hotline. Belldandy, a goddess, answers the phone and enters Keiichi's room through the mirror. He is given a wish, and he wishes that she would stay with him forever. The wish is granted, and they enter in a binding contract.
(Note that this is different from the OVA, where Keiichi wishes she would become his girlfriend. An important difference.)
Whenever they get separated, the Ultimate Force which enforces all contracts between goddesses and mortals, intervenes to keep them together -- often in a rather slapstick manner. It is an amusing romp through college-life, and once Keiichi's sister and both of Belldandy's sisters (Urd, who wants Belldandy and Keiichi to get together and Skuld, the youngest who want Keiichi to keep his hands off her sister) are added to the mix, some hilarious situations occur.
Some characters are only vehicles for comedy, such as Keiichi's two sempai from the Motor Club. There is one episode where they appear suddenly from behind a bush to instigate some comedy, and when they are questioned as to where they came from, they answer: "Don't worry about such small things!" When they are finished, they dissapear in a puff of smoke, prompting the comment: "Nothing is impossible for them!" The characters all take this bizarreness in stride, and that adds to the charm.
It's not all sunshine and roses, though... Once Marlier, a demon that has been sealed by Belldandy and her sisters, has been unleashed, she tries her best to derail Keiichi's happy life with Belldandy. While this is funny at first, when she releases the Lord of Terror, Urd gets in touch with her demonic side and initiates a program that would destroy the Earth!
That's another thing that is a bit weird: apparently the heavens and earth are governed by programs, run on a mainframe called 'Yggdrassil'. We see the goddesses using terminals to control the flow of data, and God is visualised as a floating column with speakers attached to it. This odd mix of legend and technology is pretty amusing.
The story freely borrows from Norse mythology with respect to characters and names. As if the names of the three goddesses wasn't enough to tip you off, the story features Sleipnir, Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent and valkyries.
It takes Keiichi and Belldandy all of the 24 episodes to decide that they want to be together forever, even when the contract has been anulled. I would have liked for a bit more romance in the series. I mean, Keiichi is a college student, and Belldandy obviously likes him very, very much -- so what is the big deal about confessing his love for her, or kissing her? I found that aspect a bit too drawn out. Obviously, the creators focussed more on the comedy that brings than on the romance.
The series is very well animated, and the voice acting is top-notch. They really went all-out with a all-star cast, which only adds to the high production values. The music is quite good, though I didn't care much for the ending theme of the second season.
- Excellent production values;
- Great cast of characters;
- Genuinely funny;
- Even has a satisfactory conclusion, even though it is based on a much longer manga;
- Romantic at times.
- Romantic plots are less important than the comedy.
All in all, a 9. If you're at all interested in comedy and/or romance, you can't afford to miss this one.