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A Pleasant Surprise; Now A Favorite.
on March 25, 2012
High-schooler Katsuragi Keima loves girls, but not in the conventional sense. No, the girls he loves are that of the digital realm, pixelated princesses of the various dating sim games he spends every waking moment playing. In fact, his lady love has earned him the title of "capturing god" amongst the online gaming community since he can successfully win over any game heroine. Unfortunately for Keima, this title has drawn some unusual attention. One day he receives a strange email challenge and becomes roped into helping a demon (Elsie) capture escaped demon souls. The trick: in order to capture said souls, he must first capture the hearts of the girls they've lodged themselves into. Yikes.
When I first read the synopsis for The World God Only Knows, I have to admit I thought it was going to be a corny, lovey-dovey show, but it quickly proved me wrong. God Only Knows is more of a comedy than anything, and had me in hysterics from the first episode. Much of this comes from Keima's lack of interest in the real world. He regularly uses gaming references to explain the world around him, comparing real people to classic game character stereotypes or dismissing something/someone because it's been overdone in his games and therefore not worth his time. But as dorky as this makes him sound (and trust me, he is a dork), Keima also manages to pull off this completely cool character profile, because he really is GOOD at what he does. You can't help but love him. Add to this his partner in this whole mess, Elsie, the most adorable demon you've ever seen, who can't seem to get anything right no matter how hard she tries (and she tries hard). More often than not, she's causing Keima grief, like when she attempts to help clean house and blows up half a room!
Plotwise, God Only Knows follows a pretty straightforward, capture a different girl each couple episodes timeline. While this may sound like a good way to make a stale story, each girl and her problems are actually very different. Because of this, the way Keima approaches them (and how they react to him) varies greatly, keeping the anime fresh from beginning to end. Additionally, one begins to wonder just how each girl is affecting Keima and his outlook on life. However, don't expect a "wrap all things up" ending with this anime. Despite "the complete collection" title, this is only season one, and while I feel it does end itself well, it will most certainly leave you wondering, "that's it?" (Fortunately, there is a season two that we'll hopefully be seeing for sale in the furture).
Now I should also note the two audio choices on this collection: English and Japanese, because I feel which language you watch makes a big difference in the reception of this anime. While the English VA is good, I find that the Japanese voice actors for Keima and Elsie better emulate their personalities (Keima particularly). The banter that goes on between the two of them is especially stronger. Considering these are the two main characters, I would definitely recommend checking out the Japanese audio if you hadn't planned to. That said, the english translation is very good and still had me rolling with laughter.
Overall, I actually want to give this 4.5 stars. There are one or two parts with a couple of the girls that I felt dragged or was laid on a little thick, but nothing major. I would have also liked to see a little more character growth from Keima, but considering this is based off an ongoing manga series, I really can't condemn it for that. There's obviously much more to come, but if you want a little taste of The World God Only Knows and guaranteed laughs, this anime's a must.