|Ah My Goddess|
|Japanese Title|| "Kimi wa Megami-sama?"
|Release date||January 7, 2005|
|Ah My Goddess Season 1 Part 1|
|January 7, 2005 – April 8, 2005|
"Ah! Those Who Believe Shall Find Salvation?"
This episode opens with a brief narrative about fate and the human condition, speculating on the possibility that humans' fates are controlled by someone or something. The episode then quickly segues into Keiichi waking up from a strange dream of some sort and being ordered out of bed by his upper-classman, Tamiya. We learn from Keiichi's internal monologue that he is a member of the NIT Auto Club (which is currently hard up for cash), and living in an all male dormitory. As his horoscope indicates, it seems that Keiichi is suffering from a run of bad luck. His motorcycle fails to start, and he is turned down quite harshly when he asks Sayoko Mishima (who will be introduced in detail in a later episode) out on a date.
We then follow him to class, where he is carried off by Tamiya and Otaki for an Auto Club meeting. The members of the Auto Club decide to embark on a fund-raising mission; to accomplish this, they drive around campus with a megaphone, offering to fix vehicles of all kinds. A student flags them down and asks them to fix his motorcycle. Tamiya and Otaki do so with surprising competence, and then immediately demand that the student pay them 15,000 yen (about $150). Hearing this, he immediately jumps on his newly-fixed motorcycle and drives off. Keiichi is sent after him on some sort of miniature moped, and manages to catch him, but only after driving through a number of hallways and angering a large flock of his fellow students, who relieve him of his newfound cash, as well as his lunch money to pay for the damages that he inflicted.
When the scene changes, we see Keiichi back at the dormitory some time later, where he is bullied by his upper classmen into watching the dorm (and doing a bunch of house work) while they all go to a party. While they're out, he discovers that he has a video rental to return, so he heads into town to do so. While there, he finds a young girl who is crying her eyes out because she lost her mother's wallet. Even though he knows that being late back to the dorm will get him in trouble, he takes the time to help her find it. He arrives back just in time to answer the telephone and take a message for one of his upper-classmen.
At this point, he decides to place a phone call, only to find himself connected to a female voice that identifies herself as being from the Goddess Relief Office (or Goddess Assistance Agency, according to this translation). Moments later, he receives an unexpected visit from a young woman who comes out of his mirror, giving him quite a start in the process. She introduces herself as the goddess Belldandy, and offers to grant him a wish. After another brief narrative, the episode ends.
There isn't a whole lot of material in this episode that readers of the manga aren't already aware of. It goes into somewhat more depth about Keiichi's life before he meets Belldandy, however. We discover that Keiichi is living under the Star of Misery, which (unsurprisingly, given its name) causes its victims bad luck and misery. Surprisingly, Keiichi manages not to be bitter about this; he lives his life with the earnest hope that things will finally turn around and start going well for him. Perhaps his positive outlook even in the face of such misfortune is what draws Belldandy to him originally?
The TV Series vs the MangaEdit
Interestingly, Keiichi's personality here is much closer to what it is in the current manga, as opposed to the cynical young man we meet at the beginning of the manga series. From a writer's standpoint, when one is working on a long series, the characters therein generally develop their final personalities as things progress; rarely do they ever end up anything like what they were at the beginning. One can only assume that this is the case here; much like the OAVs, the TV series portrays a slightly altered version of events -- one that takes into account the personalities of the characters after the author figured out where he wanted to go with the series. Much like the OAVs, the TV episodes are a retelling of the story as it ought to have been in the first place, except this time the story is unabridged.
The Fateful Phone CallEdit
Popular Oh My Goddess! lore states that Keiichi reached the Goddess Relief Office by dialing a wrong number on his telephone. This is clearly not the case here, as the narration and scenery suggest that Keiichi's connecting to the Goddess Relief Office was not in fact the result of a wrong number, but rather a deliberate redirection of his phone call -- one which Belldandy has been expecting. This is significant in that it confirms that Keiichi was not granted this wish by accident; however, it is unclear whether it was Belldandy's idea, or someone else's. The popular lore is in fact reconfirmed in the manga which gives no indication of an accidental phone call.
As a compulsive overanalyzer of all things Oh My Goddess!, this episode doesn't give me a whole lot to sink my teeth into. It's mostly just a means of setting up the status quo; hence, we don't get to see very much in the way of interesting character development. It's worth note, though, that this episode outlines not only Keiichi's current life, but his personality as well. It's clear from the beginning that he's the sort of person who puts others before himself, even when it costs him a great deal to do so.