First Impressions – The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc

Keima is ready to face more divine punishment!

The World God Only Knows is back for a 3rd season! This is one of the funniest series I’ve seen in recent years, with endearing characters and consistently hilarious gags. So despite not having read the manga (beyond the first, Ayumi’s arc), I was excited to see it coming back. Unlike the first 2 seasons and like the more recent OVAs, this one outright names the parts it’s adapting, the “Goddess Arc,” one that I’ve heard manga fans talking up. It looks like we’ll actually get a central story instead of hopping from conquest to conquest, but can it keep delivering the laughs…?
Well, the anime might have skipped a bit of the story, but the anime has finally reached where I believe where the story really takes off. It was good before, but I’m really fond of the Goddess Arc and look forward to seeing it animated.
Keima is at it again! The Capturing God returns for yet another season of TWGOK, but this time it’s different. Instead of evicting evil demons from the hearts of unwitting hosts, Keima is now tasked with finding and protecting Goddesses until they can regain their strength.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 01 (28)The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 01 (32)The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 01 (27)

Just a small glimpse of what we’ve missed.

He Did What to Whom Now?

Sumairii// Honestly speaking, I have mixed feelings about this first episode. But before I elaborate, I should mention that I am an avid reader of the manga, and it’s highly likely this strongly affects my judgment. Anyway, my displeasure with the premiere, as you can probably imagine, lies with the sheer amount of compression necessary to get the viewers “up to date.” There is a jump of at least 70 chapters between the end of season two and the start of this new season. Now, there are also several OVAs which do help bridge this gap, but those cover approximately 10 chapters combined at best. The point is, that’s A LOT of material. And TWGOK attempts to summarize it all in just over 5 minutes. So, how did they do? Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a complete disaster. The show glosses over quite a number of captures, while pausing strategically to highlight only a few. Technically speaking, this is the picture of a summary done well; convey to the viewer only that which is most important. And certainly, those captures that received the most attention were the most important relative to the new season.

And it is for this exact reason that TWGOK has failed to capture what I consider the core of the initial stages of the Goddesses Arc. That is: not knowing which previously conquered girls shelter Goddesses within them (let’s face it, they make it rather obvious). Perhaps the staff consider the mystery only a minor detail relative to everything else that will occur, but I personally feel uninitiated viewers are robbed of the experience. That said, if Manglobe does manage to successfully execute whatever parts of the arc they consider most important, I am willing to believe that this new season will not turn out to be a complete disaster. I’m not such a purist that I will denounce the show for every single detail and girl skipped. I will still be dissatisfied when what I feel to be key developments are glossed over, but that’s nothing that will completely ruin everything. Manglobe is attempting to tackle one monster of an arc in only 12 episodes; and while some may condemn this very act as a sin, I would rather like to see the staff take a crack at and triumph over such a monumental task.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 01 (13)

I always did wondere about the name Diana. Turns out it really was a reference to the Roman goddess. Now, since Diana and Apollo are twins, both children of Jupiter/Zeus, will other goddesses also get names of some of his plentiful progeny?

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So far, Apollo gives me the same vibe as Tsubasa’s meddling cat from the Monogatari series. A self-described idiot alter ego.

Catching the Goddesses

Kara// What to expect from all of this? The Goddess Arc is a bit different from your normal KamiNomi for a couple of reasons. For one, the girls actually remember who Keima is and that they’re all in love with him. …Which, if you didn’t get from the focus on Kanon, the original ‘conquests’ are coming back and will no longer be ignored as much as they were in the past. Of course, this potentially brings trouble for Keima as well since everyone remembers the things Keima did in the past. Aside from that though, there are also demons trying to revive the old hell as well and enemies could be anywhere, so it’s not like Keima can just walk up to the girls, ask if they have goddesses in them, and expect them to answer. Apollo came out kind of easily, but for the most part, the goddesses are going to try to remain hidden. Especially after the stabbing that happened at the end of the episode. …Just ignore the fact that all of the male Roman gods have become female (honestly, I bet you anything this kind of thing happens all the time in Galge anyways.) So long story short, KamiNomi also suddenly gains a plot. It’s amazing. Definitely expect Keima making real life a dating sim like he usually does, but with the added intrigue of having an actual source of antagonism and and end goal other than just collecting souls.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 01 (22)

Please don’t try this at home, kids. Contrary to what this or Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children might have taught you, you will not catch up and you will probably die.

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Oh no! This teacher sucks at taking charge of his class!

If you missed the Tenri-arc, then you’re probably a little lost right now. They kind of recapped it, but I kind of feel like they missed a lot of details with that. I also really felt that absence of the 3 characters KamiNomi never animated. Sure they recapped it, but it’s just not the same as watching it animated. I’ll probably feel this again once the characters that were skipped over become relevant again (and I can’t even image how disconnected the people who only watched the anime will feel), since there’s just so much that wasn’t mentioned. On that note though, I like the choices of seiyuu for the new characters. Especially Tsukiyo’s (Yuka Iguchi), since I really like the monotone(ish) quality of voice she had. It fit my vision of her character perfectly. The animation for KamiNomi has never been anything special (and I honestly wasn’t blown away by anything this episode), but the OP was nice as always. The source material is good, so hopefully the Goddess Arc doesn’t disappoint. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

So, you’ve heard my take on the latest iteration of TWGOK as someone well-versed with the series. But I would very much like to hear the thoughts of those in the audience who don’t follow the manga. Particularly, I wonder how you received this premiere without any foreknowledge of the briefly summarized material. Was it as confusing an experience as I imagine it to be? Or were you perhaps content with what was shown? The other girls aside, it would have been nice to see the captures of Yui and Tsukiyo in full detail (I’m sure you all realize by now it’s no coincidence they were scrutinized in the summary and featured in the OP); but does it really matter? We’re introduced (arguably) sufficiently to these important characters, which should technically suffice for the purposes of the Goddesses Arc. And while it’s questionable how invested the casual viewer can be in these new girls, I think the staff has done an admirable job at compressing so much into 24 short minutes.

I can’t say I’m happy with the choice of using montages to quickly cover 3 girls Keima conquered since the last time we saw him. Okay, the constant cycle of new conquests was getting repetitive, but those arcs looked off the hook! Keima swapped bodies with a rich ojou-sama, met a mad scientist who disappeared immediately, and shared a flying kiss with a girl who became the size of a doll! I want to see all the stress and drama that Keima had to suffer through for these girls. And from what I understand, this is just a small fraction of the stuff that he went through! Is the Goddess Arc that good that you have to skip over so much material just to get to it quickly? And how will the absence of all that content affect our understanding of this arc? Perhaps future OVAs will cover them, but that doesn’t excuse skipping over them now.

At least it hit the ground running. The whole memory wipe thing always felt tragic, and the show is finally confronting it head on. I mean, Kanon confessing to Keima in the 1st episode, in front of the whole class in the middle of an exam? That’s fucking awesome. Trouble is, about the only part in the episode where I laughed out loud was when Keima yelled at Diana about attending different schools when asked to walk with Tenri. I always considered the plot to be secondary in this series, mainly enjoying seeing Keima being the butt of every joke (often violently). And while there’s sufficient intrigue and mystery to drive the story forward, especially with this Lune lady stabbing Kanon, I worry that laughs might be hard to come by this season. I’ll keep watching, but this much anticipated 1st episode has left me disappointed.

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Next episode preview indicates that she’ll be alright, but how awesome would it have been to just kill her off like that in the 1st episode?

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19 Responses to “First Impressions – The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc”

  1. Jrow says:

    I haven’t ever read the manga but have enjoyed all of the anime, and even knowing what Sum mentions about skipping so many chapters of the manga, I’m not bothered any by manglobe’s decision to jump ahead to the start of this arc, even after the tease at the end of Season 2 showing off what would be Keima’s next set of conquests. I felt season 3′s prologue did well enough in showing me what happened to those other girls and specifically the ones that will be involved in the Goddesses arc. lvlln mentions the possibility of repetition which I thought of as well, though like him, I would have figured that (as seen in the prologue) the series would keep finding ways to make each new arc interesting and unique. So… I’m fine with it.

    The OP themes for the previous two seasons I really enjoyed, but this one didn’t quite hit me as well as the other songs/videos did. Maybe it’ll grow on me, I shall see.

    • Karakuri says:

      Ah, see I liked the first theme, the second one didn’t really appeal to me and I like this third one as well.

    • Highway says:

      I never cared for the OP’s before, I dunno, they didn’t feel right not being in Japanese. I did like the EDs more, especially Ai no Yokan from the second series.

      • lvlln says:

        I just don’t like the style of sound for any of the OPs. The EDs were all alright, though. I liked the animation for the 1st one, with all the girls foot painting.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Though I missed the first two seasons, this was an alright episode. As I said in the Summer Anime Catalogue, the premise sounded similar to Date A Live but here I certainly see the differences. The only thing that put off a bit was how snobbish and selfish Keima was for a while but when things get serious, he knows when to shape up. And from the ending, there’s as much action as there is humor and romance.

    Overall, I’m not completely sold but The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc looks like a good enough show to pass the time. And as a side note, I find those girls are too cute to be demons. Is someone pulling my leg or something?

    • Sumairii says:

      No leg pulling. The two devils you will be most acquainted with are just that cute. Other devils, however, you might not find to be the same.

      As for Keima’s attitude, it’s understandable that you might find him a bit selfish if you haven’t seen the first two seasons or followed the manga. From the very beginning, he’s been an unwilling participant roped into a potentially dangerous and definitely time-consuming activity. He tries very hard to retain the attitude that it’s not his problem (aside from the decapitation bit) and to get the job done as quickly as possible, but as time goes on we’ll see that he’s definitely come a long way to respecting the situation.

      • Highway says:

        Personally I still don’t like him, something about the way he complains puts me off.

        • BlackBriar says:

          If it’s about the way he seems to have a superiority complex when he’s talking to others than I can sympathize with your dislike of him. What he said about real girls at the start really got under my skin. You’d think he’d realize 2D girls aren’t going to do him much good in the real world.

          • lvlln says:

            That’s what made him such a good butt monkey in those previous seasons. He’s misanthropic to the max, barely seeing others as humans, so it’s great seeing him being made the fool or just getting physically hurt. None of that in this episode, unfortunately.

    • Karakuri says:

      …I highly suggest you go back and watch the first seasons, or you’ll be lost. And I agree with Suma about Keima. There’s more to him than how he portrayed himself this episode.

  3. Sumairii says:

    This won’t really matter much to those who aren’t familiar with the manga, but it’s worth noting that Manglobe actually changes the plot very casually here. In the manga, Lune doesn’t appear until much later, and she’s not the one who stabs Kanon. But as usual, this is trivial detail that can be excused as a product of the adaptation.

    • belatkuro says:

      I read the manga too but I actually forgot about that until I went to the forums. The whole arc is a big blur to me except for some highlights.
      I’m also disappointed that they skipped a ton of captures but what’s done is done I guess. All I want now is for them to do this arc some justice at least given that they made the decision to jump straight to this and skip about 8 girls, IIRC. At least I hope they inject some parts of the capture when he goes after Yui and Tsukiyo.

      And who was the one who wrote that last part? Whoever you are, you did not just wish mah Kanon to die in the first episode. Them’s fighting words you know. Come out! :P

  4. AllenAndArth says:

    it went a little bit too fast by jumping an entire season of it, an important season with character that become goddess, but, whatever TWGOK is back *0*9

  5. Highway says:

    I’m someone who watched the first two seasons, and doesn’t follow the manga. And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the first two seasons. I don’t really care for Keima that much as a lead, and I really disliked the “love ‘em and leave ‘em” nature of the show. I mentioned this with Date A Live in comparison, because I loved how they kept those girls there.

    So going into this one, I thought blazing through a bunch more girls was fine, because honestly, I thought it was getting repetitive before. Jumping right to this arc where the girls get their memories back adds a much better story, for my tastes. I don’t like Kanon getting stabbed, but we’ll see what happens. But overall, this episode was more interesting than I think another whole series of the previous modus operandi would have been.

    • Sumairii says:

      I had a feeling you’d like this season better. As far as the skip goes, I’m going to have to say that what you point out is probably the exact reason why Manglobe decided to do things this way; another season of standard captures would be excessive.

      Although, I will add that they could definitely have gone about it better. Perhaps the second season could have instead been dedicated to setting up the Goddesses Arc instead of continuing the same old same old. But it could be that there was simply uncertainty about the future of the series before this point, considering the state of the sales.

    • AllenAndArth says:

      if you don’t like the love ” ‘em and leave ‘em ” theme then your going to like this season more than the rest

  6. Soul says:

    Next episode preview indicates that she’ll be alright, but how awesome would it have been to just kill her off like that in the 1st episode?

    Hahahha i like the way you think :)

  7. Cybersteel says:

    If I didn’t like monster of the week themes I wouldn’t be watching some Sentai would I? i’m ok with TGWOK’s girl of the week.
    http://powerrangers.wikia.com/wiki/Hikonin_Sentai_Akibaranger

  8. AllenAndArth says:

    one of the thing i didn’t like in this season, right of the bat, was that he skipped yui’s reversal conquest, i was hoping to see that, it’s one of my favorites conquests

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