The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc – 12 [END]

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 12 (23)

You know what? You’re alright, Chihiro.

Damn it, KamiNomi you had it all. Keima engaged to the best girl going into the big finish, needing only to conquer his own cynicism to achieve victory and true happiness. And you blew it, throwing it all away set up for the (third) worst. Fuck you, Japan.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 12 (8)

Basically the high point of the episode. It was (almost) all downhill from there.

So after all that build up, Ayumi’s capture ended rather poorly. Keima punted, giving up and deciding just to ask her to help him. That’s not what the god of conquest is supposed to do at the climax. And Ayumi went along with it. What was her motivation there? Considering she just recently found out she was being played and that he didn’t love her, I’m a little doubtful that she would be particularly trusting of him. Even if it was told by her best friend, Ayumi was still so kept in the dark that I couldn’t really buy her going along with him so easily. It made as little sense as Chihiro teaming up with Keima a day after he broke her heart. I reluctantly swallowed that last week, but I think my belly’s too full at this point to accept any more such plot conveniences.

The rest of the episode was messy as well and pretty much explained nothing. This was exactly what I had worried about, that Manglobe would have to rush to fit everything in the final episode and half-ass every conclusion. Diana got her wings with the only explanation being something Tenri said off-screen to her. Kanon/Apollo was saved by her sisters from her watery sleep, but that dream sequence earlier with Keima was dropped. The goddesses were saved from Vintage in about 10 seconds, and it took about that much more for them to put a stop to what Vintage was doing at that rock. Considering it’s been about 10 episodes since we last heard much about the role of the goddesses, a little more setup before they pressed the Win button would have been nice. And what did Maijima Academy and its seal have to do with them? Akari randomly turned out to be a demon from the loose souls team, which conveniently popped out all at once to defeat Vintage’s forces (they didn’t do that earlier because…?). Yuri-sensei said hi to LC, but with no explanation of why she was keeping tabs on her (like I wondered 2 weeks ago, wouldn’t it have been a better use of LC’s time to directly help Keima?).

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 12 (16)

As video game developers have proven time and again, light bloom makes everything look pretty, and using more of it can only make things look prettier.

After seeing an entire season of Keima working his ass off to free these goddesses, this wasn’t the payoff we were looking for. Manglobe told us at the beginning that the goddesses were critical to defeating Vintage, but when it came time to show us, they dropped the ball. This was supposed to be the season that broke free from the pattern of partitioned stories of conquests, and it couldn’t put it all together. In some ways it did worse than prior seasons, since it ran through the same girls again and only had time to spend one episode each on most of them.

Though I actually really liked the concert scene. Sure, it was no Live Alive (which was SEVEN years ago! I would have thought such animation would be standard for concert scenes by now!), but the raw emotional energy was there. You see me hating on Chihiro, but you know what, the way the story set her up for the true end was pretty good, and that moment when she saw a glimpse of the goddesses was magical. Then there were her tears, followed Keima’s. It kills me inside that the story abandoned Ayumi’s route for her, but this path isn’t a bad one to take. As the odd girl out this season, Chihiro built up some good chemistry as Keima’s helper toward the end, even if I was rolling my eyes at the contrivance. Though I preferred to see them more like siblings due to their hair and eye styles.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 12 12.43 Chihiro & Keima

Seeing a Kana Asumi role as a sister character? I know, it’s a stretch.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc OP Title

It’s a shame the ending put such a damper on this season, because for the most part, it was the same old KamiNomi I’ve come to know and love. When it was back to its slapstick antics and awkward sitcom situations, I was laughing as hard as ever watching this series. But it didn’t fulfil the promise of actually putting together a connected story that tied together the various conquests in a coherent and satisfying way.

I like to believe that a good director can fit any story into any length of time; the excuse I hate hearing the most from apologists of bad shows is, “It just needed more episodes!” *coughangelbeatscough*. But… it needed more episodes. Fitting 4 captures into one season along with the whole goddesses plot surrounding it was a doomed endeavor from the get-go. Stretching it out to 24 episodes wouldn’t have alleviated some of the problems that existed due to the story-based time limit – Ayumi’s and Chihiro’s convenient behaviors in the final arc being the main culprits – but it could have strengthened the individual arcs, by giving the 1-episode girls more screen time, as well as the overall story, by spending the time to tie together the loose ends at the end. As a bonus, we could have had a proper denouement showing us what each of the conquered girls was up to (are their memories intact?) and setting up for Chihiro’s true end.

I liked it well enough that I would be happy to see a 4th season, following up on some of its many loose ends, including that hint at the end that Keima may be starting to seek the outside world over his games. Stark contrast from the end of the first season which literally showed Keima getting sucked into his world of galge. Considering how rare it is these days for late night shows like this to get even 3 seasons like this one, I’m not holding my breath, though.

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc - 12 (3)

Also, it bailed on giving Ayumi that true end. So, once again, fuck you, Japan.

Here are some screenshots of what I consider to be the best parts of the season. I wonder if you’ll agree.

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A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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26 Responses to “The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc – 12 [END]”

  1. Andmeuths says:

    Kaminomi’s current arc is exploring the consequences of the final stages of the Goddess arc, on Keima’s psyche. It isn’t pretty, and it was deliberately not meant to be pretty.

    I think manga readers more easily accept that TGWOK got slightly darker, because the Skip Material was starting to point in that direction.

    • lvlln says:

      Now that sounds really interesting. Going dark doesn’t sound like it would fit with the style of the show, but I could see it being very good if handled properly. Because when you take out the laughs, the way Keima manipulates these girls is pretty darn horrible, and Hell holds him with a very violent possible penalty to get him to do it.

      Speaking of which, considering he almost singlehandedly prevented inter-dimensional war, can’t Hell make an exception and let him get out of that contract with his head still attached to his body? He deserves at least that and maybe a medal, too. Surely more worthy of reward than Nora or even Haqua.

      • GeZ says:

        You’re an idiot. The show has been tragic from the god damn get go. It’s about a poor bastard who’s walled himself off from life and love and pretends he doesn’t like real girls. The comedy is fun but it’s not the crux of the show. And Keima helps these girls. They fall in love with him, but he does it for them! For their well being, because he cares for them more than he’ll admit to himself.

        But, he doesn’t love these girls. They fall to easily into his video game categorization, so he gets to continue to pretend they’re just more dating sims.

        Now the reason Chihiro is important, is because, contrary to what you said in your fucking idiotic rant, she is the only girl. Not third from the bottom, not here or there on the ranking system, she is the one. I’m not saying this out of any kind of allegiance, I’m saying it because she’s the first girl in the show to defy all expectations. She never fit into a mold, so Keima had to confront his strained relation with reality.

        Even after her conquest, things are difficult because he loves her. He doesn’t just care like for the other girls. And she loves him for himself! The other girls, in their entirety, love him for saving them, but Chihiro loves him before, during, and after her conquest.

        Seeing your big post and all the shit posts here really honestly hurt me. This is one of the deepest anime about love I’ve seen in a while. It touches on the sadness, complication, and expression caused by this beautiful emotion, but it gets written off or plunked into a menial category by you and all like you for being an anime.

        View it as something else. See that it’s impossibly more complex and heartfelt and crushing than you could have possibly anticipated.

        I know I wrote this post angrily and with an excess of vile pointed at you and the other posters here, but it’s because you treat it like it’s something so boring. This series is entrenched in all the kisses, tears, and goodbyes of love, and does this so genuinely. I can’t say that my understanding is the standard, as I’m well versed in heartache and love, but I’d hope it’d have a similar impact to others as it did to me, even if it’s not understood in it’s entirety.

        Please, not just you who I’m replying to, but everyone writing blind, boring comments here, reexamine this work and try to see through your preconceptions to its core. It is well worth it.

        • AllenAndArth says:

          it’s comedy show actually…it’s a romantic comedy with a bit of shounen fantasy, it’s not meant to take that much of a dark turn, besides, Chihiro is not THE ONE…no one confirmed that, sure it has a lot of drama and it explores the relationship between people from the outside until it gets an intimate process, but…this is it! have you ever had a relationship that didn’t work?well it’s part of life…besides there’s a lot of parody’s of just about everything concerning dating sims, cliches and the like…but never mind that.
          I love the series, just like you, Show ▼

          but i think you’re taking things a bit too far in the darkness…that takes the fun of their characters and the theme which is a romantic Comedy

  2. Highway says:

    “Flanking Speed, helm!”

    Yeah, this *obviously* blazed through a whole bunch of stuff. Like you said, it took the goddesses 10 whole seconds to be freed and destroy Vintage, and hey, the Loose Souls team popped out of nowhere. Everything happened, and none of it had any meaning. Even Ayumi’s finale was pretty terrible, with both of them basically saying “Fine, let’s get it over with.” The OreImo incest kiss was about 80 times more romantic, and they were supposed to be (kinda) faking it.

    The performance was pretty well animated. Yui’s drum playing was really spot on, and it was about as well done as you’d expect. And the emotion was nice, even from Keima.

  3. AllenAndArth says:

    let’s hope it really ends here…the manga is also going downhill after that part…

  4. Yamiro says:

    Stop lying to people. This last episode wasn’t rushed AT ALL. It was exactly the same as in the manga. In fact you can read chapters 186-189 while playing hte episode in the background AND YOU WILL SEE IT FITS PERFECTLY while you are reading.

    This last episode was just PERFECT. And overall the season has been a fantastic adaptation.

    • lvlln says:

      Not having read the manga beyond chapter 1, I wouldn’t know, but if that was a faithful adaptation of the manga, the manga author messed up. And he doesn’t have the excuse that Manglobe has of a limited episode count. What Manglobe should have done, in that case, was to change parts so that a satisfactory ending was reached. Unlike the manga which is pretty much guaranteed a new chapter every week at this point, the anime works in season chunks, and the end of a season needs to be an ending.

      • Highway says:

        I have to agree with lvlln, that even if it was faithful to the manga, it was still a bad ending. It doesn’t need to be a battle show, but it does need to at least have more than “… and the good guys won.” Even with the goddesses curbstomping Vintage, it just left everything hanging and said “You don’t need to worry about that, it’s all taken care of.” More interplay between the goddesses, and descriptions of what they needed to do together, would have been excellent. Instead, it was “Ok, we’re all here, see you later.” Even if you need to make up more stuff for the anime, do it.

      • Rol says:

        I would have hated if Manglobe had changed the content.

        It’s interesting to hear you say that the ending wasn’t satisfactory. I am wondering if you would instead have preferred a happier ending, since I found the ending a bit melancholy and enjoyable. I think an ending that just reset the the whole season, like the previous 2 seasons, would have been a cop out but would have been arguable “happier”. Seeing Keima AND Chihiro both so affected by what happened to them, (especially Keima, despite what Elsie says) seems to me like a good stopping point.

        • Highway says:

          I think the things that happened were fine. The things they showed were fine. It’s the way they got to the last 5 minutes that was the problem. No expansion on the megami saving Kanon / Apollo. No explanation of why the Loose Souls team waited until the very end to do anything about it. No expansion of Lune and Haqua’s fight.

          There was apparently so much else going on, and instead we’re just kept in the dark about it. It makes it feel like the goddesses, and by extension the whole main plot of the show, weren’t even that important.

          • Rol says:

            Supernatural happenings KamiNomi to me. The only thing I needed to know was the world didn’t end. The thing that was most important was the effect it all had on a couple of key characters. The way that Keima was actually affected by what happened in the Goddess arc was more supernatural than anything having to do with Goddesses and Devils.

            • Rol says:

              Supernatural happenings “does not equal” KamiNomi to me..

              Apparently the forum doesn’t like symbols…

            • lvlln says:

              When they tack on the entire subtitle “Goddesses Arc,” I think there’s reasonable expectation that the season would be the telling of the story of the goddesses, which should include a proper ending. And Keima’s personal journey wasn’t even concluded well, since we were told nothing about the state of the girls he conquered, whether or not they’ve retained their memories, and how their relationship with him will be now going forward.

            • Rol says:

              I found the irony refreshing: With a title called “Goddess Arc”, the ACTUAL story was about the 2 non Goddess – Keima & Chihiro.

  5. Son Gohan says:

    Well, the series was rushed. For instance, they completely removed Fiore’s character (the member of Vintage who stabbed Kanon in the manga). They also removed Haqua’s torture/interrogation scene (and I was so looking forward to it!) and in general they shortened the re-conquests.

    However the ending was that abrupt even in the manga, and with good reason. The story focuses on Keima’s conquests, not on the Hell vs Heaven war. This isn’t a battle manga.

    I am quite fond of Chihiro because she is the average girl without any particular talent but she works hard to improve. Also, she and Tenri are the only heroines who fell in love with Keima before the conquest. I am ok with either of them winning but I expect a non-committal ending.

    • lvlln says:

      I didn’t know that about Haqua’s story. A torture scene certainly would have helped to build her up as an even bigger badass. But I don’t buy the excuse that this isn’t a battle manga. The story is always about the conquests, but this season started with a clear direction and overarching plot. It’s the story’s responsibility to finish that plot. I’m not asking for Dragon Ball level action sequences here, just some sequence of events that satisfyingly closes the story that started. The anime – and from the sound of it, the manga as well – didn’t deliver.

  6. Highway says:

    Obviously, I’m not reading the manga, but I think someone who’s kinda gotten the short end of the focus is Haqua. They show us two parts of her fight with Lune, in which she apparently held her own, but the two parts we see she’s getting owned. And then we see her nearly in tears (seemingly) on Keima’s doorstep. Maybe I’m off base, but it seems like Haqua was getting feelings for Keima that Elsie never does. But never mind, cause that’s all we’ll see.

    Just another casualty of a less than satisfying ending.

    • AllenAndArth says:

      compared to what’s coming…it’s a pretty satisfying ending actually…could have been worse, and it’s pretty much in tune with the manga

    • lvlln says:

      It was clear that Manglobe saved up some animation money for the finale, and it’s a shame not much of it was used for Haqua’s scenes. Yeah, this isn’t an action anime, but a showcase of her unique combat skills would have been nice. And yeah, it’s pretty clear she’s also a part of his harem at this point, considering how jealous she acts at times. Really a likable character.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    Well, it was an interesting series overall though the rocky parts came with dealing with its cold, insufferable lead when he doesn’t consider the feelings of those he comes into contact with. Because of Keima, I can’t say I regret missing the first two seasons but it’s a shame because the other characters were likable in their own way.

    • Highway says:

      This was actually the most human and thoughtful that Keima has been throughout the series, imo. If you didn’t like him here because of that, you definitely wouldn’t like him in the other two series. Although there’s a bit of a different feel. In this series he thawed enough that he actually seemed like a rather uncaring human being. In the previous series, he’s so far past that point that he’s a caricature, almost a parody of a person who is uninterested in the rest of the world.

      • AllenAndArth says:

        his character is represented pretty good on the anime… though he himself is even more of a uncaring person in the manga than the anime…that however is changing, as you can see on the goddess arc, Keima is for all effects a growing character through the series

      • lvlln says:

        I’d agree with that. As fun as he was this season, he wasn’t as much the unabashed misanthropic sociopath as in prior seasons. Now that was a fun Keima to see getting physically abused every which way. There were also the between-arc episodes when we got to see him truly in his element… http://imgur.com/a7VHI7n http://imgur.com/WjFhe6Y

  8. elior1 says:

    @lvlln the amount of time the vintage vs the godness that showed in the animes is the exactly amount of pages they showed in the manga it was at least 5 pages that all and the hqua vs lune also short

  9. Hedameda says:

    I think manga readers and anime-only watchers have different points of view of this episode. I believe you won’t find many (if at all) manga readers that would say this episode was bad or unsatisfying, even among those who endlessly complain about the skipped episodes, missing scenes and how rushed the season went. This episode put together everything that was in the manga and even added a bit for some scenes. The only complain I can find as a manga reader is that they could have brought more attention to the guitar pick, but that is a nitpick :P

    The battle was as anticlimatic in the manga as it was in this episode. The manga contained the same exact scenes and the same exact dialogue. And people were upset about it at that time as well. I believe this was made to draw our attention at Chihiro’s situation. Maybe Manglobe thought something about those lines as well since they changed nothing in those scenes, though time constraints might have been an issue as well. Also, as everyone keeps saying whenever this is addressed, this is not a battle manga, you are not here to see battles, and you should have learned by now that all battles in TWGOK are terribly one sided. Though Manglobe somewhat disguised this fact back in season 2 during the Haqua arc, so I suppose they could have added some battle scenes like that for the Goddesses battle or in Haqua and Lune skirmish, especially the later. But, as I said, if it were to draw attention away from the main dish, it would have been detrimental in the end.

    The end of the Ayumi conquest was a bit of a mess and all Ayumi fans have the right to complain about it. I suppose it’s implied that Ayumi forgave Keima back when Chihiro told her he had a reason, or along the following events when seeing how dedicated he was. I think we are also led to believe that Ayumi acts more on impulse and emotion (not only here, but most of the time) and doesn’t think things too much. So in the end, I think most non-Ayumi fans learn to accept or at least overlook this part. Even some Ayumi fans came to accept it since she is kind of maybe married to Keima.

    Most of the questions that we are left with (like Tenri’s conversation with Diana) are plotpoints for the following(s) arc(s). This includes the following days for the girls and their goddesses, and their relationships. So I see this is a kind of “to be continued?”. Of course, there is really no guarantee that they will be able to make another season (I think it’s highly unlikely) but the fact that they decided to let the possibility open instead of wrapping up for good is a (very small) source of hope.
    That is enough for me to not get mad about not seeing the aftermath for the other girls.

    I think all anime-only watchers have all the rights to complain for all the shortcomings of this last episode, even though manga readers won’t mind most of them. But I believe that for all it’s faults, this episode (and I would say this season in general) has some really well done scenes that makes it worth watching.

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