Candidate for Goddess - Reviews

Alt titles: Megami Kouhosei, Pilot Candidate

sothis's avatar
Jan 30, 2005

Like Stellvia, Candidate for Goddess is a lighthearted look at kids in space, training to fight a deadly disaster. In Stellvia, it was the upcoming shockwave that would destroy Earth. In Candidate for Goddess, it's invading aliens. Nevertheless, this is my favorite type of series by far, and thus, I was definitely disappointed when the end of Candidate for Goddess rolled around.

The story starts out simple enough: a narrator introduces us to Zion, the only human populated planet left untouched by Victim, invading aliens. Mankind's only defense (surprise surprise) is five giant robots called Goddesses which are piloted by very special pilots. We watch the series through the eyes of trainees as they admire the five pilots who hold mankind's future in their hands, and compete against each other so that they might one day pilot these Goddesses as well. The story is mainly focused on a young man named Zero who seems to have special EX powers (one of many things that is never really explained). Again, the story starts out interesting enough, making you think this will be an engaging and interesting kids in space type story. Unfortunately, after episode one it just goes severely downhill, and it's near impossible to explain why. Maybe it was the erratic pacing that poorly combines action packed battles against the Victim, and poor character development that in some cases, is never explained. On that note, maybe it's the fact that the many mysteries that actually manage to keep our attention somewhat (the EX powers, why Zero can't remember his past, etc) are never actually explained when the ending credits roll in the final episode. These things aren't explained in the OVA either, read my review of that for more information. Maybe it was the serious lack of character development, or I should say, character development that doesn't interest us in any way.

Again, it's really, really hard to vocalize why Candidate for Goddess sucked as much as it did. I guess you'd just have to see it for yourself to believe it. It must be a combination of many things, that in general weren't put together well. I found myself bored most episodes, but completely engaged in others. Again, I think you'll just have to see it for yourself. For me, I was very disappointed with the series, and felt I had wasted a great deal of my time by the end.
Visually, there's no arguing that Candidate for Goddess is beautiful. The CG is almost seamless and wonderfully illustrates the Goddesses, Victim, and space battles (as well as the space station, etc). This CG makes up a very large percentage of the series, which isn't a bad thing. The normal animation was also well done, with beautifully created characters who were vibrantly colored and animated. The EX powers manifested themselves wonderfully through the animation as well. Colors used were very bright and flashy, but nothing tacky. Hair colors tended to be interesting shades of pastel, but not in a terrible dating-sim series sort of way. If you watch this series for anything, watch it for the animation, that's for sure.
The music is entirely orchestral, mostly with trumpets and other very "happy" instruments. This seemed appropriate at first, especially for the lighthearted character development bits during training and discussions amongst friends. Unfortunately, this music also was played during very inappropriate times, including sad scenes and otherwise serious ones. The music was a lot like watching Galaxy Quest (real life movie), which was a parody of Star Trek and thus, the music sounded uber cheesy. For most of the time, this fit well, but for the serious times it was hard to take it seriously when this cheery 60s TV sounding music was wailing through the speakers. Great audio, but it really needed more mellow or sad bits for the appropriate times.
There were a great deal of characters involved, but none that we really came to know and love. Zero is definitely the main character, but all of his development (trying to remember his memories, his EX powers) were never explained, and thus it felt like a total waste of time. Hiead is the other supposedly main character, but he isn't on screen nearly as much, and to be honest, I felt he was as important of a character as all the secondary ones. It's definitely Zero's show, and his development failed miserably.

We also get to meet some of the female mechanics who are also given a fair chance at development, which also falls flat. Like the story section, it's hard to describe why the development failed as much as it did... I guess all I can say is that at the end of the series, I really didn't care about any of them, so that must be the best indication, right? You'll have to see it for yourself to believe it, I suppose.
Overall, I was very disappointed with Candidate for Goddess. It's listed as one of the top recommendations for Stellvia, which I LOVED, so I decided to pick it up even though everyone had told me it's disappointing and flat out bad. I can understand now why people recommend it for Stellvia (and indeed, I recommended Stellvia for CFG, but not the other way around, it doesn't deserve that), but at the same time it doesn't come close to Stellvia in any way. The animation is great, the music is decent (but inappropriately placed at times) and the story has an interesting concept, but the poor pacing and execution leaves little to be desired. If you really want to watch every kids in space type series, this will be one you should probably watch. If you want a GOOD kids in space type series, though, check out Stellvia, Vandread (sort of), GunBuster, or any other really good ones. Candidate for Goddess, odds are, will be a waste of your time just like it was a waste of mine. Now, off to watch Twin Spica...
5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall
Feneris's avatar
Mar 27, 2011

When I started watching this anime my expectations were that it would at least be a good waste of a few hours and that’s it, but even these expectations where to high. The story of an alien race attacking humanity that can only be stopped by mecha is standard and can be done well, this anime however just feels empty.

Its characters start of numerous with plenty of opportunity for development and growth however this goes nowhere. The plot stagnates early on and so little happens to the point where you could cut the series by two thirds with little effect. The worst thing of all however is how it ends suddenly with no closer like even the makers couldn’t be bothered to continue.

All of this could be forgiven however as I have seen mecha anime that I would watch just for the battles but like everything else it’s disappointing. The fights are uneventful and samey with little actual action with mecha and alien designs that are as standard as the plot. This combined with the lack of attachment to the characters and the sudden end left me feeling nothing, bland and pointless. I would not recommend this anime even to someone obsessed with mecha as you would get more out of alternate between watching paint dry and random battles from any competent mecha anime.

1/10 story
4/10 animation
?/10 sound
1/10 characters
2/10 overall
kieras's avatar
Apr 2, 2020

this show has been done a thousands times in way better ways, if i wanted to watch power rangers i would go watch power rangers. I'm not gonna lie i skipped through a good 60% of it because there was too much dialogue or the characters did something stupid and i did not want to sit through them being scolded only to NOT be kicked out.

3/10 story
4/10 animation
?/10 sound
3/10 characters
3/10 overall
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tollie01's avatar
May 27, 2017

Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed.

In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it.

So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be.

ART: I didn't really like the art for this one. I felt it looked very dated and felt like an early nineties or even a late eighties show. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the anime is from 2000. There is quite a lot of GCI used but for the time it was made it is actually well done.

SOUND: Again no complaints from me. I can no longer remember any of the music used but this is how I prefer it. Voice acting were decent even if they get to do the same thing over and over.

CHARACTERS: Main character is the Zero. He wants to be a pilot.

Hiead is another pilot candidate and Zero's biggest rival.

STORY:  After a fight broke out between humans and an alien race called Victim all habitable planets have been destroyed but one. Zion, the last habitable planet, must be protected at all cost. To do this a number of massive robots called Ingrid have been created. These powerful machines are all that stand between humanity and Victim. Unfortunately these machines are so powerful that pilots can only manage then for a while before they burn out. It is therefore of utmost importance to keep up a steady flow of pilot candidates.

RANT: A few years ago this anime popped up on my radar but I had trouble finding it and eventually forgot about it. Then it suddenly popped up again a few months ago in a bargain bin. Considering the low price I decided to get it eventhough I read some bad reviews about it.

This doesn't normally stop me though. There are plenty of anime that I loved that others hated with a fiery passion. As mentioned the price was low and I decided to gamble. It sucked.

It was also clear to see why though. I hated almost every character in it, Zero in particular. His fixation on Hiead is baffling and comes out of nowhere. I thing they exchange just a few words of dialogue before Zero loses his shit and starts to attack Hiead.

Sure the guy was being a massive asshole but a little restraint couldn't hurt. Let us get to know the characters first and have the animosity build over time before you start doing this shit.

Anyway, Hiead is the big bad and Zero will do anything to be first at anything he does. Hiead needs to use the bathroom? Zero will rush in to squeeze out a turd before he had time to blink. Hiead needs food? Zero rushes into the cafeteria to be first in line.

This causes more problems than it solves though. It shows the audience that Zero is as big of an asshole, if not bigger, than Hiead. Please keep in mind that Zero is the MAIN CHARACTER. Most of the time in the anime will be around him so you sit there and watch it happen wondering why.

Another problem is with Hiead. It is very clear that he cares for nothing and no one but him and his dream of becoming a pilot. He will not hesitate to fuck you over if it serves his purposes.

It is therefore not that odd that he leaves his fellow candidates asleep when an important test comes up, except..... The others clearly state that is ANYONE is late the entire test will be CANCELLED! So for Hiead to look out for number one is to make sure that they all get there ON TIME. Anything else harms his own dreams along with the others.

Consistency is something that the creators heard of but didn't understand. Another sequence happens later during the same test where they were almost late for. Zero is introduced to his partner, a girl named Kizny. She is a special case in that she has cat ears.

Why? Who knows. Or cares. She is the ONLY human you ever see in the anime who has them. Others around her seem to take in stride and make no comment about it so I guess this is something normal then?

Nope. She throws a hissy fit when Zero takes off her cap and sees her ears and goes: Huh? She bolts leaving him stranded with nothing to do as he can't do the test without her. We then get some bonding moments between the two because this is obviously the best time to do it right?

Anyway, she agrees to go with him and do the test but oh, no! The door is closed! This means that the testing has already begone and while the test is ongoing the door is locked. (<--- IMPORTANT)

So they wait untill Hiead is done with his test and they can finally enter. There is some minor drama whether Zero can take the test but he is admitted. During the test though Hiead has seen enough and walks out the door. The door THAT IS LOCKED DURING THE TESTING!

You may think here that he was able to leave because he was LEAVING the room but nope. Characters start walking in and out of the room like it is a revolvong door. Seriously what is even the point of having a door there?

The series is riddled with these small mistakes and the sad part is that they easily could have been fixed. Have the instructor lock the door the first time. Explain the cat ears. Zero was asking about them so explain it. She was abviously ok with them because at no point did she try to hide them before. Only when she was supposed to meet her partner did she become the wet blanket that he met.

If anything it is things like these that piss me off about anime these days. These small stupid mistakes that can be so easily fixed with just a tiny rewrite.

Another problem is that the series is not complete. Yes, I'm aware that the DVD box says 'Complete series' and this is correct. The show was cancelled about halfway through its run so nothing has been concluded. You can see hints of where the show was going but you won't get it in the anime. If you want the complete story you will have to get the manga series. It contains 5 volumes and was completed in 2001.

2/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
2/10 characters
2/10 overall
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BurntFlower's avatar
Jul 15, 2011

Candidate for Goddess can be more aptly described as being one big, juicy bait.

It presents potential viewers with its premiere episode ‘00’, bountiful amounts of eye-candy, a seemingly interesting plot filled with mystery and lots of space battles to satisfy even the most hard-core action fans. However, what this anime doesn’t want you to know is one dark, little secret: There is no ending. It piles on with every episode more drama, more symbolism, more of everything and just when you expect something epic to happen, you’re just left with thin air. I won’t say I didn’t fall in its trap; it’d be as big as a lie as the anime itself to say that, and a lot of arrogance on my part.

This anime gathered all the potential it had for it, and brought it crashing down in just one minute flat. After the credits rolled, the whole plot suddenly turned into one big fiasco, the characters were mere puppets, and I felt betrayed. Candidate for Goddess was really a trap after all, and it laughed in my face cruelly after I finished watching it.

Story: (2/10) The plot started out well enough: humans lost their home planet thanks to the alien invasion called ‘Victim’, and they had to live in colonies in outer space, while still trying to protect their last planet (Zion) with the help of five mecha goddesses. Though many plot points were confusing and muddled, each episode tried to explain part of what happened in the past and you sort of began to understand some of it. But soon new mysteries began to appear, and the whole focus of the show grew more and more dramatic as it drew to a close. And what an ending that was.

…If it had an ending, that is.
Characters: (5.5/10) The characters, for one, have all cliché personalities you’ve seen before countless times, ranging from the determined Zero, to the know-it all Clay, and the cold, emotionless rival Hiead. You’ve seen their counterparts in many anime before, but they’re overused archetypes for a reason: they’re actually likeable. Seeing the interactions between the cat-eared Kizna and Zero always made me smile every time, not to mention other entertaining characters like Wrecka, Roose, Gareas, and the rude instructor Azuma Hijikata. That’s not to say that all the characters are appealing or worth remembering in the least; there’s a large cast for a series that’s only 12 episodes long, and thanks to that there are more than a handful of boring, unremarkable characters. Like the yawn-inducing, shy Tune, the uninteresting brother and sister Kazuhi and Yu, those nameless fanservice nurses, and Ernest, whose only purpose is to fill up the melodrama quota of the show. But the worst character goes to Ikhny, who seems to have no will of her own other than to make Hiead happy and then pathetically whimpers in a corner if he’s angry with her. Though there are still even more people that I couldn’t bother to remember their names, the characters are one of the best parts of the anime...which is not saying much.

Sound: (5.5/10) The OP is overly cheery and composed solely on instrumentals. ED was forgettable. The BGM is also purely orchestral and it fit the lighthearted mood of the anime on some occasions, but it completely ruined the dramatic moments on some others by it. Voice acting is average.

Animation: (8/10) This is, hands down, the best part of Candidate for Goddess. The characters are crisp and well-animated, and everything is pleasing to look at. Except for some bad CGI animation (mostly the Goddesses) that made me cringe at some parts, there is a lot of nice eyecandy.

Overall: (5/10) Sadly, Candidate for Goddess failed on many levels and it will surely leave you dissappointed. It's also a mixed bag: there are some interesting episodes that'll make you want to watch more, and there are other episodes that'll leave you snoozing.

It's all a waste of time in the end, so don't even bother watching.

2/10 story
8/10 animation
5.5/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
5/10 overall
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