After releasing fourteen girls from the grasps of runaway spirits by making them fall in love with him, Keima has proven himself to be the Capturing God of both the 2D and 3D worlds! But a new challenge awaits as Diana, the goddess possessing Keima's neighbor Tenri, tasks him to find her siblings, and his only clue to their whereabouts resides with past conquests who still retain their memories. Now Keima is on the hunt in hopes that these divine beings might finally release him from his contract with Hell. But with the shadowy organization known as Vintage out to kill these girls, it becomes a race against time to put a stop to their plans and restore these goddesses to their former power!
Three seasons, it took this franchise three seasons to make a really really good anime, and then it ended. Story - 10/10 While we still have the overarching theme of Keima having to use his video game skills to "conquer" females, this time around it didn't seem as tedious. I guess because despite still being his main mission, the act of it either took a back seat to other action in the story, or when it was front and center it was much more in-depth than what we've been use to. For season three Keima is now tasked with finding out which of his past conquests are inhabited by the four remaining Jupiter Sisters, as they are being hunted by a force looking to bring down new hell. For the most part his portion of the story revolves around figuring out who the last goddess resides in, Chihiro or her best friend Ayumi. This puts Keima in a weird spot, because he has to try and get them to show their love for him without letting them know why, or letting the other know he's playing them both. A much more interesting plot in the season is Haqua's attempts to figure out the mole inside the loose souls team whose helping out Vintage, the cult trying to kill the goddesses. Being a much more interesting character than Elsie, it was nice to see the season focus on her while Elsie was off impersonating Kanon. With an ending that actually had some thought behind it and a story with purpose, this was easily the most enjoyable season. Animation - 8/10 As usual, what can be said? The animation of this series, from episode one, has been some of the best in the ever evolving world of anime. And little has changed, well except it got even better. Due to the story taking a slightly darker turn, the animation had to follow suit, and it did in amazing ways. The new locations as well as the improved use of lighting, from the bonfire to the lit pirate ship, all added to the great detail this show always went into to give us the best animation. The new looks on old characters, for the goddesses, were also done very well. For the most part, each goddess looked like an alternate reality version of the girl she was possessing. When they finally evolved into their full angel form, they were extremely detailed and animated beautifully, with the wings looking like a picture, and not an animated cel. The one downside was the computer animation used in some sequences. The knife and miasma used in the Kanon sequences looked terrible and didn't give the feeling they were supposed to. Instead of being some scary ominous fog, it looked like a bad funhouse at a two bit fair. Though they did do an excellent job using CGI for things like Kanon's water protection and then other elemental aura's of the goddesses. Sound - 8/10 Another shinning point of the series was always the music. Again it's all smooth sailing on this front. With great opening and closing songs, and finally a decent practical song, sung by the school band and teased in the OVA. Since they spent most of the series portraying the show as a school life anime, you also got great nature sounds and overall background noise, something that tended to be lacking in the first few seasons as it always felt like half the episode was taking place inside Keima's head with his Voice Over. Characters - 8/10 The last season of the series managed to add more characters than the first two combined, while also expanding heavily on some we already knew. Along with the six new goddesses, who all had great personalities of their own, we also got a quick rundown of the ladies Keima had worked his magic on since we last saw him in the OVA. Somehow, in the five or so minutes they set aside for the recap we were given more background on the small group of girls than many girls with multi-episode arcs seemed to receive. The bulk of the conquest time revolved around Chihiro and Ayumi, whom we finally got to know. They each were featured in previous season, but they went much more in-depth with their emotions and personalities for this story. The writers really put effort into these ladies, something that was sorely lacking before. They also spent a good deal of time on Haqua. They sort of white washed what we already knew about her, like how they made it out like she was completely inept, and instead wrote in her great work and instincts, a reason why Dokurou Skull thinks so highly of her. She actually shines much more in these episodes than Elsie ever did, being a more complete character, as opposed to Elsie's sidekick roll. Overall - 9/10 And a series I've long found to be infuriating ends in the most infuriating way of all, by being so good. A stand alone season three, with maybe a small OVA or opening explaining the loose souls and new hell, could be one of the top ten series of all time. It's only dragged down by what came before. If they were able to follow on with this writing style and stories that were more than just carbon copies of each other, I would gladly continue to watch for another dozen seasons.
THE STORY IS: Following the first and second season, Keima has released 14 girls from the grasp of runaway loose souls, but a new problem has arisen. Diana, a goddess who possesses Keima's neighbor Tenri, tasks Keima with finding and awakening the other Jupiter Sisters. The only clue he has to go off of is that any of his previous conquests could be targets harbouring goddesses inside of them, but only the ones that retain any memories of the conquest. Keima must now hunt down each of his past conquests in hopes of finding which ones harbour a goddess inside of them and draw them out by having them fall for him again. Time is now a factor as an organization from Hell called "Vintage" is aiming to kill the goddesses to awaken an ancient demon to take over Earth. Now Keima must win these previously conquered hearts a second time to draw out the goddess that lies within them before Vintage gets to them first. The story in The Goddess Arc is, by far, much better than it's predecessors. Unlike the first and second seasons, this arc had a sense of urgency behind it and it worked with the overall theme. Something bad was happening and the clock was running out. Conquering the girls this time around was a bit more of a task which added to the sense of urgency throughout. Sure, it was a bit cliche, but anymore an original idea is hard-pressed to be found anywhere. Find these girls before an evil group does who is up to no good. The way everything played out was much better than expected. I had little hopes for the Goddess Arc because of how I felt about the first 2 seasons. It blew my expectations away. The story is still the same, even though it took a step back in a sense and added pressure to the overall events. More like a life or death situation. Definitely a story that got way better over the course of time. THE SOUND & ANIMATION: Watch the first 2 seasons and you should expect the same here. Voices are well done and animation is great. Elsie's voice is still annoying though. THE CHARACTERS: This department ramped up a lot in this arc. All the characters were a little more explored which got you to know them a bit better. Some characters from previous seasons make another appearance in some way. The development was much better this time around. Keima made the most improvement out of everyone. He starts to seem like a normal person with feelings and an attempt at the real world without being glued to video games. All the other characters made tremendous leaps forward and brought forth some real development. Everything between the characters flowed without skipping a beat. OVERALL: Goddess Arc is definitely worth watching by far. I did not particularly care at all for the initial series itself, but this arc brought me to love it. Definitely a story that got loads better over time. If they were to come out with another arc or season, I would be all for watching it as long as it was anything similar to Goddess Arc. I would say to watch the series to get to this story arc. Worth it.
The end of an era? In an age where more discerning anime fans toss these sorts of multiseason franchises aside as repetitive, mundane, fanboy/ fangirl rubbish, Kaminomi Megami-hen shows why it can be so worth it to hang in for the long haul. It shows that when executed properly, extended franchises can be just as immersive as the best the anime world has to offer. The key to Kaminomi's success (referring both as a whole and to this the 3rd season) is the winning combination of a simple but brilliant concept and a knock-out mc. The story of Megami-hen does admittedly come off at first as a bit cliché, with the whole mc must face his past to save the world bit. However, the execution is absolutely fantastic and does a tremendous job of rewarding the fans who have committed themselves to this series. You're able to see old faces in a whole new light as Kamisama must revisit his former captures. It turns out to be a great and I think rather creative story, that sets Megami-hen apart from the 1st 2 seasons. Yes, there's finally a real plot! And something that really makes Megami-hen special is that as is so critical for the top of the mark 11-13 ep series, it doesn't take any time off. Not a single episode, not even a single minute. The plot is always moving forward throughout, and it's one heck of a ride. And now so as to avoid spoilers, we now move on to characterization. Keima aka Kamisama's growth was present through all 3 seasons of Kaminomi but to no surprise came to a head in Megami-hen. And though typically a term like climax is only used for describing story, Kamisama's character progression also has a climax in the 3rd season. And an absolutely fantastic and memorable one at that. It is a truly brilliant scene, the sort that separates the 10% from the 90%. And I know some people are going to argue that. Some people just seem to get so blinded by hatred and negativity, but for those of you I say you're missing the point. As we learn at the conclusion of Megami-hen, Kamisama's growth as a character isn't to become the morally best person in the world, but to feel remorse, to feel real emotions like he hasn't done before. And that sort of subtle beauty is something I wish everyone could appreciate. I could go into some other characters here (one in particular), but once again in effort of preserving spoilers I choose not to. To touch on some other obligatory points as we wrap things up, there are of course some flaws here. Namely, that there is a lack of exposition both with regards to the two manga only original captures as well as the new villain present. These did not affect my overall enjoyment, but they are very reasonable complaints. Some minor technical notes, a noticeable improvement in animation quality which was certainly welcome. As for the new OP (which is always a point of discussion in Kaminomi), I did like it certainly more than that of the 2nd season. Not quite the impact of the 1st season, though it is nice how all 3 are integrated in the full version which is played as the ED of the final ep. Also I did love Haqua's ED, it really struck a chord with me almost to the extent of Kanon singing Love Call in the 1st season (almost). Lastly, I'm not gonna approach the whole will there be a 4th season topic. Would I like one? Of course, I am a big fan of this franchise and I'm sad to see it go. But at the same time I don't need it either. All in all, Megami-hen is a great anime in its own right and really a perfect addition to the Kaminomi franchise, 9 out of 10.
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