Based on the manga series by: Fujishima Kosuke Director: Goda Hiroaki Producers: Shindo Masao, Takimoto Hiro Character Design: Matsubura Hidenori English Version Executive Producer: Robert J. Woodhead Translation by: Shin Kurokawa, Matsushima Naoko
A nightmare reminds Keichi that his girlfriend isn't just any girl but a goddess. It's been nine months since Belldandy came to earth but some day she may have to return home...
What starts out with a light-hearted snowball fight between Urd and Skuld quickly proves to be a bit more serious when the folks at the temple suddenly discover that they're the only ones who've had any snow. How could this be? Bugs have been leaching in from the heavens and is starting to create havoc for Keichi and Belldandy, and things only promise to get worse if things aren't stopped. Somehow, the bugs are getting into the Surface World via a bug-port which is formed whenever Keichi and Belldandy get too close together. Will Urd and Skuld be able to fix things or is it already too late? Belldandy's been given three days notice of recall back home...
All is no longer fun and games in this series. Episode 4 starts cheerfully enough, with a snowball fight that could scare off Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame), and Skuld chasing after a cute little bug which looks like a fuzzy bunny rabbit, only that it seems to have a few extra legs... but a decidedly darker, more sombre tone is set after we discover that Belldandy has been recalled to the heavens for something that has occurred in the past. Again, great back-ground music is a highlight (notable is the piano sonata during a conversation between Keichi and his sister, Megumi), and fine attention to detail in animation backgrounds and acting. Skuld has some pretty neat pieces of equipment, including a snowball throwing machine, a "bug catcher" that looks like a converted rice cooker (and possibly a send-up on the traps used in Ghostbusters?), and her special Bug Exhaust Port goggles. I did have a bit of a problem with the translation -- the use of cliché is discouraged in many cases, and I think the useage during Megumi and Keiichi's conversation while having lunch is one such example. Beyond this little quibble, the episode itself really serves as a set-up for the last installment. Wonderful use of dramatic angles, colour and backgrounds at the end of the show! - AN
What a change this series does in this episode. What had previously been light hearted and somewhat whimsical has suddenly turned a lot more serious; many things lose their following because of such changes, but in AMG the change *makes* the series. The first inkling we have that all is not well is when Keichi has a nightmare that Belldandy was leaving (well okay, right at the very beginning). The music in this series is really well done. Not absolutely fantastic like some soundtracks, but still very enjoyable to listen to. The characters are well portrayed and the animation is as fuzzily detailed as ever although a bit "darker" in nature. The scene with the cherry tree is 'nicely' ominous without being too evil. (I know I know, there's nothing really *evil* in this series). Even so, this is a great set-up to the fifth and final episode of this series. - JYN
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