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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The World God Only Knows

The hunting time begin....
Keima Katsuragi, a second-year high school student, is an avid bishōjo game player. He is known on the Internet as "The God of Conquests " for his legendary skills to be able to "conquer" any 2D girl in games. However, in his actual school life, Keima is known as otamegane, a derogatory portmanteau of the two words otaku and megane (glasses), and is considered nothing but an intelligent yet gloomy geek with glasses.

Welcome to demon and otaku cafe!

At the start of the series, Keima receives an e-mail offering him a contract to "conquer" girls. When he accepts it, thinking it is an invitation to a game, a demon from Hell named Elsie appears. She asks for his cooperation to help her in catching runaway spirits. These spirits hide themselves inside the hearts of girls, and Elsie suggests that the only method to force the spirits out is by "conquering" the girls hearts, making them fall in love with him and filling up the gaps which the runaway spirits hide in. Interested only in 2D girls, however, Keima is appalled by the idea, and refuses the assignment as he has no romantic real life experiences whatsoever. Nevertheless, with the contract already agreed, Keima has no choice but to help Elsie no matter what, as they will be beheaded if they fail.

The galge march......

Aside from focusing on Keima and Elsie's adventures on capturing spirits, the series also makes fun and parodying common and popular cliches about dating sims, anime character stereotypes, and pop culture.

I've been a pretty big fan of The World God Only Knows since its release last Fall. It has stayed consistently funny and irritating, which is much more than I can say for some of the other shows that I've covered in Annotated Anime. It's a mix of generally wacky comedic situations, on-the-nose parody of games and anime alike as well as consistent subversions of well-worn clichés.
Cute demons!!!
This series is particularly interesting for a multitude of reasons. In some sense, it can be put into the category of being, at a glance, your typical harem-romance-comedy series with some supernatural twist... But it's not. If anything, this series drifts away from much of the standardized content floating around by keeping the characters relatively static throughout the story and emphasizing its thematic tones as the overall message rather than the plot itself. By this I mean that even though the romance factor is still an intrinsic part of the show itself, it's the understanding behind the ideology of each relationship which keeps the story unique and interesting to watch.This is prominently demonstrated by the girls who Keima conquers losing their memories immediately after some moral revelation has been achieved. 
Targets, Targets, Targets...... More to come!

The second season of The World God Only Knows is a step-up in quality from the first season with all of the same characters and great dialogue techniques as before. The game references are still in abundance, as are Keima's priceless methods of getting the ladies to fall in love with him. If you enjoyed the first season, there's no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this sequel. If you're new to the series, it's obviously suggested to watch the prequel for further understanding of the overall plot. For now we'll just have to wait and see where the anime is going next. If it follows the storyline of the manga, things are going to get interesting. Can you see the ending?
Searching for the ghost..... for the capturing detective god!

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