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The World God Only Knows Season 1 DVD Review

by Luke Ryan Baldock

Director: Kotomi Deai, Shigehito Takayanagi,

Starring: Chris Patton, Hiro Shimono, Luci Christian, Kanae Ito, Britney Karbowski, Aoi Yuki, Hilary Haag, Ayana Taketatsu, Kaytha Coker, Kana Hanazawa, Chris Ayres,

 Running Time: 325 minutes

Certificate: 15

Extras: Music Videos, Textless intro and outro,

Souls that escape from the depths of hell are known as Loose Souls, and they hide in humans’ hearts if there is an empty space. Now this may sound like some twisted fantasy horror, but it’s a refreshing romantic comedy with a lot of bizarre quirkiness. The demon sent to Earth to recapture these souls isn’t a bright red, horned, scary creature, but an average looking girl. In order to release these souls hiding within humans, she needs to fill the hearts with love so that there is no room left for the Loose Soul. To do this she employs the services of Katsuragi, the self professed God Of Conquest, who believes he can seduce any woman in the world and make them fall in love with him.

Just one problem, he is only known as The God Of Conquest because he is a dating sim addict. Morning, night, and everywhere in between he is glued to one of his many consoles, playing multiple choice romance games. Katsugari would rather live in the world of his games than reality, because the worlds of his games are always logical and he can easily comprehend them. He soon finds applying his gaming logic to real life romance doesn’t always go over so smoothly, but he actually has a very good understanding of what makes love succeed.

Unlike other anime series where we see groups of people battling demons to rid them from this Earth, the Loose Souls are just hiding and their fate rests entirely in the hands of Katsugari. Throughout the series he meets a number of girls and their stories span from 1-3 episodes each. Each one has a specific ‘problem’ they need to overcome in order to fill their hearts. Now before you get bent out of shape over how sexist the premise sounds, with a man jumping in to save the helpless females, it’s not actually Katsugari that fills the hole in their heart. Instead, he helps them realise what it is they’re missing. One girl acts rich despite her family losing their wealth; another is a librarian who can’t verbally communicate with people. After Katsugari uses his gaming logic to help them feel whole again, they are erased of the memory of his actions but left with their new found confidence.

Aiding Katsugari in his reluctant quest is the demon Elsie, on her first mission. She’s a quirky little character that has trouble fitting into her new life on Earth. She constantly wants to cook creatures from hell for lunch and gets sidetracked by her adoration for firetrucks and the like. This vacant ignorance is also very childlike which helps to make her exceptionally likable. She is the driving force behind the biggest belly laughs. Even when splitting up Katsugari’s parents by claiming to be Katsugari’s illegitimate sister, she does it with such obliviousness to the consequences that she can be instantly forgiven.

The show uses a lot of anime tropes to create a bright and inviting world, which can sometimes become a bit too loud for its own good. Sometimes we are treated to sudden music videos or montage sections which seem out of place as they are more for the visuals than expanding upon the story. The look at love, or at least happiness, being a simple effort of trial and error through logical choices may be controversial to some, and despite Katsugari being an emotionally distant protagonist, this allows for us to enter into the emotional mindset of each girl with ease. It also sets up Katsugari as the Sherlock Holmes of love, or at least that’s how he would like to view himself. Each new girl presents a new mystery as to how to win her heart and Katsugari believes he has the formula worked out.

It’s a fascinating show, especially if you are unfamiliar with fantasy romance stories set in the present. With well suited and endearing vocal performances and wonderful animation that brings to life both the real world and the world of computer games, it’s a show that is equally suited to both sexes.

Extras: Just music videos of one of the characters from the show. There are about 12 minutes worth of these, but a lot of them appeared in the show itself. The textless opening and closing credits let you enjoy the artwork.

THE WORLD GOD ONLY KNOW is available to buy on DVD now. You can get a copy here.

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