What They Say:
Get ready to rock, roll and duck deadly spells all night as Dating Game master (and now real life romance wizard) Keima Katsuragi and his spirit hunting partner Elsie are dragged kicking and screaming into their wildest set of adventures yet. Things get off on a strange foot when Chihiro convinces Elsie, Ayumi and Miyako to form a band. Unfortunately, they’re really not very good and their quest to get rehearsal space from the school somehow escalates into a challenge to score perfect 100s on their English tests. After coaching them through that, Keima should have earned a peaceful vacation, but instead of spending the time playing dating games, his plans are seriously derailed by a forgotten childhood friend, a rogue team of Hunters and some very nasty cases of possession by evil spirits. Finally, the magic goes from dark the side to the light when the only thing that can save idol singer Kanon’s fans is for her to become a REAL magical girl! Every date is filled with danger and you may not know what’s hidden in a young girl’s heart until it’s too late in THE WORLD GOD ONLY KNOWS – THE OVA COLLECTION!
The disk set is available in two formats using Japanese with subtitles and English dub. Each version is equally optimised to acoustically display average conversations and the background noises found in a city. Although, it would have been nice if Sentai Entertainment used 5.1 for these episodes since most involve music. The use of 2.0 makes the songs and music sound flat plus many of the higher frequencies and bass are lost.
The usage of the 16:9 widescreen format helps to showcase the metropolitan panoramic environments of the series. However, since this ratio is now the standard of most anime, it doesn’t add any appeal to the visuals as compared to any other similar collections in the genre.
The disk package is livelier than usual since Sentai Entertainment used a group shot of the school band 2-Bs as the cover art. The spontaneity of the girls helps to brighten the front up and grabs the attention of the view and prospective buyer. Plus the use of pink as an accent colour and a spine decorated by Kanon-chan helps to bring the musical influence of the disk to the forefront. But, the prominence of Tenri/Diana on the back cover is obscured even though they are the stars of half of the episodes on this disk.
The disk menu is very basic even if Sentai did try to use pinks and white to fit in with the feminine based collection. Character artwork is used as the background and each episode is listed in a standard format so that they can be chosen to be played individually or in order. Although they may have changed the cursor to resemble a spirit hunter’s skull mask, nothing else is special about them.
This disk is nothing but Extras since it is a collection of OVAs or Original Video Animations. These episodes are bonus pieces included in materials offered outside the original release of the base anime. Since they are not normally broadcast during the original showing of the series, the only way to obtain them is by buying the additional disk or other media in which they were included.
Sentai Entertainment also included the textless opening & closing animations, Japanese promos and some trailers for their other acquisitions.
This disk is a collection of four OVAs which were released with only with the manga as a bonus disk in Japan. They help to flesh out a few of the girls’ back stories from The World God Only Knows series and bring in some additional information about some key moments in the series. They break down into three separate arcs concerning the formation of the girls’ band 2-B, the introduction of Diana and a cute adventure with Elsie and Kanon.
OVA 1 – Four Girls and an Idol: It is summer break and Chihiro wants to form a rock group with her friends Elsie, Ayumi and Miyako. However, once they arrive at the studio to practise, they soon realise that the idea of spending money on a terrible sounding band is not worth their while. It would be cheaper to form a club at school and use one of the classrooms to rehearse. But, the club advisor warns them that they only way he’ll allow it is if they all score a perfect 100% on the next English exam. As the girls worry about how they will achieve this impossible task, a new student named Kanon walks in and asks if she can join their study group.
OVA 2 & 3 – Tenri Arc: The Reunion/Tenri Arc: The Encounter: Summer break has just begun and Keima wants to spend the entire session enjoying himself immersed within his world of bishōjo games, but his mother has other ideas. She introduces him to a new girl that just moved in next door – Tenri. He may not remember her, but she used to live in the neighbourhood ten years ago. As usual, he has no interest until Elsie warns him that she feels a lost spirit inside of her. As it is his obligation to hunt down any of these wandering spirits, he has no choice than to begin spying on Tenri; it as boring as he expected until another spirit hunter named Nora takes notice of their quarry. This person has a reputation that she will pursue any spirit, using any means necessary, even if it requires to accidentally kill the human that it was inhabiting. Keima has no other option but to protect Tenri as Elsie tries to lure Nora away, but in the process, he soon remembers that their pasts have more in common than they first thought.
OVA 4 – Magical Star Kanon 100%!: Elsie is watching Weather Girl Magical Girl Kanon until they remind the audience that they are now holding auditions for the idol’s new little sister on the kids’ show. However, it is not until she gets to the television studio that the staff tells her that the role is only for little girls; undeterred, Elsie is determined to try out for the role, until she detects a lost spirit wandering the area. As she tries to track it down, it attaches itself to Kanon. When the hunter does find it and tries to release the idol from its influence, something goes wrong and Kanon becomes a little girl! Hilarity ensues as they try to find a way to restore her and capture the spirit before it destroys the building.
This collection is much better the actual series itself since it doesn’t depend on its one major flaw: Keima Katsuragi, the protagonist of the show. Although this anime is supposed to revolve around his capturing of the girls, this overbearing, unfeeling narcissist really just drags it down and it is refreshing to see how the girls are able to live without his influence, until they literally have to drag him kicking and screaming into the episode.
The comedy of the girls’ everyday lives during summer break is what makes this set a highlight to the series. To show that they are determined to solve their own problems without his help is what makes them independent high school girls; but when they are forced to call on him, Keima of course in his unsympathetic way, tries to get his interaction with them done as soon as possible. But, in the end, his help is never worth the trouble in summoning him in the first place. So, they are forced to try to solve the situation themselves, thereby reinforcing their dependence on their own skills.
But, the Tenri Arc is the exception to this rule. These two episodes show why the emergence of Diana was dependent on the lost spirits and how it all leads into season three. It is scary to see that Keima was as cold hearted as he is now while they were still in elementary school. However, at least in the past, he was willing to help Tenri without being asked to, even though it was motivated by his need to get new batteries for his portable video games. So, in the end, their relationship did not progress and his emotional callousness has been hardened over time.
All in all, The World God Only Knows OVA Collection is a nice change of pace for series. It shows a new side of this universe that Westerners might never have known about if Sentai Entertainment had not made the wise decision to release them to DVD. Too bad that they still need to look to the regular anime to get the gist of the story to fully understand the twisted world of Keima Katsuragi.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean opening animation, clean closing animations, Japanese promos and Sentai trailers
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sharp LC-42LB261U 42” LED HDTV and Sony BDPS3200 Blu-ray player connected by HDMI