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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Adventures of Mini-Goddess The Belldandy Files
The Adventures of Mini-Goddess The Belldandy Files
Pioneer // Unrated // April 9, 2002
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by J. Doyle Wallis | posted April 8, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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"One day, three goddesses appeared at the house of an average college student. The three use all kinds of powers in an effort to make people happy..."... You can kind of think of it as The Littles only wacky Japanese anime style. Gan-Chan the hapless rat is the main comic relief, the poor guy constantly pestered and involved in the super-powered tricksters schemes. And why does he put up with them? Because Gan-Chan is in love with Belldandy, who is sort of the sweet, nuturing goddess. Skold is the techo geek goddess, always inventing things that usually break down or end up providing some kind of comedic moment. Urd is the forceful, strong one (like Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo, even has the gray hair to match), with a crass nature on par with her mischievousness.

The first volume The Gan-Chan Files focused on Gan-Chan related stories, and from the title alone one assumes the second volume The Belldandy Files would have more of her character, but really she doesn't appear all that much. In both volumes of shorts so far, Adventures of Mini-Goddess is really Urd, Skuld and Gan-Chan's show. This second volume, while no doubt entertaining and a worthwhile buy for anime fans, for me, wasn't as funny as the first. But, with each episode being a short and sweet 5 mins (7 ½ with credits) it is still very entertaining, and if you don't like a particular story, it'll be over quickly and on to the next adventure..

Episode synopsis

URD'S BABYSITTINTG ADVENTURE- In this ho-hum episode, Urd babysits the rat brats from next door. She uses her multiplying spell to play tag with them, and concocts a pill she hopes will make them more complacent. Eventually she bonds with the kids when a thunderstorm scares them.

THE PROPOSAL SCHEME- Gan-Chan nervously swoons and prepares to ask a female rat named Koaru out on a date. Of course, Urd and Skuld lend a hand, helping him dress in silly outfits. Urd gives him an incantation and enchanted rose that will allow him to win Koaru's heart, but Gan-Chan mucks it up and accidentally proposes to Urd, who is bewitched by her own spell.

WELCOME NEWLYWEDS!- Urd and Gan-Chan are now in marital bliss...well, Gan-Chan is anyway, as Urd has become a subservient housewife. Gan-Chan recalls their first week together to a visiting Belldandy and Skuld. As the enchanted rose begins to wilt, Urd is back to her old, ornery self, and is none too pleased at being relegated to a meek housewife

PHONE ME, DARLING!- While cleaning, Gan-Chan has an accident and gets the hiccups. He turns to Urd for help. She gives him a pill that awakens his inner cleaning skills and he finishes the job. End credits begins to roll, but Gan-Chan stops them because the episode cant be over yet, they still have more time. The clock is rewound and this time he goes to Skuld for help. Skuld makes a robot, Mr Helpful, who cleans up the mess- End credits roll, but once again, they still have more time, so the clock is rewound again as Gan-Chan asks Belldandy for help cleaning the mess.

SOS IN THE BIG FILED: PARTS ONE and TWO- This funny two-parter is basically a parody of wilderness survival stories. This time, Urd, Skuld, and Gan-Chan are stranded in a snow covered room, the result of Skuld trying to fix the air-conditioner and making it too powerful. Gan-Chan suggests they just go in the other room, but Urd and Skuld are very gung ho about taking the matter seriously, embarking on a perilous journey using thread, paper clips, and tacks a s mountain climbing gear, attempting to reach the windowsill so they can turn off the air-conditioner. They even make a Cliffhanger joke.

KITCHEN FIGHTERS- Martial arts anime/video game parody. The annual rat martial arts fighting tournament is on. A kink is thrown into the tournament when Skuld enters a robot which mops up the competition. The final round is a face off between Gan-Chan and the robot. Urd, Gan-Chan's corner man, suggests Jackie Chan style drunken boxing as a last resort to win.

GAN-CHAN'S MAGNIFICENT DAYS- Very neat short in which Urd follows Gan-Chan around in order to see just what exactly he does all day. What it basically amounts to is: wake up- have morning tea with Belldandy- eat- sleep- have afternoon tea with Belldandy- eat- sleep- have evening tea with Belldandy...

AH, MY BUDDAH!- Urd casts a spell that makes the homes Buddah statue come to life. Buddah then quickly has them all in monk outfits and is spouting philosophy and scolding them.

THE STORY OF GAN-CHAN: LOVE ME TO THE BONE - Gan-Chan holds a press conference to announce that he and Koaru are now dating. Urd and Skuld spy on them, only to find out the peculiar attraction of rats. That is, Koaru is a pig, eating everything Gan-Chan brings her, flowers, boards, apple cores, love letters. Gan-Chan explains that wit rats, "Appetite defines beauty". But when he leans in for his first kiss...

LETS FORM A BAND! SIDE A and SIDE B - In this two-parter Urd and Skuld want to form a band. Gan-Chan enthusiastically tries out to be the drummer. After everyone gets their place, Urd on guitar, Skuld on bass, Gan-Chan on drums, and Belldandy on lead vocals, they squabble over their name, with Urd suggesting they be called "Urd's Drug Junkies", and Belldandy suggesting the "Belldandy Angels". They settle on the "Goddess Fantastic Club" and prepare for their first show. When Gan-Chan gets opening night jitters and passes out... well, of course, hijinks ensue.

The DVD: Pioneer Animation does a fine job. For fans of this kind of anime its a good buy, though scant on extras, but in terms of image and sound quality it is great for this kind of show. Picture- Like the first disc, very good 1:33:1. While the digital format does enhance the cheaper low frame rate of tv animation, the pic is good strong color and contrast, no complaints. Anime fans will be very satisfied. Sound- Dolby Digital 2.0 original Japanese language or English dub with optional yellow English subtitles. Sound is crisp, clear, absolutely no problems, hiss or distortions on the tracks. Once again, the original language is preferable. The English dub is good, but they chose a much more smarmy voice for Urd and a nerdy voice for Gan-Chan that doesn't provide the same characterization and charm that the original Japanese does. Extras- Insert mini poster of Belldandy--- Scene Access, each episode is divided into three parts---- Character notes for Gan-Chan---- Gan-Chan Gallery consisting of 8 stills---- Non Credit ending, just like it sounds the end credits animation and song without all those troublesome words.--- DVD Credits.

Conclusion- Good buy for fans of the series. While I found the first volume to be better, this is still an entertaining follow up and adequate transfer that should leave anime fans satisfied.

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