October 7, 2010

The World God Only Knows Flag 1: The Capturing God

Posted in The World God Only Knows tagged , , , at 8:43 pm by meotwister5

As a gamer, enough can probably be said about my… addiction.  Though of course it’s not so much a pure addiction per se, that I end up screwing up my studies and my social life in the name of defeating the next boss of finding the next save point, but I still take my gaming very seriously.  It’s a hobby sure, but it’s a hobby I actually take the time to research, prepare and and even practice for.  When I want to enjoy it, I enjoy it the way I want to and the only ways I know how.  In all honesty, I think anyone would treat the hobbies they really enjoy with a degree of seriousness.

There is, of course, the more extreme ones, who do nothing all day but game and… well game duh.  I almost went down that road once but realized there are far more things in the real world I need to put my focus on, and the real world has no save points.  When it’s game over, it’ s game over.

Aaaand above all of us is Katsuragi Keima, the Capturing God.

The God of Gaming.

The influences that went into the creation of Katsuragi Keima are likely undoubted.  When I first read the manga, my first reaction was “Ledouche?”  From the body frame, the mannerisms and the personal grandeur, Keima had all the makings of a megalomaniac with concomitant delusions of grandeur.  He is like that, but also not, and something more.  A confusing simile yes, because there is really more to Keima than meets the eye.

His contempt for the women of the 3D realm, and reality in general, is as clear as day.  He adamantly refuses or limits connections with real people, treats people with a degree of disdain but not outright hatred, yet acknowledges to conform with at least some of society’s norms.  Compared to other characters that lose themselves into the realms of fantasy where fantasy and reality blur, Keima in contrast clearly sees the line between them, accepts their difference, yet calmly chooses his fantasy realm over the real world.  He may prefer 2D over 3D, but he knows where the lines are drawn and knows how to cross the line when he needs to.  He is actually in prefect control of his senses, even when Elsee drops down from Hell (that sounds wrong actually) and tells him he needs to capture girls and release spirits lest he risk decapitation by explosion.

He may be absurd, he might come off as shallow, and clearly his classmates think he’s crazy, but he knows what he’s doing, likes what he’s doing, and takes charge of his life.  That’s a strong character there.

Listen to the word of God!

I was initially going to at least make a rundown for Elsee thinking the episode was going to give some of her background but I won’t for spoiler’s sake.

The viewer can at least tell that Elsee is a demon who, for reasons yet revealed, makes a contract with Keima to capture spirits trapped in the hearts of maidens.  If for some reason you think Elsee went through that too fast, the basics is that a bunch of ghosts and stuff escaped from incarceration and placed themselves inside the hearts of girls with “gaps”, and by gaps it means girls who have a feeling of something “missing” inside their hearts that leave them worried and depressed.

Sounds like every girl you ever met right?

IIRC correctly in the manga Elsee never explicitly tells Keima that love and kissy-kissy is an effective method, because it just so happens that Keima’s method is the romantic angle due to his God-like skill in galge.  As for Elsee herself, from a purely anime perspective there isn’t enough to tell about her personality, but you can already conclude with some degree of accuracy that she’s a bungling goof as evidenced by making a pact with a guy who’s expertise is in 2D women.  Likewise, based on how she’s always carrying a broom and likes to sweep the floor every time, you might say she’s not really even properly set for the task at hand.

But screw that she’s ssssssssssssooooooooooooooooooo adorable!

God goes into action.

We can expect something like a girl of the moment thing for the series, and not likely a girl of the episode, because I’m sure they’d run out of women if that happens.

As far as I’m concerned I felt that it was a fairly faithful adaptation of the first capture.  Naturally as with any adaptation stuff’s always going to be left on the cutting room floor, as evidenced by the choice to remove some minor scenes in the opening of the series and a bit of backstory, but then again the show is about capturing the hearts of girls and stopping the spirits that have taken them.  Everything else is more or less secondary, so as long as they don’t cut anything really important out it’s fine by me.

Animation wise the series is looking good.  Keima looks exactly the same as he is in his manga form, and the girls have been touched up here and there for reasons I don’t know of, but it shouldn’t be surprising since they’re some of the selling points of the series.  Out of everyone personally I think Elsee got the most changes physically speaking.  In the manga she was a bit more… girlish and cute.  In the anime she’s a bit more… uh… womanly and pretty.  Not that I’m complaining.

Then again, am I the only manga reader who thinks her chest is a bit… bigger?

He can already see the ending.

I had always thought that the manga itself was also a bit of a parody of gal games (hence galge), and their applications in real life.  Common sense would probably tell us that the things you do in these games wouldn’t work on real women, and you’re more likely to get a slap in the face than a kiss on the cheek.  Galge had been for the longest time been aimed for the stereotypical introverted geeky guys who played games, liked anime and had no chance on scoring a girlfriend in real life, thus they turn their attention to 2D dating games for that something they think they can’t get.  The girls in these games are tuned towards their own beliefs and biases, and when you compare their supposed difficulties in real life, it’s reasonable to assume that these are tailor-made girls that don’t really exist in real life.

Keima on the other hand is probably the anti-thesis of the galge gamer stereotype.  He’s strong minded, strong willed, very intelligent, very observant and extremely driven.  He’s actually got some looks, has a lot of confidence and I have no doubt he can get any woman he wanted of he tried.  And try he did.  Exactly how his game tactics worked on his real world is a basis for questioning, but I’m inclined to believe that it’s because it actually DOES work.  Of course you need some balls to do what he did, but I really doubt that you could create a galge without any knowledge about women in the first place.

Perhaps women like this, where galge tactics work on, really exist in real life?

Apparently there are.

The first episode as the athletic girl with confidence problems bagged.  His classmate Ayumi is representative of that which makes Keima confident of what he has to do, given her “type”.  Standard fare here, though I did find that her entire section felt a bit rushed in places, it’s a natural expectation given that this is the pilot episode that has the introductions.  Despite being rushed, it still came out well, and Manglobe presented all the important aspects of this capture target well enough.

As it stands, I think the studio is doing an acceptable job with adapting the manga.  I still do have some reservations if Hirono can really pull of the really great scenes of Keima, but only time will tell.  Until I am proven right or wrong, I will be eagerly awaiting more of one of my most awaited series this season.

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2 Comments »

  1. Chaos2Frozen said,

    Very well said =D Though I doubt the virgin-watchers would entirely understand your explaination of Keima’s character just yet. But they will eventually… They must all accept the word of the God… @_@

  2. Arabesque said,

    Actually, Elsie did in fact tell Kemia that he needed to use love to fill the gap in their hearts.

    Good review, I agree that this was a well handled episode. But just out of curiosity, what part made you thin of Elsie as ”womanly and pretty”? 😛


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