As I mentioned on my Episode 12 post, I feel like a proper way to review this series is to look at it from an arc specific perspective since the way the way the series is presented almost makes it feel like its an omnibus format when its actually a continuing story. The detail of having each conquered girl to forget about the conquest allows it to be this way. Anyways lets begin.
Conquest #1 (Ep 1) – Takahara Ayumi (CV: Taketatsu Ayana)
The first conquest of the series was Ayumi. What made her conquest different from the rest was that she was only given 1 episode to shine. However, I have to say that as the 1st episode of the anime, the Ayumi arc was by far one of my personal favourites and it gave me an really strong impression of this series right from the get go. In fact I dare say TWGOK had one of the best 1st episodes I’ve seen this year. The story for Ayumi was short and sweet; the girl from the track team who tried her best to run, but would be bullied by her seniors. Such attacks to her self esteem would force her to fake an injury to miss the competition. Keima, having observed her for a while due to his newly formed contract to catch the lost souls, showed us for the first time his true abilities to capture girls even if they werent in 2D. The scene between them at night, when Keima called her on her jake injury was pretty impressive since I myself had completely overlooked the detail of how not having tied-up her hair meant that she wasnt running at full speed. That revelation plus his game winning quote “If its ranking you’re worried about. You are already 1st place, in my heart” as cheesy as it sounded…it was just fantastic to see and truly lived up to the name “God of Conquest”.
Ayumi was a great introduction into what the series would deliver. And I am glad that it played out the way it did…plus as a character herself, Ayumi was pretty damn cute when she started getting dere for Keima…then again this might be my inner Taketatsufag speaking.
Story – 5/5
Character – 4/5
Conquest #2 (Ep 2-3) – Aoyama Mio (CV: Yuuki Aoi)
The second conquest of the series was Mio. From the get go we are given the analysis from Keima and how to tackle a tsundere character. The twist in Mio’s story that caught me off guard was when it was revealed that she was not rich at all, but she was living as a commoner. With such a story development, my interest in her arc grew exponentially since for the 2nd time, I did not anticipate what the series was throwing at me. As for the interaction with Keima and Mio, it was hilarious seeing him petal Mio to and from school in more and more exaggerated carriages provided by Elsie. The climax of this arc with Keima forcing Mio to finally make a decision between living in the old world and trying to deny the death of her father, or moving on with her life and living the way she should live was very well done and it unlike Ayumi, this time Keima really did go on the attack and was the one that decided to seal the deal with a pretty damn awesome kiss. Although it did seem like Mio wasn’t ready for it…
While Keima once again showed how much of a boss he is in the end of this arc. I have to comment that Mio herself was a pretty decent tsundere and had her moments. Like when she pulled out her whip and had a great smile and laugh going, until her tsun kicked in when she realized what she was doing. While really good on its own though, as a whole I thought Ayumi’s arc had a better climax than this one and after what episode 1 had done this just didnt quite catch up to it.
Story – 4/5
Character – 3.5/5
Conquest #3 (Ep 5-7) – Nakagawa Kanon (CV: Toyama Nao)
The third conquest was the hottest new rising idol in town, Nakagawa Kanon. What completely changed the feel of this arc from the 2 before it was the fact that for the majority of this arc, it did not feel like Keima was the one chasing after Kanon but quite the opposite. While Kanon’s character did start giving a feel of “attention-whore” with the way she would freak out when someone wasn’t paying attention to her performance, when it was mixed with Keima’s absolute rejection of the real world and idols it gave some pretty damn good comedy imo. Because Keima’s ignoring of Kanon was NOT due to her having a spirit (he didnt even know at the time) and Kanon’s resolve to chase Keima around until he became one of her fans, completely reversed the playing field and it felt like Keima was the one being conquered instead. Another thing that really impressed me about Kanon was her seiyuu Toyama Nao. She is only 18 years old, and is completely new to the industry, but all the song she performed as Kanon on this series have been really good (in fact im listening to Happy Crescent as I write this), specially her “Love Call” ballad at the end of her story…that shit was fantastic.
As far as the story progression went, as I mentioned before Kanon really did seem like she was the one trying to capture a spirit inside Keima. Even if Keima did start to play along with her pace a little as part of his conquest plan, the feel I got from this arc was that Kanon was pretty much falling for Keima without him having to plan a strategy, and that was really nice to see.
While Keima didnt do much for most of the arc, it was at the climax that he really did put his conquest ON and totally conquered the fuck out of Kanon. Having ran away just minutes before her big concert due to her fear of screwing up and ending up forgotten, Kanon was pretty much set on giving up and just staying next to Keima. However he denied that future straight up (he even denied Kanon a kiss! WTF!) and instead made her realize that she could do it (with the help of 10,000 fans). For a while there I was thinking that Keima had forgotten to seal the conquest with the kiss, but fuck that shit! This is Kanon we are talking about, she was on the drivers seat from the beginning! And so, Kanon helped Keima get rid of her loose spirit, and I FUCK YEAH’d like I never had before on this series.
Story – 5/5
Character – 4.5/5
Conquest #4 (Ep 9-11) – Shiomiya Shiori (CV: Hanazawa Kana)
The fourth and final official conquest of this season was the shy, bookish type librarian Shiori. Being voiced by Hanazawa Kana, I was already expecting her to be loved by everyone however I was worried on which style Kana would use for her voice. Would it be the deadpan tone like Kanade? or the cheerful tone like Kobato? Which is why I was extremely relieved when I saw it was the latter since I prefer her cheerful tune WAAAAY more. As for Chiori herself, the contrast between her inner voice and outer attitude was done really well and this contrast also caused some really, really severe hnnnng attacks from her part. Compared to the other captures before her, if you were to go in terms of raw moe attacks, Shiori easily ranks above the other 3 (but matching Elsie is almost impossible). As for the conquest itself, to be honest there wasnt a moment that I thought was unexpected like with all previous 3 arcs, in fact it was a little bit predictable imo. Keima did go back into the drivers seat this time and he handled Shiori relatively easy to be honest, I dont remember seeing him struggle as much as he did for the other captures this time around.
As for the climax of the story, I thought it was handled pretty good. With Shiori’s insecurities about trying to talk to people and the imagery of Keima’s PFP screen as the light were her goals will be achieved, it was actually all pretty impressive. The kiss scene between the two also made me chuckle a bit since it seemed like MANGLOBE suddenly threw all their budget because the frame rates for that little part went up significantly and the OP was playing. But the problem with Shiori’s ending was the fact that it just did not feel like Shiori had developed enough feelings for Keima yet, so seeing this scene come so soon felt like Keima was just forcing her into a kiss this time around and I didnt like it. Just like Mio’s arc this was good on its own but compared to the previous arc, it just did not compare.
Story – 4/5
Character – 4/5
Final Thoughts: After OreImo, this anime was the 2nd most anticipated I had on my list. I had actually known about this series for a long time before it was announced to be an anime, and I had always wanted to start reading the manga of it. However I was lazy and I never really started. It was then that I heard of this anime adaptation so I just had to follow it, and now I feel like an idiot for not following this sooner. The main grab of this series for me was the premise, I’ve watched a lot of romance/harems before but this one had a certain uniqueness to it that really caught my attention. When I finally started to watch it, I quickly loved the way the story was progressing and how likeable the characters were from the get go. Another thing that seriously surprised me about this anime was its OST…its probably one of the best I’ve heard this year. This is the only show this season that I just HAD to watch without fail, regardless of exams, assignment, or lazyness. So I am glad to know that we are getting a second season of it for the spring 2011 term but I heard that sales for this series will determine any possible 3rd season and more…so for one of the first few times, I am really REALLY hoping that the series gets decent sale numbers.
The Final Verdict:
Voice Acting: 9/10
Overall – 9/10