Under Your Radar: The World God Only Knows

Destiny is a one-way street!

Keima Katsuragi, the capturing god, knows exactly how to manipulate any girl into falling in love with him, provided they’re not real. Yes, he’s a master of dating sims, and runs an extremely popular website that hosts walkthroughs of thousands of dating sims he himself cleared. So popular, in fact, that it single-handedly influenced the entire industry.

But, one day, a new devil ascends from new hell and tricks him into a contract. He must now make real girls fall in love with him to capture evil spirits hiding within their hearts, or he will be beheaded.

So begins The World God Only Knows (Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai in Japanese, Kaminomi for short — do not mistype as “Kami no Mizo Shiru Sekai”, that means “The World God’s Gutter Knows”).

Now, remember how I said Negima! is my favourite series? This gives it a run for its money. You see, when Keima finds out what happened, after a little prodding from Elsie (the new devil who tricked him), he goes and uses dating sim techniques to make the girls fall in love with him, after using other dating sim techniques to profile them. Funnily enough, it works. In fact, it works so well that they have to alter the girls’ memories to remove Keima every time he captures a spirit.

This dart will hit the bullseye of love!
Ryou’s stupidity, Exhibit A

I really have to give Tamiki Wakaki props for writing such distinct personalities. Sadly, however, the formulaic girl of the week plot starts to feel old after a while.

Luckily, just after this becomes an issue, things get shaken up when the goddesses are introduced. Keima had to pinpoint the six girls who remember him and make them fall in love with him again, and they could potentially reseal all of the spirits without him having to go capture all of the girls (and, despite there being an enormous squad of people with contracts with new devils helping out, Keima and Elsie are actually being the most efficient of the bunch by far, so he really would have to do it himself).

Ryou’s stupidity, Exhibit B

The good news? Two of them basically threw themselves at him. The bad news? One of them did so in such a high-profile and misleading manner that the remaining four would think he was cheating on them, and therefore give him a hard time on it – not to mention that he has a one week time limit or one of the goddesses will die, taking the girl with her, meaning all hope is lost.

In addition, the fact that they remember everything throws more than a few wrenches into his usual strategy. It was interesting seeing these repeat captures, and it was nice to see that they weren’t just retreads of the originals.

The supporting cast is also quite hilarious, but it’s hurt a little by how it’s mostly girls. That said, one of the two other dudes in the entire manga is quite hilarious due to how stupid he is.

If I had to dock it for anything else, it’s the art style it starts with, but this is quickly fixed. The anime also had constant pacing problems.

The manga is only now approaching 200 chapters. The anime is 25 episodes long (if you include the OVA), covering the first 40 chapters, and all but the OVA are being released, dubbed, by Sentai Filmworks.

In my honest opinion, Sentai got most of the voices down quite well for season 1, but one of the Kanon episodes has a glaringly laggy subtitle track (Sentai translates stuff like signs and sound effects, so the dub also has this issue) that would confuse just about everyone until they realize what’s going on and shut it off for that episode.

The main mistake on the anime writers’ part is focusing too much on the girls when the main draw is being in awe of Keima, who has a personality that’s executed perfectly.

Quite annoying when you consider how they didn’t dub Kanon’s songs, so she randomly switches to her Japanese voice for all of her songs (and there are quite a few), so you’ll have no idea what she’s singing if you turn the sub track off. In addition, the characters in the dub all say their names in Eastern order, another cause for confusion. Another, minor issue is how they seem to have given the perfect Ayumi voice to Chihiro and vice-versa.

As for the manga, the only way we’ll be getting it in English legally is by pestering Viz Media until they cave and release it. I’d make a petition, but I’m not sure it would work. Why Viz? Well, the manga is serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday in Japan, owned by Shogakukan, who co-owns Viz. No way they’ll hand it to someone else.

We won’t be getting the rest of the story in anime form because its sales in Japan were at break-even level, so they won’t make a third season.

I can see the ending!

Man, talk about image overload. 😄

Now, I introduce you all to something I’ll be doing on a weekly basis for these segments. I’ll put a preview picture at the end of each segment, to hint at what comes next time. I’ll start it off with this one:

See you next week!

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