I had no idea that the long running manga series ended last year. It ran from September 1988 up to April 2014.
Now, I first saw the 1993 OVA around the early 2000s; this was when I was starting to get into anime and it was this OVA that solidified my liking anime. Sure before that, I watched Macross, Gundam Wing, and the like, but this was something fresh for a young pubescent such as I in the early 2000s; somcething less of the run and gun, ask questions later, but more of the human element... more of love.
It brought a sense of love to me (but later on when I started reading Love Hina, did the idea of falling in love was something to look forward to), otherwise, I would only know the clenched fist mayhem of pure shonen. This opened the door to a slew of romantic comedies for me to look forward to; some harem here and there, but nothing like having that one girl that you set your eyes on, work your ass off to get her in the, and the vindication that she felt the same way afterall. That is what I felt with such a genre, and it was Ah! Megami Sama that opened the door to all of them. To a broader range of anime.
I loved how it was hand drawn, the OVA that is, love the opening and ending themes, even if I didn't speak or understand Japanese, you knew it was filled with love and joy. Something that even someone like me, who has a lot of testosterone (yes, look it up; testosterone closes the epiphyseal plate... and since my growth was stunted, I believe it is due to my raging testosterone levels), can appreciate and smile; feel warm inside, and like I said, brings the idea of falling in love something that I can look forward to (and again, this was cemented after reading Love Hina; everything I need to know about love I learned in Love Hina).
I then felt that I needed more... more than just 5 episodes of the OVA and as the internet was about to boom, I found out about the manga series; at first I was a bit let down by the drawing, but when I found out it would later better with later volumes and become close to the OVA that I was first introduced to, I was at ease. But I will admit, the drawing may have put me off a bit, it was the story pacing that got me hooked; people did tell me that the OVA was just scraping the surface of what the story was really like, and they were right... it was far superior in the manga.
But with all the good I can say about Ah! Megami-Sama!, and although this series is SO close to my heart for what it stood for in my life: it introduced me to romantic comedy, and it taught me about love and the beauty of it, if done right. I was never one to watch all the movies it spawned, or read ALL the chapters of the manga (but now that it has ended, I might try and read now), or collect any of the merchandise (Though I did watch the 2011 anime series and I thought it was also great!). I am a fan and I love the series to death... but I just didn't feel the need to all those I just mentioned.
Now knowing that the series in the manga sense has ended (and pretty much ended as a whole series... it was the main storyline), I can't help but look back at those days where I pretended to be Keiichi and I am patiently waiting for my Belldandy... and you know what? Sometimes I still do think that I am Keiichi... just waiting for my Beldandy.
And I think that is what the series is as a whole... find your better half, and through all the shit the world and BEYOND will throw at you, you will stay together and show the world the beautiful it is to be in love. IF DONE RIGHT.
I say done right because, there are many people in the world in love, but they lost the love I have seen in the old days. Nowadays, people just want to get into eachother's pants. I am old fashioned, and seeing the love projected in Ah! Megami-Sama! is what I long for... both sides are strong individuals, working tirelessly to make the relationship work; no such thing as this knight in shining armor doing all the work for the weak damsel in distress. Both are capable, and smart enough, to keep a relationship work in spite of what, again, the world and BEYOND will throw.
And with that, I want to thank Fujishima-Sensei for introducing me to Keiichi, Belldandy, and the rest of the cast; for teaching this man that there is more to anime that robots and guns... And telling me, this hopeless romantic, that falling in love is something that I can look forward to.
I want to leave with my favorite song from the series; this is the ending theme of the 1993 OVA (though the songs in the 2011 anime series were also worth an ear), appropriately entitled "Congratulations!".
So... Ah! Megami-Sama!... Thank you for all the memories. And Congratulations!!