Saturday, October 28, 2017
Forgotten Anime: “Megami Paradise”
Original Year of Release: 1995
English Video Release: 1996, NTSC VHS, Japanese Dialogue with English subtitles
Japanese Title: Megami Paradise
Runtime: 2 episodes x 29 mins
Note: Originally posted on the "Lost World of Anime" website in 2005. Revised version published on the "Anime Archivist" blog in March 2014.
Certainly a lot of amazing OVAs came out in the 1990’s like “Giant Robo”, “Please Save My Earth”, “Key the Metal Idol” and a ton of others, but of course there was rather predictably a lot of trash. I’m not going to make any excuses here; a lot of that trash was kind of fun. Like I’ve said before, anime does quite a number of things well, in particular genre films and exploitation material, the staples of live action low budget cinema. In fact a lot of the time I think anime is far more successful producing this kind of material than their live action counterparts, particularly Japanese live action. What we have here with this OVA is clearly material that fits in the exploitation category. The story of this little OVA goes something like this;
A new Mamamega has recently been appointed, and she chooses a young girl named Lillith as a shrine maiden. Lillith is a white witch, and her job as shrine maiden will be to protect the Mamamega, but she also has to recruit other shrine maidens. Her first candidate, Stasia, has absolutely no interest in the job as she believes it is currently so peaceful in Megami Paradise, that the shrine maiden’s job is nothing but a token position for those who want fame and prestige. Upon leaving, Lillith is harassed by a pink haired girl called Rurubell, a magical girl complete with wand and “Creamy Mami” parody spells, who grew up with Stasia and is very close to her. She asks if she is on Lillith’s list of candidates, which of course she isn’t. Despite Lillith’s attempts to get rid of her, she manages to tag along. Lillith’s next candidate is Megami Paradise’s strongest swordswoman, Juliana. Unfortunately Rurubell decides to test Juliana out, and casts a spell sending magical bubbles in her direction. Juliana easily defeats the spell, and sends a powerful blast via her sword to flush the duo out from their hiding place. Despite their explanations, Juliana is understandably very angry with them and chases them off. Soon after, another powerful and potentially deadly attack is aimed towards Juliana. Believing it was Lillith and Rurubell, she sets off to teach them a lesson.
A few days later the coronation takes place for the new Mamamega and the new shrine maidens; Juliana, Stasia, Lillith and Rurubell. The ceremony begins but it is soon apparent that the Astrostar and the old Mamamega are both missing. The perpetrators of the crime make their appearance. The Yamimama shrine maidens are up to their old tricks. They have stolen both and in the chaos they also kidnapped Lillith. The Yamimama plan to use her as a portal to rid Megami Paradise of the Astrostar. Juliana and Stasia set off the rescue Lillith and the Astrostar.
Despite the completely over the top nature of this show (which you must admit makes it fun to watch), the other thing going for it are the designs, which are superb. For a show now over 15 years old, the animation is still looks reasonably fluid and quite good. Unsurprisingly the show is based upon a manga which was in turn based upon a PC Engine Super CD-ROM game, and with all the fan service, it’s little wonder that Gainax was involved in the game’s development. The story is pretty stock standard, but it’s pleasant enough. Surprisingly for show this trashy some big name voice actors make appearances in this show. Megumi Ogata, most famous for Shinji Ikiari in “Evangelion” plays the redhead swordswoman Juliana, and Beldandy (“Oh! My Goddess”) herself, Kikuko Inoue, plays the blue-silver haired Stasia. They must have been desperate for some cash.
In the end this is an OK show if you don’t mind the production staff’s obsession with panties and high cut panty lines. The question for me is when ADV was at its peak, in a market where “DearS” and other derivative trash outsold worthy series like “Master Keaton” by about 100 to 1, you’d think it would have been a perfect time to re-issue this title on DVD. Amazingly they didn’t. If you are trying to find something different from the current crop of anime, this isn’t a title to look out for. Only those who like panties and the lower half of the female body will probably feel the need to search this title out.