Megami Paradise (OVA)



女神. 天国 (パラダイス)

An easy mistake to make, is to be attracted to watching something because of its promotional art. This is what motivated me to watch Megami Paradise. Unfortunately it belongs to the one genre that's particularly cursed with good art for poor content, and that genre is of course, Ecchi.

Don't get the wrong idea though, Megami Paradise isn't particularly bad. It's just not good either. It's only a two episode OVA, adapted from a PC Engine game (which I have yet to play). The story is very typical of the time. To explain it in plain terms, the main character is selected to be a handmaiden-type for a new queen-type character, and is tasked with seeking out other maidens to protect the queen. This eventually develops into a classic magic battle against an evil witch. It's incredibly plain, something that's really brought home when the main character goes through a tick-the-box "I can't do it" moment. Considering that the OVA is adapted from a game, this might be somewhat forgivable, since even the best games have pretty plain stories as far as stories go (just don't tell this to an RPG fan).

Let's talk about the other aspects, they're a little more interesting. Visually, Megami Paradise isn't bad. The characters have good designs, and as it is one of those types of anime, there are plenty of compromising angles. Either they're not too offensive or I'm very desensitised at this point, it's just a lot of panty shots and thighs. One of the impressive things this OVA pulls off, is making its one scene with bare breasts seem as unexpected as such scenes are in other genres. I think it must have been compulsory at the time to have breast shots with no warning at all. The animation itself is not great, but not bad either. More frames than Berserk at least, although most of them are dedicated to hair moving in the wind. As for the sound, nothing to say really, it's there.

The most interesting thing about this OVA, I think, is how detailled the background characters are. I might call them 'extras', since they aren't really characters. That seems to be a significant factor if you want to predict the overal quality/mediocrity of anime. In much of Megami Paradise, the extras almost look as if they are main characters from other anime. They all sport colourful hair and outfits, and are drawn in a fair amount of detail. In contrast, some anime will have much more plain and realistic extras, sometimes to the point where they look very similar to characters in western animation (not that it is any criticism). I think it works out that the more gorgeous the extras, the more plain the plot will be, but this idea really needs to be tested more.

Overall, I can't really recommend Megami Paradise. It's not unpleasant to watch, but it falls flat compared to other OVAs you could be watching instead. If you like watching Ecchi, then it is at least not a disaster.