By BakaHakase 4 months, 3 weeks ago
Hello everyone, BakaHakase here. Welcome to the first recap of TWGOK this season! We’ve already got early impressions out of the way, so let’s just get right into it. Here we go, episode one: “When the Sun Goes Down”.
We begin the Goddesses Arc with a quick explanation of the basic premise that drives TWGOK. Our protagonist, Keima Katsuragi, tells of how he met Elsie, the contract he is forced to partake in lest he lose his head, and how his experience in games allowed him to conquer the hearts of many real world girls. It’s all old hat for those who have seen the previous seasons, but for those just picking up TWGOK, the summary sufficiently establishes what the show is all about.
Keima is a gamer whose skill in dating sims earned him the nickname “God of Conquest”. One day he received a message that asked if he could capture any girl. Thinking that the sender was referring to a specific game, Keima said that it was possible. A young demon girl named Elsie then appeared before Keima and informed him of the contract he just signed. According to Elsie, loose souls from Hell sneak into the human world and come to reside in the empty hearts of women, hoping to find a way to reincarnate into a physical body. It is now Keima and Elsie’s duty to fill that emptiness with love for Keima so as to force the loose soul out and save the girl. Failure to capture the loose souls is not an option as it would spell death for the two. However, Keima is simply an obsessive gamer and thus is totally inexperienced in real love.
Being the genius that he is, Keima decides that all he needs to make the various girls fall for him are the strategies from his dating sim playthroughs. As this is an anime, the usual convention of not mixing reality and games is subverted when Keima actually succeeds in making multiple girls fall for him. However, these targets lose their short term memories after the expulsion of a loose soul, so ultimately Keima remains detached and is still somewhat able to follow his interests.
Keima delivers this broad outline as he powers on the many game consoles and television screens in his room, proudly exclaiming that the worlds he is about to enter and their inhabitants are superior to reality. From his chair, the God of Conquest begins doing what he does best and starts making a dent in his serious backlog of dating sims by playing multiple games at once. Two in particular are given special attention because the characters Keima is pursuing represent conquests he undertook as part of his duty as Elsie’s buddy. These are Yui’s and Akari’s arcs. In the first, the loose soul causes Yui and Keima to switch bodies, thus complicating an already difficult endeavor. The second is much simpler in that nothing supernatural occurs, but Akari leaves Keima dumbfounded because of how she acts and her nature as a mad scientist.
At this juncture of the introduction part of the episode we see Haqua, another demon who featured prominently in season two, and are shown her buddy, an older lady. While she may be decidedly less useful in the capturing of loose souls than Keima, she perhaps possesses a better attitude toward life.
One of Keima’s systems fizzles out as he reminisces and he is forced to open a window to let the smoke out. Upon doing so, he sees the moon in the night sky and he is reminded of another conquest. In Tsukiyo’s arc, the blonde astronomer was shrunk down to the size of a doll before Keima won her heart. Just as he finishes this final recollection, Elsie and Haqua call to Keima, telling him that it’s time to get started. Keima simply responds, “Continue”, as he opens the door to the new season of TWGOK and the opening theme.
Following the opening, we are treated to a song by resident TWGOK schoolgirl idol Kanon. Kanon was one of Keima’s earliest conquests and has been in several of the OVAs hinting at a big return this season. We quickly see why she is given such importance when the goddess Apollo appears before Kanon after she falls asleep while studying for midterms. Apollo informs her vessel that Kanon’s songs are restoring the goddess’ power because they are full of love. Kanon herself believes Apollo to be simply a hallucination from overworking. Both are unsure of how they have reached this point, with Apollo recalling only fighting off the “Weiss” (otherwise known as the loose souls) before appearing inside Kanon and Kanon believing she needs to rest more before Apollo will disappear.
Fast forward to the next morning. Keima and Elsie are walking to school when they happen upon Tenri, Keima’s childhood friend, new neighbor, and vessel to the goddess Diana. Tenri informs Keima that Diana needs to speak with him and so the two switch places, with Diana assuming control of Tenri’s body. After a recap of what occurred in the Tenri Arc, Diana tells Keima about the goddesses. Rather than be surprised, Keima takes the new information all in stride. To him it was easy to accept Diana’s proposition because Elsie is a demon. It simply stands to reason that gods would exist as well. However, Keima doesn’t really care because his contract deals only with the loose souls and the goddesses are separate entities. Diana is taken aback by his attitude, but before she can respond, Keima briskly asks what she wants from him. Diana tells Keima to marry Tenri. Easy enough right.
It’s now Keima’s turn to be surprised. Diana proceeds to explain that whereas the loose souls feed on negative energy, the goddesses feed on positive feelings, such as love and happiness. According to Diana, if Tenri married Keima, she would have access to a source of energy that would give her her powers back. Keima refuses, but Diana will not back down and commands him to start walking with Tenri to and from school, even though they attend different schools. She demands that Keima start spending more time with Tenri instead of those “other girls”.
Kanon arrives at school for her test. As an idol, she is a celebrity to her fellow students and is therefore gazed upon at a distance and spoken of very highly. Keima is in her class, but he is too distracted to pay any attention to Kanon, mulling over what Diana told him. He is angry that more is being forced on him, believing the loose souls to be difficult enough without adding the goddesses into the mix. Kanon looks at Keima before the test begins and one can see the longing in her eyes.
After the test, Kanon goes to the restroom to speak with Apollo. She is desperate to talk to someone about Apollo, but the goddess tells her that it would do no good to drag others into their problems. In trying to come up with a solution, we learn that Apollo and Diana are sisters with the latter being more intelligent than the former according to Apollo. However, Apollo admits she does not know where Diana is. Kanon cannot accept waiting to find the other goddess and wonders aloud if there is anyone they can talk to. Apollo bluntly states that Kanon just wants to speak with Keima because she is in love with him. It is then revealed that when Apollo came, Kanon began to remember everything that happened between her and Keima in the first season. Her memories of the short week they spent together returned and with them her feelings for Keima. Unfortunately, Kanon believes that Keima rejected her and so now resolves that it would do no good to speak with him. She channels her sadness into a song she sings later that night as an ominous individual watches from the shadows.
The next day Diana is standing outside the school gates waiting for Keima. He gets right into it, asking Diana flat-out if the presence of the goddesses has anything to do with the problems with the loose souls. Diana is unsure, but she attempts to give an answer. She responds by first explaining the carefully maintained balance of the universe. According to Diana, there are three worlds: Heaven, Hell, and Earth. All three are linked by the souls of humans who live and die on Earth, are purified in Hell, and finally are sent to Heaven where the souls assigned to new human bodies to repeat the cycle again. Sadly, demons will be demons.
In a bid to increase Hell’s power at the expense of the balance, the old demons began to influence humans so that they would act badly and thus spend more time being purified. In time, this turned into a plan for total domination by Hell over all three worlds. Various individuals from both Heaven and Hell were not pleased with this and so a war broke out. The heavenly powers were led by the goddesses, or more specifically the Jupiter Sisters, and they succeeded in driving the evil demons from power and installing “good” demons that were in favor of maintaining the balance.
Diana and her sisters sacrificed themselves to seal away the evil demons, but something has happened that has weakened the seal, releasing the Jupiter Sisters and the loose souls into the human world. She asks Keima to look for her sisters even though he would have to do most of the work. Keima is of course not interested, but this does not deter Diana. She tells Keima of how she was encased in a loose soul when she awoke on Earth. She believes that the others may have been in similar predicaments and so they would not reveal themselves until the loose soul had been excised. If the loose soul had found its way into a human, then the goddess would now reside in that individual and could supplement the memory of the human. This means that Keima would simply have to search for the Jupiter Sisters from among those girls he saved and who remembered everything that happened. We know at least one girl who fits the criteria.
Kanon arrives at school and sees Keima with Tenri/Diana. However, before this sight sinks in, Apollo calls her away and warns Kanon of a presence she has felt spying on them for a time. The threat seems real as the person from the concert earlier appears and runs away from Kanon. As each questions the problems that have been thrust upon them, Keima and Kanon’s eyes meet during another test. Both are flustered, Keima even more so because he fears what it could mean if Kanon remembers what happened.
Later that night Kanon is attacked by the mysterious individual as she returns home. She is scared, but hopes that, like her thoughts on Apollo, with a little rest she will realize she imagined the whole thing. Nevertheless, she cries out for Keima as she somehow falls asleep. The next day, she sees the phantom while in the classroom. Scared out of her mind, Kanon runs to Keima during the test for that day. She grabs onto to him as everyone watches. Unable to take it anymore, she confesses to him, admitting that she remembers everything, including their kiss. This riles up the class and Keima is quick to get Kanon out of there. However, the feelings of love Kanon experienced are enough to allow Apollo to fully possess her.
Apollo doesn’t wish to involve Keima and so runs off on her own even though she knows she still lacks many of her powers. This plays into the hand of the attacker as Apollo is restrained by a raiment similar to the one worn by Elsie and Haqua. The episode ends as a demon named Lune from an organization named Vintage stabs Apollo/Kanon with a strange blade, claiming it was to help return Hell to its former glory.
And so ends our first recap of TWGOK. It was a really good episode and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in the next one. What about you guys? Comments are always welcome.
BakaHakase is a new contributor to Ani.me. His interests include Japanese history and culture, as well as, anime and manga. He hopes for the chance to indoctrinate others. If you’re reading this, then it’s already working.
anime, episode 1, goddesses arc, recap, the world god only knows