I’m trying out something different here, where I just exert my feelings about something while I still have them, whether or not I have anything to really say about it. I want these sort of posts to be casual, off the top of the head kind of things that are probably going to come across as cumbersome and the complete opposite of concise, but I feel like that sensation you get reading it is similar to how I feel writing it. And I think that’s a great form of understanding someone. I can’t be certain I won’t have something to say about it in the future (or even the next week or so), but right now I am filled with love and “post anime depression” over The World God Only Knows.
There’s a few things I’d like to cover on it, but mostly trying to wrap my head around what it made me feel and why. This isn’t an easy thing to grapple with, as I’m still new to the experience of writing about something that both inspired and destroyed me (in a good way?). It’s hard to articulate what exactly The World God Only Knows did to / for me, but I will say it was a strong positive experience.
Let’s see. Keima Katsuragi is a pretty relatable character (for me at least). I’m not as hardcore of a gamer as I used to be. In fact, I haven’t played a game since January. But I do feel like I’m being reverted back to a simpler time by identifying with Keima. Though, I’m also projecting myself onto him more than I should, I also feel inspired by him in other ways. There’s the typical envy of a genius protagonist (Keima being particularly exceptional at mathematics and logic), but Keima’s on a whole other bizarre level of thinking that I find really captivating. He applies video game logic to the real world in a way that makes (too much) sense. You could put a magnifying glass over some of his arguments and find some cracks or flaws, but I don’t see the point beyond nitpicking an otherwise great character and show.
I haven’t seen the first season in over a year, so my mind isn’t particularly memorable when it comes to the initial phase of the show. So, I’ll be primarily talking about the other two seasons (if even only briefly for now).
I applaud the writing of the show, particularly for Keima’s character, since it elevates the believability of his actions and logical leaps. It’s astounding how much effort was put into making his character as convincing and engaging as possible (for the type of character he is). He’s the “God of Conquest”, master of dating sims and video game addict. But he’s also a genius who can ace tastes without wasting much time in class or studying. He uses his experience and skills accumulated through his time spent playing dating sims to plan out “conquests” to woo over girls being inhabited by “loose souls” (which basically amounts to them needing love to fill the gap in their heart and release the soul before it grows and becomes dangerous).
Keima does this not because he wants to, or because he’s a womanizer who would jump at such an opportunity to kiss a lot of girls (they lose their memories afterward by the way). No, Keima does this out of necessity, since he’s now the buddy of a reaper (Elsie) from Hell and is linked with this accessory that will kill him if he doesn’t follow through with it.
I have a fondness for self-prioritized characters. The ones who don’t engage with the plot because it’s noble or the right thing to do, but because if they didn’t it would affect their lives negatively (i.e. in Keima’s case kill him). And Keima is no exception. In fact, he’s so obsessed with his games and private life, that he is always playing them (everywhere he goes – walking to and back from school, in class…) and has declared that reality is just a “crappy game”.
But there’s more to him, despite this high level of egoism / seclusion. While his “conquests” of girls may be devised from logic rather than genuine emotion (most of the time), he does ultimately end up improving (most of) their lives. And there is bit of character development I was not expecting to see in the final episode, but I’ll leave that a secret for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
It might seem odd for me to end it here, but I just really wanted to get some of this off my chest. I definitely want to write more about The World God Only Knows (as well as other shows I haven’t given the same treatment). I might do some posts on the other characters next. I also have the fantastic openings and the show itself to still cover. Plus, I could always go further in-depth on Keima, maybe in conjunction with something else (themes?).
Let me know what you think of this new type of post, and if you would like to see more of it!