Oh My Goddess Volume 7 feels like a disappointment after Volumes 5 & 6. However this is unfair as it does have some strong chapters, and an insight into Keiichi’s insecurities with respect to Belldandy.

That isn’t to say that these worries are unjustified, especially as the last chapter provides a timely reminder that Keiichi does have cause to worry.

I will say that the endless parade of Urd’s love potion disasters is starting to get old, and I hope that Fujishima came up with a new gag for Urd after this volume.

Chapter 43 Belldandy’s Tempestuous Heart starts with Keiichi having refined the synthesised moon rocks into bracelets that will keep the goddesses powered up for about 30 days. Yggdrasil is still down and having this alternative is putting Urd further in debt to Keiichi.

Combine this with Urd’s frustration [1] at the slow pace of the relationship between Keiichi and Belldandy, and Urd decides to go for a distilled love potion that will kick things into overdrive.

Whilst the distillation is happening [2] Skuld comes along and needs the newspaper that Urd’s alchemical gear is set up on. Skuld tries the tablecloth trick, almost manages it, but is left with a spilled potion and a memory of a terrible punishment from Urd the last Skuld spilled a potion.

Skuld manages to cover the accident up, more or less, but the resulting candy makes Belldandy a touch more, ah, assertive about Keiichi than anyone is really ready for.

This is one of the chapters where Keiichi’s essential purity [3] rises to the surface. Keiichi has no qualms about fending Belldandy off, if anything he’s afraid to let it go further. Keiichi is worried that when the goddesses have to return home he won’t be able to let Belldandy go, or that she won’t want to go. These are valid concerns given how much other supernatural meddling has already occurred.

The chapter is resolved fairly sweetly with an epilogue of Urd’s terrible punishment: SKuld being forced to make machines that don’t do anything useful.

Chapter 44 The Queen of Vengeance returns the focus to Sayoko making yet another attempt to wrest Keiichi away from Belldandy. Unlike the earlier volumes there’s no absolute force to inflict disaster on Sayoko this time, but there is also no need. The best thing about this chapter is the entirely justified trust between Belldandy and Keiichi. Another nice touch is seeing more inspirations for the OAVs – this chapter features Belldandy knitting the jumper that featured so heavily in the Evergreen Holy Night / For the Love of Goddess finale.

The epilogue to this chapter is a touch sad. It implies that Sayoko has accepted that Keiichi will never part from Belldandy, but that Sayoko is falling for Keiichi anyway.

After these oneoffs Mara returns accompanied by a miniature genie who lives to maximise his happiness by causing bad luck or accidents for everyone else. I’m still not all that fond of Mara, but these chapters work significantly better [4]. Although someone should really clue Megumi in to what’s really going on: it would make being the designated Chew Toy easier to deal with. After being turned into a car in Volume 4, being possessed by Mara this time was a bit rude. The Earth spirit in Megumi’s apartment [5] has become fond of her and helps to save Megumi, Keiichi, and Belldandy from Mara as a result.

One of these chapters sees Skuld invent, but Belldandy influence, a defensive robot Banpei, who I think becomes a recurring character. I wouldn’t mind that actually so long as it isn’t overdone.

I’m fairly certain that Chapter 47 Goodbye and Hello, the last chapter in this volume, influenced the For the Love of Goddess OAV episode. The difference here is that it is Urd being summoned back to Heaven when Yggdrasil comes back online.

This chapter shows that, annoying as she can be sometimes, Urd has become part of Keiichi’s family. It also shows that Keiichi and Belldandy are well matched as barrack room lawyers. The basic idea is that the gate to summon Urd will open once at a set time, and if it is blocked the recall will be cancelled.

That Keiichi has been thinking about this is entirely reasonable given the worries revealed earlier, and this incident cannot help but worry him.

So the goddesses prepare out a warding mandala that is officially intended to keep Mara out. Of course if it should also happen to block the gate, well, accidents will happen.

I did like all three goddesses cooperating to activate the ward, apparently this was they had done so. This reinforces the theme of family in this episode.

It might have been a good idea to make sure that Mara was outside before activating the ward. The usual hilarity and highjinks ensue and in the course of which the goddesses manage to crash Yggdrasil again. The volume ends with the goddesses being rebuked as a group by the Lord of Yggdrasil for the first time.

This is a fun volume, with nice character touches, but it does suffer somewhat from being in the shadow of volumes 5 & 6.

[1] She’s not the only one…

[2] Urd is off watching television while she waits.

[3] His purity is only one of the reasons why Belldandy chose Keiichi in the first place.

[4] Senbei the genie is good value, and exactly what Mara deserves.

[5] He first appeared in Volume 1, but that was one of the chapters I didn’t review in detail.