Oh My Goddess! Volume 8 has some really sweet, and sensitive, stories in it but is somewhat spoiled by Urd’s love potions, albeit to a much lesser extent.

Chapter 48 The Forgotten Promise has the Motor Club arriving at a mountain resort for “summer endurance training” [1]. The resort is run by a friend of Keiichi’s grandfather Hotaro-no-suke. They are greeted by a young lady named Chieko Honda who is apparently running the place at the moment.

Chieko turns out to be a Shinnentai [2] who has been waiting since 1930 for Hotaro-no-suke to return to fulfil a promise and, not unreasonably [3], mistakes Keiichi for his grandfather.

Even as Fujishima indulges his motor head tendencies by introducing a Brough Superior motorbike [4], there is a sweet poignancy to this tale that I adore.

All Chieko wanted was a ride around the lake, and also promised Hotaro-no-suke a kiss at the end. Although Chieko initially goes about it the wrong way [5], she justifiably wins Belldandy’s sympathy once all is explained.

After repairing the Brough Superior, and the ride around the lake, Chieko kisses Keiichi on the cheek, says thank you, and disappears into the wind.

Although Keiichi has fulfilled Chieko’s wish, his grandfather has not fulfilled the promise. For this reason Keiichi leaves the bike in the cellar, to remain there as long as the promise remains unfulfilled. To me this is the perfect ending to The Forgotten Promise, and it makes the chapter one of my favourites.

Chapter 49 Lunchbox with Love focuses on one of the junior members Sora Hasegawa. Sora is initially presented as that anime staple the deadly cook but is wants to change. Sensing that there is more to it Belldandy helps out by teaching. Sora’s determination to do everything herself has her refusing robotic assistance from Skuld, and a love potion from Urd.

That’s where this chapter goes off the rails. There are a lot of hijinks with Aoshima and Urd but they don’t really work because it has already been done before in previous volumes. That Sora is in love with the jerkish Aoshima really doesn’t help matters. The chapter does get some bonus points for Urd managing to get Belldandy angry, but that only brings it to a bare pass.

Chapters 50 Meet Me by the Seashore is more of Urd meddling via fortune telling to push the romance along. It is a fun chapter but somewhat damaged by the introduction of the Brat!Skuld trying to break them up. It does end with Skuld appearing between Keiichi and Belldandy at a moment when Keiichi tells Belldandy that he loves her.

This feeds into chapter 51 No, Sweetie where an increasingly emotional Skuld is obsessing over the words, even though she knows that the words weren’t for her. This chapter shows that, in a clumsy male way, Keiichi is a basically nice guy: he thinks that Skuld’s erratic behaviour is similar to his sister Megumi’s around her first period.

So the chapter is basically Keiichi being gentle to a Skuld that wants to prove that she hates Keiichi. Meanwhile Urd is meddling in the background, and Belldandy is countering Urd. It turns out that what is really happening is that Skuld’s powers as a goddess have begun to emerge.

No, Sweetie manages to nicely balance the comedy and drama, but isn’t a patch on The Forgotten Promise.

And then there’s chapter 52 Ninja Master which is just pure silliness courtesy of Mara conjuring a pint sized ninja Kodama to wreak havoc on the goddesses. Kodama does succeed in getting Skuld and Urd to fight each over [6], but is less successful against Keiichi and Belldandy.

In particular Belldandy refuses to let Kodama commit “honourable suicide” and insists that she live a full life. Meanwhile Mara is waiting for Kodama’s return.

Ninja Master does end volume 8 on a light note, but it is also a fairly weak chapter. I suspect it would be a lot funnier as an anime episode though.

Overall Volume 8 is a good, but flawed, volume with a standout chapter that carries the rest of it.

[1] i.e. An excuse to show the loon squad of Tamiya and Otaki in full flight. One of the better efforts too.

[2] Essentially a reification of a strong desire left unfulfilled when a person died. It isn’t a ghost per se, and can physically manifest in the Goddessverse.

[3] She has a photo. Urd cracks that Hotaru-no-Suke looked better than Keiichi.

[4] Described by Keiichi as the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles”, and that’s before the nerdgasm begins.

[5] Luring Keiichi away and trying to possess him.

[6] Not that that’s particularly hard to do…