Ah My Buddha
Satonaka Ikko is training to be a Buddhist priest at Saien Temple. Unfortunately for him, his bid to cut his ties with the worldly are somewhat blunted by his constant contact with his fellow trainees: six cute nuns, all about his age. He must work with them to purify and exorcise ghosts from the world of the living, and while on the surface Ikko is just a weak trainee, he is found to be capable of extreme powers as an exorcist ...
So here's a twist: the harem-keeper is an apprentice Buddhist priest surrounded by a bunch of schoolgirl nuns. It's the Japanese archetypal equivalent of putting a corrupt parish priest in a Boy Scout camp.
That's right. Just as in Christian societies, Japan has the derogatory stereotype of the hopelessly lecherous priest, based, sadly, on countless instances of wayward priests who are less than diligent in letting go of the human world. Usually, however, they're "dirty old men", like the grandpa in Sailor Moon.
Now that we have established the "creative twist" that is supposed to make this show funny, what we have in Ah My Buddha is the main character being treated like an errand boy, with a bunch of nuns who alternately tease him, support him, and beat the living crap out of him. It's kinda like if Urashima Keitarou wanted to be a priest instead of a Tokyo University student, which only works on a very superficial level.
Imagine then, if Urashima Keitarou actually became a better student by not studying at all, but by doing the exact opposite of studying ... well, that's Ikko in a nutshell. Flash him some panty, and he becomes Super Priest.
I may not be the most religious guy in the world, but ... come on.
To give Ah My Buddha its proper due, the girls are very cute, and the art is quite well-executed. But the premise is barely more clever than anything else in this genre, and in the end, it's simply another lame excuse for a "harem" to exist.
And to me, that's just not enough of a reason to sell a show, but hey, a million screaming fanboys can't be wrong, can they?
Sure they can. Ah My Buddha is simply not blessed with the screenwriting to make a goofy premise like this work. Better luck next time. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: The usual amount of fan service - "safe" for television audiences (teens and up) but probably not so good for little kids. Also, there is some treatment of what some might consider occult material (Buddhist / Shinto exorcism of ghosts, etc) though it falls well within what is acceptable in Japanese culture.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (2/12)
Ah My Buddha © 2005 Bohemian K / Toshinori Sogabe / Wani Books / AT-X / VAP
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