“Binbo-gami Ga” (“God of Poverty”) is a goofy show about goofy people in goofy situations. Everyone is missing a few necessary enzymes, so all bets are off and anything goes.
We follow the life of Ichiko Sakura. She has everything: piles of money, fabulous looks, great brains, nice headlights and good fortune beyond compare. And that is her problem. She is a kind of Good Luck sponge, so she slowly siphons it off from everyone else. If your fortune was a house, she is the Empire State Building. This puts the universe out of whack, as the imbalance prevents thousands of other people from being happy.
To this end, Yamabuki, the Head Honchess in the Gods Realm, sends down Momiji (the ragged-looking one) along with her familiar (whom you don’t see. It’s Teddy and he looks like a ragged Teddy bear) to take away some of her fortune and give it to those who need it…but not without a fight. Each has met their match in the other, as both are tough customers that will not give up in what they want.
The series follows the personal growth of both of them. For Ichiko, what it means to have a friend and to be a friend. For Momiji, it’s the same thing, but her path is slightly different.
Adding to the confusion and mayhem are:
Momoo Inugami. He is a dog in human form, but is a bit S&M. If, in his dog form, you beat him too hard, he transforms. He is rather useless.
Bobby. A roving monk who purports to help people, but he is a pervert, always going after girls with large breasts. He is rather useless as well. The guy can’t even drive!
Ranmaru Rindou. She dresses like a boy, as her father raised her in the martial arts to take over the dojo. She is a tough customer, but wants to get in touch with her feminine side.
Keita Tsuwabuki. A classmate who is always sleeping, he works numerous jobs to care for his siblings, as Mom and Dad are gone. He doesn’t like Ichiko on the outside, but may harbor genuine feelings for her. (The siblings hate her totally, calling her “Tit-chiko”.)
As Momiji fails in her task to relieve Ichiko of her happiness, things become increasingly tough in the God World, as those guys can’t figure out what is taking so long to do such a simple job. It gets to the point where EVERYONE is living in the house with Ichiko (and a bigger set of slobs you have never seen!) as Momiji is planning her next failed attempt. We also make the discovery that even if the good fortune is removed, it will somehow still flow back to her.
This series is a real hoot, as the conflict between Ichigo and Momiji is so relentless. Adding to Momiji’s distress is that she has to buy her own equipment. Swell, as a poverty god, what money? And it doesn’t matter what she gets anyway, as those things never seem to work. This time for sure, PRESTO! No doubt about it, I’m gonna need a larger hat.
You have to watch the episodes right to the end, for this really goofy segment called “Why, you Nadeshiko!” Nadeshiko Adenokouji is a late character in the manga and gets relegated to a background character in the show. The trick is can you find her in the show, a kind of “Where’s Waldo?” She thinks she’s going to get bigger parts, but that ain’t in the cards. She is attended to by her butler, Shinobu Daimon, but unless you read the manga, these are marginal characters for the series. Still, it’s another bit of goofiness that adds to the flavor of the show.
The conclusion is a coupler, as Momiji really hasn’t completed her task, so more goofiness is in the offing. One can only hope for more antics.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Very good artwork, as Tit-chiko looks fine indeed)
Plot 8 (Does not feel old or retreaded)
Pacing 7 (The ‘serious’ aspect feels a bit dry)
Effectiveness 8 (It does well)
Conclusion 7 (It’s a coupler)
Fan Service 6 (A similar show would be “Mahoromatic”)
Overall 8 (Goofy, goofy, goofy)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. This won’t hurt a bit; it will hurt a lot!