Who is Keichi Morisato? (Updated)

And just what is Belldandy? What is it that’s special about her? Power level? Training? Empathy? Following are some probably silly speculations; I say silly because I don’t think Fujishima worries about these things or has any plans to head in this direction. But it’s fun to theorize. Or as TVTropes calls it, engage in Wild Mass Guessing. (I ought to go back and see if this one’s in the list…. maybe when I have a couple of days to lose.)

Well, Bell’s definitely empathetic, she had a special trainer just for her, and it’s remarked that she is one of their most powerful godesses. In fact, it looks like she blew straight through the classification system to First class from the very outset. It really starts to sound in the movie like there was something planned for her from the beginning. All the comments could be explained by “hey, she’s really powerful, and with great power comes great responsibil– oops, sorry, Uncle Ben. Wrong story.

Anyway, I keep having the sneaking suspicion that it’s Keichi that was planned — that it was not an accident that Belldandy got that call, and not Peorth. Why? Why is it that three major goddesses, those in charge of the past, present, and future of the mortal world are essentially being allowed to play hooky on Earth? Granted, Bell’s technically “on assignment” but I don’t think even Heaven’s so overstaffed that they can give, oh, several decades of FMLA leave to a goddess whose client made such a jacked-up wish that she became his platonic love-slave!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming that Keichi was born and raised for Belldandy, but I think Kami-sama had it in mind that the three Fates should be grounded in an understanding of humanity. That way, when the time comes for them to make decisions crucial to universe, they will truly understand the costs of such. The key was Belldandy: Kami-sama believes that The Goddess of the Present should be in love with a mortal, in order to ground her in the flow of time. With her located in a fixed, mortal environment, she’d inevitably pull her sisters into her orbit, doing the same for them. I mean, what a coincidence that they should both happen to abandon their Heavenly responsibilities and follow her to Earth, thereby enmeshing themselves in the mortal world! And despite all the trouble they cause there, there’s no repercussion for it.

Seriously, isn’t it just a little strange that Kami-sama’s punishment for Urd playing hooky on Earth is to exile her there? Now, if the Almighty is their father (often assumed by fans, but never actually stated), we can excuse him for indulging his daughters. But if not, what’s his game plan?
Why are Belldandy and both of her sisters being humored by Heaven? Ok, Bell supposedly has to be there — but it’s not absolute. When one of Marller’s plots is to wrap Keichi around Sayoko’s little finger, it almost works. Bell’s about to leave before Keichi breaks the spell and goes to find her. Wish or not, System Force or not, Bell stays with Keichi because she wants to.

Now as I’ve pointed out before, Keichi comes to really love Bell for who she is, and he’s a pretty unique guy after all. But even given that it takes a special person to earn Heaven’s Grace, it can’t be that rare, or there wouldn’t be a Goddess Help Line to answer all the calls and make wishes come true. In fact, it’s suggested at one point that there must be hundreds or thousands of goddesses doing such work, because Heaven (and Hel, per a discussion between Bell and Hild in the manga) are powered off of the energy that that humans would have expended to make their dreams come true, except that a goddess or demon shorcuts the procedure and diverts the energy. (With apologies to the families of all the catgirls I’m about to kill, I have to remark that this violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Damn immortals never play by the rules.)

What I’m suggesting is that Yggsdrasil was programmed to sift all the callers for someone that would match Bell perfectly, and direct the call to her line. K1 was it, and somehow he just happened to make a wish that locked Bell to himself long enough for them to really fall in love. The only problem with this theory is the obvious one: How could even Kami-sama have predicted Keichi’s wish? Well, he IS the Almighty…

Or he might have stacked the deck. Who says Keichi was the only eligible doofus? Bell might have helped 3 or 4 eligible clients with simple wishes, until K1 hit the jackpot. I don’t much like that theory, so I’m going to go with Kami-sama just being amazingly good at manufacturing his own luck.
“But,” you say, “there’s absolutely no evidence that he’s involved in this.”

Wrong. The fallout from the Lord of Terror storyline is that Yggsdrasil had to be partly rebooted, and Keichi’s wish was erased. Kami-sama himself calls the Morisato residence and explains to Keichi that he has to remake the wish, in the exact same words, in order to restore it. Yep, you read that right. Kami-sama called a mortal. On the phone. Now that’s some heavyweight customer service… “Our customer’s happiness is #1!” He’s the Big Kahuna. Why did he get that involved? It only makes sense if he needs K1 to remember that wish.

So we have a powerful goddess with a mortal boyfriend, and her sisters move to Earth also and everyone learns about humans and humanity first-hand. What about the future though… the part Skuld’s nominally responsible for?

Well, there don’t appear to be any old gods or goddesses. The existence of the doublet system is because they can be killed, but in fact it also argues that such they can’t die of natural causes, since that would be a death sentence for the other half of the doublet. Therefore, Bell is immortal. Keichi, by definition, is mortal. She’s doomed to lose him, right?

Well, there’s that pesky wish again. Keichi didn’t say “I wish a goddess like you would stay beside me for the rest of my life.” He said forever. And the response was that Yggsdrasil accepted his wish as valid. Not valid, with modifications. Not invalid entry. Valid.

Did Keichi accidentally back into immortality as well as get a goddess for a girlfriend? Lucky bastard.

And for completely un-serious speculation, I can get really evil and keep playing with that wish…Keichi said girlfriend. Not lover or wife. So Bell will never put out or marry him. And given her jealousy storms, he’ll never get to make out with other girls or either of her sisters (assuming adult Skuld here, ok?).

Update 8/30: I read the Welspar arc, and in fact the natural death of one half of the doublet pair will kill the other. Sucks to be a goddess or demon.

Also, I’ve reached issue #110, in which the sidecars from the movie are featured.

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11 Responses to Who is Keichi Morisato? (Updated)

  1. The movie isn’t canon. But there’s a strong hint in the movie that this is Keiichi’s second life. His first one was in Morgan’s world, and he was her lover who walked through the gate with her. They were separated, and he ended up where we see him, in an entirely different place and situation.

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    Sometimes I miss the blindingly obvious. Despite noticing the physical resemblance, that didn’t occur to me. I’m not sure that’s the case though, because Morgan doesn’t understand why she has to get close to Keichi and Bell. Seems if she knew he was her lover’s reincarnation, she wouldn’t need a reason. On the other hand, if you don’t have that explanation, it’s a little bizarre how fast she falls for him.

  3. I think part of why she didn’t want to get near him is because she knows he doesn’t remember. And he’s found someone new. Her love for him wasn’t sufficiently pure and whole-hearted to satisfy the arch, but she does love him, and wants him to be happy. Interfering in his relationship with Beldandy would make him unhappy. Hence conflict.

    But after [spoiler]Keiichi and Beldandy successfully go through the arch[/spoiler] she addresses him and talks about how, deep down, she had known when they went through the arch that her feelings were not sufficiently pure, and that she had doubts. Keiichi didn’t pick up on the fact that she was remembering him, but the dialog certainly suggests strongly that’s what she’s talking about.

    And if it wasn’t him, why would she put her hand on his cheek so fondly when saying that?

  4. Another thing is that even if he is a reincarnation of her lover, he’s not the same person. Her lover was a bowman dressed in green, from a world where fairies exist. Keiichi is a gearhead from a technological world. Maybe he’s got the same face, but everything else about him is different.

    Of course, on some level perhaps she still wishes it were possible for her to fall in love with him again, and him with her. And some of her dialog in the course of the film suggests she’s thinking about that. (In particular in the infirmary before she shows him her true form.) Yet on another level she fears the same thing would happen, at the arch, and lead to yet more heartbreak and guilt. And she also sees that he has found someone new, and there’s a different part of her that doesn’t want to spoil that.

    I think that if indeed Keiichi is the reincarnation of her lost lover (or if she believes him to be), it makes her a much more interesting character. Because she’s fighting not just an abstract concept (to eliminate the arch and all it stands for) but for something very personal and tangible.

  5. One more, sorry. I think the reason they don’t make this idea more apparent is because it would be a really huge change to the series continuity, and I don’t think they really felt they could do such a thing.

    And in any case, it works just as well if Morgan believes that he’s the reincarnation of her lover and is wrong about it.

  6. Ubu Roi says:

    Yeah, I can go with that theory, although I don’t think they were worried about changing the continuity; look at the OVA’s. I have to agree that the movie is not part of the continuity, though. Based on where the anime is, it could theoretically still be worked in later, if they do a true third season or more OVA’s — but it’s not really required, and as I pointed out, the movie is really atypical of the series.

    I’ve been reading the early manga, and I’m rather of the opinion that the TV series did a good job in how they rearranged and rewrote some of the stories. Unfortunately, they eliminated two kisses that Bell and Keichi have shared by chapter 25.


  7. When the movie was made, they put the story well out beyond where the manga had reached. But I’m told that by this point Keiichi has graduated from college and is out working for a living. (For whatsername, the girl who was the president of the racing club when he first joined it.)

  8. Owen S says:

    My mind is fucking blown by this theory. You, sir, are a true fan, and as someone who’s read this for ages I can’t help but admire how much sense this makes.

    Regarding the definition of “forever”, though, I always thought it meant “My natural lifespan”, entailing some sort of bittersweet mono no aware lens with which I viewed some of this series’ more touching moments.

  9. Ubu Roi says:

    Owen: Actually, re-watching the movie last night, I ran across a scene where Bell’s confronting Celestin, and says that she planned to grow old living in this world (subtext: with Keichi). Although no specific time frame is implied, it would seem that her decision to stay with Keichi is in effect, much like that of Arwen of LOTR; she will age and die normally, as will Keichi. So rather than being akin to FMLA, it’s more like a forced retirement.

    Or is my assumption wrong and they normally age anyway? If so, this implies the reason that the three goddesses have the names of the Norse Fates might be that they aren’t the first Skuld, Urd, and Belldandy. They’re just the latest ones. And goddesses are forcibly retired when they lose their youthful looks, sometime in their 40’s. Heaven is REALLY sexist.

    Steven: IIRC from a summary you pointed to me LONG ago (and I can’t find now), Keichi is in his last semester. He is working for Chihiro — one scene was set in her shop, when the 3 of them are sitting around a table discussing Bell’s amnesia and decide to run in the race anyway. Again, IIRC, Chihiro was the founder of the club, but had graduated either in Keichi’s freshman year or before he arrived. And Keichi thought he had enough credits to graduate, but lacked the language requirement, so he had to stay an extra semester to take German. Looks like that semester has run for 50+ chapters now.

    Reading the manga from the beginning, and I have to say that while they’ve (the TV series that is) stuck close to the manga, the parts they have changed were definite improvements. Though I miss drunken Sayoko showing up at the temple in the middle of the night to ring the bell. (Temple bell, not Belldandy. Though Rule 34 may apply here.)

  10. Ubu Roi says:

    Another update: still reading the manga. There is a point where Urd and Skuld have to go back to Heaven to brush up on their training. Bell ends up with a problem and falls unconscious. Keichi, after spending hours dialing wrong number after wrong number, stuns Urd by actually succeeding in calling the Goddess Help Line and getting through to her. Urd thinks that he may be the only mortal to ever succeed in deliberately calling in.

    I’ve now reached the Peorth arc; where he has “accidentally” gotten a second wish.

  11. Pingback: Should have thought of that.. | Mahou Meido Meganekko

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