(ベルダンディー -, Berudandī
?) is a character in the popular manga Oh My Goddess!
(OMG) and in the anime of the same name. She was created by Kosuke Fujishima as one of three Goddesses who come to Earth to reside with Keiichi Morisato, and she serves as his love interest. She is depicted as a beautiful and powerful young woman, with strong nurturing tendencies, a trusting and innocent character, and an extremely kind heart. Belldandy is accidentally summoned from heaven by Keiichi in order to grant him a wish and stays when Keiichi wishes for "a goddess like you to be by my side forever". The stories follow Belldandy as she builds a relationship with Keiichi, using her powers (which include teleportation, telekinesis and levitation) to help both Keiichi and his friends while keeping her true identity a secret.
Her first appearance was in Afternoon
in August 1988, and the manga has now been running for almost 20 years and has over 200 chapters. Belldandy has also featured in a novel, two TV series, a movie, and in an (OVA) series. The character has gained considerable respect throughout the various formats, as evidenced by her appearance as one of the most popular characters in the Newtype
polls. The concept of Belldandy draws loosely from Norse mythology, with "Belldandy" being a transliteration of the Old Norse Verðandi
, one of a trio of Norns. She is joined by characters representing the other two of the trio of Norns — her sisters Urd and Skuld.
Belldandy is regarded by commentators as an example of the magical girlfriend character, and comparisons have been drawn with the characters of Samantha from Bewitched
and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie
. The character's very conservative nature, however, which almost completely subordinates her to her fictional boyfriend, Keiichi, has led to some concerns from critics and has polarized the audience.