|Keima found playing Project DIVA much easier once he had PSP buttons embedded into his skull|
The trouble is, these souls insert themselves into the hearts of unsuspecting girls, meaning that the only way they can be removed is having their heart filled instead by (you guessed it) love. Thus, it's Keima's task to make these girls who have been infected fall in love with him so that the souls in question can be captured - arole which is easier said than done considering Keima's complete disinterest in, and lack of experience with, real life females. What's more, his first target is none other than one of his classmates, the energetic and athletic Ayumi Takahara. Cue what seems like some terrible, cheesy attempts to win Ayumi over from Keima before his eventual victory and completion of his first job.
I have to admit, I rather like the premise of The World God Only Knows, which at least sets up a decent excuse for its not-quite harem antics and the rather unlikeable character of its protagonist. That said, during this opening episode I couldn't really get over the fact that I grew to instantly dislike Keima, not helped by the fact that that very same premise inevitably brings out the worst in him as he has no choice but to scheme and plot to win over Ayumi. I might have been able to sidestep those concerns had this episode demonstrated some decent humour or applied a bit more style to zip its story along, but instead it all felt very ordinary in terms of animation, pacing and dialogue; distilling that interesting premise down from a real-world pastiche of a dating sim into making it feel more like an anime adaptation of one. I still hold out a fair bit of hope that the series has a lot of room to grow as it progresses, so I'm a long way from abandoning it just yet - however, it's going to have to do some growing fairly fast to avoid becoming more generic than its basic story should ever allow it to be.