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Kamisama Kiss (Anime Review)

Kamisama Kiss CompleteTitle: Kamisama Kiss Complete

Publisher: FUNimation

U.S. Release Date: Feb. 11, 2014

Format and Length: Blu-ray/DVD Combo /13 episodes

Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Comedy

Industry Age Rating:

Overall Personal Rating:

 

Synopsis:

Nanami is in high school and lives with her father. When he takes off because of gambling debts, she looses her home. Now homeless, she meet a guy who offers to let her stay at his place that he isn’t using. It turns out it is a shrine that is considered to be haunted. Well, this was a set up and he marked her as the land god of the shrine as his replacement.

At the shrine, there is few worshipers because they think it abandoned and haunted. Nanami meets the yokai (supernatural beings) who also live there and look after the place. There is  Onikiri and Kotetsu who are small and loyal, and the other is Tomoe who is  a wild fox demon. Tomoe doesn’t want to serve a human god which he thinks is beneath him.

Nanami has a lot to learn about being a god, yokai etiquette and running a shrine, all the while still going to school. The yokai help train her for service and teach her how things are done. Tomoe is rather bitter, sarcastic and narcissistic but he has been forced into contract and has no choice. Why is it then that Nanami can’t help but develop a crush on him.

Now gods, yokai, demons and spirits are a part of Namami’s life.  She has many demands asked of her, some kindly and some rather evil. Ever determined to succeed, she faces each one with her naivete, goodwill and a can-do attitude. It can’t be done alone though, the shrine yokai and her new friends are there to help.

For Nanami, life gets weird at school too. Now being linked to the supernatural world, many things aren’t what they seem. A pop star, Kurama, transfers in but there is even more to him than fame. One day a white snake gets into the building and she sets it free but there is even more to it than that. I guess you can see where this is going. In order to protect his master, Tomoe decides to attend school too.

Nanami begins to be comfortable with her position. She decides to hold a festival  to bring people back to the shrine. But the spirit world may be the end to the shrine and the village as evil begins to spread.

 

Commentary:

Kamisama Kiss is a comedy first. It relies on the visual exaggerations quite well. Then there are a few tender moments and this is where the relationships come in.

Nanani is a great central character.  The young, upbeat and determined girl falls for the older, surly and attractive guy. The characters may not be unique in anime but they are successful. Nanami is a very cute and easy to like character. Her biggest flaw in my opinion is her over thinking things, especially when it comes to romance.

The story has a wide variety of settings and events. It is easy to do with a intriguing representation of yokai, the spirit or divine world is very complex. Although the introductory first episode  goes quickly, the pacing is till good. We cleverly get to know the characters and still get more story. There is always something new going on, yet nothing is confusing. Sure, some of it wasn’t really unique, like the one-sided attraction, but it still was good.

I watched the English language option. The voice actors did well and really seemed to fit the characters. This is really important as many Americans have already watched the Japanese version on streaming sites.

Having read some of the manga first, in comparison,  I found that the anime comes across as more comedic than the book with the narrator, voices, pacing and quirky sound effects. It is definitely a different vibe than I got from the manga.

I watched part of Kamisama Kiss with a mixed group of people. It really drew their attention and there was some out loud laughing. It was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

Extras: There is 3 Commentary episodes. Some are better than others. Really the first one was mostly random thoughts and too much laughing. The other ones include comments on the show itself and their thoughts on the characters. The last one had 4 of them in on the discussion where we could see them.

 Overall Grade: A- This is a series that I know several people who have been waiting for it to come out on DVD and it turns out it was worth the wait.

 

 

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