Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kamisama Hajimemashita

I’ve been trying to decide what series to blog about, and I think I’ve finally settled on one that I just finished watching, Kamisama Hajimemashita, or also known as Kamisama Kiss.    This is a short, 13 episode series that was developed from the manga.

This story is about a high school girl named Nanami who is left homeless and penniless when her father flees his debts.  While sitting on a park bench with nowhere to go, she comes to the aid of a man trapped in a tree by a small dog.  In gratitude the man invites her to stay at his home and kisses her on the forehead.  The “man” turns out to be a land god named Mikage whose home is a temple/shrine. Unknown to Nanami, when Mikage kisses her on the forehead, he makes her the new land god of his shrine.  Since she has nowhere else to go, Nanami goes the shrine and meets Tomoe, Mikage’s fox demon/familiar, who has been waiting 20 years for Mikage to return.  To say he’s unhappy about Nanami showing up rather than Mikage would be putting it mildly.  Tomoe leaves the shrine, but returns later when Nanami traps him into becoming her familiar in the usual way . . . by kissing him.

The rest of the series introduces other demons and gods and follows Nanami and Tomoe’s dealings with them, as well as the two of them learning to get along with each other.  Despite how short the series is, they manage to have a nicely developed plot line, with Nanami falling in love with Tomoe (of course), and Tomoe refusing to accept a human’s feelings. 

The back story here is that Tomoe once loved a human woman deeply several hundred years ago and did not want to live any more when the woman died.  Mikage took him in and to keep him alive, both made him a familiar and essentially erased his memories and feelings for the human woman.  Unfortunately that caused Tomoe to have a deep dislike of humans in general and to be unwilling to have anything to do with them.  Mikage tried to change this aspect of Tomoe, but with no success.  I get the feeling that the whole Nanami-as-land-god event is created by Mikage as a ploy to break Tomoe of his hatred of humans. 

And of course it works.  Despite lots of ups and down between Nanami and Tomoe, they end up happily together in the end.   So the plot is somewhat deeper than your average boy meets girl, and the characters are all cool, interesting and fun.   Nanami collects other followers along the way, including a crow demon who takes the form of teenage idol named Kurama and a second familiar in the form of a snake demon named Mizuki.   Tomoe’s reactions and interactions with these strays that follow Nanami is often priceless.  Overall I’d say the series was worth watching, and I kind of hope they’ll do a sequel.

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