Kamis, Kitsunes, Tengus, Oh My!: 'Kamisama Kiss' Review

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)

Studio: TMS Entertainment
Producer: TV TokyoDentsuSotsu,Pony CanyonHakusenshaDAX Production
Genre: Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Episodes: 13
Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

Nanami Momozono dreams of living a normal life, just like any other average high school girl. Instead, she must cope with the fact that her deadbeat father accumulated a bunch of gambling debts and abandoned her. And since she can't afford to pay the rent, she's now homeless. Despite this unfortunate turn of events, Nanami still maintains a kind heart.

One day in the park, she saves a poor man from a vicious attack, and in a perfect example of how good deeds are rewarded, the man thanks her by giving her his home. The offer sounds suspicious, but beggars can't be choosers. When Nanami arrives at the man's home, however, she discovers it isn't a house at all. It's a shrine. She learns that the man she saved was actually a god and that by giving her his home, she has now assumed his godhood and all of the duties that go along with it.

The role seems daunting but it turns out that the previous god had a familiar named Tomoe. A powerful and skilled fox demon, Tomoe should be able to help Nanami transition into her new role as a deity... if the two of them don't kill each other first, that is. Kamisama Hajimemashita follows Nanami's life as a human god, her quest to win Tomoe's trust, and the romantic feelings she develops for him along the way.


For me, Kamisama Kiss is Noragami (The gods part) + Fruits Basket (The kind main girl part) + Inu x Boku SS (The protector of main girl part.)
Admittedly, I like all of those animes (Except maybe Fruits Basket. That's just okay.) I didn't expect this anime to combine some of the best elements from those animes into one. And it's not the best or the worst.

Nanami was a great character. Typically, I don't like the sweet, kind characters because they're Plain Janes (or Mary Sues. Same idea.) They're boring, to say the least. It's hard to do a kind character justice because everyone sees them as someone to assist. That's why they're TERRIBLE main characters. But Nanami has pizazz. She was feisty and fierce. I loved that. She could sass someone into submission, but she truly cared for people. We need more Nanamis in the world. People who truly care for others. It's refreshing. 
(Just saying, but another good example of this character type done well is in Tohru from Fruits Basket. She too is very kind, but this makes her likable and a good ally for the Sohma family.)

When you introduce two people who are supposed to fall for each other, there is some drive within me that screams 'KISS NOW'. I'll definitely root for you (With a few grumbles) if you're meant to be together. (Typically, though, my favorite ships are non-canon.) Canon ships are the easiest to root for because the creator makes them that way. It's instinctual for me to root for a canon ship.
But Tomoe and Nanami weren't too bad to root for to begin with. I knew that this shoujo anime would follow a romantic subplot, but that's the kicker. The romance IS a subplot. It's not essential to the anime. We could have the two stay as friends, and things would be fine. (Most people would jump in here and claim "But it'd be awkward!" I defy you and ask a single question: "Can a guy and girl be friends without having feelings for each other?" The answer is a resolute yes. So no, you're wrong in this case. It won't be awkward unless you MAKE it awkward. Wrenisms.)
These two had this cute, little chemistry going on. The romance seems uncalled for in the beginning, but you truly see how much they care for each other. If you show me that they truly have feelings for each other, then I'll ship it a little bit. 

Also, on a sidenote, chibi Tomoe is adorable. Seriously.

While I like Nanami, Tomoe is another story. To me, he's a prick who shuts everyone out. People will cry, "BUT HE'S SOO HOT." I deny that too. Brooding boys can be cute. But they can't be pricks. Tomoe was REALLY toeing the Prick Line. (That line divides the pricks of the world from the nice people. Or mildly nice people in my case. Haha.) 
I know that I didn't like him as much was because there was a lack of backstory. We had TWO trips to the past, but we didn't learn a lot about Tomoe. 
I can sum up the knowledge in two statements. A) He used to date a cute human girl and B) He used to kill people. But that's all. We don't learn about WHY he killed people or anything like that. We don't even learn how he met Mikage one of the unseen forces that drives this anime! 
(Again, let me refer to Fruits Basket. That anime did the Brooding Badass character pretty well. Kyo isn't the most lovable character, but you begin to love him as you learn his...wait for it...BACKSTORY. Backstory is KEY for any character. It builds them up, and it drives them forwards.) 
Perhaps, in season two, we learn more about his past. But I'm kinda done with this anime...

And the plot, which is a driving force for ANY anime, felt odd. It felt disjointed at times. Sure, I loved seeing Nanami's love for Tomoe when she went into the past to get the eye, but I didn't see much relevance to her being a god and all. This anime is very episodic. I typically can swallow episodic animes, but this felt weird. The episodes seemed scattered. Some were about Nanami as a god and others as bonding moments between the couple. It didn't feel normal. I didn't like it. 

Would kiss again. Maybe.

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