High schooler Nanami Momozono has quite a few problems of late, beginning with her absentee father being in such extreme debt that they lose everything. Downtrodden and homeless, she runs into a man being harassed by a dog. After helping him, she explains her situation, and to her surprise, he offers her his home in gratitude. But when she discovers that said home is a rundown shrine, she tries to leave; however, she is caught by two shrine spirits and a fox familiar named Tomoe. They mistake her for the man Nanami rescued—the land god of the shrine, Mikage. Realizing that Mikage must have sent her there as a replacement god, Tomoe leaves abruptly, refusing to serve a human.
Rather than going back to being homeless, Nanami immerses herself in her divine duties. But if she must keep things running smoothly, she will need the help of a certain hot-headed fox. In her fumbling attempt to seek out Tomoe, she lands in trouble and ends up sealing a contract with him. Now the two must traverse the path of godhood together as god and familiar; but it will not be easy, for new threats arise in the form of a youkai who wants to devour the girl, a snake that wants to marry her, and Nanami's own unexpected feelings for her new familiar.
Ah kamisama, why doesn't money grow on trees especially when I'm in debt?
Ah kamisama, where are you when I need you the most?
Ah kamisama, why can't the world be perfect?
In a nutshell, Kamisama Hajimemashita (also known as Kamisama Kiss) is based on the manga of the same name written by Julietta Suzuki. She is known for several other lighthearted shoujo manga that involves supernatural elements such as Karakuri Odette. The series debuted in Fall of 2012 along with many other shuojo titles.
The series tells the story of a young girl named Nanami Momozono, who is alone..abandoned, and helpless. The innocent little lamp makes an
interesting encounter with a strange man (Mikagi) and from there, her life changes forever. But wait, it doesn't stop there. She also encounters the big bad wolf (or rather familiar) Tomoe. Along with him comes the package of two other spirits (Onikiri and Kotetsu). After a contract sealed by a kiss, the two forms as peculiar relationship. This series details their relationship and what's to come from it because the world is never fair. It's not perfect.
Furthermore, this series is quite a strange one if you look on the surface. We have a normal human with no experience of the supernatural in a strange relationship with strange being with strange ears and a strange personality. Did I mention strange?
The relationship between Nanami and Tomoe is one of the most strange, amusing, and interesting part of the series. A human and a familiar relationship has trouble written all over it especially the gap of difference between the two. Nanami is a normal human girl who has normal skills in life with normal friends attending a normal school. On the other hand, Tomoe is a supernatural being with supernatural abilities and able to accomplish feats with supernatural degrees.
This is like trying to get a cobra and mongoose to be best friends...
From the beginning, Tomoe is very frustrated at Nanami's lack of progress in what she's trying to become and adjusting with her new life. He becomes increasingly annoyed at home, at school, and almost whenever he's around with Nanami, or precisely whenever he feels nothing is getting done. This example can be seen early in the series as result of Nanami's lack of progress with her new responsibilities. Yet at various times, there are sweet and tender moments where Tomoe feels empathy, care, and even jealousy for her. Wait a minute..is that a male tsundere I see in Tomoe??
Being a shoujo series adapted from a shoujo manga, expect shoujo themes and elements. That typically transits in to the romance part of Kamisama Kiss. Even from the second word of the title and the pilot episode, one can expect romance in it. It's not one of those love at first sights though or a helpless crush but rather a strange one to say the least. To add to the mix, there are other characters such as the highly popular idol at school Shinjirou Kuram. He's the narcasstic type who causes trouble and tension between the duo but at the same time can be a fun guy to get to know with. There are other characters who occasionally adds in their own spotlights to the series as well such as the snake familiar Mizuki, Nanami's friend Mei, and later on a more dramatic entry of Ryuuou.
This series is overall quite lighthearted. There is virtually no fan-service except “maybe” the beach episode in the latter half. It's more of a series where its comedy outshines its romance aspects especially the strange relationship between Nanami and Tomoe. Other characters adds in the comedy even during scenes where action is presented. So, if you're looking for some serious mindfuck, ecchi fan-service, or a dynamic story exploring serious themes, then you might be disappointed. Still though, the romance part does begin to blossom later on in the series especially after a pleasant date (maybe not entirely for Tomoe) and some tender moments.
The artwork of the series is lighthearted as well. The art seems to be a bit pale and plain at most times that reflects the nature of this shoujo series. Most of Julietta Suzuki's artwork balances between romance and comedy and that is presented in Kamisama Kiss as well. The series focuses more on the characters rather than anything else with its artwork thus it's just ordinary; nothing too special to be honest.
Soundtrack and music applies here as well of being lighthearted. There is no intense or techno music rhythm even during some of the more dramatic and action scenes. Kurama's entry is often accompanied by his own soundtrack theme that brings out the inner fan girls at school so in some ways, it can be considered a little rock on added to the mix. The OP and ED songs are also lighthearted with one half of the title “Kamisama” being echoed for the latter. Once again, it seems to just be in the background with a pleasant melody rather than anything special.
Overall, I found Kamisama Kiss to be a charming little gem but nothing too special. It doesn't shine much as the series is shoujo with lighthearted themes. It's not mainstream compared to a few of the other shoujo series in the industry today (especially this Fall Season of 2012). But what it does have is a relaxing way of presenting romance mixed with comedy especially with the strange duo of Nanami and Tomoe. It's one of those series where you can sit down, watch it, and then tell yourself “well, that was cute”. And of course, cute is another word to describe Kamisama Kiss especially with the supernatural elements mixed in. Some of the episodes does seem a bit dry with a lack of flavor but it can still be a fun watch especially if you enjoy its shoujo themes.
A young girl is abandoned by her father who owes money and is left to fend for herself. This sounds like it’s an excuse for the parents to not care what happens to their child while strange things are around them. It’s cliché but I can’t think of any other way they could have walked around this. The fact of the matter is that they had to get rid of the parents one way or another and they picked one of the two ways they could have done it. That or make them dead and have her an orphan but that one is used even
more often then the person leaving their child. I only wonder where the mother is. Nanami is well… not my favorite heroine although she is actually rather strong willed. I don’t like how she is always saying pretty much anything that’s on her mind rather quick, sometimes she ends up going on these rants like one that I talk about later on. On the other hand, I love how sweet a spirit she is in that she wants to help anyone she comes in contact with. She has had a hard life so it would have been so easy to make her selfless like Honda from Fruits Basket but she isn’t. She acts selfish many times though she never does it to get on someone’s nerves (Unless it’s Tomoe).
Well, like normal romance, she is taken in by someone and falls in love with the person even if he is not of this world. It would be fine if this was a normal romance with the man being a human but in this case, we have a fox spirit who has a really bad temper at times. At first glance, I guess you could consider Tomoe a muli-personalitied demon. He will fix Nanami dinner after telling her he despises being her familiar; call her a idiot when he is trying to save her; and things similar of that nature. With all the whining he seems to do about her, you would think he would just up and quit when he got a chance, right? Well, that’s what I thought when he was free of his duties at one part but then he reinstates his position as her familiar again. That is not a real spoiler as it happens really early in the show but it’s a good example of just how split this guy is.
The opening is a bit, I don’t know. It’s just a bit confusing. It’s all images of her with a song about being a girl and just starting to be a girl? I’m confused as to what the opening was supposed to do as they don’t really do anything but show this young girl. It didn’t fit the show at all making me want to skip it every time. Other then that, the animation and everything reminds me of a lot of other shows out there with a supernatural spoof. It’s dark in a colorful atmosphere. It’s hard to explain as the darkness is just the addition of dark purples and blues but then the brightness of those colors pop. In artist terms, the supernatural part of the show is dark hues and the brighter everyday parts are more of lighter shades of pastels and such.
Now let’s talk about the voices. I love the how comical the narrator is and she helps bring a bit more life to the story. She doesn’t pop up at any old time, only when it seems like it’s supposed to be a comical part of even when some sort of hardship is happening like in the beginning. Sadly, every once in a while, she does come in at a wrong time when talking about what happen in the last show. Nanami talks way too much. She seems to want to be as good a narrator as the narrator is. When she first wakes up from her dream, she talks on and on about what she thought was a dream. This happens a lot it seems. Her voice is a bit annoying as she still seems rather stuck up, a very good contrast though to the rather gentle voice of Tomoe. Well, gentle might not be the right word for him as he is rather stuck up and rude to Nanami but he is voiced by one of my favorite voice actors J. Michael Tatum, the same voice as Sebastian from Black Butler. It’s a very calming voice and it is fun to see him sort of freak out at some parts because of Nanami’s mistakes or his own. I think that’s what sets Tomoe apart from the others that Tatum has voiced before.
I really thought it was a cute show although a bit to short. The ending was a ok ending but there is so much more that could of happened both before and after that I feel it falls a bit flat. I really did love watching it non the less.
Lighthearted, sweet with a dash of supernatural occurrences. It's the perfect recipe for a wonderful romantic comedy. The anime has a decent story, sadly shortened by the amount of episodes. However this does not spoil the story nor the character development.
The anime has lovely artwork and a pleasant soundtrack (including the opening and ending theme which are gorgeous!) I find the characters appealing and engaging, also the comedy is rather light hearted and bearable in comparison to many slap-stick alternatives.
I find it hard to not get into this anime considering that it combines comedy, a bit of action, supernatural and romance all
in one. Best part is that it's quick to watch and more importantly has a rather satisfying ending.
My only complaint is that it probably would have been more interesting to have more episodes and extended the development in that duration considering that the characters and story hold so much potential.
When you think about it, one's home is a very precious thing. It's a safe haven. It's private. It contains the parts of one's life he or she loves the most, including family or that newly imported figure. When someone says that the atmosphere feels "homely," it's because at that moment, it is reminding him or her of that one place where he or she can truly be at peace. Sadly, some people don't have such a location. Others still are forced to change it. Within Kamisama Hajimemashita is a story depicting finding one's home with the help
and support of those held dear.
The adventure begins rather quickly. Nanami Momozono is a high school girl who is forced onto the streets after her father's gambling habits cause her to lose her home. One night, she saves a man who, as thanks, gives his "home" to her.
Kamisama Kiss (as it is also known) lays out its events in a rather episodic fashion. Much of what occurs involves Nanami overcoming difficulties based on her human status in a fully spiritual world. She has no powers, she's clumsy, and is helpful to a fault. However, her kindness almost always turns the outcome in her favor. Whether it is matchmaking the local swamp god or befriending her kidnapper, she finds it in her heart to love those around her. This trait is one that many characters from many shows obviously have. But it seems more appropriate here, given her literal god-like position.
Kamisama Kiss is a tale about the home. At the same time, it attempts to weave in the romantic relationship that develops between Nanami and Tomoe, her familiar. The romance involved is nothing powerful, but it is interesting. In a sense, it's about two people from different backgrounds (race, ethnicity, culture, etc.) coming to terms with the emotions they have. The season pits both of them on opposite sides of the spectrum. But as it unfolds, they begin inching closer and closer until at least a somewhat satisfying stopping point is reached. Its exploration isn't too deep, however. Besides Tomoe's strong animosity towards humans, the anime never truly questions or investigates such a pairing.
And therein lays the problem. The romance and home ideas seem to be constantly butting heads in terms of story-telling. That is, the show doesn't know whether it wants to focus on the romance or the "finding one's home" side. Both are done nicely, but a dissonance is created where it doesn't know what it wants to be. It tries to use the romance to facilitate the home idea. When it does, it becomes more about the relationship and less about the overall message.
What is the ultimate message? The show tries to drive home (pun intended) the idea that one's home isn't necessarily where you were born or where you're able to be productive. Indeed, it's the place where one feels most comfortable. Being able to just relax and not have to worry about the outside world. Walking through that front door to be greeted by the things you love. That's home. Honestly speaking, the concept is simple, but one rarely gives it any thought. And that's because having a home in this sense is, for the majority, second nature.
Kamisama Kiss is, for the most part, rather plain.
The art style itself appears quite "soft." The colors involved are generally boring, in that the show doesn't go out of its way to make anything incredibly eye-catching. This is true for the environments and the character designs. The locations are typical: the school, the shrine, the park, etc. The designs for the characters are tame, despite the spiritual nature that enshrouds them. The exception is Nanami. She has a beauty and radiance about her that is unnatural. The combination of her large eyes, taught smile, and lengthy brown hair probably give this effect. However, considering how there are thousands of clones like her in the anime world, her presence in the show was strange to say the least.
In regards to actual animation, it varies between average and slightly below average. The show incorporates minimalist drawings and animation for good comedic effect. As the show progressed, however, the animation began to degrade. This is especially apparent near one of the ending sequences. Despite the buildup involved, what is given is never fully shown (i.e., not properly animated).
While the story may be askew, the characters of Kamisama Kiss are, for the most part, not.
Nanami is the star. Her kindness and determination know no bounds. A land god by day and a teenage girl by night, she does her best to bring happiness both to the shrine she calls home and to its inhabitants. Her determination often puts her in a bind, but she never lets it get the best of her. This is also true of her relationship with Tomoe. Her feelings are usually unrequited, but she just sees it as another obstacle to triumph. She starts the season unsure of where her life will take her next but by its conclusion, she can safely find solace both at home and in the heart. That is, for her, "home is where the heart is" is just as true as "heart is where the home is."
Perhaps the most interesting character is Tomoe. His abrasive behavior and general lack of empathy make him difficult to approach, let alone get along with. However, as the anime demonstrates, there are underlying causes for this. The show characterizes Tomoe as this rude servant. However, like the humans he hates, he is multidimensional. The audience learns of his past, of his motivations, and of his more endearing qualities. There is actual reasoning for his standoffish attitude, and it was pleasant to learn of its underlying causes.
The side cast also does their job nicely. While each have their own personality, they serve a higher purpose. And that is in developing the relationship between Nanami and Tomoe. As easy examples, Mizuki (the snake familiar) provides Nanami with historical insight. Likewise, Kurama gives Tomoe important information pertaining to dealing with society. The side characters are able to do this because they specialize in these areas. And this is true for the rest of the characters. In their own way, they are able to add at least a smidgen of growth to the ever growing connection between the two main leads.
The OP is, surprisingly, very good. The whispering vocals, the single guitar chords, and the more prevalent Chinese guitar give off a simple mellow feeling. The middle part with the perhaps clacking castanets is also a fun little transition.
Following the footsteps of the OP, the ED is sung in a very quiet manner. Again, the single guitar chords give the piece a more mellow effect. In fact, it almost makes everything eerie or mysterious. The beginning "ah, ah, ah..." is also a very smooth lead-in for the rest of song.
The soundtrack is also well done. The atmospheric pieces really add nicely to the overall spiritual theme of the show. The piano keys, the hand drums, and especially the piece involving the "water ripple" sound (very hard to describe!) were executed nicely.
Voice acting wise, there are no standout performances to be had.
Romance is my forte. All of the blushing, the hand holding, the kissing, the hugging, the mutual feelings, I love it all. This one has most of these traits, and utilizes them well enough. Watching Nanami fall for the familiar she found was, therefore, quite an enjoyable experience. On top of this, she's mysteriously beautiful. Seeing her differing outfits or jubilant expression were usually enough to make me swoon.
The comedy involved isn't anything grand. It does what it has to given the circumstances, usually with the minimalist animation talked about earlier. The hilarity involved also stems from the character interactions. Many of the cast rarely get along, so seeing them constantly arguing or teasing one another was usually possible to get a good laugh.
Kamisama Hajimemashita is the beginning of the couple that is Nanami and Tomoe. The stories involved, the romance, and the characters are fun to see, and I am anticipating what the continuation of god and servant will be.
Story: Fine, romance and home but gets lost in itself
Animation: Fine, soft, plain, and with at best average animation
Characters: Good, Nanami and Tomoe blossom, with literal supportive side cast
Sound: Good, great OP, okay ED, good soundtrack
Enjoyment: Good, Nanami is beautiful and so is romance
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