On the moon, there is an old shrine that has fallen into ruin. On the birthday of Himeko Kurusugawa and Chikane Himemiya, there is a sudden eclipse, and a voice calls the eight necks of Orochi to rise and destroy the Solar Priestess and the Lunar Priestess. The two girls soon find themselves under attack by the Orochi, but Himeko's close friend Souma has resisted the call of the Orochi and has sworn to protect her, no matter what.
Kannazuki no Miko has been licensed in English by VIZ Media. The first volume is set to be released on January 26, 2016. The series was previously published by TokyoPop as Destiny of Shrine Maiden on May 6 and July 7, 2008 respectively.
Kannazuki no Miko starts off as a silly and mostly lighthearted romp with giant robots, mysticism, girls in love (with each other) and pretty art. Even having heard (but forgotten) certain spoilers about the direction the story ends up taking, I thought I was going to like it a lot.
Unfortunately for me, the story takes a dark turn which I most decidedly did not enjoy. In particular it was the way in which the offending character continued to be self-righteous and another character rationalized the first one's actions which bothered me. Keep in mind though that I'm a feminist and I have a tendency to
identify strongly with certain characters, so if you can maintain a greater emotional distance it might bother you less.
That said, the rest of the story deals with themes of destiny, true love, and star-crossed lovers, so it isn't particularly original. It is kind of fun though.
The art is good in general, particularly the character and costume designs - crazy hair, lots of detail in the miko clothes and some of the bad guys' outfits, and attention to eyes. The faces are pretty expressive and the giant robots are cool. There is a lot of screen tone and a few random flowers and so forth. You can tell that they're really working to appeal toward yuri/shoujo ai fans, because those scenes are pretty detailed, though not completely explicit.
That said, there are a few panels where I have trouble telling what's going on, and I don't think that Kannazuki no Miko brings anything new as far as art goes either.
There was one character who, for reasons stated above, I came to despise. The others didn't really make an impression for the most part, and a few were flat, not changing throughout the course of the story.
I really liked the most of the first volume, because it was so ridiculous. After the darker turn, I still wanted to keep reading, but I spent most of the rest of the time being angry or shaking my head at what the characters were doing. I would have given this manga a seven or an eight in this category if I had enjoyed it all as much as the beginning.
Not bad. It's enjoyable in parts and it's pretty, but other parts might make you angry and the characters can be a little flat at times. Its attempts at darker themes are sometimes undermined by the over-the-top villains and silly giant robots. It's the sort of show you might like if you like yuri and giant robots and don't mind the dark themes.
I bought this with every intention of really liking it, however, I could not find one thing I liked. In fact, if I had not gotten both volumes, I would have most likely dropped this title after the first clichéd chapter.
Story: The plot is heavily cliched for the first half of the book, then speeds up dramatically in the second part to where nothing makes sense and you are left wondering what is going on. It's just a series of unexplained plot points. There is no real flow to the story and it leaves the reader cold. We are told a
lot of things, but never really shown anything. The romance between the main characters I found to be forced and unbelievable. It didn't feel like yuri at all. What would have made this better is if the story was given more chapters and volumes to grow. Everything gets squeezed into two volumes and the plot really suffers because of it and things feel unbelievable.
Art: The artwork is decent and nice to look at. Nobody looks the same, which is nice. However, the action scenes lack any kind of action. Which brings me back to the story. If this had been expanded, leaving more room for action scenes and better explanation of what was going on, the story would have flowed better. Instead, the artwork oftentimes uses lazy transitions and stuff randomly appears without explanation. It makes the reader very confused as to what is happening.
Characters: The characters are cliched and pathetic. I could not root for anyone, because I didn't know any of them. People were randomly thrown into scenes and once again we were told things about them, instead of shown things about them. None of them where properly fleshed out and none of them grew at all.
Enjoyment: It took me 24 days to complete this, because every time I thought about finishing this, I cringed. It was a chore to read.
Overall: I was very disappointed. I bought this thinking it was going to be a great yuri story only to find out it has a broken rollercoaster of a plot and a pathetic cast of stereotypical characters. I would not recommend this to anyone. Only read if you are into mindless yuri, fan service, and don't really care about plot.