Kamisama Kiss is a thirteen episode anime series based on the on-going comic book franchise created by manga artist Julietta Suzuki. At the time of writing MVM Entertainment’s DVD set, which collects the show in its entirety, can be purchased from Amazon UK for around £22.00.
The series stars a teenage girl named Nanami Momozono who is the daughter of a compulsive gambler. When dad decides to skip town, after amassing a sizable debt, poor Nanami is left unable to pay the family creditors and is subsequently evicted from her flat. Homeless, she finds herself ambling around a local park where she bumps into a bespectacled man named Mikage. Mikage learns of Nanami’s plight, after the energetic gal rescues him from a not so ferocious pooch, and suggests that she stay at his former home which is presently vacant. Taking him up on his generous offer, Nanami ventures forth to the specified address only to discover that the home in question is a shrine maintained by Yokai (spirits from Japanese folklore.)
It appears that the gullible lass has been duped by the shrine’s Land God into replacing him as the temple’s deity. She must now balance her high school life with duties such as maintaining the dilapidated sacred building and attending to the wishes of worshippers. Thankfully she is not alone as the shrine comes complete with a pair of ghostly servants and a pretty boy familiar who is part fox. The trio of underlings are able to show her the ropes in addition to protecting their human master from malevolent Yokai, who would like nothing more than to snack on an adolescent girl.
As is to be expected from a romantic comedy, love begins to blossom between Nanami and Tomoe (the aforementioned foxy familiar) even though they spend much of their time butting heads. The setup is almost like a reverse of Inu X Boku, only that in this show the female master is the one who is vocal about expressing her feelings whilst the canine protector is the one refuses to admit what his heart truly desires. Rivals for Nanami’s affections appear, as the series progresses, in the form of other bishi Yokais. The suitors in question include a pop idol that attends Nanami’s class and a serpent Yokai who is smitten with the protagonist after she rescues him from a tight spot.
My rating for Kamisama Kiss is a three out of five. It was an enjoyable series to watch, although it’s not something I expect to revisit any time soon. For me the show’s strongest points would have to be its comedy and bubbly leading lady, who bounces well off the other cast members. Given that the franchise is targeted towards a female audience, Nanami is thankfully spared from the over sexualisation that often befalls many a female appearing in a harem show. Ironically enough I would have to say that Kamisama Kiss’ weakest area would have to be its romance, which to me felt rather forced.
Nanami’s realisation that she likes Tomoe is very sudden and comes out of left field when you consider that the two are constantly bickering. Tomoe’s hostility toward a relationship with a human are explored in the series, although his true feelings for her are a bit of a stretch given that in the first episode he seemed rather amused at the prospect of his master getting gobbled up by monsters. Perhaps I am being too harsh though as similar mood swings are not uncommon in other anime shows or real life teen girls for that matter. Overall the series is worth checking out. Despite being based on an on-going manga the anime has a sweet ending, so you won’t feel short-changed once you finish watching it. If your opinion of the title is greater than mine it should prove to be a nice appetizer to tempt viewers into checking out the source material.