This is part of a series of re-posts of older reviews on 100 Word Anime. The original review came out in June 2016 and can be found here.
This is a review of seasons one and two of Kamisama Kiss. There are some spoilers below but I hope you enjoy.
Kamisama Kiss is a romantic, coming of age, supernatural comedy? It’s kind of hard to define. Mostly it is a romantic comedy but some episodes focus more on the supernatural elements and others focus on Nanami developing as a person/god so it isn’t all about high school girl drooling over cute fox spirit. Though there’s definitely aspects of that as well. I think when I reviewed this the first time I felt that it somehow it lacked depth, but that isn’t true. While not every event is high stakes and world ending terror, Nanami is dealing with a lot being made homeless in episode 1 before having to learn about the supernatural world from scratch while coming to grips with her own power. Hard to blame her for clinging to Tomoe along the way.
Originally I reviewed this anime using a plus and minus format. I’m going to keep many of the same points this time around but I’m ditching that format.
One the best things about the show is the relationship between Nanami and Tomoe. It is hard to say that they are a couple given Tomoe continues to declare that he won’t fall in love with a human, but at the same time they have a partnership that relies on a fair amount of trust and respect. This doesn’t just happen. It is built up slowly over the course of the two seasons as the begin with an absolutely terrible first impression of one another.
It is in the development of the two characters individually and seeing how that impacts on their interactions that a lot of the fun is being found. Nanami definitely gets assigned the role of damsel in distress a lot in the first season, but she isn’t just taking that lying down. She’s fighting to understand how to deal with this new role of god that has been thrust upon her. Tomoe for the most part seems like he’s got things under control, but he definitely brings a lot of baggage into the mix that season 2 begins to unravel.
Then again, all of the supernatural support cast are pretty solid, and no, they aren’t all hot guys although a lot of the early characters introduced are. These characters come with vibrant personalities and complex relationships. Their problems feel very human and the recurring characters grow and change through their interactions with Nanami. Personal favourites include Kurama and Himemiko. Though Nanami’s shikigami is pretty adorable in season two as well as fairly handy.
And all of this comes with a fantastic opening song (or at least season one does). I could happily sing along to this one for ages as it is just so incredibly relaxing.
But, there are some parts the show does less right. For instance the humans in the story. Seriously, there are only two other human characters in the story worth paying attention to. For all the time and effort spent on giving the spirits, yokai and gods personality and presence, the humans are all shallow and underdeveloped shells of characters. This is especially true of Nanami’s classmates. And even if this wasn’t the focus of the anime, do they really have to be that irritating.
The other issue comes back to that seeming lack of depth. Almost every problem in the show ends up being neatly wrapped up. Nanami is sweet and wants to help people and spirits and everything else and somehow she just makes things work out. We could argue that this is a by-product of her being a land god and coincidences occur because of that power, but that doesn’t stop it being any less a cheap plot device to get a happy resolution. Though, season two was definitely starting to add in some more complex problems that weren’t one episode conflicts and it would be nice to see the anime continue on and continue in that direction.
Overall, what we have is a sweet show with some great characters (and a few not so great ones) with a predictable but adorable story, all told with some nice music, vibrant artwork and reasonable voice acting.
I completely recommend this anime to anyone who likes romantic comedies and even just people that don’t mind the coming of age story with a bit of supernatural silliness thrown in. While the comedy doesn’t always hit the mark, the moments that do will have you laughing aloud. A scene that I always remember is when Tomoe transforms Kurama into an ostrich and then chases him through the school building with a fox fire. Utterly ridiculous and yet totally funny (and apparently I’m not alone in that given a recent conversation I had with someone on Twitter).
What are your thoughts on Kamisama Kiss? Do you have a favourite moment or character? I’d love to know.
Thanks for reading
100 Word Anime.