Kamisama Kiss Volume 16 is a manga by Julietta Suzuki, and it was published in North America by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T’ for teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.
The main character of Kamisama Kiss is Nanami Momozono. She’s a high school student who ends up becoming a kami at the land god’s shrine after the land god gives her a kiss on the forehead that gives her the power of a kami. Nanami has two familiars serving her: Tomoe the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.
Volume 16 continues Nanami’s adventure in the past as she attempts to find a way to remove the curse that is afflicting Tomoe in the present. Nanami returns to where Yukiji is, and learns that Yukiji will be marrying a feudal lord.
Meanwhile, Tomoe meets up with Akura-Oh, who has heard about Yukiji getting married and wants to see her. He wants to have someone drag the bride from her marriage procession and be brought to him. After a yokai tries to take Yukiji before the wedding, Nanami volunteers to be Yukiji’s double and go in her place in the procession. As part of the deal, she wants Yukiji’s family to try and find Kuromaro, the fallen kami. As soon as I read that Nanami wanted to serve as Yukiji’s double, I had a bad feeling that things were not going to go as Nanami expected.
Akura-Oh sends Kirakaburi to attack the palanquin carrying Yukiji. Privately, Tomoe decides that he’ll be the one to kill Yukiji first to make up for not being able to kill her earlier. When Kirakaburi attacks, Nanami fights back; unfortunately, Kirakaburi attacks her with a dart dipped in a paralytic. But as hope seems lost, Tomoe suddenly appears and takes down Kirakaburi.
What happens next is rather interesting, since we get to see Nanami interaction with the Tomoe of 500 years ago; but Tomoe thinks he’s interacting with Yukiji, and Nanami doesn’t correct him. Even though Tomoe had intended to kill her, he doesn’t do it. At first, Tomoe treats her like a pet or like a piece of property, but as he spends more time with her, his attitude changes; in fact, Nanami has to keep him from kissing her so he doesn’t become her familiar in the past. Not only was this section interesting, it was also kind of cute. I can just imagine the willpower it had to take for Nanami not to admit her feelings to the Tomoe she encountered in the past; yes, he was different than what she’s familiar with, but it’s still Tomoe in front of her. But being able to interact with him in the past like this should help giving Nanami a better understanding of why Tomoe is the way he is in the present.
Unfortunately, at the end of the volume, it appears that Nanami fails in her attempt to lift the curse from Tomoe. I found myself feeling bad for Nanami, because she’d gone through so much while she was in the past and ultimately has nothing to show for it. Also, she may have inadvertently changed things in the past. Even though Tomoe thought she was Yukiji, having this misunderstanding ultimately still changes the essence of what had happened in the past. I hope that in whatever volume Nanami returns to the present in, we see what may have changed due to her going back to the past and doing some of the things that she did.
Volume 16 also includes a special episode, where Nanami returns late to the shrine because she stops to buy takoyaki to take home to everyone. This is a nice light-hearted story that helps to blunt some of the reader’s disappointment over the fact that Nanami appears to have failed in her quest in the past. With so much emphasis being placed on Nanami in the past over the past couple of volumes, we haven’t gotten to see characters like Mizuki, Onikiri, and Kotetsu; at least this special episode lets us see them, even if it’s only for a brief time.
I enjoyed reading this volume so much that I didn’t want to put it down. I’ve been reading the Kamisama Kiss series for about two years now, and I enjoy it just as much now as I did when I first started reading it. I’m looking forward to when Volume 17 is released so I can find out what’s going to happen to Nanami next.
After reading this volume, I have to say that if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 15 volumes of Kamisama Kiss, then you should also enjoy reading Volume 16.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 16 that I checked out through the King County Library System.