Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 16

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.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 15

Kamisama Kiss Volume 15 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 15 opens with Nanami still in the past, where an injured Tomoe (who has disguised himself as a child) stays at Yukiji’s home while Nanami. Nanami claims that Tomoe is a child from her village and that his name is Himetaro. While all this is going on, Nanami has to try not to get too involved and inadvertently change what happens to Tomoe in the past. Once Tomoe appears to be getting better, Nanami leaves. Unfortunately, just as Nanami is about to talk to the kami that placed the curse on Tomoe, she is pulled back into the present because her time ran out.

After Nanami is able to get some rest and gets encouragement from her friends, she returns to the past. When she returns, she encounters Akura-Oh. He is out in search of Tomoe, because he had heard a rumor that Tomoe had fallen in love with a human girl. Akura-Oh makes Nanami take him to the capital so he can try to find out why Tomoe would be interested in a woman from there. The time Nanami has to spend with Akura-Oh is actually rather amusing to read for the most part.

I have to give Nanami credit for the actions she takes in the past. While she wants to do what she can to save Tomoe, she’s still rational enough to realize that she can’t do anything to tamper with the past, because it would change her world in the future. But could her encounter with Akura-Oh have unintended consequences that cause changes in the futue? Hopefully Volume 16 will answer that. But by doing this storyline, it allows Suzuki to show the audience more of what happened to Tomoe in the past than what we’d seen in the flashbacks provided in previous volumes, and it allows the audience to see a lot of what happened through Nanami’s eyes. There are still some scenes that take place without Nanami around, but for the most part, she was there in some way, shape or form.

This volume also includes two “special episodes.” The first one has to do with Nanami trying to figure out what’s in a package that is given to Tomoe by Tanuko. The second has to do with Nanami’s friends convincing her to buy lingerie, and her attempts to hide it from Tomoe. Both of these stories don’t really have much of anything to do with the main storyline, but they were light-hearted and amusing to read.

At the end of Volume 15, I’m wondering how much longer Nanami will remain in the past and if she’ll succeed in talking with the fallen kami and find out how to break the curse.

After reading this volume, I have to say that if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 14 volumes of Kamisama Kiss, then you should also enjoy reading Volume 15.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 15 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 14

Kamisama Kiss Volume 14 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.

At the beginning of Volume 14, Tomoe’s condition has suddenly worsened, which causes the spells that have been maintaining the shrine to dissipate. As Nanami is at a loss as to what to do, the Land God returns and places Tomoe in a mirror.

The Land God explains to Nansmi that Tomoe has a death curse from an old deal, and will likely die in about seven days. She’s also told that Tomoe likes her and that this broke the seal on his memories of Yukiji.

At first, Nanami thinks there’s nothing she can do for Tomoe. However, after being captured by Kirihito and hearing him talk about how he’s not going to give up on his goals, Nanami finds the will to escape and a potential plan to save Tomoe.

Nanami ends up using the incense burner that turns time to go back into the past to try to find the fallen kami that placed the curse on Tomoe to try to find out how to get rid of the curse mark. However, while she’s in the past, something happens that could potentially change the present that Nanami returns to…

Volume 14 ended up being a rather intense volume, due to the severity of Tomoe’s condition and how much Nanami struggles with her emotions and how frantic she is about trying to find a way to save Tomoe. I also liked how it was through an interaction with one of her adversaries that Nanami gets the initial inspiration for the plan she ultimately has to save Tomoe.

When Nanami goes to the past, she meets the kami that will ultimately found the shrine that Mizuki came from. Nanami also finds herself in a village and being accused of being a yokai. She has an unlikely savior in Yukiji. However, there’s a surprising twist at the point where Yukiji is supposed to rescue an injured Tomoe from the river. And it’s this surprising twist that could have a drastic effect on Nanami’s present when she returns.

Thanks to that surprising twist at the end of Volume 14, I really want to Volume 15 in order to find out what happens next. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Volume 15 isn’t scheduled to come out for about another two months. I really don’t know if I can wait that long to find out!

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 13 volumes of Kamisama Kiss, then I feel very confident that you’ll really enjoy reading Volume 14.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 14 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 13

Kamisama Kiss Volume 13 is a manga by Julietta Suzuki, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. 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.

In Volume 12, Himemiko, the ruler of Tatara swamp, was a central figure in the story; she is in love with Kotaro, a human boy, but he doesn’t know that she’s actually a yokai, because she is in a human form around him. When they are out traveling to Nanami’s shrine, they encounter Nishiki of Inuaki swamp, and Kotaro is injured during the encounter. The couple gets some unexpected help from Ryu-Oh. During Volume 12, Kotaro also learns the truth about Himemiko and must deal with his feelings.

Meanwhile, Nanami and the shrine are transported to Inuaki swamp. When she’s there, she learns that Himemiko is betrothed to Nishiki. Nanami has to spend around Nishiki, who acts like a rather pompous and stuck-up prince. However, as Nishiki begins spending more time around her, a change in his attitude and character begins to emerge.

At the beginning of Volume 13, Himemiko has gone to Inuaki swamp and believes that she’ll never see Kotaro again. There’s a very amusing scene when Nishiki is finally introduced to Himemiko, and he recognizes her as the girl he had encountered back in Volume 12. But as Nishiki begins to spend time around Himemiko, he begins to develop feelings for her. Himemiko agrees to marry Nishiki, but it’s obvious she still has feelings for Kotaro. This story arc reaches its conclusion in this volume, and Kotaro plays a part in it. Without providing “spoilers,” I will say that I was very satisfied with how this story arc concluded.

Another story arc begins in Volume 13, but it’s just getting started when the volume ends. In this new arc, Tomoe begins seeing visions of talking with someone and wishing to become human. At first, he’s under the impression that this is just a dream; however, after he collapses and is examined by a doctor, it appears Tomoe may be reliving a memory instead of dreaming.

The vast majority of Volume 13 focuses on the story with Himemiko and Kotaro, and I thought that it was rather well-told. During this story, there’s a section where Nanami is involved and is suddenly saying that Himemiko and Nishiki should be together, even though we had previously seen her talking with Nishiki about Himemiko’s love for Kotaro. I knew in that scene that something was off with Nanami, but I hadn’t figured out what happened until it was revealed a little later in the volume. I will also say that the arc ended the way I had expected it to, but I was still satisfied with its conclusion.

I’m very intrigued by the new story arc that’s introduced in Volume 13. The volume ends with Tomoe’s revelation that what he’s seeing is from his memory, so this ends up becoming a bit of a cliffhanger. Now I’m really wanting to read Volume 14 to see what the repercussions of this revelation will be; unfortunately, Volume 14 isn’t going to be released for another three or four months, so I’m going to have a little bit of a wait before being able to continue the story.

If you’ve read the previous 12 volumes of Kamisama Kiss and enjoyed them, then I’m sure you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 13.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 13 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 12

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Kamisama Kiss’ Volume 12 by Julietta Suzuki on Blogcritics.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 12 is a manga by Julietta Suzuki, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. 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 12 focuses on the character of Himemiko, the ruler of Tatara swamp who loved a human boy that Nanami helped early on in the series. Himemiko decides that she and Kotaro, the boy she’s in love with, need to visit Nanami at the shrine.

At the shrine, Nanami kicks Tomoe and Mizuki out after she gets in an argument with Tomoe. While they’re gone, the shrine is transported to Inunaki swamp. Aoi, the girl who transported her there, tells Nanami that Himemiko is betrothed to Nishiki, the prince of Inunaki swamp.

Meanwhile, while Himemiko in her human form, is traveling with Kotaro, have a run-in with Nishiki. Nishiki doesn’t realize the human girl is Himemiko in disguise, so he treats her and Kotaro with much disdain. They get some unexpected help from Ryu-Oh. Kotaro is hurt and goes to the hospital. This volume sees Kotaro learning the truth about Himemiko, and focuses on how he deals with this revelation. I actually felt really bad for Kotaro during this portion of the story.

Meanwhile, Nanami has several confrontations with Nishiki, who is a rather pompous and stuck-up prince. By the end of the volume, Nishiki seems to be starting to have a change to his character. Unfortunately, this story arc is not resolved at the end of Volume 12, so you have to read Volume 13 to find out how this arc continues.

I thought that this story arc with Himemiko was rather riveting, and I couldn’t stop reading Volume 12. I was so interested in the story that I ended up reading through this volume rather quickly. I also liked how Kotaro’s part of the story was written; I think his reaction to learning the truth about Himemiko was very realistic. I also appreciated how this volume gave the reader more development for Kotaro; prior to this, he just seemed like a one-dimensional character who wasn’t very important.

If you’ve read the previous 11 volumes of Kamisama Kiss and enjoyed them, then I feel very confident that you will enjoy reading Volume 12.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 12 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 11

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Kamisama Kiss’ Volume 11 by Julietta Suzuki on Blogcritics.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 11 is a manga by Julietta Suzuki, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2012. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

Nanami Momozono is the main character of Kamisama Kiss. 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 11 focuses on Nanami and the others preparing for the New Year. The beginning of the volume sees Nanami, Tomoe, and Mizuki going to see the Toshigami in order to receive new ofuda. When they go to see the Toshigami, they have to travel through different torii.

While Tomoe and Mizuki pass through very quickly, Nanami takes much longer. Tomoe and Mizuki decide to pass back through Nanami’s tori, even though going through someone else’s torii is prohibited.

When they enter, they see Nanami as a little girl. Oh my gosh, little Nanami looks so adorable! This section was, by far, my favorite part of Volume 11. Not only does the reader get to see Nanami as an adorable little girl, the reader is also rewarded with the backstory of what happened to Nanami’s mother. We also learn an interesting fact about the women in Nanami’s family that can be traced back to Nanami’s great-grandmother. This story ends with the three of them seeing the Toshigami.

The next story in the volume sees Kirihito, an infamous yokai who is also known as Akura-Oh, trying to get his body back from the Land of the Dead. Nanami only appears in one scene in this story, which sees Nanami working at cleaning up the shrine for the New Year.

The last story arc sees Nanami finishing up the cleaning, and learning from Tomoe that she accidentally threw away the former mikage’s wooden ofuda. Nanami ends up following Tomoe to the Ayakashi market that’s held at the end of the year. Nanami ends up having an adventure while she’s there, and during this adventure, Nanami shows she’s starting to have more confidence in herself as a kamisama. I really liked the clever thing that Nanami did near the end of the story when she found herself in danger.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Volume 11 of Kamisama Kiss. The weakest part was the story about Kirihito. Yes, I know that he’s wanting to get his body back, and that he had to learn where in the Land of the Dead it is, but it just kind of felt like it was throw in here during the midst of the New Year preparations for shrine. I’m sure this story will be important in a later volume of the series, so it’s not unimportant; however, I wish there had been a better way to incorporate this story in with everything else that takes place in the volume.

Even with my one complaint with Volume 11, I think fans of Kamisama Kiss will enjoy reading this volume of the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 10

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Kamisama Kiss’ Volume 10 by Julietta Suzuki on Blogcritics.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 10 is a manga by Julietta Suzuki, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2012. 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 10 picks up exactly where Volume Nine left off, and the entirety of Volume 10 focuses on a story arc that provides backstory for Kurama, a tengu who has become a teen idol in the human world. Kurama, Nanami, and Tomoe have gone to the home of the tengu because they heard that Kurama’s father has fallen ill.

A tengu named Jiro is a major focus of this volume. He has been planning to overthrow Kurama’s father and become the leader of the tengu; however, after having a chance meeting with Nanami, he finds his resolve starting to waver a little bit. Kurama comes up with a plan to get into the training hall in order to see his father and find out what’s been going on.

When it comes to the storyline that’s taking place in the home of the tengu has a couple of unexpected twists, which I thought worked rather nicely for the story being told. And since this particular storyline is resolved at the end of this volume, I can say that I was satisfied with how this arc was concluded. When I finished the volume, I realized that while the story may have been taking place in the home of the tengu, Kurama didn’t get focused on as much in this story arc as he did in Volume Nine; in fact, Nanami was the character who seemed to receive the most focus in Volume 10.

This volume also has a bit of a focus on Tomoe and his feelings toward Nanami, and I think that fans of the Tomoe and Nanami pairing will appreciate seeing this getting focused on in this volume. Nanami also acquires an admirer in the world of the tengu, who can be added to the ever growing list of admirers that Nanmi has acquired. Fortunately, it appears the tengu admirer won’t be a long-term issue for Nanami to deal with.

Volume 10 was a strong continuation of the story arc in the home of the tengu that was introduced in Volume Nine. If you’ve enjoyed Kamisama Kiss up to this point, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in Volume 10.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume 10 that I checked out through the King County Library System.