Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 18

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who is now the kami at the land god’s shrine. Nanami has two familiars serving her: Tomoe the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 18

Written by: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Volume 18 sees Nanami returning to her normal life after spending time in the past in order to save Tomoe in the present. However, there’s now a major difference in her normal life: she and Tomoe are now a couple. Unfortunately, she’s so happy about being with Tomoe that she’s not bothering to study and doesn’t seem to care about her grades. Tomoe decides that he needs to study, which Mikage highly approves of. Nanami is getting excited for the upcoming school trip, but Mikage tells her that she needs to score at least an 80 percent on all her finals if she wants to go.

I have to say that I approve of Mikage trying to impose a condition on Nanami in order to encourage her to study and to improve her grades, but I thought that the 80 percent was a little harsh. Fortunately, it’s revealed that Mikage simply said this in order to encourage Nanami to study harder and didn’t intend to keep her from going on the trip if she didn’t accomplish that.

Another important development happens in this portion of the story: Mizuki decides that he wants to go to school with Nanami, too. His main reason is that he wants to be able to go on the school trip with her, and he can only do that if he’s a student. Even though Tomoe had originally transferred into Nanami’s class to keep an eye on her, he’s at least trying to take studying and learning seriously. I suspect this is due to him wanting to be with Nanami as a romantic partner instead of simply being a familiar who serves her. I really don’t see Mizuki ever taking school or studying seriously, so he could end up being a problem if he’s in class with Nanami.

Roughly the last two-thirds of Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 take place during the school trip to Okinawa. We see that Mizuki is in the class and is on the trip, and he’s constantly whining about not getting to be with Nanami because they’re in different groups. The trip starts out eventful enough when the plane encounters some turbulence, and then a freak typhoon hits. But then Nanami discovers that a weakened Kirihito is around, and this eventually leads to Ami, one of Nanami’s friends, being kidnapped and accused of stealing a mermaid’s robe of feathers. In the process of trying to save Ami, Nanami also finds herself being called upon to try to save Kirihito’s life.

Volume 18 also reveals that Nanami’s friend, Ami, has a major crush on Kurama. After Ami is kidnapped, Tomoe and the others have to reveal what they really are to Kei, a mutual friend of Nanami and Ami. That’s a development I hadn’t expected, since Nanami has been trying hard to keep the fact that she’s a land god, as well as the truth about various characters’ identities, from her friends. I guess having Ami being kidnapped in this manner kind of forced the issue for Tomoe and the others.

I was a little disappointed in Nanami early on in the volume while she was lazy about studying, she more than made up for it on the school trip when she started taking charge of the situation in order to help Ami. She had to make a difficult decision during all of that, but that decision could end up having consequences attached to it. All in all, Volume 18 kept me interested in what was going on, and I didn’t want to put it down until I had finished it. And the way the volume ends made me want to read Volume 19 in order to find out what will happen to Nanami.

Readers who have been following and enjoying the series should enjoy and be satisfied with how the story progresses through Kamisama Kiss Volume 18. Nanami and Tomoe being a couple adds a new element and dimension to the story, and I suspect there will be some kind of repercussions later on. And having Mizuki starting to go to school adds a new layer to the characters and their interactions. Suzuki has found some great ways to keep the series from going stale, yet keeping enough of the elements that grabbed and hooked readers into this series in the first place.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 17

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who becomes a kami at the land god’s shrine after the land god gives her a kiss on the forehead and bestows on her the power of a kami. Nanami has two familiars serving her: Tomoe the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki. Nanami has fallen in love with Tomoe, but he still seems to have feelings for Yukiji, a woman he met 500 years ago. When Nanami discovers that Tomoe has been inflicted with a curse because of a contract he made with a fallen kami in the past, she goes back in time to try to find out how to lift the curse.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 17

Written by: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 3, 2015

Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 sees Mikage, the land god, sending Nanami back to the past one last time so she can witness the sprouting of the seeds she’s sown by going back to the past the previous two times. When she returns to the past, she finds the fallen kami and sees what happened to Yukiji and Tomoe after she left.

This section of Volume 17 was very eye-opening to me as a reader. It allowed me to finally see the truth about what happened all those years ago with Tomoe and Yukiji, and an important fact was revealed about Nanami. When I saw what this fact was and the explanation for it, I thought that perhaps this was something I should have somehow picked up on earlier in the series. While I won’t outright say what the revelation was, I will say that this fact explains why Yukiji and Nanami have similarities in their appearance.

After witnessing what happened in the past, Nanami figures out what she needs to do in order to break the fallen kami’s curse. When Nanami returns to the present, she goes out in search of a particular object that is the proof of Tomoe’s contract. She finds it, the curse is lifted, and the end of Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 gives the impression that there’s a happy ending for the two of them. But the series isn’t over yet, so I expect that some kind of obstacle will end up disrupting the relationship that Tomoe and Nanami are starting to build here.

I enjoyed reading Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 so much that I didn’t want to put it down. All of the pieces about Tomoe, Nanami, Yukiji, and the curse fall into place over the course of this volume, and it seemed like that with each chapter, more and more was finally coming together. As a reader who’s been following Kamisama Kiss since Volume One, I was both happy and satisfied with how the story was progressing and with how the answers to so many questions were presented throughout this volume.

While I have to admit that the art style in Kamisama Kiss doesn’t really have much to make it stand out from other shojo manga series, the strength of the story makes up for that. Suzuki has created such compelling characters that the reader becomes engrossed in the story and can easily overlook the fact that the art is more on the average side.

I would recommend Kamisama Kiss to readers who enjoy shojo manga with romance and hints of supernatural elements. Longtime readers of the series will really enjoy reading Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 in order to find out the resolution to Nanami’s mission to free Tomoe from his curse.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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.