Tag: kamisama kiss

My Impressions of Anime I’ve Recently Watched: Kamisama Kiss, Baldr Force EXE, and Murder Princess

Now that I’ve returned to the workforce part time, I’m not going to have the time to do the in-depth write ups for each anime I’ve watched like I have in the past. However, I plan to, from time to time, to write a post like this one, where I’ll briefly share my impressions of anime that I’ve recently watched and completed.

Back in my days of writing for BellaOnline, I would sample one or two episodes of an anime and then write about it. I have quite a few titles I did this with, and I currently have a goal of going back and trying to watch as many of these anime in their entirety as possible. Over this past week, I’ve made it through Kamisama Kiss, Kamisama Kiss 2, Baldr Force EXE, and Murder Princess.

Kamisama Kiss and Kamisama Kiss 2: I had originally sampled the first episode of Kamisama Kiss before I started to read the manga. After I started reading the manga, I had wanted to watch the anime but never had the time due to all of the simulcasts I was watching and doing weekly write ups for. But in some respects, it’s nice that I had to wait, since a second season has been released and simulcast since then. I enjoyed both Kamisama Kiss and Kamisama Kiss 2, and I thought it adapted the manga rather faithfully. The second season of Kamisama Kiss was produced before the manga ended, so it only goes up to the storyline that happens on Kurama mountain. Now that the manga has finished in Japan, I hope that at some point there could be a third season of the Kamisama Kiss anime that would adapt the remaining story arcs in the manga.

Baldr Force EXE: This is a four-episode OVA. I was a little concerned about character development and how the story would progress in only four 30-minute episodes. After watching it, though, I don’t think they really could have made the series any longer than it was. Yes, it caused a lot of rapid-fire development and plot revelations, but I can’t really see how this could have been avoided without stretching out the story with inconsequential material. The main drawback to this series is the CG animation for the mecha, because it didn’t look very good or mesh well with the other animation, and it ultimately stood out like a sore thumb.

Murder Princess: This is a six-episode OVA. It has an interesting storyline going into it, although there were times when the plot twists ended up being predictable. It also felt like it had a rather open-ended conclusion, and that perhaps the door was being left open to continue the story with another series. While most of the plot points are resolved, the first and most major plot point of the story is left unresolved. As a viewer, I thought that was a little disappointing, but the overall story was interesting enough that it lessens the disappointment I had with the ending.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 20

Kamisama Kiss Volume 20 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who has become a kami at the land god’s shrine. She has two familiars serving her: Tomoe, the fox demon, and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 20

Written by: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Volume 20 starts out by concluding Nanami’s school trip in Okinawa. While the story about a girl who suspects that Kurama has a secret she tries to uncover doesn’t seem important, it actually has a couple of things included that move the story of this volume forward. First, Tomoe sees Nanami acting in ways that he hardly sees while she’s primarily around Tomoe and the others at the shrine. Second, Mikage asks Tomoe to take a gift to a shrine maiden. Through a flashback, we learn that Tomoe first encountered the shrine maiden years ago when she was a young girl. When Tomoe actually sees the shrine maiden now, he discovers that she’s an old woman who is close to death. Tomoe starts wondering if that’s what will happen to Nanami as she gets older, and Tomoe begins thinking that he’d like to become a human.

Tomoe’s desire to become human serves as the driving force for the remainder of Kamisama Kiss Volume 20. I thought it was interesting that Nanami actually wasn’t supportive of Tomoe’s wish to become human. I think she knows that he’d likely be unhappy about losing his powers and being unable to serve as her familiar anymore. But Tomoe is still insistent about becoming a human even though Nanami objects. This leads Tomoe to do something incredibly foolish when Kurama offers him something that could potentially help grant the fox demon his wish. But in the midst of Tomoe’s wish to become human, Nanami discovers something important Kirihito, which only adds to Nanami’s already turbulent emotions.

As I read this volume, I noticed that Suzuki started drawing Tomoe with a more human-like “bishonen” (beautiful boy) look to him that she had in previous volumes. I expect this artistic choice was made to emphasize the fact that Tomoe wants to become human in order to be able to be with Nanami and not live on while she ages and passes away when she’s older. But this change in design for Tomoe also seemed to help change the overall aesthetic feel of the manga. This isn’t a bad thing, though. With the changes in the storytelling and the art, it really gives me the impression that Kamisama Kiss is drawing closer to its conclusion.

Fans of the series will definitely want to check out Kamisama Kiss Volume 20, because it’s such a compelling read. Major character development and important story progression take place, and long-time readers won’t want to miss any of it. Fans should appreciate and enjoy what they see in this volume, and it will make them want to go on to the next volume to find out what’s going to happen next.

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 19

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who has become a kami at the land god’s shrine. She has two familiars serving her: Tomoe, the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 19

Written by: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 6, 2015

Volume 19 continues Nanami’s school trip in Okinawa. Unfortunately, the trip has been anything but peaceful. The volume opens with Tomoe rescuing Nanami, who went out in search of a robe of feathers so she could save her kidnapped friend. Tomoe finds Nanami, but she’s in a weakened state. Fortunately, he receives some unexpected help for Nanami. When Nanami starts to recover, she admits something to Tomoe that bothers him but he tries hard to hide it. Even though Tomoe is known to have a short temper, he knows that this just isn’t the right time to show his true feelings to her about the revelation. While Tomoe doesn’t do anything about it at this point in the story, it is touched on later in the volume. I think Suzuki depicted this realistically, and this incident served as an important piece of development in Tomoe and Nanami’s blossoming relationship.

Meanwhile, Mizuki goes into the ocean in search of Nanami and forces Kurama to go with him. Both of these characters undergo very important development during their adventure. Kurama encounters a dugong who is actually Ami, the girl who was kidnapped. Unari, the mermaid whose robe of feathers was stolen, transformed Ami into a dugong as punishment and it appears that Ami may permanently turn into this creature and forget about her life and the fact that she had a major crush on Kurama.

At this point, Kurama’s not very confident about being in the sea, and he finds comfort in the dugong. But as the volume progresses, Kurama suddenly realizes that he has feelings for Ami, especially after learning that she was the dugong he encountered. Personally, I thought this felt a little too convenient. I didn’t see any true buildup for Kurama’s feelings for Ami, especially since prior to this, he was still acting like his cocky self. I hate to say this, but the Kurama and Ami relationship that develops here feels rather forced.

Mizuki’s storyline, however, feels more realistic. When he encounters Unari, he learns about her backstory and is willing to agree to become her husband in order to free Ami. But Mizuki realizes that he understands what Unari is feeling, and genuinely wants to help her and not use her to accomplish a goal. I have to admit that I honestly thought that Mizuki saying he would marry Unari would change the dynamics of the series since it would effectively write him out. But it turns out I was wrong, and Mizuki finds a way to be able to leave the sea but stay on good terms with Unari. I think Suzuki handled this aspect well, and it didn’t feel terribly forced.  And as we see a little later in the volume, this encounter with Unari seems to bring about a noticeable change in Mizuki.

It turns out that the Okinawa trip ends right when Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 finishes. At this point, I have no idea what kind of story the series will head into next. This actually makes me want to read the next volume, because I’d like to see where Suzuki decides what direction to take the series in.

Readers who have been reading and following the series will want to see what happens between Tomoe and Nanami in Kamisama Kiss Volume 19. I think that readers will also enjoy seeing Mizuki’s storyline, and may find that they become interested in Unari’s character as well. These particular characters go through some realistic development and growth in this volume, and fans of Kamisama Kiss won’t want to miss it.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: October 11-17, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of October 11-17, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Naruto Volume 72 by Masashi Kishimoto

VIZ Media’s release of Naruto Volume 72 spends a second week at number one.

2. Deadman Wonderland Volume 11 by Jinsei Katoka and Kazuma Kondou

VIZ Media’s release of Deadman Wonderland Volume 11 enters the list at number two.

3. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida

VIZ Media’s release of Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 holds at number three in its 18th week on the list.

4. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 2 by Sui Ishida

VIZ Media’s release of Tokyo Ghoul Volume 2 moves back up two spots to number four in its ninth week on the list.

5. Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 by Julietta Suzuki

VIZ Media’s release of Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 falls one spot to number five in its second week on the list.

6. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 8 by Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato

VIZ Media’s release of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 8 falls one spot to number six in its second week on the list.

7. Assassination Classroom Volume 6 by Yusei Matsui

VIZ Media’s release of Assassination Classroom Volume 6 moves up two spots to number seven in its second week on the list.

8. Noragami: Stray God Volume 7 by Adachitoka

Kodansha Comics’ release of Noragami: Stray God Volume 7 enters the list at number eight.

9. Food Wars! Volume 8 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

VIZ Media’s release of Food Wars! Volume 8 falls seven spots to number nine in its second week on the list.

10. One-Punch Man Volume 1 by ONE and Yusuke Murata

VIZ Media’s release of One-Punch Man Volume 1 moves falls two spots to number ten in its seventh week on the list.

Source: The New York Times

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: October 4-10, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of October 4-10, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Naruto Volume 72 by Masashi Kishimoto

VIZ Media’s release of Naruto Volume 72 enters the list at number one.

2. Food Wars! Volume 8 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

VIZ Media’s release of Food Wars! Volume 8 enters the list at number two.

3. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida

VIZ Media’s release of Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 moves back up one spot to number three in its 17th week on the list.

4. Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 by Julietta Suzuki

VIZ Media’s release of Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 enters the list at number four. In this volume, Nanami and Tomoe go on a school trip to Okinawa, where their newly–found romantic bliss is shattered.

5. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 8 by Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato

VIZ Media’s release of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 8 enters the list at number five.

6. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 2 by Sui Ishida

VIZ Media’s release of Tokyo Ghoul Volume 2 falls five spots to number six in its eighth week on the list.

7. Big Hero 6 Volume 2 by Haruki Ueno

Yen Press’ release of Big Hero 6 Volume 2 falls one spot to number seven in its third week on the list.

8. One-Punch Man Volume 1 by ONE and Yusuke Murata

VIZ Media’s release of One-Punch Man Volume 1 moves falls six spots to number eight in its sixth week on the list.

9. Assassination Classroom Volume 6 by Yusei Matsui

VIZ Media’s release of Assassination Classroom Volume 6 enters the list at number nine.

10. Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 3 by Reki Kawahara and Kiseki Himura

Yen Press’ release of Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 3 falls three spots to number ten in its third week on the list.

Source: The New York Times

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: June 7-13, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga for the week of June 7-13, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
2. Deadman Wonderland Volume 9 by Jinsei Katoka and Kazuma Kondou
3. Fairy Tail Volume 48 by Hiro Mashima
4. Assassination Classroom Volume 4 by Yusei Matsui
5. Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 by Julietta Suzuki
6. Food Wars! Volume 6 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
7. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Volume 1 by Fujino Omori and Kunieda
8. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
9. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
10. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaro Ishinomori

Source: The New York Times

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