Kamisama Kiss 18

November 15, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2015 – 21+ volumes

Of course the story continues, I forgot about Akura-oh!  And there’s the Cousin Itt yokai, being all creepy.

This volume started off with Nanami so deliriously happy she’s basically failing all her classes.  Mikage (who is sticking around now?) threatens to not let her go on her class trip to Okinawa if she does not do well on her exams.  She wants badly to go with Tomoe, Kurama, Mizuki (as an exchange student), and her friends from school.

Mizuki in the plane was the best.  He could not get over how something so huge and metal could fly through the air, and it was freaking the other students out.

They get to Okinawa, and there’s a storm raging.  Turns out, Akura-oh is already there, and he’s done something to make a local mermaid angry, who curses him and plunges the island into a perpetual storm.  She also entangles one of Nanami’s friends.  Nanami has to get the mermaid’s robe back from Akura-oh, who of course does not want to part with it.

There is very little Tomoe/Nanami time in this volume, which was a little surprising.  They, of course, are never alone together, especially now that Mikage is living with them again.  Tomoe begins to pout, because Nanami seems to be paying attention to everyone and not just him.  How cute.

Everything here is still pretty great.  This is pushing the limit of slightly too many characters, since there are a couple classmates that we need to be familiar with now, but I guess we lose Himemiko, Kotaro, Mitake, Kotetsu, and Onikiri for this trip?  Having Kurama and the two friends involved with the story, as well as Akura-oh, his servant, and his shinshi, is a little confusing.  But it’s handling itself well now.  I suspect the characters will slowly start to shed themselves as the story focuses itself more.

Is this going to be another big, long epic?  It really doesn’t matter either way to me.  Kamisama Kiss is so good, it could probably do anything (except hacking/corporate espionage) and I would love it.  Reading 8 volumes together was great, and I’m considering a re-read now.

Kamisama Kiss 17

November 8, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2015 – 21+ volumes


It had the ending I didn’t even know I wanted.  Seriously.  I wish more shoujo mangaka had the knack to deliver what the audience is looking for like that.  I didn’t even see it coming, perhaps because I’m so used to the dodge.

Nanami goes back to the past one more time to speak to the fallen kami, in order to undo Tomoe’s curse.  The fallen kami shows her what happened to Tomoe and Yukiji in between visits (when a lot of time passed for him and them, but not Nanami), which is mostly sad stuff.  I even felt a little bad for Akura-oh, and he’s quite literally a monster.

I was a little surprised Tomoe fell for Yukiji’s ruse?  He sort of did, and sort of didn’t?  I speculate that he probably didn’t, but I’m not sure why he took care of her then?  Maybe because she seemed so similar?

Nanami did a little modern time-traveling as well.  I had to read that part twice before I realized that Mikage was involved, and what was going on (mostly because I was rushing through this part to get to the payoff).  That was pretty clever.

I also liked the little bit of story dedicated to Akura-oh’s furry minion throughout this arc.  He was a low-key great character.  I’m going to have to re-read to see if he’s still around.  He was probably with Akura-oh five volumes ago, or something really obvious.

I still can’t believe how much I liked this story arc.  I’m surprised Kamisama Kiss did such a long story so well, and I’m also surprised to see it continue from here (this would be a good stopping place).  But as of right now, I would believe this series capable of anything.  And it pulls it all off without denying me anything.  Julietta Suzuki, I will read everything else you write.

Kamisama Kiss 16

October 24, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2014 – 21+ volumes

Oh man, it got better.  I’m still not convinced that Nanami as “Yukiji” isn’t the one Tomoe is in love with, but that questions stays open-ended throughout this volume.

What I do know is that this is the best Nanami/Tomoe volume yet.  Hands down.  You will melt, if you bear any love for this series at all.

Somehow, I forgot that Nanami can’t kiss Tomoe in the past, lest he become her shinshi (again).  Even though that’s basically the plot of the series.  It comes up here, just in case you’re trying to imagine what goes on in the above scenario.

In terms of plot, Akura-oh takes an interest in (presumably) the real Yukiji, since he hears that Tomoe has a crush on her.  He orders her killed, and, after being warned of the plot, Nanami offers to act as a decoy in Yukiji’s wedding procession, so that she will face Akura-oh instead.  Well, it’s not Akura-oh that comes, and Nanami only escapes the slaughter because of her kami powers.  And Tomoe.


Tomoe basically spirits Nanami away, who is torn between being deliriously happy and realizing that Tomoe will need to fall in love with Yukiji in order for events in the present to work out.  So she keeps trying to set the two of them up.  But, of course, Tomoe is the one that slaughtered Yukiji’s village, so there’s not much chance she’ll want anything to do with him.  Hence my fervent wish that “Yukiji” is actually Nanami.  But after a short time with Tomoe, Nanami begins to be pulled back to the present, and she realizes she needs to find the fallen kami before that happens.

And she does!  Surprisingly, the fallen kami is really kind, and helps her out, but not in the way she was hoping for.

And… I need to read the next volume RIGHT NOW.

Kamisama Kiss 15

October 18, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2014 – 21+ volumes

Ahh, this series is so freaking cute!  I’ve probably started the last three reviews like that, and I’ve been binge-reading this on my week off.  But really, the novelty hasn’t worn off.  The current story arc is pretty serious, but there are so many cute, sentimental moments scattered throughout that you never feel too down reading it.

The story arc in the past continues.  Nanami has to nurse Tomoe, who’s taken the form of a child, but without Tomoe knowing who she is.  So she stays away from him when he wakes up, and tells him her name is Yukiji (the woman he’s in love with from the past).  This is obviously leading to Tomoe always loving Nanami, which I’m super-pumped about.

She almost confronts the fallen kami who cursed him, but gets pulled back to the present at the last minute.  Re-equipped, she goes back into the past and runs into Akura-Oh, who is a nasty, yet whimsical dude.  Somehow, it doesn’t occur to Nanami that this guy is wanted by the humans of the time because he is a horrible murderer until he actually murders someone.  Then she realizes he’s a horrible peach-eating sociopath that doesn’t understand humans.

Akura-Oh seems unlikely to harm her, and it appears that the story may be setting up Tomoe for rejection (or Yukiji to actually fall in love with him, but I’m voting for the former).  I’m wondering if this will keep going or conclude next volume.  She still has to deal with the fallen kami (the scene where she bartered for his name here was AWESOME), so I’m looking forward to that as well.

There are two short stories in the back that are TO DIE FOR.  They were released to celebrate the anime.  One is about Tomoe hiding a gift for Nanami, but she thinks it’s something that will somehow make her leave the shrine.  The second is about Nanami trying to hide some racy underwear her friend made her buy.  Tomoe was in particularly fine form at the end of this story.

Seriously.  I love the current story arc, but I really can’t wait until it comes back to the present and we get to see more of Tomoe being awesome.  I think I have three more volumes until I’m caught up to the current release?  I’ll be sad when I can’t read any more.

Kamisama Kiss 14

October 17, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2014 – 21+ volumes

Good stuff!  I wasn’t sure if I’d like the story that delved into Tomoe’s past, but so far I’m really digging it.

Mikage comes back to the shrine when Tomoe passes out due to a cursed tattoo – from a bargain he struck with a fallen Kami long ago, the curse will kill him in 7 days.  Mikage says there’s no way to break the curse without knowing the fallen kami that cast it, and Nanami is heartbroken.  So she decides to go to the past to find the fallen kami that cast the spell and demand the way to break it.

Mikage rightly points out that Nanami shouldn’t fool with the past – her first idea is to go back and prevent him from striking the deal with the fallen kami.  But if he doesn’t fall in love with Yukiji (the human woman from his past) and strike the deal, he never goes to the shrine, and Nanami will never meet him.  Nor will Mizuki be saved from his horrible lonely shrine.  Mizuki almost does it for her, casting himself back into the loneliness, because he knows she won’t be the same if Tomoe dies.  I feel bad for him.  He’s awesome, and he’d star in any other series except for this one, where we have Tomoe to root for instead.

So she goes back to the past in her modern clothes (a pet peeve of mine), and meets a delightful kami who just came into her powers.  After drawing inspiration from her during her darkest hour, she moves on and washes up in a village.  She’s almost burned as a yokai, until she’s saved by… Yukiji.

Tomoe is a terrible villain in the past, slayer of many innocents.  He’s not the same person Nanami knows from the present (I’d like to think a person can change in 500 years), and I’m curious to see how she’ll get to know such a bloodthirsty murderer, and also how she’ll escape being killed herself by random villagers who see her with the notorious criminal.

But I know Kamisama Kiss will do it, and make me so happy to it.  This is a much more serious story than the Himemiko wedding story that came before it (though that one was also pretty serious), so it’s not quite my favorite flavor of this series, but I still adore it, and can’t wait to see how this will turn out.  Especially after those last couple pages.

Kamisama Kiss 13

October 4, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2013 – 21+ volumes

The Himemiko wedding arc continues through all but the last chapter of the volume.  Which is fine, because it’s great!  I even wound up liking Nishiki more in this volume, since he didn’t do anything outright offensive.  The real villain here was his servant/mentor, Shiranui.  Who is fairly unrepentant at the end, but that’s what bad guys are for.

Nishiki was actually adorable here, making even my severe grudge disappear.  He seemed quite sympathetic to Himemiko’s loss, and decided he could marry a woman who felt so strongly about a lost love, since he’d never been in love before.  He wrote her a series of really sweet letters to cheer her up, and was very intent on getting her to smile, though not in the ostentatious joke kind of way.  And he was so sad when he couldn’t do it.

Meanwhile, Nanami has her body stolen, and Mizuki and her Shikigami are tracking it down.  Meanwhile, Tomoe “entertains” the imposter.  This “entertainment” gets rather… intense at the end of the book.  Tomoe is an evil, evil guy.  But that’s why he’s great.

This story just had so much going for it.  How Nishiki felt for Himemiko, how Shiranui felt for Nishiki, and the relationship between Himemiko and Kotaro.  Nanami/Tomoe takes a backseat once again, though Suzuki made up for it with the “entertainment” at the end of the story.

There’s an adorable scene where Himemiko gets her yokai body back.  Just more in the long list of good stuff this series does well.  Just… good characters who genuinely like each other, and are easy to empathize with.  Reading it is an absolute pleasure.

In the last chapter, we get down to the serious business of Tomoe and who his previous human lover was.  I’m ready.

Kamisama Kiss 12

September 20, 2015

Julietta Suzuki – Viz – 2013 – 21+ volumes

This series is the best!  It’s not often I praise volumes about side characters, but this is one of those times.  Tomoe is hardly in this one.  This is all about Himemiko and her cute romance with the human boy Kotaro.  She is currently head-over-heels, completely adorably in love with him, and disguised as a human.  He’s shy, and doesn’t talk to others well, but he’s really considerate, and seems to like her quite a bit.

On their way to visit Nanami, a fish yokai named Nishiki spirits away Nanami’s whole shrine, with her in it (but not the two shinshi), and puts it underwater in his swamp.  Nanami is held captive, and is meant to perform a wedding ceremony between Nishiki and Himemiko.  Aside from being kidnapped, she refuses to do it because Himemiko is her friend, in love with Kotaro, and Nishiki is clearly an enormous jerk.

Nishiki goes out to meet Himemiko, but runs into her in human form along with Kotaro.  He basically terrorizes them and badly injures Kotaro.  Himemiko can’t use her powers, since it would break her human disguise.

Ryu-oh shows up to defend them, mostly because Nishiki is insufferable and he wants to fight him.  But he later mediates a rather serious rift between Himemiko and Kotaro.

Meanwhile, Nanami has to deal with the spoiled brat Nishiki when he gets back to his swamp.  At the end of the volume, she’s basically trying to tell him how to be a decent creature.

Tomoe is sidelined.  He shows up at the very end, ready to bury Nishiki along with Himemiko.

Nishiki is pretty insufferable.  He’s a bit of a sneering villain at first, a rich boy who won’t even deign to step on the ground.  But we slowly learn he’s been conditioned to act that way, and when Nanami starts giving him lessons on how to treat people, he reacts.  I really liked that about him, and about this series.  I still hated him at the end, but he was “humanized” quite a bit, which was an amazing thing for such an unpleasant character.

And in case I didn’t emphasize this enough earlier, Himemiko and Kotaro are ADORABLE.  I was a little worried about Himemiko possibly being too overbearing, since she spoke of a wedding that Kotaro seemed to be unaware of (I don’t recall their story from earlier in the series), but seeing them together in this volume was great.  They would clearly do anything for each other.  Even just little things, like moral support or getting  drink because you thought the other person might be thirsty.

I really do enjoy the light touch in this series, and it makes me happy when I can enjoy an arc that has nothing to do with the main characters like this.  That’s the mark of a good series.