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January 15, 2016

Bento Bako Weekly: Kamisama Kiss volumes 11-13

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Written by: Kristin
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kamisamakiss11Title: Kamisama Kiss
Author: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volumes 11-13, $9.99
Vintage: 2012 by Hakusensha, 2012-2013 by Viz Media
Genre: Supernatural, romantic comedy

[Previous volume reviews, and it turns out I’ve covered 11 before, oops.]

OK, I am really behind on my manga reading, so I’m trying to catch up on a couple of series. This one’s gonna be short and sweet (or so I say, but it never turns out that way). Three volumes in one! This was supposed to go up Wednesday morning, but I wasn’t feeling well early in the week. Still, better late than never! Especially for one of my favorite series.

The New Year is swift approaching, and Tomoe needs to visit the upcoming toshigami’s shrine to obtain an ofuda (sort of a protective scroll). Nanami insists on going along, but to reach the toshigami, they mast each pass through a gate that will show them and the toshigami the last twelve years of their lives. Tomoe and Mizuki exit quickly, but Nanami takes so long Tomoe gets worried and goes in after her. While inside the gate, Tomoe is able to see Nanami’s past, and witnesses the tragic events that formed her life. Tomoe vows to protect this innocent child so that she can keep smiling, but he has difficulty reconciling that child with the woman Nanami has become. Still, this rare insight into Nanami’s past makes him grow fonder of her. To further prepare the shrine for the New Year, Tomoe travels to the Other World to buy wood to make proper ofuda. As usual, Nanami follows and swiftly finds herself in trouble. After nearly getting stomped on by a giant, Tomoe insists she wait in one place, and leaves her with a protective leaf. A fortune telling rabbit offers Nanami a fortune in exchange for the leaf, and Nanami is finally able to see what Tomoe thinks of her – a precious bud waiting to bloom. Without the leaf, however, Nanami finds herself the target of some yokai, but to Tomoe’s surprise, she manages to get out of trouble all on her own.

kamisamakiss12Himemiko is anxious to wed her human love, Kota. But a swamp prince, Nishiki-sama, insists that it’s time for Himemiko to marry him, and whisks Nanami and her shrine away to his swamp in preparation. He even tries to whisk Himemiko away, but doesn’t recognize her in the human form she has taken in order to spend time with Kota. In their attempt to escape, Kota is injured, but Ryu-oh arrives just in time to fend off Nishiki for them. Nanami isn’t thrilled, and marches to Nishiki’s palace to give him a piece of her mind. Startled by Nanami’s forceful nature and total disregard for his status as royalty, Nishiki allows her words to worm their way into his mind. Her insistence that he is basically a spoiled, selfish brat that no one would love causes him to rethink his approach. He’s used to being treated a certain way, and given everything he wants, but deep down he isn’t a bad person, and with Nanami’s words ringing in his ears, he slowly starts to change. Meanwhile, Kota discovers that Himemiko isn’t human, and feels he’s been deceived. Confused and heartbroken, he tells Himemiko to leave. But after a pep talk from Ryo-oh, he decides to chase after her, realizing he cares about her no matter what she is. Back at the swamp, Nanami decides to take the overly sheltered Nishiki onto land and show him how many wonderful things exist outside of the water.

While out exploring, Nishiki’s servant, Shiranui, locates his master and sends Nanami away. Shortly after, Nanami reappears to Himemiko and Tomoe, who have arrived ath Nishiki’s palace, and is in full, enthusiastic support of Himemiko and Nishiki’s marriage. It’s painfully obvious this is not actually Nanami – this Nanami drinks a lot, is eager to marry off Himemiko and Nishiki, and insists Himemiko forget about Kota. All things the real Nanami would never do or say. Still, a now more mature Nishiki better understands Himemiko’s feelings, and since she believe Kota no longer wants her anyway, she agrees to marry him. As usual, Tomoe is too dense to notice something is wrong, but Mizuki does, and sets off to find the real Nanami. With the wedding about to begin, Kota wanders through the palace in search of Himemiko, while Mizuki finds Nanami has been turned into a frog, and they are both trapped by the spirit who has possessed Nanami’s body. Kota butts in just in time, and he and Himemiko are able to leave the swamp. But it takes the false Nanami to plead with Tomoe to leave the shrine and run away with her for him to finally realize she’s not the real deal. After he scares the wits out of the spirit, it leaves Nanami’s body and the real Nanami is able to return. The volume wraps up with some foreboding information – Tomoe’s growing feelings for Nanami have activated some form of curse, from a vow that he made that he no longer remembers.

kamisamakiss13Kamisama Kiss may not make me laugh as hard as some other series, but it’s still amusing, fun, and very entertaining. I love almost everything about it. In these three volumes, Nanami’s influence is really starting to show through, with various characters making some personal progress. Himemiko and Kato are the obvious focus, although Ryo-oh is the one who really gives Kato the push he needs. That said, it’s Nanami who has helped Ryo-oh cool down some; without her he likely never would have paid Kato any attention at all. In general her vibrancy and passion bring some life and light to everyone around her, even all powerful yokai who normally wouldn’t bother with humans. Nishiki’s progress from selfish spoiled brat to actual considerate gentleman is almost entirely due to Nanami’s influence. Shiranui cares about his prince, but he also coddles and shelters him to an excessive degree. Nanami almost literally punches that right out of Nishiki’s head. And finally, in volume 13, Tomoe’s past is slowly coming to light. Or well, it’s resurfacing in his own mind, since certain parts of his past were blocked somehow (and Nanami is already partially aware of those memories). There’s been hints dropped here and there, about the human he was once in love with, but it looks like the truth of what Tomoe did in his past will finally be revealed.

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net
@girlg33k_kris

Volumes provided by Viz Media.

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