Title: Kamisama Kiss
Author: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volume 4 (ongoing), $9.99
Vintage: 2009 by Hakusensha in Japan, August 2, 2011 by Viz Media
Genre: Comedy, romance, supernatural
One normal afternoon, Nanami suddenly found herself homeless, kicked out of her house after her dad abandoned his debts. In a local park, she saved a stranger from a dog, and he offered her his home as a place to stay. Unfortunately, this “home” was really a shrine, and the man had passed on his role as the resident shrine deity to Nanami. With the help of her shinshi, the wild fox ayakashi Tomoe, Nanami must balance her duties as the shrine deity with her life as a normal high school student. Previously, the white snake shinshi Mizuki kidnapped Nanami to take her kamisama powers. Tomoe rescued her, but now Nanami is starting to have romantic feelings toward her shinshi. She has also been searching for a way to help people with her kamisama powers. When her classmate Ami Nekota professes feelings for the tengu Kurama, Nanami arranges for them to be alone so Ami can confess to Kurama. Tomoe does not approve, however, insisting that humans shouldn’t have or even want anything to do with yokai. Nanami continues to try and convince Tomoe that it’s OK to befriend humans, and even arranges for a girl to walk home with him, but Tomoe states that he has no need of anyone other than Nanami. Just hearing such words from him warms Nanami’s heart, even though she seems to know he’s just taking his duties as a shinshi seriously. Tomoe doesn’t seem to fully understand the predicament, until Kurama explains that Tomoe should be more careful with his words or he’ll cause Nanami to fall in love with him. However, as Nanami laments her lack of a boyfriend, her friends decide to encourage her to attract Tomoe’s attention. She decides to take him on a date, and drags him to an aquarium and onto a high observation deck for a romantic view of the city. Unfortunately, it’s quite clear that Tomoe is irritated about being dragged along, and once he realizes that Nanami is acting strangely, he gives her a little lecture about not falling in love with him, prompting Nanami to confess. Tomoe, thinking she’s being ridiculous, coldly brushes off her feelings, causing a heartbroken Nanami to reject him and order him not to touch her if he doesn’t like her. Nanami would prefer life moved on, but it’s hard for her to sort out her feelings with Tomoe is constantly by her side. Hoping to feel better, Nanami goes on a trip to the beach with her classmates, though it’s against Tomoe’s wishes. Mizuki, knowing a certain secret about Tomoe, agrees to go along to help protect Nanami. When one of Nanami’s friends gets taken under a large wave, Nanami desperately begs Tomoe to save her. Unfortunately, by stepping into the water, Tomoe has drawn the attention of the ruler of the sea, Ryu-oh-sama, whom he has been hiding from for quite some time. Five hundred and twenty-six years ago, Tomoe attacked Ryu-oh’s kingdom and stole his eye, and he has come to collect. He whisks Tomoe away, but agrees to return him to Nanami if she is able to recover his missing eye. With help from Mizuki, Nanami travels back in time to locate the missing eye, but things are not what they appear to be, and making good on this deal will be difficult. Mizuki’s intentions may not be completely pure, either.
Another charming volume of Kamisama Kiss. What’s nice here is that the story is becoming more of a romance, without actually becoming more of a romance. The elements were always there, and now they’re slowly growing, without overtaking the rest of the book. Nanami is handling it well, too. At first she moped around, depressed that Tomoe wouldn’t pay attention to her (at least in the way she wanted), and she even put on a ridiculous act to try and make him think she was cute. But by the end of this volume, she’s resolved (at least somewhat) her feelings and decided to be honest with herself even if Tomoe continues to reject her, and be more assertive rather than wait around for Tomoe to change. I’m not sure how it will work out, but I like a girl who doesn’t whine about some guy and mope around. As for Tomoe, through Nanami, we witness some interesting events in his past, including a beautiful girl that he was apparently in love with (an event which may have caused him to close off his heart). Her presence seems to have some connection with Mizuki as well, but it’s unclear so far. Speaking of Mizuki, it appears that he will become a main character, and perhaps serve as a catalyst for Nanami’s and Tomoe’s feelings. He is a bit of a masochist, though, apparently, so it should prove amusing. I can see a rather bizarre love triangle forming in the future. Nanami is still struggling to find a way to help people as a kamisama, and answer their prayers, but now she’ll have two experienced shinshis to guide her, so I imagine she’ll really start to grow in that regard, which I’m looking forward to.
Reminder: This week is the Fruits Basket Manga Moveable Feast. You can find the archive at The Manga Curmudgeon.
Review copy provided by Viz Media.