Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 1
Nanami’s father skips town for gambling debts which is quickly followed by their home being repossessed. Homeless, Nanami jumps on the offer of a place to live from Mikage, the strange man she rescued from being chased up a tree by a dog. Only, that wasn’t the only thing Mikage gave to Nanami. When she arrives at Mikage’s home, she is surprised to discover that it is a rundown shrine and she is to be the new local kami, or god. Onikiri and Kotetsu, the shrine attendants, instantly accept Nanami because she has been given Mikage’s tochigami, or god powers. However, Tomoe, a fox yokai (demon) and Mikage’s familiar, is distrustful and hurt that Mikage has abandoned them once again and refuses to serve his new human master, though eventually both Tomoe and Nanami accept each other with maybe a slightly closer understanding of the other’s feelings and strengths.

While volume one serves primarily as an introduction to the story, with Nanami butting heads with an obstinate Tomoe while she learns her new responsibilities, there is a nice side story as Nanami decides to meddle in a romance between Himemiko, a catfish-like swamp deity, and a human boy — A decision that Tomoe is against because it breaks all rules of mononoke/human relationships. Not knowing the rules of her new position causes some trouble as several mononoke find a human with kami powers a tasty treat. This results in incidences where Tomoe must come to her rescue. The adventures continue in volume two with the introduction of a jealous rival, sky god Narukami, for possession of Tomoe as a familiar. Also present is Kurama, a crow Tengu, who is an idol attending Nanami’s school. Tension exists between Kurama and Tomoe over Kurama’s relationship with Nanami, but Kurama shows friendship when he allows Nanami and an itty-bitty Tomoe to hide out at his place when Nanami loses her tochigami.

The first two volumes had very little violence and nothing more inappropriate than a kiss. The series uses several Japanese terms to refer to the various supernatural creatures in the story, but there is a glossary in the back of the book to help ease confusion. The illustrations are depicted in a traditional modern shojo manga style that will appeal to female readers. However, while there are definitely hints of romance (it is a relationship shrine), the romance is not in your face as it is more about the growth of the characters. This series would appeal to readers of Inuyasha and Pig Bride.

Kamisama Kiss, vol. 1-2
by Julietta Suzuki
Vol. 1 ISBN: 9781421536385
Vol. 2 ISBN: 9781421536392
VIZ Media LLC, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: 13+

  • Jennifer Hopwood

    Past Reviewer

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