Kamisama Kiss (Kamisama hajimemashita) ran on TV Tokyo from October 2012 to late December 2012 with 31 episodes. I didn’t stumble upon its magic until 2017. I have also not read the manga (no need to yell at me), but maybe someday I will. It is a sweet and charming anime that is definitely the kind that I’m a complete sucker for. I like my anime’s a bit on the cute, fantasy driven, or slice-of-life side, but I’m no snob. I won’t turn my nose up at a good Shonen anime.
Kamisama Kiss centers around the main protagonist, Nanami Momozono, a seventeen year old girl who has just become homeless when her dad abandons her suddenly to escape debt collectors and his gambling addiction. She is left crying on a park bench when she notices a man up in a tree, trying to escape a dog who is barking at him. He is terrified of dogs, and Nanami chases the dog away. The man is grateful and offers her his house as a token of gratitude, but Nanami is to care for the home if she is to live there. She immediately takes him up on the offer, and he disappears as mysteriously as he appeared. She soon learns that his home is an old shrine, and by taking him up on his offer, she has unknowingly become the new god (an Earth deity to be exact) of the shrine. She is soon to meet all kinds of Yokai that inhabit the shrine along with its familiar, Tomoe, a fox Yokai who is very irritated that she is the new god. He reluctantly makes a new contract with Nanami to become her familiar. Nanami soon takes being an Earth god very seriously, and she strives to learn and be the best god she can be.
Tomoe is very distrustful of others, and he is often condescending to Nanami. He finds her awkwardness and immaturity a bit boring and vexing. He soon finds himself in very uncomfortable and irritating situations in order to help Nanami. For instance, going to school as her, so she doesn’t fail when she must learn her godly responsibilities back at the shrine. Nanami, of course, finds herself falling in love with Tomoe, but he has no patience for it because he feels love between humans and Yokai to be taboo. He soon cannot deny his developing feelings and becomes more and more sympathetic and protective of Nanami.
You’re probably thinking this sounds over the top or too “touchy feely”. I can assure you it’s not. This is probably one of my favorite anime series I’ve ever watched if not my favorite. I’ve watched it in full twice now. The animation is beautiful, and the story is near perfect as well. Not to mention the theme music for both seasons are total bangers, especially the first season. Don’t fast forward through the intros for the first few times while watching it. You might have the songs stuck in your head for a few months afterward. I know I still do. The show has just the right amount of angst where it’s not too “eye roll inducing”, and it’s balanced out with action, lore, humor, and heart. Angst can be a useful tool if used sparingly and properly. It’s like falling into a vat of that bittersweet, syrupy ache and butterflies in the stomach feeling. The unrequited love makes your heart ache but in a way that is easy to bear and makes you really know you’re alive. This anime is that dark, bittersweet syrup. Just let it ooze through your veins and into your brain. Don’t even try to fight it.
Kamisama Kiss is just a really nice watch. You’ll laugh out loud and constantly want to know what happens next. The relationship between Nanami and Tomoe is really fun to watch blossom, and Nanami’s struggles with becoming a god and diving into her past are harrowing to watch. While she is learning, it is sweet to see Tomoe’s feelings change and his opinion of her change when he realizes how strong and mature she really is. It’s extremely easy to binge as well and is still streaming on Hulu now. There is a four part mini series called “Kako-hen” that aired in 2015 and still may be available on YouTube; it’s very important to watch all of those after the main series as well as the episodes wrap things up nicely and have an even more satisfying ending than the original series. This anime series is more than worth it. Go check it out!
When I’m not busy daydreaming or having an existential crisis, I can usually be found watching a movie or TV, listening to music or a podcast, or with my nose in a book.