I used to read this years ago when it was still ongoing, and this past week, a friend mentioned that it was finally completed. I didn’t intend to do another shoujo, but I used to love this series! I wanna know how it ends!! So, here we go!
(image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamisama_Kiss)
I don’t own this manga, so I will be reading fan translations online.
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
Plot: 1/2 star. I thought the plot for this manga was Nanami becoming a strong land god, with her developing relationship with Tomoe being secondary. After the Izumo conference ended, though, all her land god training seemed to stop, and the focus of the story became almost exclusively about her and Tomoe’s relationship. Other things happened, sure, but that was the main focus for the entire story. The entire land god plot line seems like it got left behind and forgotten. The story of Nanami and Tomoe’s relationship did get told, though, so I will give this half a star.
Art: 1 star. I love the art in this. It’s a bit shaky at the start of the story, but most series tend to be that way. I love everyone’s expressions (Tomoe’s expression when he sees Nanami in chapter 108 was so heartbreaking; it conveyed so much unguarded emotion, and it still touches me to my core! There’re so many incredible expressions throughout this manga, but I had to point that one out specifically). The transitions are easy to follow, and all the character designs are eye catching. The difference in demons, and all the little background characters are so fun to look at, too!
Story Progression: 1 star. I think this story progressed well. There weren’t any slow parts, really, and though things kept happening, it didn’t feel too busy. I loved reading this because there was always something new going on; I even took a day off work just to finish this manga xD Despite everything going on, it didn’t feel overly busy. Each new event was its own story element that made sense and built my interest rather than overwhelming me. There were some lore and character interactions that bothered me, but those never hindered the story. I’ll talk about those more when I go over the Enjoyment section.
Genre: 1 star. This manga is definitely romance (comedy) and supernatural. Supernatural could be replaced with fantasy, but I think they’re fairly interchangeable here. A lot of the scenes are little comedic moments, so that definitely seems to fit.
Enjoyment: 1/2 star. I hate to give this only half of a star. I LOVED reading this series; I was obsessed with it while I was reading it! But… I ran into some translation problems at the end that really made a lot of things not make sense. Unfortunately (possibly) because of that, the ending didn’t sit well with me. I did cry during the wedding! It was beautiful and seeing everyone again was a delight! But when it was all said in done, I just sat back and went… huh. (rants are about to happen)
Why did Tomoe and Nanami have to leave the shrine? As plain humans, they can’t be in the demon’s world -aka, the mystical world of the shrine. Okay, I can live with that. So, why did they go back after only 10 years? I thought their promised return would be at the end of their lives where they came to make an offering and there’d be this heartbreaking reunion for Mizuki, or even to pray for their child’s impending marriage, or you know, little moments like that! But instead they can come back after just 10 years and stay indefinitely? Then what was the point of them leaving?! They’d be -at most- in their 30s; they have a lot of life left as humans! And what was the deal with Mizuki and Mamoru? As a plain human, Mizuki couldn’t stay Nanami’s familiar, right? Or did he? Could he, why or why not? Did he ever make a contract with Mikage? And Mamoru! I thought he was going to become a plain monkey, but I didn’t see him in the human world. Did I overlook him? Would he return to being a shikigami back at the shrine?
Also, Akura-ou. I loved that he became a little girl; that’s a disturbingly good fit for him personality wise xD But I thought the deal was that his soul would rest within Ako until more potion fell in 100 years, and then he could be re-incarnated. Or did they use the last 2 drops of potion to re-incarnate him early? I thought Izanami wanted to wait for some reason?
And can we talk about the endings for other characters? What was Ami’s life? Did Kurama go to get her soul at the end as he promised? Would she even still remember him? What was her life like? And speaking of Kurama! If tengu are supposed to stay celibate on the mountain and there are only men, how did Kurama’s father have him? How are children born?! And Himemiko and Kotarou! I want to know their story!! Did she have the baby? What did the baby look like? Was Kotarou allowed to just stay as a human in her swamp with her? Was there some kind of revolt?
And back to Mikage shrine, did visitors ever come back? We literally only saw 1 during the entire manga, and her back went out by chapter 15 (I think).
And can I finally talk about Furball? Why in blue blazes did he ever tell TOMOE that Akura-ou was off to kill Yukiji? I understand why he told Akura-ou where to find Yukiji; that was his assignment, but why did he then tell Tomoe that Akura-ou was finally moving? And on the mountain of fire (this might’ve been translation errors), why did Yatori -after getting Akura-ou’s body- offer it to Tomoe? His 500 year goal, thrown away in an instant. Was he trying to trick Tomoe? Did he really only care about the body and not the person of Akura-ou? Then why try to give it away!? Everything about Furball bothered me, honestly. How could he say he never talked or spoke up, but then he’s literally the driving force behind Akura-ou and Tomoe’s split, leading to Yukiji’s death, Akura-ou’s death, and almost Tomoe’s death. But no one recognizes him as the “mask” on Yatori? He seems like the follower Akura-ou talked with the most (Tomoe wasn’t a follower), who lived the longest, and came back the most, but Akura-ou doesn’t remember him?
The army of the war god didn’t do anything at the mountain. I don’t think they were ever even drawn. Kuromaro sewed Nanami and Tomoe’s past together -which was incredible-, and she faded away after her contract was complete, as she said she would. So, why didn’t she pass on? What was the point in bringing her back at the end? I would’ve loved if she and Ookuninushi could’ve formed some sort of relationship, or if she at least agreed to become a god again. (Also), she decided to step down from being a god (didn’t get cast out, literally just decided to stop being a god) because she felt too separated from mortals? So instead she stayed secluded, bringing death and darkness to the area of any who called on her, and only managed to bring 1 fate together, and then came back even lonelier? Loneliness seems like a very recurring theme in this manga, but in Kuromaro’s case, it just didn’t make sense to me. It was tragic almost to the point of being over exaggerated.
There were just a lot of unanswered questions or things that didn’t make much sense to me. I’m sorry if my questions have upset anyone else, but this world was so amazingly crafted in the beginning, and it just felt so unfulfilling to see so many things left unexplored or unexplained.
Because of all this, I clearly can’t put this manga on the Recommended list, but I enjoyed it all the same, and I liked the lore and world building. I think the time travel stuff was handled well, and I enjoyed the flip flopping to the past. I think this story may’ve gotten away from the mangaka, but if they make more manga, I’ll definitely look it up someday =)
To read the start of my full review, please click here.