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Kannazuki No Miko 1-4
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Having only previously watched the first two episodes of Kannazuki No Miko, I felt it was high time to make a start on the series as a whole.

Brief Plot Summary
Himeko is a girl who lives happily in a quiet village, she's just an average everyday (if a little ditzy) girl. In secret she is best friends with the most popular girl in the school, Chikane. The two meet for secret meetings in a rose garden (I've come to the conclusion that rose gardens in anime and manga are totally different to the ones in reality, and exist only as a meeting place for lesbians), and share picnics in the sun. Now it's fairly obvious even from their first scene together that Chikane is head over heels in love with Himeko. While Himeko herself may be interested deep down, it's not something she really considers much. Now meet Souma, Souma is the most popular guy in school. He's strong, wealthy, and a genuinely nice person. Like Chikane he is also completely in love with Himeko. You see how the plot is set up now for your basic love triangle? Well forget that as on the day of both Himeko and Chikane's birthdays things go a little wrong. Enter the Orochi Seven! Dark followers of an evil god who pilot mechs in order to destroy two shrine maidens who can defeat him, yep you guessed it these shrine maidens are Chikane and Himeko. The twist comes in the form that Souma is an Orochi, however his love for Himeko makes him resist the urge to kill her and pilot his Orochi mech to defend Himeko and their home. Cue the start of the story! As Chikane and Himeko learn their destiny, Souma pilots his mech alongside them to battle the other Orochi. But will Chikane and Souma's feelings for Himeko cause problems, angst and drama? You betcha they will!

Kannazuki No Miko is over the top in pretty much every way, the first episode in particular even feels cheesy at times its so ridiculous the speed of the plot and the excessive nature of everything going on. But it works! It works really well. Scenes such as seeing Souma battle for Himeko in his retro mech while Chikane gives her a "lesbian CPR birthday present" at the robots feet seem to be the type of thing you'd expect to be near the end of the anime not in the first episode they seem so dramatic. The fact that Chikane loses control of her feelings so early on (and the fact that I know what happens later in the story) does give the story quite a dark feeling. You know that all is not well in Chikane's emotions and because this is displayed almost from the get-go it builds up tension significantly. While the pacing seemed a bit too quick to begin I eventually felt that it worked just right for the story.

The episodes work to a simple but effective formula from the first episode onward (at least for the first three). There's sexual tension between Chikane and Himeko, Himeko angsts about her feelings for Chikane being "weird" (she's evidently very confused and in denial), The Orochi attack, Souma saves Chikane and Himeko, Himeko looks adoringly at Souma, Chikane is filled with anger. By the fourth episode the villains have decided they should target Souma instead so psycho green haired bishy goes for him leaving the fourth episode on a cliffhanger. The formula is entertaining and I found myself looking forward to the different sections of the episode, but the enemies plans changed enough by the fourth episode to bring in variety aswell.

The relationship between Chikane and Himeko is by far the best part of the anime for me and while it's far from the deepest thing in the world it's still interesting to see develop. As I previously stated by the end of episode 1, Chikane pretty much kisses Himeko when she's supposed to be reviving her instead. Himeko is slightly conscious through this, but dismisses it the next day as "something Chikane would never do". Chikane herself feels very guilty about it (pouring buckets of cold water over herself while she angsts) and is ashamed about letting her emotions run away with her. Himeko moves in with Chikane soon enough (after her dorm is destroyed in the first Orochi attack), and this allows Chikane's obsession to develop more as she can be around Himeko all the time. What's also interesting is the fact that Himeko is obviously attracted to Chikane too, but when she finds herself drawn to her she merely dismisses it as "weird" or justifies it somehow. It's certainly not the most healthiest of situations to be in for either of them as Chikane is getting more and more obsessive and Himeko more and more confused. It's fairly obvious by this point things will go over the edge eventually and while Souma is a nice well meaning guy (and seemingly oblivious to Chikane's attraction to Himeko) his actions towards the end of episode four push Chikane even more.

So what you have in the first four episodes of Kannazuki No Miko is a romance show with some serious issues brooding in its love triangle, with a bit of mecha and action thrown in on the side. The relationships are portrayed fairly well, the mecha action is fairly exciting but the angst and drama is where things really hit home well. It's not the best show in the world but so far Kannazuki No Miko is thoroughly enjoyable.
posted by Mangaminx On Thursday, April 13, 2006  
  • On Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    If you like Chikane's and Himeko's relationship now you will love end of the series. Last 2-3 episodes made rather powerful impact to me even with mechas i usually don't like.

  • On Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    I question if their relationship is a healthy one, but I certainly like watching as its interesting to see them interact. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the series for sure!

  • On Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Anonymous Zyl said…

    I agree that the Chikane x Himeko relationship is the key. Though I thought the other stuff (gokigenyou, miko and mecha) were really add-on fluff. Fascinating to hear Ayako Kawasumi in the Chikane role.

    Personally found the first half of the series to be hugely grating, something to be endured in order to get the payoff of the finale which I loved for its OTT angst-ridden emotional impact. I also do think this series helped to attract more attention to the yuri genre - even though it's not the best representation of it (cf. MariMite).

  • On Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • On Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Zyl- Im actually enjoying the series quite a bit even at this early stage, but if (as the consensus seems to be here) it gets better as it goes along then I may adore the series by the end.

    I can certainly believe it brought attention to the yuri genre aswell. While MariMite is undoubtedly the superior show, with far deeper relationships KnM is infinately more accessible to the "mainstream" as a whole. This is based largely on the fact it has a lot of action, mecha and slight bits of fanservice.

  • On Thursday, 27 April, 2006, Blogger earsofdoom said…

    I'd really like to thank you for blogging about this anime correctly, ive seen so many blog's made by peaple solely for the purpose of bashing this serie's. usually becouse it's shoujo-ai (I think it's kinda sad that they can't understand girl's can fall in love with other girl's) i really felt for Himeko and Chikane allot through the serie's (mostly Chikane) and even shed a few tear's. I look forward to reading your other blog's when the rest of the series is released. im curious who are you rooting for? (me, I was a raving Chikane fan from start to finish)

  • On Sunday, 30 April, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Much as I don't think Chikane very obsessive view of Himeko is healthy, Im still rooting for Chikane purely as she is more interesting than Souma. Don't get me wrong Souma is a nice guy, but hes just a little *yawn*

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