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Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki

So, I have been trying to catch up on my manga reading. It's been slow going as I have not had a lot of free time lately, but I did catch up on Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki.

Series Description:
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences T.
Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she's just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwittingly taken over his job as a local deity!

Publication Date: April 3, 2012 | Series: Kamisama Kiss (Book 8)
Things at the kami convention in Izumo aren’t going so well. Nanami tried to earn some respect by guarding death’s door while the keeper went off to party. But now she’s stuck in the land of the dead, and the residents seem to have a taste for new kami!

My Review:
This series is a bit on the strange side, but it is entertaining. My first thought is if you are homeless and a strange man you've just given assistance too asked you back to his home, the answer would be a resounding no. Nanami is a little on the naive side, though, and with no where else to go, follows him. She's been duped, however. Once she reaches the shrine, he abandons her and she is left with all his responsibilities as the local deity,or kami, of the shrine. She has also inherited his shinshi, Tomoe, who was once a wild fox demon, but now he is the protector of the kami and guardian of the shrine.

Nanami is less than brilliant as the new kami of Mikage shrine. She has no abilities to speak of, but she is enthusiastic and compassionate to anyone in need. Her efforts are ineffectual at first, but through perseverance, she actually starts to get the hang of things. Along the way, she helps humans and other spiritual beings and has quite a collection of beings she can count as friends, other kami and demons alike. She has matures enough that she is invited to attend the Kamu Hakari, a convention of kami from all over Japan, but only if she can pass a test and beat the other contender for the last spot available at this years convention.

Tomoe is a bit of a stick in the mud. His previous kami abandoned the shrine 20 years ago and has been waiting for his former master to return home. Since humans live such a short time compared to other worldly beings, he is convinced they are flighty, inconstant and not worth his time. He is a typical nay-sayer. Nanami is trying to make a difference. She wants to bring more worshippers to the shrine. She wants to be the best kami she can be. Tomoe seems to shoot down all the ideas she has. She ignores him anyway and things always seem to work out. Matters are complicated further when Nanami she confesses her feelings to Tomoe, but he tells her he will never fall in love, especially with a human. Tomoe doesn't want her to go to the Kamu Hakari because he is afraid the other kami will make fun of her and give her a hard time. Not everyone wants her to attend.

In this volume, Nanami is at the convention. She has left Tomoe behind at the shrine and has taken instead another Shinshi of hers, Mizuki, the white snake. She is given the cold shoulder when she arrives from the majority of kami in attendance. They see her as unworthy and incapable of successfully carrying out the duties of a kami. They see her as useless. She is given a task, though, to close a rift in the barrier between the land of the living and the land of the dead where impurities are leaking out into the human world. When she arrives, a human is there with a band of yokai, or demons, who are trying to enter the land of the dead. The human, named Kirihito, is abducted by one of the yokai and taken into the lad of the dead where the yokai disintegrates. Nanami, in an effort to save Kirihito, goes in after him to bring him back to the land of the living. Nanami as a kami can get herself back to the human world, but she means to bring Kirihito back. She finds though, that Kirihito is not allowed to return to the world of the living as he is harboring a secret of his own. Can Nanami save him? Will she discover his secret? Will they return to the land of the living? Will Tomoe ever return her feelings? We'll just need to keep on reading.
Vol 9 is due out in June.

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