Kamisama Kiss Volume 2

Kamisama Kiss Volume 2 by Julietta Suzuki

One of the things I liked about the first volume of this series was the way Nanami still continued to be a normal teenage girl even after achieving accidental godhood and taking up residence at a shrine. I liked the way Nanami journeyed back to the real world briefly, so I was happy to see that she makes the attempt to return to high school. What prompts her to return is a combination of boredom and a typical teen girl crush, when it is announced that the popular goth rock idol Kurama has just enrolled at her high school. He’s known as “a fallen angel with black wings” but he’s actually another yokai after Nanami’s power. Suzuki continues to have witty character designs for her yokai characters. Kurama is drawn almost as a parody of visual kei artists with heavy eyeliner, pointed fingernails, and black feathers floating in the air around him. While Tomoe sends Nanami to school wearing a goofy cat-head scarf in order to hide her mark of godhood, Kurama soon finds her out. He finds Nanami fascinating because after her initial meeting, she doesn’t immediately fawn over him like the other girls. She’s able to quickly perceive that Kurama has a stuck-up personality and her crush promptly fades. It seems like Kurama is going to stick around for awhile so it looks like Kamisama Kiss is going to be more conventionally shoujo than Karakuri Odette, with the normal girl being the crush object of two cute non-human guys.

Nanami’s high school classmates are almost uniformly obnoxious. The annoying boy from the first volume shows up again, and everyone makes fun of Nanami for being poor, until Tomoe makes a dramatic appearance to defend her. The other main storyline in this volume had many of the yokai of the week qualities of the first volume, but it ended up being in service of Nanami and Tomoe’s relationship developing further. A bright and powerful goddess with a shrine in the sky is dismayed to find out that Tomoe is in service to a human, so she announces that she’s taking over Nanami’s shrine, striking Tomoe with a cartoonish hammer to regress him into a child-like body. Nanami is soon placed in the role of Tomoe’s caretaker even though she’s lost her mystical powers. Nanami is determined to stick with Tomoe because she thinks he’s her only family. Seeing the power dynamic between Nanami completely reverse was interesting. Now Tomoe is helpless without his powers and unable to be intimidating because he looks like a three-year-old. He becomes dependent on Nanami to help him survive in the human world.

Overall, while Kamisama Kiss doesn’t quite have the quirky qualities I enjoy so much about Karakuri Odette, it is still a better than average shoujo series. There are fewer funny moments, but Kurama’s parodic goth appearance shows that Suzuki’s sense of humor is still intact.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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