It seems like most volumes of Kamisama Kiss involve human kami Nanami traveling to a new land or meeting some strange yokai. Fortunately this is a plotline that Julietta Suzuki executes so well with both art and story, I don’t mind a bit. I would happily look at a Suzuki art book because I find her character designs so entertaining. I’ve noticed that her underwater characters are often particularly inspired, so there is a lot to like about this volume, which features some major romantic happenings not for Nanami but for her yokai acquaintance Himemiko of the Tatara swamp and her human boyfriend Kotaro.
Himemiko has only appeared to Kotaro in human form, but her secret is going to be tested when her childhood fiance arrives to cause problems. Nishiki is a prince of a neighboring swamp who has grown up arrogant and cut off from contact from most creatures. His solution to his upcoming wedding is to kidnap both Nanami and her shrine, leaving her cut off from Tomoe. Nishiki has a formal way of dressing, accessorized by a scaly headband and fins at the side of his head. When he finds Himemiko in human form she pretends to not know what he’s talking about because she still doesn’t want to reveal her non-human nature to Kotaro. Kotaro gets injured during a confrontation and the god of the sea Ryu-Oh appears again, with his toothy grin, eye patch, and attitude problem.
Nanami struggles with her shrine being trapped at the bottom of a swamp and attempts to get through to Nishiki. Her utter disregard for high court yokai etiquette starts to wear the arrogant Nishiki down towards the end of the volume. His royal mannerism have even cut himself off from his own people, who boggle when they are shown the slightest amount of regard from their ruler. Himemiko and Kotaro start dealing with the true nature of their relationship, even as Nishiki starts to thaw a little bit and begin to understand that he doesn’t know much about the nature of love. Nishiki’s character evolves throughout the volume, and it is always good to see Nanami cause change just simply by being herself.
Even if Nanami and Tomoe’s relationship isn’t resolved yet, it is nice to see things moving forward for the other human/yokai couple in the book. I’m going to look forward to see what happens next at the conclusion of this arc, and if there’s a happy ending for the swamp Princess and her human it will be very interesting to see how Tomoe and Nanami react to that development.