Kamisama Kiss Volume 20 by Julietta Suzuki
This volume starts dealing more with the issues that inevitably arise when a human and an immortal start developing romantic feelings for each other. It starts out with a conclusion of the class trip storyline, as Tomoe is able to observe what Nanami is like when hanging out with other human girls. When he goes on an errand to an island where he met a human kami many years before, he gets a vivid reminder of how short Nanami’s lifespan is.
Tomoe decides that he has to become human, and he wants that transformation to happen immediately. Nanami thinks that it is good that Tomoe is trying to get closer to humanity through some excessive studying, but she thinks that it won’t happen for several more years. When Tomoe gets his hands on some medicine that might have the power to transform him, she’s worried that he’ll die in a normal human lifespan, but he doesn’t want to remain immortal and watch her age and die. They fight a bit about this, and Tomoe goes off with his usual impulsive nature and takes the medicine, only to turn into a fox instead of a human.
This funny and sad situation brought on by mystical forces is the type of plot that Kamisama Kiss excels at, because it is hilarious to see Tomoe’s body language and cranky attitude manifest while in the form of an adorable fox, but it is also quite distressing that Nanami and Tomoe are being kept apart again. The appearance of Kirihito towards the end of the volume points out that there are going to be even more struggles ahead for the couple.
One of the things I like most about this series are the quiet moments of character interactions, when Tomoe contrasts his memories the human kami he met as a little girl with the old woman she’s become, she mentions that the day she spent with him was one of her fondest memories. Nanami can’t help herself from hugging Tomoe when he’s in fox form, but she’s struck by his body language showing that he’s incredibly unhappy with his unexpected transformation. These types of moments give Kamisama Kiss more depth than the typical shoujo series, and have me happily reading every volume.