Oh, my, my. Another romantic comedy; what a surprise. Well, I can’t help myself, although this one has an interesting premise to start out with.
“Kamisama Hajimemashita” (or Kamisama Kiss”) tells the tale of Nanami Momozono (our wide-eyed maiden up there). She has a hard life. Dad has run out on his gambling debts and on his family as well. Mocked by classmates and eventually evicted from her apartment, as she is destitute, she rescues a man who is terrified by dogs (even though the dog was nothing to be afraid of). Mikage, the rescued man, to show his thanks for her help and assist with her plight, lets her stay at his house, but there are provisos. Hidden provisos, as is always the case. Even a starving man will eat scorpions.
Mikage is actually an Earth Deity. Tired of the whole responsibility of being one, he transfers all his power to her, so now Nanami is the new Earth Deity. This sadly ticks off the familiar that resides at the house (which is actually a shrine), Tomoe. He is a rather sour and cranky type of fox familiar (who you should easily find up there) and adamantly refuses to accept this new boss, even though the other members of the household (Onikiri and Kotetsu) have no problem with her.
The story tells three tales:
Nanami’s attempts to learn what it means to be an Earth Deity
Tomoe’s attempts to rid himself of this interloper ‘new boss’
Their growing relationship, despite their vast differences.
As far as a familiar goes, Tomoe stinks a bit. Well, he stinks a whole lot. He offers no help, gripes and complains about everything she does (and it’s always wrong) and would rather sit around all day and drink his sake than be more useful to her. Nanami, meanwhile, still has to attend school WHILE being the Earth Deity. This also does not sit too well with the other deities that come a-calling. They were expecting Mikage, not this mere slip of a girl who knows less than zero about being a deity. But what she may lack in practical knowledge, she makes up for in sheer will and determination.
This is a ‘late tumble’ show, in the fact that both come to understand, deep in the show’s run, how much they….dare I say it….really love each other, but she’s too uncertain to admit it and he’s too proud to cop to it.
You also get the feeling that the other deities are either too arrogant or too unforgiving. That’s the problem with being immortal (or close to it) in that when you make an enemy for life, it really is a very long hatred and you have millennia to work up your revenge, like the Dragon King Sukuna or Naurkami, the Sky Deity. I would suggest they go into therapy, but who knows how long it might take to get them to see the errors of their ways. And they might always zap their psychologist.
However, Nanami’s kind nature shows through time and again. She rescues a snake from being harmed and later discovers that it is Mizuki, a snake familiar, and he plots all kinds of ways to have her marry him.
Overall, there is something nicely off-beat about the series. The course of true love never runs smooth, but this is like White Water Rafting on a Grade Six River: for all practical purposes, unmanageable – even suicidal. But Nanami is rarely deterred and plunges in to help her friends in times of dire need, doing what needs to be done. It is wonderful to watch how Tomoe defrosts, but stills tries to put up his façade of independence and brusqueness. And with the coupler end (and a pair of OVAs out there), this show is far from being over.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (It is a good-looking show)
Plot 7 (It does bog down in parts)
Pacing 7 (Hard to fully predict)
Effectiveness 8 (As it builds its story nicely)
Conclusion 6 (It’s a coupler point)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (It’s both sweet and sour)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Where’s Mikage?