SHE’S KISSING HER OLD LIFE GOODBYE
What They Say
Nanami the Land God is back with the handsome fox familiar Tomoe at her side! After a rough start as a newly ordained god, she’s finally finding her land legs in the world of gods, demons, and spirits. However, not everything is going magically well; Nanami’s feelings for Tomoe are growing stronger, but Tomoe goes from hot to cold faster than the weather god! And he’s not the only moody demon. The flowers in Kurama’s mountain home are dying, and the person behind the wilting wildlife is none other than his brother Jiro!
Nanami’s got a lot on her place. When the going gets tough, will this green goddess have what it takes to save the day!
Season 2 for Kamisama Kiss, or Kamisame Hajimemashita, continues going strong with excellent dubs and subs. While I do like the dubs better, I think the subs tend to make more sense in this series for the simple reason that this anime is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and traditions. That being the case, the subtitles themselves are just as problematically incorrect as the dubs, so unless you know Japanese, you’re still not getting the full experience. That being the case, the voice acting for both versions is excellently done, and while the dubs do change the original meaning of some things to match a more western aesthetic, I still believe the dubbing quality is excellent.
As expected by Akitaro Daichi, the director who brought us Fruits Basket, the second season of Kamisama Kiss contains the same strong directing as the previous one. The artwork remains mostly unchanged from the first season. I appreciate the consistency since it means everything feels familiar. The colors of the series still made me think of watercolors and pastels, still had the same flowery aesthetic, and still retained the same high-quality. The BluRay also has great definition and there was never a time where I worried about the video suddenly cutting out or the quality distorting.
Featured prominently on the front cover of the BluRay sleeve are the main cast, Nanami and Tomoe. Nanami is hugging Tomoe’s arm. The side characters and members of Nanami’s harem—Kurama and Mizuki—are also on the front cover. There are also three other characters: Mikage, the mysterious god who turned Nanami into a land god, Nanami’s Shikigami called Mamoru and the host god of the divine assembly Ookuninushi. The characters are offset by pink and purple floral background. The contrast between the characters and background makes them stand out all the more. The lighter pink of the front gradiates into a darker purple on the back, where Nanami and Tomoe are once again featured above the story description.
With soft music to add ambiance and a scene from the anime playing in the background, the menu offers all the standard selections from playing each disc from the beginning, selecting episodes, changing the settings, and looking up the extras.
Like the first season, season 2 comes with episode commentaries, which were a lot more prominent during the time when this anime came out than they are now. There are also the textless theme songs, U.S. trailers, and trailers from Japan. The most interesting are still the episode commentaries, in which we here the main cast and director for this series discussing the anime, characters, and cracking jokes.
Kamisama Kiss season2 begins with Nanami Momozono preparing for the new school term when she is visited by Otohiko, who invites her to the annual gathering of the gods in Izumo called the Divine Assembly—but she must first pass a test, which is to raise a shikigami in seven days. Tomoe is not fond of the test or her going to Izumo. It is hard to tell if he’s overprotective or just really dutiful. I feel like he has become even more standoffish in season 2 than he was in season 1. Meanwhile, Nanami’s love for Tomoe has become even stronger than before.
While Nanami might love Tomoe, she does not wish to rely on him all the time now that her divine powers have increased. I approve of her desire to do things herself. Her wanting to not rely on Tomoe for everything shows she’s growing into her role as a land god, but of course, she still ends up troubling Tomoe when she’s attacked by a dark presence in the library. After she is injured, Otohiko tells her to concentrate on raising her shikigami, which is a monkey she later names Mamoru. Later on, when Tomoe is being attacked by the dark presence, Mamoru uses its purifying ability to vanquish the dark presence, allowing Nanami to save Tomoe instead of being saved herself.
There is some interesting byplay between these two characters, especially now that Nanami is taking to her role as a land god. Another factor has also been added to this equation: Mizuki. When Nanami is determined to attend the Divine Assembly, Mizuki and Tomoe play a game of shogi to determine who should go with her. This season has a much stronger focus on Tomoe and his inner monologues as well, allowing us to delve much deeper into his mind than we did in the previous season. While he remains standoffish, the that we are allowed to see his innermost thoughts helps us make sense of why he is the way he is.
As the series continues, we see how far Nanami has become a land god. The first season has Nanami doing her best to come into her powers. She’s naive, unseasoned, and lacks resolve. Season two changes this. Instead of showing Nanami as an inexperienced land god, it shows Nanami coming into her powers as a leader. This is shown during the Divine Assembly when Ookuninushi, lord of the Grand Shrine and host of the Divine Assembly, personally asks Nanami to go to Yomotsu Hirasak—the portal to the Netherworld—for two days to prevent any yokai from passing through. Meanwhile, poor Tomoe is stuck pretending to be her at school. I felt pretty bad for him since Nanami chose Mizuki to go with her to the Divine Assembly instead.
After the Divine Assembly ends, another problem occurs when a child crow tengu named Botanmaru comes to their city looking for Kurama. The child begs Kurama to return to Mount Kurama because the third chief of the tengu village has collapse and the area is filled with a cloud of miasma. We learn that Kurama was mistreated by the villagers when he was younger due to being the third chief’s son. Nanami and Tomoe travel with Kurama and Botanmaru, where Kurama encounters hallucinations of someone from his past. This arc features a lot of yokai politicking as several crow tengu desire Kurama to become the fourth chief. Meanwhile, Kurama’s brother, Jiro, is determined to become the chief instead.
Not only does this season feature a lot more of Nanami being a god, but we get to learn more about all the characters and their respective pasts. We learn in episode 3 that Tomoe used to work with a yokai named Akura-Oh. This infamous yokai could recover from any injury and had a twisted mindset that prevented him from understanding the fleeting nature of the world. Tomoe often acted as the brains of their plans before he fell in love with Yukiji, a human. When Tomoe attempted to distance him and Yukiji from Akura-Oh, who constantly expressed the desire to break Tomoe’s “toys,” and later killed Yukiji. While Akura-Oh was killed in turn by Tomoe, we come to understand that this is why Tomoe refuses to fall in love with Nanami. He sees humans as weak and easily killed, and he doesn’t wish to go through the pain of his loved one dying again.
We also learn about Nanami through a flashback. Through it, we see Nanami’s gambling-addicted father bringing her a piece of chocolate before heading off once more. Meanwhile, her sick mother is heckled by debt collectors. Because her father is a deadbeat and her mother is on her deathbed, Nanami’s mother teaches her to become an independent woman. This flashback happens when Nanami is transformed into a child. During this time, Tomoe proposes they marry, but sad, just as she agrees, Mizuki carries Nanami out of the gate and the memory of what happened disappears.
Kamisama Kiss is one of the best shojo romance anime I have ever seen. It’s an amusing story about a homeless young girl who ends up inadvertently becoming a land god, handling supernatural problems she was never meant to even know about and dealing with a burgeoning romance between her and her fox demon familiar. I had so much fun watching this series. It’s one of the few anime I can re-watch. I feel like I discover something new about this anime each time I watch it.
Content Grade: A
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: FUNImation
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 16×9 Anamorphic
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, Xbox 360 DVD player