Kannazuki no Miko

Kannazuki no MikoType: TV Series
Episode Count: 12
Genre: Fantasy / Drama / Mecha
Vintage: 2004

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 07 Oct 2006
revised 10 Jan 2010

Grade: B

A tragic love story, with mecha no less, and more than a few elements that set it apart from the usual fare.

Plot Summary
Shy and insecure Himeko Kurusugawa’s life changes forever on her 16th birthday, when the mark of the sun appears on her chest. Himeko’s classmate, the revered Chikane Himemiya, has also received a mark, as it is her 16th birthday as well. Himeko’s childhood friend Souma Ohgami is also drawn into this new fate. This coincides with an evil of legend that has returned… the eight headed beast (figuratively speaking) called Orochi. Orochi must be defeated, and it is up to Himeko and Chikane to restore order to the world, fulfilling their new destiny as priestesses of the sun and moon.

The Review
This is a series I went into blindly because it looked interesting. Shrine priestesses and mecha in a series that somehow deals with Japanese mythology. That, and the relatively unconventional relationships that develop over the course of the show.

Kannazuki no Miko begins as a series focusing on plot, with kind of a shaky start, and it takes a few episodes to finally decide what it wants to do. What this show wants to do, and does well, is explore the relationships between the characters. The mythology and the mecha are primarily smoke and mirrors. It’s easy to guess how this part of the series will end, especially with villains bordering on silly. It’s the other part where the outcome isn’t so easy to predict.

Kannazuki no Miko takes a classic page from the relationships playbook and rewrites the typical roles. There is a star-crossed romance here, but the difference this time is that Girl A seeks the heart of Girl B, while the childhood friend of Girl B – who happens to be a boy – is also pursuing Girl B. Sure, it sounds cliché (if unconventional) and perhaps deliberate, but it is pulled off convincingly and with real emotion. Himeko and Chikane are the real couple in the series; Souma comes across almost as a hindrance.

Though the plot is nothing new, it’s the character interaction that makes the show. It does have a rocky start, and some of the dialogue is forced at times, but if you’re open to a romance developing between two girls, Kannazuki no Miko has some of the most powerful displays of emotion ever shown in any kind of relationship. It’s not perfect, but Kannazuki no Miko is a good show for fans of character dramas. Keep an open mind, and you might be surprised.

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