Fall Preview Via Manga: Kamisama Hajimemashita
Just when you thought we were all done with shoujo! Fall is looking to be a big season for shoujo manga adaptations, and this one has certainly caught my interest since there are yokai involved.
And now on to Kamisama Hajimemashita… Or… “Nice to Meet You, God.”
Chapter One: So our heroine’s situation is a mix between the beginning of Fruits Basket and the beginning of Hayate the Combat Butler (more on that next time). Left with a huge debt and goes off to live outdoors! And ends up living with a bishie. But this is a fox boy spirit guardian, and our protagonist has just replaced the land god of a shrine. It’s all rather silly and the art isn’t particularly good, but there’s promise here at least.
Chapter Two: Our protagonist Nanami is nice and resourceful, and seems to have her wits about her. I suppose she’s also kind of a loner (like the protagonists of Tonari and Sukitte), but it’s due to her circumstances rather than her personality in this case. Our fox bishie isn’t quite as interesting yet though to be honest, as he’s just a bad boy archetype who is quickly turning tsundere. (I mean, it’s obvious the two are going to be an item in this series, right?)
I really don’t like those two shrine assistant yokai. And actually, the yokai in general aren’t very interesting visually. Perhaps Natsume’s Book of Friends raised a pretty high bar for all this.
Chapter Three: The turn of events in this chapter was rather fun and amusing. I’m not sure if this series can be called a full-blown comedy, but it has its moments. Nanami and Tomoe are both headstrong characters, and their exaggerated expressions add some humor whenever they clash with one another.
Chapter Four: The general premise of the series has been established, so the stage is now set for a new story arc. I find it interesting how Nanami’s school life has made essentially zero appearance in this manga volume, and all the focus is on her work as a land goddess in training. This at least sets Kamisama Hajimemashita apart from Tonari and Sukitte in its general focus.
I can’t say I’m exactly hooked by the ending of this chapter, but overall it’s a pretty easy manga to read through. The pacing is good and I am curious to see if the series will do anything unique with the main characters’ relationship. But again, there’s nothing too amazing happening here.
Final Thoughts: Kamisama Hajimemashita is what it is. If you like lighthearted shoujo manga in general, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to enjoy here–particularly if you like a good supernatural premise in your story. If the two main characters don’t click with you though, you’ll be better off checking out a different series, as there isn’t much else this one offers.
Verdict: Normally I’d say I’ll definitely watch the anime once it comes out, but I’ve been hard-pressed for time lately! I may just settle for reading on in the manga. I’ll at least give the first ep or two a try, as there may be a significant improvement art-wise once in anime form. The voices for the characters will hopefully be really good for this one!