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From Aerandria Scans:
Momozono Nanami's dad, a man with a penchant for gambling, disappeared after accumulating a huge amount of debt. Thus, she was chased out of her house by the debt collectors. When she met a timid guy being chased by a dog, he told her that he'd give her his house. She believed his persuasive talk, but when she went to his house… it turned out to be a shrine. Moreover, a guy with fox ears appeared, which made Nanami even more confused. What will become of homeless and confused Nanami?
元气少女缘结神 神様はじめました 见习元气女神 Ciuman Dewa (Indonesian) Divine Nanami (French) Kamisama Hajimemashita Kamisama Kiss Nice to Meet You, Kamisama
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so far so good
I feel like the story has just started but the 3 chapters that I've read seemed really interesting. The characters' stubbornness can be a bit grating but it does provide a lot of laughs.
I don't really understand why people are saying that Nanami is a damsel in distress. It's true that she does need a lot of saving. But what a lot of people don't seem to see if her strength in character. Although she does get upset that Tomoe doesn't love her, she GROWS UP. Her character growth is admirable, especially how she decides that love should not be selfish in constantly seeking the other's praises and returning her love.
Even though a lot of parallels can be drawn with Inuyasha, the plot and characters are much different. Tomoe is less brash and much less stubborn and considerate than Inuyasha. Inuyasha's character is more of a teenaged boy, while you can definitely see the age and maturity in Tomoe when he feels like acting his age. Kagome and Nanami's experiences are even further apart. Nanami's character growth is much smoother and sleeker than Kagome's angst. In some sense, Nanami's fondness to Tomoe's old love is so much more than Kagome can ever do for Kikyo. And if anyone is completely up to date, you can see that that the plot cliche argument is void.
What people don't see is the fact that the repetitiveness of Tomoe saving Nanami is only used for character building and every new story for that is different since Nanami IS in fact growing stronger. If anyone is only seeing that icing over the cake, then they have not looked deep into the story at all.
... Last updated on October 5th, 2012, 11:17am
Excellent shoujo fantasy
First of all, let me get this out of the way: if common shoujo tropes annoy you - cutesy blushing, sparkles in the background and fluff (along with a mild case of reverse harem and lots of pretty boys) - then this is probably not going to be the manga for you. It is very much a shoujo manga.
That being said, if you're looking for a lighthearted fantasy romance, then I highly recommend this manga.
The art is quite good, even from the beginning, and gets better and more complex over time. The poses are occasionally a little stiff but for the most part everything is proportional and beautifully drawn, and there's really nothing I can legitimately complain about. It's professional and often stunningly gorgeous. The character designs (especially for gods and yokai) can be quite creative. Those of the recurring male cast are likely a major draw for the female audience.
As for the characters themselves, although they're not all horribly original as far as personalities - the female lead is the typical high-spirited, headstrong, impulsive teenage girl, and the male lead is an overprotective tsundere - they're quite well-rounded and well-written. The side characters are given personalities as well rather than being left to fill typical cliches. Characterization is consistent and believable, and when it changes it's always for a plot-related reason rather than poor writing. I can only imagine the characters being a problem for someone who found the archetypes themselves frustrating; though they're played straight, they're not played poorly or flatly, and there's a decent number of dynamic characters who change over the course of the series. Nanami, the main character, goes from damsel-in-distress to able to fend for herself in a realistic progression, rather than relying more on the other far more powerful characters for everything. There does seem to be a preponderance of pretty, charming guys, but remember folks, shoujo manga. It comes with the territory.
The plot begins with an interesting premise and carries it through quite well in an excellently-paced manner, especially for such a long manga. The premise is below as a spoiler, but it only explains the general ideas set up by the first few chapters.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Nanami, an ordinary high-school girl, ends up as a land god after losing her home and her no-good father who ran away. Thus begins her task of dealing with various problems involved that come up in both being a land god and a high-school girl - more of the former than the latter. Another set of problems includes the fact that her fox-eared familiar, Tomoe, is almost an almost overpowered, gorgeous guy who is absolutely devoted to her service (albeit reluctantly at first). Nanami is human enough to... notice.
If there's one weakness with the plot, it's that it's held together in its overarching themes more by the romance than by the fantastical aspects. A person inclined to ignore the somewhat repetitive romantic back and forth might find the story arcs a bit episodic in nature. I believe that it is possible to read this manga solely for the fantasy aspect and enjoy it, but it roots itself firmly in its romantic plot as the factor of the series that carries it from storyline to storyline. Given that the development of the romance is quite gradual, this could be frustrating for a slow reader who gets annoyed at the constant romantic tension. That being said, both the comedic elements and the fantastic elements are beautifully done, and each story arc is well-built, well-paced and generally satisfying and thrilling for me as a lover of fantasy with strange monsters, otherworldly places and occasional well-drawn fight scenes. One might also complain about plot holes, but be aware that these tend to be Chekhov's guns in disguise rather than legitimate oversights.
By the way, this isn't to say that the romance isn't well done! In my opinion, it's more believable due to its length, and for fans of the blushing cheeks and fluffy cuteness it still manages to serve up a good number of doses even early on. As I said, it can get superficially repetitive, but there is genuine development for those who look closely. Spoilers below regarding further info.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Will they or won't they? They will. Oh how they will. The series is simply delaying the development until it can be the satisfying payoff to the biggest, best storyline of the series that it had been building to for a while. Besides, thanks to Tomoe's lack of a sense of personal space, the fact that Nanami figures out that she likes him fairly early on, the fact that the familiar contract is sealed by a kiss, and Tomoe's loyalty and overprotectiveness frequently sounding suspiciously romantic, the gods of shoujo saw fit to bestow enough fluff to keep the fangirls occupied until they finally do get together. This is one of those stories that includes a lot of "Aww look they really do love each other."
All of the above is what I'd say about the majority of the series, but a special mention should go to the time-travel arc. It's easily the best arc of the series by far, and with the rest being quite good that's saying a lot. It's everything about romance and fantasy that I could ever ask for, and I'm not even that much of a romance fan - but it goes into the territory of incredibly epic and completely solidified my opinion of the series as amazing. I spent a good amount of time ranting to my poor, unsuspecting, uninterested friends about it, which is not something I normally do. Seriously, if you only read this in order to get to the time-travel arc and then stop, DO IT.
Although I'm seeing people complain about the series going downhill after that, I feel as though it's just that hard to follow up. Plus, I have a theory that after using so much of the series to build up to the time travel arc, the author's trying to get momentum behind a slow build to another epic story arc and is simply taking her sweet time about it like she did before. I think there's been a shift away from the romance as the driving force of the series with more of an emphasis on an actual major villain, which caused a major shift in tone. If it's developed as well as the romance was then I don't foresee this being a problem once the manga has enough chapters to get the new plot off the ground.
I gave this manga a 9 out of 10, mainly because it's a not-for-everyone story. You have to like fluffy romance and a major appeal to the female demographic to really enjoy it. However, it would certainly be my recommendation for fans of shoujo manga who want their romance with a large side of gods and demons and a sprinkling of well-placed comedy. Whatever you do, I definitely recommend sticking with it until the time travel arc - despite the amount of time it takes to get there, it's worth the read just for that.
Really beautiful manga all around. The art is stunning and the characters are likable and believable. Every character has their own clearly defined personality, and over the course of what has been translated so far, they grow and change and develop. The romanced is paced EXTREMELY well; it's not too fast or too slow. Tomoe (the male lead) is just as resistant about a relationship with a human as he should be, but his resistance isn't frustrating and their relationship hasn't dragged on (so far).
Another plus for this manga is the fact that the minor characters are actually interesting, and you genuinely come to care for them--something very rare for shoujo manga. They all get the appropriate amount of screentime (some manga will have multiple chapters dedicated to the most minor characters and it drives me up the wall) and develop along with Tomoe and Nanami.
All in all just a great manga. I can't say enough good things about it. Just wish it would be translated faster!
Surprisingly good, if you stick to it
Kamisama Hajimemashita looks like your standard generic shoujo at first glance.
Actually, that's because, for a good chunk of the story, it *is* kind of like a typical shoujo. Innocent, stupidly-selfless female lead who smiles despite her sad past. Tsundere, mysterious male lead who hates her. Episodic, slice-of-life format.
Which doesn't mean that it's bad, per say. There's barely any stupid will-they-won't-they drama *cough*Kimi ni Todoke*cough*, and most of the focus is on Nanami's balance of her human and god lives. No stupid love triangles either, thank god. There's a whole cast of ridiculously charming side characters (oh, hell, the whole series is charming!). And the growth of Nanami's capabilities as a land god is refreshingly realistic: she relies on Tomoe to rescue her a lot, but you can see that she's gradually gaining the ability to fend for herself.
So Kamisama Hajimemashita is already a solid series. But it's the time travel arc that really shows off Suzuki Julietta's amazing storytelling abilities. I don't think I've ever seen time travel handled so well. (Pay attention while you're reading, because a whole bunch of "plot holes" come back as Chekhov's guns.)
Conclusion: read this, and stick with it. It gets very, very good, but only very, very gradually.
More mature than Inuyasha
A lot of people have compared this manga to Inuyasha. It's true that it's very similar in many ways.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Kagome and Inuyasha bickered quite a bit and so do Nanami and Tomoe. Inuyasha was kind of rough with Kagome and Tomoe can be rough with Nanami at times. Both lead males come to the rescue of the female when she needs them. There is also the lover in the past and the jewel/Dragon King's Eye being a part of the lead female.
However, I've read Inuyasha all the way to the end and I have enjoyed this manga much more. Nanami is so much stronger than Kagome. She's hardly a damsel in distress. There are a good number of times when Nanami saves Tomoe or saves herself, rather than Tomoe saving her. She IS less strong than Tomoe, but that makes sense, doesn't it? After all, she is human and he is a demon.
Also, Inuyasha and Kagome never really address the fact that she is mortal and he is immortal. This manga explores in depth how that difference can affect their relationship. Nor does Inuyasha ever acknowledge his feelings with the clarity that Tomoe does.
I've read the raws and translations all the way up to ch.85 (check out the spoilers thread at Mangafox.com) and I'm pleasant surprised by this manga. Inuyasha began to disappoint me as the chapters dragged on and Kagome's character hardly got stronger. I think if you read the raws up until the latest chapter, you'll be as thrilled as I am with the depth of this manga and the skill of the mangaka.
P.S: IMO, it's like she read Inuyasha and thought to herself, "pssh, I can do better than that."
... Last updated on September 13th, 2012, 10:51am
charming and better than expected- keep reading on!
I love Suzuki Julietta's works, and at first, when I read the beginning of Kamisama Hajimemashita, I thought, "She's changing her style to fit more mainstream shoujo mangas." Sadistic fox, human girl just turned land god, complete lack of regard towards the girl's actual past, kissing contract. I was kind of disappointed, but I kept reading. There were big plot holes (what happened to her dad? what about Mikage?), but I read on anyways. And as you get further and further along, you'll find that Mikage, the former land god, does in fact make another appearance, and although I haven't seen any signs of Nanami's father, hopefully the mangaka will get to that.
What I love most about this manga is the characters. They're cute and funny and emotional, and all of their interactions just makes an adorable manga. It's not groundbreaking, but the mangaka somehow writes in her charm. Nanami is a perfect balance, in my opinion. She's not too strong and confident and powerful, but she's not too ditzy and stupid either. She's not too ridiculously kind, but she's not diabolical either. I think a 'normal person' kind of heroine needs a balance of both sides..and Nanami's good for that. Side-characters come back in later chapters, letting you get to know all of them slowly. Nanami and Tomoe are great together; I love how their romance is more of a gradual build-up, a comfortableness around each other that really shows they have something. It's not your typical shoujo manga- the oh-so-terribly-mean boy who harasses the cute girl and then actually turns out to be in love with her after he rescues her...nope, Tomoe's definitely not that. He may have the sadistic streak that I see in a lot of shoujo male protagonists, but the mangaka writes it in a friendly, funny way that shows off their relationship dynamics even more, along with those sentimental moments. They just get better as the story goes on. Everyone gets better as the story goes on. If you look back at the beginning, you'll realize how much they've all grown and changed.
The art is simple, but it's refreshing. Not everyone has big sparkly eyes and teeny tiny dots for noses. I appreciate the fact that the mangaka tries to distinguish between the characters- Kayako looks distinctly different from Nanami (even if they swapped hairstyles, I would never mistake Kayako for Nanami), Kurama looks nothing like anyone else in the manga, etc.
Overall, I love this manga. To me, at least, it doesn't matter if it's cliche and stereotypical if it's done well.
Mesmerizing, lovable and worth bending my spine!
Bewildering, cheerful, energetic, lovely, tense, wild, agressive, warm, determined, harmonious, witty, creepy, wide, melancholic, sweet, noisy, smooth, nosy, tender, worth-while, absolutely a beautiful MASTER PIECE of a manga
While it is true, as often stated, that it's basically a "girl gets in trouble, girl gets saved" story, it can definitely be compared to a Natsume Yuujinchou with a girl main and lots more romance, or Inuyasha, but less epic. The episodic stories have their own like-able side characters who often keep re-appearing in later chapters. All the plots themselves distract well from the weak main girl who is actually slowly improving along the story.
In Kamisama Hajimemashita I find her weakness actually kind of fitting. Very realistic.
... Last updated on March 11th, 2012, 11:56am
been reading this since the start of the series
I'm bias since I've been reading since this series has started and also back in the days of onemanga . Although the series can be stagnant sometimes in regards to the the romance advancing or the side characters developing, I think the stories and different arcs that are told are incredibly well done and the art has improved dramatically from it's start. Sometimes I feel like Nanami might have taken a step back and became more of a caricature of herself, but she's rounded her powers up nicely and has grown as a land god despite the odds. Tomoe, in contrast to Nanami, went through the best character development and we get to see a lot of his past through the time travel arc.
Overall I love this series and I'm happy to have kept on reading this all these years.