Kannazuki no Miko – New Yuri Anime Season Autumn 2004

October 20th, 2004

So, I got good news and bad news, which do you want first? ^_^

The new anime season is well underway in Japan, and I notice that almost everything I’m watching right now is shounen, that is, targeted towards a male audience. Even the magical girl anime (which are legion this season) seem to be made much more for the boys than the girls – there’s a hard line to the art, and a hard edge to the fanservice, which is looking a little desperate these days. It’s almost as if all the anime running now is an allergic reaction to the slow pace, soft focus and emotional content of Maria-sama ga Miteru.

The Yuri out there looks a little thin right now – unless you’re one of those folks who holds that two women or more in any series, in any set-up, equals Yuri. Even wearing the Yuri goggles, there’s not a whole lot o’hope for us Yuri fans. (On the other hand, there’s plenty of stuff to watch if you’re just into girls, period. But I will get to that later on.)

The front-runner right now in the Yuri category is, hands down, Kannazuki no Miko. Based on a manga series drawn by Kaishaku, the artist team who created Steel Angel Kurumi and UFO Princess Walkure, we are certainly in for loads of Yuri fanservice, with or without the goggles.

Before I get into the, haha, plot, I want to discuss a totally irrelevant thing – the romanization of the series’ name. The official website romanizes it as “Kannaduki” and I’ve seen “Kannadzuki” as well as my preference, “Kannazuki.” Here’s why they are *all* right:

The second character in the first word is “tsuki,” the moon. As a second character this is *usually* romanized into “zuki”, as in Mizuki. But it is more properly “dzuki” since the “ts” of the individual form of the word would mutate into the softer “dz” for a combined use. BUT – and here’s where it gets complicated – the Japanese rarely acknowledge the existence of paired consonants, so they ignore the second consonant of the pair, leaving us with a “d”. Hence, all of the three spelling variants are correct. But I personally prefer, “zuki” because that’s how the combined “tsuki” is most commonly spelled. Got it? Good. ^_^ Now, on to the actual story.

This anime has a very strong Yuri beginning, which bodes badly for the rest of the season. ^_^ Dark Chikane and blonde Himeko not only share a birthday, they seem to share an affection for each other. They also, surprise, surprise, share a fate. Cool, rich, uber-competent Chikane is a priestess of the moon while bubbly and sweet Himeko is a priestess of the sun. They will be combating the forces of darkness in the form of 8 stars, the first one of which turns out to be their friend and close companion, the uber-competent, popular boy Ookami Souma (and what a name to live up to that is!)

The first episode nets Chikane a long look at Himeko’s chest, a gratuitous grope and in the last moment, a big-ass kiss. Souma may be Himeko’s champion and protector, but it’s Chikane’s arms Himeko falls into at the least little thing. And so far, this seems to be the pattern in every episode, which works for me. ^_^

Plot-wise, this anime is downright silly. Magic, schoolgirls and mecha *can* work fine together to make a colorful anime, but I’m not sure they work well together to make a good story. My initial read of this is that Geneon and Gainax got together to “fix” the problems in Marimite – you know, like not enough fanservice and no mecha. ^_^

Chikane and Himeko are Hatsumi and Hazuki (there’s that “-zuki” thing again) from Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito lookalikes. It would be nice to see Chikane get the girl where Hazuki failed. And there is no doubt at all in my mind that Chikane and Himeko actually have the hots for one another. Chhikane acts all cool about it, but she’s overtly burning for Himeko. And I don’t think Himeko would kick Chikane out of bed, if you know what I mean. She was surprised to be kissed, but she’s not complaining, either.

The bad guys are laughable, but the nun with the glasses is hot, and Corona, the idol-type bad girl, is voiced by Ueda Kana, Marimite‘s Yumi. ^_^

So – storywise, this’ll get repetitive by ep. 8 – assuming you don’t think it already is by Ep. 3 – and if it lasts longer than 13, it’ll be boring as hell, but I’m going to watch because I live in hope that Chikane and Himeko will, hahahah, live happily ever after. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 7 (the still art for this is *gorgeous* but the anime is messy)
Plot – 4
Characters – 6 (Other than Chikane and Himeko, it’s like watching Gundam or Transformers, with cardboard cutout characters and mecha)
Music – 6
Yuri – 9

Overall – a shaky 7

Yamibou meets Gundam – there’s very little here for an intelligent audience, but I like it anyway. It’s like a pleasant temporary frontal lobotomy. ^_^

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