Yuri Manga: Kannazuki no Miko, Volume 2

September 20th, 2005

Well, I know you were all waiting with bated breath to read my opinion on this final installment of the Kannzuki no Miko series.

As you may remember, I found the anime to be superficial, devoid of meaning and tedious, but marginally distracting. I reviewed it several times with increasing incredulousness – primarily because, while the series made absolutely NO sense at all, many people, mostly male, seem to feel that Kannzuki represents the height of yuri. This story was indubitably colorful, had lots of action and noise and sound and light, but it simply made no sense. That a senseless 13 episode miniseries that had no plausibility, not internal consistancy and utterly pointless rape should be seen by any minority of viewers as the *epitome* of the genre I have labored to promote is simply…exhausting.

Folks – there is good Yuri out there. With plots, and character development, etc. Drawn by women for women. This is real Yuri, not the parody of several genres tossed with a light dressing of Yuri so it sells.

Yamaji Ebine
Takashima Rica
Tadeno Eriko
Morishima Akiko
Hayahiya Shizuru

These women draw and write Yuri – with plots, characters, genuine expression of lesbian love and desire. Look for them – read them – learn what good Yuri is.

Okay, that rant having been concluded, let’s turn our eyes towards the work in question.

We left Himeko having just been raped by Chikane. This was used in the anime as well, where the explanation for the act was to make Himeko hate Chikane, as she’s becoming an orochi.

In the manga the act is complicated by the fact that it seeems to be tied into Chikane and Himeko’s existence as Miko of Moon and Sun, respectively.

In reality, it is fairly obvious that the people who comprise Kaishaku, like most people, have absolutely no understanding at all of the emotional damage rape does. In this expert text, Himeko wonders if it really happend, gets a twinge of pain in her abdomen, is horrified, but when Chikane seems like her usual self, is fine. Fine? Oooookkkkkkkaaaaaay…..

Then follows pretty much exactly the same nonsense that occurred in the anime. Lots of mecha fights, which *still* make no sense, since we are never really given any motivation for the Orochi respresentatives. In my mind, there should at least have been one flashback to explain the how/why of becomming a homicidal kubi, but that’s just me, always looking for, you know, plausibility, in a story.

BTW, kubi mean “neck” and the scanlators translate it that way, but in our language we’d probably call them a “hand” rather than a neck, as in hired hand, or ranch hand. After watching the anime and reading the manga, I am still entirely puzzled as to the kubi’s exstence at all. Why were they there? What were they hoping to do? Shoot things, okay…but why? I like the idea of shooting things too, but I can, at least, tell you *why* I’d like to pop you. Sister Miyako is hot, but the rest, *especially* Tsubasa, are a complete yawn. Tsubasa’s only reason to exist seems to be to pander to fans of long-silver-haired boys. Hmmm – I guess if we see the kubi as pandering to random fetishes, they make more sense. Okay. That works for me.

The climax of the manga and anime are similar, but not *quite* the same. Chikane explains that her behavior (violent rape, emotional torture and criminal passive-agressiveness) was meant to save Himeko from a fate worse than fate. In the anime, Chikane accepts an eternity that consists of a rather shorter period of time than eternities are wont to be, alone on the moon.

In the manga, Himeko comes with Chikane, rendering all of Chikane’s violence and abuse pointless, because apparently it would take MORE than that to make Himeko hate Chikane. One can only boggle.

In an epilogue which does not exist in the anime, Chikane and Himeko are born as incestuous twins who apparently live happily ever after.

Art – 8
Story – 2
Characters – 6
Yuri – 9 (I cut off a point for the complete and utter lack of understanding of the dynamics of women in love/lust.)

Overall – 6

Honestly – this could, really, have been an excellent story. Given time, back story, character development and a modicum of internal consistency, it could have been decent. But it wasn’t. Not really.

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12 Responses

  1. punistation says:

    I’ll tell you why this is considered the definitive Yuri series.

    (Looks at cover for all of 2 seconds)

    Because on the cover Anime Girl #1 is cradling Anime Girl #2’s tit.

    There you go. The epitome of Yuri. Knowing nothing about this series (and happy leaving it at that), I’m guessing the rape was just for titillation, if not physically then emotionally.


  2. itanshi says:

    i’m not so confident in the ‘mostly male’ stance but again i’m a guy and this ain’t one of my top favs, just something fun and its attempt at greatness. The first tv ep ruled tho!!

    nuff said

  3. See, that’s what I mean….the first episode had no real meaning, but a random, gratuitous kiss. IMHO, this does not make it “rule”. To rule a story must be intruiging, the characters interesting and the plot compelling. KnM had one of the above, which made it marginally of interest. So, thanks for proving my theory – guys apparently can’t see that this series really wasn’t good Yuri.

  4. itanshi says:

    i thought it was friggen hilarious and that episode was later in the series, there’s eisode what 5 6? which take splace inbetween their first meeting and th ebattle. it wasn;t fo rno reason. who says i’m taking this series seriously? meh

    bring on bakuten manga! thats my fav

  5. punistation says:

    An example of a “ruling” 1st episode: ROD TV.

    The look on Nenene’s face when the Paper Sisters told her they didn’t know who the woman in the locket was… ;_;

    Dictionary definition of Yuri ruling class.

    Kisses XXOOXX

  6. itanshi says:

    Heh, alright I’m gonna go into full detail. One thing I hunt for is something which combines bakuretsu tenshi, karekano, and some rurouni kenshin. I know very and all too well what it takes to be the best series in the genere and i know i have yet to see it, i have always known this even while watching kannamiko. Whether or not it was good, I had always known it wasn’t this. I watched it, I saw how it went about things breaking cliche after cliche in shonen romances and it was hilarious even if you ignore the main pairing entirely. Also ignoring the manga, in the anime, the rape may or may not have been a rape. Its implied more than anything and an interview with the seiyuus confirm this. This series was not something watched because it was great or because it was intriguing, but it was fun, hilarious at times, and meaningful at times and at this that episode rules and this alone. As far as continuity and sense, it is all in the anime, they didn;t miss anything, dunno what the issue is there and i can ignore that as well cause Japanese fans and wrters in general don’t need things to make complete sense to enjoy it so nor do i.

    As a shoujo ai fan, I do not watch the ‘best’ always, I watch what can and enjoy what I see, because i am here for a good time. I can’t say its always worked out, but just cause I hate the music style doesn’t mean I’ll not have a good time at a dance eh? Ya get me wrong, hope this helps.

  7. Serge says:

    I’m actually surprised that people consider this series definitive, mainly because it’s SO crappy. I guess my circles are a little insular.
    I don’t even think KnM works as parody, like Itanshi suggests. It’s just bad, the kind of thing a 15 year old boy who has very little experience relating to girls would write.
    I mentioned this before on the Yuricon ML when the series ended, that KnM’s only redeeming quality is as a groundbreaker of sorts. My thinking was that If KnM sold well with its obvious girl gets girl ending, it might pave the way for other, much better stories and series with the happy Yuri ending.
    This is partially relevant now that Geneon USA has the license for KnM, who hasn’t picked up the license for Marimite because they don’t know how or who to market it to. Though, having heard that, I doubt Geneon will be marketing the Yuri angle at all. So, maybe that makes KnM less of a groundbreaker than I had thought.
    Which maybe a blessing in disguise, especially if people continue to think of this show as the definitive Yuri series.

  8. doink-chan says:

    On the THEM Anime Boards lately, there was a doink who came and flamed us for *gasp* not liking Kannazuki no Miko. -_- Like you I find this series really, really stupid, which is sad because it could have been good. I love stories with mythological content in them, but this was just plain doinky and it wasn’t good Yuri either. I won’t be buying it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s why it’s a shonnen anime/manga… It’s a different genre from shoujo. Hey, you don’t like, then you don’t like it, ne? I respect that… But you don’t have to criticize people who do (yes, ignorant fan girls/boys can be annoying but we’re not all like that). I like the series because it’s fun eye-candy and fictionally great.

    I just had to defend Itanshi here… since I understand him, even though I have girly perspectives. :P Hehe.


  10. Shounen, not shonnen. If you have any understanda t at *all* of anime and manga, you’ll see that I frequerntly review and enjoy shounen and seinen series, as often if not more than I review shoujo or josei series.

    I do not “not like” the series. I dislike the fact that a large percentage of people (co-incidentally, the same ones who cannot manage to retain the fact that I liked the series fine, thanks) think it is GOOD, when it is actually non-sensical and pandering.

    I imagine you lot all think Strawberry panic is “good Yuri” when it’s just a piece of derivative tripe.

    Once more for the record – I liked KnM. It’s all you morons who can’t understand that “good” means having a sensible plot and character development, that I don’t like.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Strawberry Panic is weeeeiiirrrrddd. Anyway, TY for both your post thingies. For some reason I spent 9 months in an obsessive state of Kannazuki no Miko. I’m still wearing it off, but maybe I liked the music more than the anime. xD You helped me realize it was kinda sucky, and thus maybe I can get rid of this obsessiveness?

  12. Rynnec Z says:

    “Sister Miyako is hot, but the rest, *especially* Tsubasa, are a complete yawn. Tsubasa’s only reason to exist seems to be to pander to fans of long-silver-haired boys.”

    I have to disagree with you there. I personally thought that Tsubasa was one of the best characters on the show, if not the best. His backstory was good, his motives were clear, his reasons for doing what he did were legitimate, and his battle with Souma was the best mech battle of the entire series. Though for all I know he could be alot blander in the manga than in the anime, which would be a shame, and another strike against me ever checking out the manga. (As if the incestious ending wasn’t enough.)God knows he made Souma more interesting,with him, he became more than an obstacle in the Chikane and Himeko pairing, but his own character.

    As for the other Orochi necks; they were okay, I didn’t care much for them at first, but they grew on me over time, and I found their antics quite amusing, so I was a bit sad to see them “die” so anticlimactically. It’s a shame that the their backstories were never elaborated upon, I have a lot of complaints about that, but I should probably put that comment on the anime review. XD

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