Yuri Manga: Kannazuki no Miko, Volume 2 (English)

August 15th, 2008

In an epic display of overthinking things, it occurred to me that one could, if one was so inclined, consider Kannazuki no Miko Volume 1 as a story that stars Himeko, and concerns the bad choices she makes. In which case Volume 2 can equally be seen as an explication of Chikane’s story and her own series of bad choices.

I’m not saying that they *are* this, just that one *could,* if one was in the habit of sitting on a train and overthinking crappy manga, think that. ^_^

Tokyopop did a very superior job with this series. I want to say that right at the top of this review, because otherwise it might get lost in the middle of my damning with faint praise. ^_^

Volume 2 of Kannazuki starts with the morning after Chikane choses to protect Himeko by doing something unforgivable and making Himeko hate her, with Himeko forgiving her. Chikane pushes the envelope further and further, joining and destroying the Orochi, all to protect Himeko from having to chose an unhappy fate “for eternity.”

The best scene is when Sister Miyako uses her mirrors and illusions to seduce Chikane in the guise of Himeko. Faced with her heart’s (and other organ’s) desire, it takes everything Chikane has to refuse the illusion’s offer – and it’s the first honest glimpse of who she really is, behind the facade of cynical cruelty.

Once again Kaishaku show themselves as trendsetters, by bringing the series to a close with Chikane and Himeko reborn into a happy love affair as sisters.


Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – 8
Service – 8

Overall – 7

I can’t help but wonder – will this actually be the last Kannazuki no Miko post I ever make? Has this series’ time passed? A whole new generation of Yuri fans are being born even as we speak. What generic tropes and hideous fetishes will they be indoctrinated with…? Stay tuned to find out!

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12 Responses

  1. jaymiemizuno says:

    You know, that ending is probably the worst type for a Yuri series? “We love each other so much, we’ll become sisters!”, possibly leading to Yuricest. um, yeah. It is so very sad there are rarely happy endings in Yuri; at least the KnM manga has them meeting again as adults, years after the events of the show (and only then, after the credits; if you stop there it is depressing as hell).

  2. I don’t care for the sisters angle either. I was being sarcastic, and once again it looks like most people missed that.

    The end of thw anime is NOT a good one. It’s an indication that the whole cycle will start all over. There is no reason to think that Chikane and Himeko will live happily ever after this time, either.

  3. DezoPenguin says:

    At least you can say that Himeko outgrew her amai-ness after she basically tells Souma, Chikane, and Ame no Murakumo in turn where they can get off because she’s going to get the ending she wants regardless of how they want things to turn out. Anime Chikane at last got Himeko to cave in and kill her, though it took exterminating the entire population of the earth except, for no apparent reason, for Tsubasa and Souma…Manga Chikane does that and even squishes Souma right before Himeko’s eyes and it’s somehow still not enough…Himeko even takes active steps to save Chikane after that. Now that’s a deep and abiding epic love…or a desperate cry for more therapy that can be packed into one lifetime, whichever.

    But honestly, it’s not a happy ending because of the sixteen-odd years they spend catering to Kaishaku’s incest fetish, it’s a happy ending because Himeko figured out that they don’t have to spend the years, decades, centuries, whatever between cycles separated from each other. No more of this lose you-find you-lose you-find you drek. Heck, Chikane probably gets annoyed that they have to leave the shrine every so often and be reborn, because it means she has to put up with interacting with people that aren’t Himeko for a few years.

    I am impressed, though, with your ability to not mention the fact that Tokyopop gave us the exceptionally cringe-squick-inducing color pages of the aftermath of vol. 1’s rape scene that start this volume in all of their bright red “glory.” Just…ugh.

  4. Dezo – LOLOLOL. Awesome comments. Thank you.

  5. jaymiemizuno says:

    Anyone ever point this out to you, Erica? It’s from Clannad, where a couple of LFBs try to set up a pseudo-Yuri situation, and in the end get a just reward!

    LOL! extra funny, the word verification this time for me is “uhnhn”…

  6. Thanks for the links. I don’t watch YouTube, but I’m sure someone will enjoy them.

  7. Burnouts3s3 says:

    Why the hell is this series so hyped? Honestly, the anime’s full of angst, the manga is incomphrensible, and the drawing’s suck!
    With Maria-sama no Miteru and Simoun out there, how can people love this series so goddamn much?
    Ms. Friedman, how is it that you can not pull out your hair, scream at the computer, and say, “That’s it! I give up on you people”?

  8. hey burnout – don’t let it get to you. “Lowest Common Denominator” is an important phrase for marketing as well as in math. Kaishaku has been writing crappy crap that appeals to base fetishes for a long time. People really, honestly, don’t know the difference between “I liked that” and “That is good.” So they cmbine them automatically in their heads.

  9. ashrie says:

    Darn, and I thought, after the disastrous ending to the first, that the second volume would redeem itself a little even if I knew it was going to be crap… *sighs*

    No sense of delusion will help me overcome the squicky feeling over the Yuricest thing. At least, the anime doesn’t have them as sisters…

  10. Sora Ryu says:

    i didn’t mind the anime because it chikane and himeko ended up loving each other in the end…i do not approve of Yuricest…that’s just disgusting…so i did not read the magna…. i do wish there were happier animes out there for real Yuri fans…in the anime…chikane and himeko barely have time to savor their love before chikane has to reincarnate again :(

  11. bleshyblash says:

    Well… looking at this, there’s not much you can say to make it seem like it is like any Yuri manga or anime. Even if it does hold Kaishaku’s fetishes.
    So far, Chikane is smart enough to think things over rather than doing out of blind love for Himeko. But I think this is because I’m more biased of Kannazuki no Miko than any other Yuri anime or manga. Though, I’m not fan-girl crazy.
    It would be a breath of fresh air to clarify the plot of Kannazuki no Miko.
    Overall, not many may say it (or maybe I don’t care) but it was different and a good portrayal of eternal love.
    Still, I’m keeping an open and unbiased mind towards this.

  12. Anonymous says:

    We have to be 100% honest about this series, the only thing that made is watchable was the lingering hope that Chikane and Himeko’s relationship wouldn’t be torn to shreds at the end. AND IT WAS. For the MOST part.

    I have found myself turning the series over and over around in my head and it’s been awful. I’m suffering from a huge case of cognitive dissonance here. LOL. I know it was awful, I know it was unrealistic, I mean it was written by a duo of fetishy MEN. Real Yuri is written by women who understand the mechanisms of a woman’s mind, who KNOW that RAPE IS NEVER JUSTIFIABLE. I mean it would be nice of a sane woman got a hold of this series and fixed the horrendously HUGE mistakes the Kaishaku duo threw in there.

    The one comfort I have is that in the manga Himeko and Chikane had an eternity in the lunar shrine to seriously work on their relationship. AFTER the get their fill of sex, since apparently that is where Kaishaku was headed. LOL.

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