In 2005, I wrote that the Japanese edition of Kannazuki no Miko manga, “is a piece of utter, plotless dreck, wrapped up in frisson of hormonal angst, senseless screaming and a rape scene that has no meaning or context.”
In 2008, I said of Tokyopop’s edition, “Why, one has to ask, if both Souma and Chikane love Himeko so much, do they allow her to be bullied, outcast and victimized instead of stepping up and claiming their friendship publicly?”
Here it is in 2016, and once again, I come face to face with
my old nemesis the Kannazuki no Miko manga, this time localized by Viz Media, and made available digitally on Global Bookwalker for a mere $6, so if you have never yet read it, you can do so for the price of a fast-food lunch. Which is a good analogy for the quality you’re getting.
It may not be obvious, but I always go into watching or reading media for Okazu with the idea that I will give it a fair chance. Even this series, which has had more than it’s share of fair chances. So, yes, there I am reading Kannazuki no Miko by Kaishaku, for the third time. And for the third time, I am convinced that Kaishaku are a pair of hacks. ^_^
The story, which takes place in a town called “Magical Place” is imbued with magic and mecha. Himeko, an average student, with little to recommend her, is the object of attention for both of the school’s stars, beautiful, rich Chikane, and handsome, Souma. Both Chikane and Souma have secrets they are keeping from Himeko.
As Himeko and Chikane celebrate their 16th birthday all the secrets come to light – they are the key figures in an ancient legend of their town. Himeko is Priestess of the Sun, Chikane is Priestess of the Moon and Souma is one of the 8 necks of the fearsome Orochi, the harbingers of destruction. Souma defies his fate and decides to protect Himeko against the rest of the Orochi. If you have ever seen any of Kaishaku’s other works, several of the Orochi will be familiar to you, as they get recycled in other series, like Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora (Shattered Angels) and Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesium.
Chikane too, promises to protect Himeko, but almost immediately rapes her, so not so much on the protection. There will be explanation, but we already know it will be lame. ^_^;
On the positive side, Viz has done miracles with the messy writing of the original, wrangling what I clearly remember as being almost-incoherently bad narration into something that makes sense. And the art has been reproduced so cleanly, it’s impressive, while the remaining amateurish. So yay translation and cleanup/lettering folks. You deserve extra cookies for an excellent job. I thought as I read this, “Hey, I understand what’s going on! That’s never happened before with this series!”
Had the series chosen either Chikane or Souma as lead, it could have been a very interesting look at how good intentions get warped or how lying to one’s self can makes good people do terrible things, but instead we focus on baby seal Himeko, and watch, irritated and horrified, as everyone takes a whack at her.
Art – 6
Story – 5
Characters – 6
Yuri – 8
Service – 8
Overall – 6
As the books ends, I am left once again, thinking that this could have really been a decent story…but was clearly never designed to be one, by a team of creators for whom rape is a matter of course, and who have no particular knack for writing or art.
If you want to see how this whole series just eventually breaks down completely, check out my review of Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesium in 2010.