Kannazuki no Miko, Volume 2

August 9th, 2016

t_x200In Volume 2 of Kannazuki no Miko we come face to face with a centuries old prophecy meeting self-inflicted homophobia of a young woman. Through no effort of the creative team, we recognize that should Chikane have had a single person to speak with who was gay, very little of this story would have happened.

But as Chikane’s desire is meant to represent “forbidden,” and therefore dangerous, love, instead of finding solace and acceptance in Himeko’s arms, Chikane nearly destroys the world.

Luckily for everyone, Himeko ignores all of Chikane’s behavior, and sees through the emotional and physical abuse, for what it really is…

..no.

Nope.

I just can’t do this.

This *could* have been a good love story, but it’s really just not.

Kaishaku had no interest in understanding this relationship, or “love” in general. They just handwaved away all the many horrible things in the name of “love.” But Kannazuki no Miko is just not a good love story. Its just a list of fetishes, clothed in names, and handwaved past what would have been a decent ending into another fetish they could shove in there.

I wonder if this boos had been written 10 years later, would it have been different? I think it might, honestly. Yuri still wasn’t regularly getting happy endings in the 2000s. Would it have ever been “good”? I don’t think so.

Mad props for the Viz team. The story makes sense, the dialogue makes sense, the motivations, (while still super-duper annoying) make sense. They deserve a “Soup out of Stone” award for their work on this manga.

And, if you lovelovelove this manga and always wanted to read a decent English-language version of it, Viz Media and Global Bookwalker have finally given you that opportunity. Take it, before this slips back into the oblivion it so richly deserves once more.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 5
Characters – 6
Yuri – 8
Service – 9

Overall – 6

Giant Robots who are ancient Gods of Japan and Yuri. What a fantastic series this might have been.

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5 Responses

  1. Zefiris says:

    “Yuri still wasn’t regularly getting happy endings in the 2000s. Would it have ever been “good”? I don’t think so.”

    It’s a really good question, honestly. I think otherwise – at least on the anime (I see far creepier stuff get praised a lot in the other fandom I’m in, which is slash/yaoi), but I really understand why you feel that way.

    And yet… I sure can think of very few anime that did the things that KnM DID do right *as* right as it did. Scratch that, I can’t think of one. Would it come out like it now, I am pretty sure it’d find a big number of fans, not just for the f/f happy ending (that’s still rare even on TV over here, lesbian or bisexual women still tend to get killed and not get happy ends) but also for the intensity of the self loathing and anguish it portrayed. That’s what spoke to me in this series.

    Doesn’t make the bad aspects better, though. Those remain bad Kaishakuisms that a better writer would never have chosen to write. So yeah, I certainly agree with your last sentence. I do wish we had gotten that instead.

    (In a way, we even did get a better version of it that I would certainly replace the original KnM with if I could. Alas, it’ll remain a relatively unknown webnovel. Another thing to blame Kaishaku for, I suppose)

  2. Cryssoberyl says:

    I wonder if you would scoff I said “for a small group of anime-watching women in the mid 2000s, KnM was their Well of Loneliness“? Maybe you would, but I saw it unfold right in front of me. There is no doubt that KnM’s situation in history, combined with a substantive raising of the issues of those feelings, is a key element of its legacy. With regard to the anime, I remember so many female yuri fans saying “this is my story”, when it came to Chikane’s silent agony and shame, as well as loving it for Chikane’s willingness to go to any length, all alone, for the sake of the girl she loved…even to become hated by her by revealing her desire, for to her mind, what could be more damning?

    So, there is a stratum of people for whom KnM was a watershed moment in yuri and in their experiences with treatments of female/female romance in media. I’m one of them, and for us, it will always be remembered fondly. My best friend (and fellow commentor) Zefiris, who I actually met during that period as a direct result of us both following KnM, continues to view it as her favorite anime even after all these years. (My own having since become Simoun and, through a transformative rewatch in 2009, Utena.)

    This is mostly speaking to the anime though, and I must stress that both the KnM anime and the Himegami web-novel, undoubtedly the best of what we may call “Kaishaku-originated” works, are owed rather to other creative minds who adapted their concepts than to Kaishaku themselves. The KnM manga is perhaps best viewed as a “rough concept” of the anime with which to compare and contrast. I already own the Tokyopop release, so I won’t be buying it again, but as bad as it is, I am glad it is available. For those interested in a piece of yuri history, it undoubtedly has its place.

    • I wouldn’t scoff. I know people love it. My perspective has always been different than everyone else’s on it.

      I agree entirely that it has a place in Yuri history – which is why I continue to review new editions. ^_^

  3. dudebro says:

    I love the kannazuki no miko manga!

  4. superokamifan says:

    this doesnt deserve oblivions. KNM has always been a fun series and Chikane x Himeko is one of the most legendary yuri couples ever.

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