Archive for the Kannazuki no Miko Category


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 book 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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Yuri Manga: Kannazuki no Miko, Volume 1 (English)

August 1st, 2016

t_x400Well, here we are again. ^_^

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.

Ratings:

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.

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Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesium Manga, Volume 2

September 20th, 2010

Where does one even begin with the mess that is Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesium (絶対少女聖域アムネシアン) Manga, Volume 2?

In my review of Volume 1, I pointed out all the major issues – the constant battering of sexualized violence that hides a really thin plot of nothing much; there is a hidden power that the “Kuyou” are seeking, and to get it, they must cause chaos and death and rip the clothes off girls, etc, etc…

The second volume includes peeping, fake ‘practice’ sexual intercourse (a scene so ill-conceived that I’m comfortable saying that either Kaishuku collectively has never had sexual relations with a woman, or that they expect their readers not to have had them, so they won’t know any better.)

A subplot includes the total destruction of Akihabara by fans possessed by an idol, something surely meant to be ironic, but instead was just the manga version of “full of loud explosions.” The end of the book had more irony, as we are left with the most obvious cliffhanger in the known universe. (Ironic in the sense of it being presented as a mystery at all, when we all knew from, like, the second page, that this was what was up.)

But, rest assured that skirts and shirts were ripped and breasts and underwear were shown and critical plot points were skipped so we could focus on these. On the other hand, since there is a case for this story being a continuation of the Himeko/Chikane story from the Kannizuki no Miko manga,  and for proving me right about them not having a happy ending, I suppose I’m glad in a “not that I care” kind of way. ^_^

Ratings:

Service –

Overall – 1

I counted while I was reading. Sighs won, followed by “UGH.” In third place was “Good god.” Also common was, “for pity’s sake” and “what a piece of /expletive deleted/.” To be very honest, this book and everything it represents makes me tired. Tired of swimming uphill against a river of effluvia like this. This is not Yuri. It’s sewage. Okazu Superhero Dan P is to “thank” for sponsoring today’s review. Let me know what you think when the books arrive, Dan!

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Yuri Manga: Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesium, Volume 1

September 14th, 2010

Most folks, after spending years honing their craft, improve at whatever they set out to do. Some with marginal skills may never be great, but can at least reach “competent.” For instance, I was never going to be a concert clarinetist, but when I was practicing 4 hours a day, I got better.

Some people, though, become less good, for any number of reasons. There may be less of a drive to excel; time crunches, over-extension, professional commitments, life all take their toll on some people. And a few just run out of something to say. You can see this in bands, particularly. They start out life all young and angry and edgy, but by the third album extolling the virtues of fatherhood and married life you’re ready to vomit at the blandness of their work. ^_^

And some people…well, some people just get worse.

All of which is to say that the “creative” team known as Kaishaku has absolutely surpassed themselves in crappily executed crap with the creation of Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesium (絶対少女聖域アムネシアン).

I won’t bother summarizing the plot because, frankly, there is no point. The plot serves as the thinnest possible frame around a series of service-y violence, much of it sexual, against the ever-popular punching bags of Himeko and Chikane.

Amnesium is a blivet of a manga, filled to the brim with fetishes, rape, mostly-nude, but you know, not *totally* nude nudity, sexual harassment, more rape, more fetishes and more sexual harassment.

Kaishaku’s writing has regressed to the point that I either have to imagine them chained to desks, staring helplessly at an editor holding a whip, mumbling, “rape Himeko, okay, rape Chikane, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay” or sitting around in the asylum slavering. Because, frankly, this iteration is just…sad. Himeko had a sister Chikane, but she died and now a person who looks and sounds *just* like Chikane-oneesama, with the name Chikane, has arrived, but isn’t Chikane-oneesama, has unsisterly intentions, but may have been the one to kill her sister. /mumble/okay, okay, okay, okay/mumble/

The art is no better than it ever has been, so any action scene is hard to parse, but since they are all the same – attempted rape, Himeko’s and/or Chikane’s clothes are shredded (crotches are miraculously never visible, of course) fighting occurs, Chikane wins when Himeko commands her to – it doesn’t really matter anyway. Whee.

Ratings:

Service: 10

Overall: 2, but only so there’s somewhere down to go for Volume 2

Today’s book was sponsored by LFB-in-training and Okazu superhero Dan P.! You are so getting these Dan. You need them. You *want* them. ^_^

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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.

Ratings:

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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