Here comes my first anime review. Enjoy!
Kannazuki no Miko was a manga series released in 2004 and created by a group of two manga artists called Kaishaku. By the end of 2004, the manga was adapted as an anime with 12 episodes.
Kannazuki no Miko literally means “Priestesses of the Godless Month”, but you can also find it under the name of Destiny of the Shrine Maiden.
On the day of their sixteenth birthday, the lives of Chikane Himemiya and Himeko Kurusugawa should change drastically. With the appearance of a dark moon in the sky, their destiny is once again decided, boding the repetition of the events from long ago.
Dark powers awaken and the deathly Orochi rise again, targeting the two girls and threatening to take their lives when they least expect it.
Even though I am a devoted fan of this anime, I have to point out that the plot has some flaws that need to be mentioned. If we were to cancel out the whole story linked to the Orochi and just leave Himeko, Chikane, and Souma, this anime would have been perfect, at least in my opinion.
But since we have quite a lot of drama, and in general, many twists and turns that came along with the appearance of the Orochi, things are not that easy. The idea behind this anime is brilliant, I think, leaving so much room for heartbreaking drama, but unfortunately, the actual performance lacks in many aspects. For example, there will be so many times in which you will be left alone with a whole lot of unanswered questions in your head. “Why did she do that?” or “How did that happen?” are questions that will pop up more than once.
Furthermore, and maybe that’s a typical anime theme, Kannazuki no Miko is a show that uses exaggerations very much. I mean, Himeko is not just clumsy, she is the queen of all clumsy people, occasionally falling out of bed, falling down the stairs, tripping over her own feet, etc. The same goes for Chikane. She is so popular that literally EVERYONE wants her. Basically, she is treated like the perfect being that everyone loves. Or how about Souma, a guy with a huge protection complex that basically risks his own life in each and every episode, going completely nuts when fighting an opponent that endangers his beloved one’s life.
There surely are many people that like those exaggerations. Personally, it didn’t really bother me that much, probably because they made the dynamic between Chikane and Himeko even better.
Chikane Himemiya: As the only daughter of a wealthy and prestigious family, she is the portrayal of a perfect young lady. She excels at both academics and sports, is beautiful and elegant, and on top of that, she is the target of affection of both boys and girls all the same. While she is the idol of the whole school, she doesn’t have many friends and acts rather aloof and distant around everyone.
Himeko Kurusugawa: In contrast to Chikane, Himeko is a rather unremarkable girl leading an ordinary life. She is very shy and clumsy and probably the very image of a pure and innocent girl. While it seems that she only has one real friend at school, she is secretly meeting with Chikane Himemiya to spend some undisturbed time with her most precious friend.
Since the anime is a little older, let’s not be too harsh with it. I’m also not an expert when it comes to this, but I would say the animation of this one is pretty good. There are only a few still pictures, most movements are very fluid, and the fighting scenes in particular look very well-done. In addition to that, I think that the design of the characters is really pretty, especially Chikane and Himeko, who are as beautiful as anime characters can be.
Since I can’t find a good trailer, let me show you the opening of the anime, just so you can get an idea of the animation.
I guess I’m not the only person that is totally in love with both the opening, Kotoko – Re-Sublimity, and the ending, Kotoko – Agony. These just made the anime at least five times more awesome!
The music used in the anime is also very pleasant and sometimes really catchy even, especially the fighting music. You’ll definitely come to like it, since it’s really well-done. The voice acting is another important aspect. You can watch it either in Japanese or in English, and I can actually recommend you both. While, of course, the Japanese voices are the most fitting, the English ones are surprisingly good as well.
While the relationship between Himeko and Chikane is the main theme of the story, we have some “disturbances”, namely Oogami Souma. But that’s exactly what makes it so good. On many occasions, we get to see just how much Chikane cares for, and even loves, Himeko. The latter is totally oblivious to those feelings, which hurts Chikane even more, as she pictures Souma as Himeko’s possible future boyfriend. There is so much drama going on, so much suffering on Chikane’s behalf, and so many heartwarming scenes between Himeko and Chikane that when the anime finally drew to its conclusion, even I shed some tears.
The love story between our two maidens was really the strongest theme of the whole anime, making it highly watchable for every yuri fan.
Even though this anime has many flaws that are quite obvious, I still love it with all my heart. This was the first yuri anime that I ever watched, and it is still one of my favorites. While even the first episode left me quite confused, and while in the end, there were still many questions left unanswered, I think especially the last two episodes made up for everything. It was dramatic to no end, it was heartbreaking, and best of all, the feelings really got through to the viewers. It’s rare for me to cry during a movie or a show, but this anime got me crying multiple times during the last episode.
Can’t get enough of Chikane and Himeko? Then how about watching Kyoushirou to Towa no Sora or reading Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesian? In both of them, you will find Chikane and Himeko, just with different names and slightly different personalities.