Anime Review: Kannazuki no Miko

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.

Genre: Yuri, Mecha, Tragedy, Romance, School Life, Sci-Fi

Plot: 6/10

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.

Characters: 8/10

kannazuki no miko
Chikane (left) and Himeko (right)

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.

souma kannazuki no miko
Souma Oogami: As a very handsome young man and the member of a well-respected family, Souma is also one of the most popular students in the entire school. While there are rumors of him secretly dating Chikane Himemiya, he is really in love with his childhood friend, Himeko Kurusugawa. As the dark powers within him awaken, he is the only Orochi member that abandons his duties in order to protect the one he loves.

Animation: 7/10

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.

Sound and Music: 9/10

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.

I especially enjoyed Chikane’s Japanese voice, done by Kawasumi Ayako, and Sister Miyako, voiced by Ootani Ikue.

Yuri: 9/10

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.

kannazuki no miko

Total Enjoyment: 8/10

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 2 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 Kyoshiro 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.

zettai shoujo seiiki amnesian
Chikane and Himeko in Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesian

kyoshiro to towa no sora
Kaon and Himiko in Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora

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19 thoughts on “Anime Review: Kannazuki no Miko

  1. The development of ChiMeko is the most (if not, only) important storyline on the show. Everything other than Souma Ogami's undeniable manliness and respect as a dood is irrelevant.

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  2. True but while ChikanexHimeko is undoubtedly the most important storyline, HimekoxSouma has its significance as well.
    I mean it took Himeko long enough to realize that Souma isn't the right one for her and caused a great amount of damage on Chikane's behalf.

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  3. This anime. I watched it back in 2004 when it first came out hoping day after day for the next release of it :). This was one of the few shows that got me into anime and manga (after I bought the manga of it :3).

    If I could go back I would probably watch it again if only for the sense of nostalgia of considering it is still one of the few yuri's I can think of off the top of my head to re-watch.

    The opening song “Re-Sublimity” and the ending song “Agony” by Kokoto were absolutely amazing. The music in the battle scenes always had my attention but I can't forget the most important thing itself.

    The tale of Himeko and Chikane as they grow and defy fate and continue to love each other no matter how many life times they have to go through as long as they find each other in the end. That part was my favorite and is why this will still probably always be one of my favorites.

    P.S: While I loved the animation I didn't really see a point to a lot of the mecha scenes in some parts. I can understand a few used to further the plot along but other then that not really. (I am okay with mecha as long as it's not in high amounts) :3

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  4. Sometimes I also wish to be able to go back in time, just so I can watch a show or most likely to read a fanfiction all over again.
    Kannazuki no Miko is one those shows. It's definitely not for the mecha action, if you ask me they could have left that out in the first place. But just for Himeko x Chikane I already re-watched this anime twice and each and every time I'm reminded again just what a great couple they make.

    I know it's not gonna happen, but I wish there was a second season just about Chikane and Himeko…

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  5. I wished I had watched this earlier in my Yuri career, back when i was more naive. that goes the same for stuff with the Yuri couple partner get temporarily stolen or joined with boys for plot or pointless reason. Why? Because now that I have more self-awareness developed, I feel great selfish waves of anger (like NTR sorta feeling) for anything that has a girl take part in romantic/sexual relation with a boy when there is already feelings for her present. Anime like Kannazuki and Kutsukiboshi just wrench my internal feelings now and make me want to rage on something. Then to top it off, I often make it worse by keeping the enraged feeling going by playing Star Wars III's OST “Heroes Collide” which somehow makes me want to childishly swing a saber around like I know what I'm doing with it.
    I find it harder by the day to watch Yuri anime now that I have to force myself through every episode no matter how much my heart overheats in rage.

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  6. I can definitely understand why you or actually anyone would hate Kuttsukiboshi, but Kannazuki no Miko?
    It's probably just like you said, the more shows you watch and the more you understand what you enjoy and what you don't, the worse some other shows will feel to you.

    Kannazuki has been one of my first yuri shows, but even today it's one of my favorite yuri anime, but the story still kinda sucks 😛

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  7. The story in kannazuki no miko might seemed suck. However, I think that is because the story left a lot of space to expand. There are a lot of unexplained stuffs in kannazuki no miko story, which is the reason why it left the readers trying to comprehend “wth is going on” type of feeling.
    Other than that, I think the idea of them being the sun and moon priestess and their reincarnated self is pretty sweet.

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  8. The reincarnation idea might be a really good one, that's true.
    However, I don't think we can make a crappy story sound better by suggesting that it just left some space to expand.
    Especially when knowing who the creator of this is, you already know that there probably is no hidden brilliance in this piece.

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  9. Along with Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora and Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesyan there is another alternative story for Kannazuki no Miko. Web novel Himegami no Miko ~ Sen no Hana Mangekyō ~ written on the script Utake Sumiotoku (writer anime adaptations Kannazuki no Miko and Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora). Arts to the novel were drawing Kaisaku.
    http://www.himegami.com/

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  10. About Kannazuki no Miko say the following. This anime is my first work in the genre yuri and at the same time the most beloved of all yuri works. I really like Himeko and Chikane, because they love each other and value their relationships. If you have to ask me which of these two characters I like, I'll answer it Chikane. Chikane very brave, gazing into the face of danger and at the same time kind, gentle and worry about his beloved girl. Most of all I like Chikane that for a loved one, it is ready to do anything, even sacrifice their lives. Also Chikane and Himeko except I like Soma and his older brother Tsubasa, which is the first neck Orochi. Soma has shown an example that he has a strong will power and a bold characterized, so he was able to resist the Orochi to protect the Priestess (especially Himeko, which he loves). Tsubasa I like the fact that in spite of that he is a servant of darkness, he greatly appreciates his younger brother Soma. And for him, Tsubasa changed his views on the world and help him in the fight against Orochi.
    The best moments in Kannazuki no Miko for me are friendly and affectionate relationship between Himeko and Chikane. In the final series, they confessed to each other in love, I was very touched and made prolilit tears. They were really leave, after they discovered each other their feelings and I was sad to see it. However, in the last episode, they all still met again that touched me even more.
    Also I liked their catch phrase recognition feelings to each other:
    “I've always loved you … To me, you – perfect, a real princess, illuminating me like a gentle sun. As the moon can shine only by the Sun so I wanted to become more beautiful and brighter all … If only you saw it.”
    Chikane Himemiya
    “I still bear … The sun shines only because there are a Moon. Only then it can smile. Just because Moon teaches him to shine. The sun can shine even brighter, to Moon was happy.”
    Himeko Kurusugava
    I really liked it like this work. Also recently, this product was exactly ten years since its release.
    However, what happens next? I guess that soon Orochi will again try to break free and thus conquer our world. And then shall appear the one who changed the fate of the two Miko in a new direction. Wind of Change was coming soon.

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  11. I always thought Himegami was just another name for the last manga, Zettai Shoujo…, was I wrong?
    Gotta check it out, thanks for the link 🙂

    For a long while now I've been wondering whether we'll ever see these two again, either on TV or in form of a manga.
    I still haven't lost faith, but it's not easy…

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  12. Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesyan manga is drawn by the creators of manga Kannazuki no Miko, Kaisaku. While the Himegami no Miko ~ Sen no Hana Mangekyō ~ is a web novel with a separate history. Protagonists Himegami no Miko are Kozuka Chikane, Himeko Nichimen and Soma Ovami. According to information from the site, a short story consists of seven chapters.
    Faith is the most important. Every fan of the genre yuri likes Himeko and Chikane, since they are the best and most famous couple. And if faith becomes stronger, and we suffer the luck, there will be an opportunity to meet again with us their favorite two Miko again. Wind of Change was coming soon.

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  13. mm…I still hate soma, no matter how pitiful or sympathetic his character gets. Well, to be specific, I just hate him being the 3rd wheel in the way of yuri here. That het kiss scene still makes my OTP instinct rage. everytime too ;X

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  14. Very good plot, i would say best but that place is for my #1 (Simoun). I don’t know why people hate this serie, i just loved it. specially that rape scene, i didn’t expect it.

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