Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review: Kannazaki no Miko (2004)

Kannazuki no Miko (~Destiny of the Shrine Maiden~) is a Japanese supernatural anime series about the reincarnations of the Solar and Lunar priestesses as they wage a cosmic battle against an evil god in contemporary Japan. It contains 12 episodes.

Himeko Kurusugawa and Chikane Himemiya are two high school teens attending a prestigious academy in Mahoroba, Japan. When an ancient evil awakens on their birthdays (in Japanese folklore, October means "godless month"), the girls are plunged into their destined roles: defending the world against the eight-headed Yamata no Orochi, an evil god who wishes to destroy the world of humanity and create its own realm.

The first Orochi ("follower of the evil god") who tries to kill to kill the priestess ("miko" in Japanese) is Soma Ogami, who is in love with Himeko. However, he rejects his fate and vows to defend her against the other seven Orochi. Each Orochi has a mecha with superhuman physical strength and endurance, and they eventually become totally evil as they progress in power. Those who resist the curse receive a painful punishment.

As the girls train for their roles as priestesses, the series takes a twist for the worse as the battle becomes more intense and complicated. Although the girls have a very close relationship, Chikane is hiding something important from Himeko. Can the girls defeat the Orochi together, or will the world forever live in darkness?

I had high expectations for this show because it is about two reincarnated girls who must save the world from evil destruction. I immediately thought of the series, Blue Seed, because it also contains Japanese mythology and the Yamata no Orochi character. The music (by artist KOTOKO) is also lively and upbeat with a trance background. I love watching shows where the girls have magical powers. More interestingly, they both love each other like yin and yang (two opposite personalities who become whole when combined). If you are not comfortable with yuri themes (lesbian scenes), you may want to ignore this show.

Unfortunately, the plot disappointed me. There was definitely a lot of fan service, but the storyline overall fell flat. The female protagonists even annoyed me because their character development was lackluster and stereotypical. There are several mecha scenes, so the primary audience is teens (boys and girls). The ending did surprise me with Chikane turning evil, but it did not save the show. The only thing I will take away from this show is the music (excellent tracks, but completely forgettable.)

You may buy or rent this show on Amazon.

  • Opening Theme: "Re-sublimity" by KOTOKO
  • Ending Theme: "Agony" by KOTOKO

"Re-sublimity" by KOTOKO

"Agony" by KOTOKO

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