Kamisama Dolls – 11

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Damn, this is a good series.  Great to look at, sexy, dangerous, whip-smart and loads of fun.  This is why anime and manga exist – there’s no way Kamisama Dolls could exist in any other format.

One of the things I love most about this show is the remarkable ability for it to be fun, yet at the just same time create a real sense of menace.  Bad things happen here, and justice isn’t always served, and there’s no sense whatsoever that the good guys will inevitably be all right in the end.  Yet against this backdrop are some of the best boob jokes ever, Utao’s vamping, Kukko’s yandere insanity, And Aki’s tsundere relationship with Kyouhei.  Perhaps the best embodiment of this is Miharu, who wraps both elements into one.  She’s undeniably entertaining – Kana Hanazawa is having great fun playing her as an absolute nut job, a loose cannon of the highest order.  She could easily kill someone and very nearly has already, and doesn’t think twice about kidnapping civilians and Tasering a tied-up Aki.  She’s a real lunatic.

Of course, she’s also  a weapon, and it now becomes clear she’s being used as one.  As crazy as Mahiru is, her larger goal – scrap the system of the village hierarchy – is a good one.  Of course her loopy vision of a Romeo & Juliet scenario (albeit with a happy ending) with a Kyouhei who would sooner castrate himself than date her is just absurd.   She wants to do the right thing for the wrong reasons, as I see it – and I think the same is likely true of Hirashiro, the Diet member.  It seems to be he that’s pulling Mahiru’s strings, but like Kukko (there’s no shortage of crazy people in this series) with Aki, he has no idea what he’s let himself in for.

Speaking of Aki, though he’s bound and stunned by Miharu he’s using her as well, seems like.  It’s he that sends her off like a mad dog after Hibino, convincing Miharu that Hibino is Kyouhei’s girlfriend.  His motivations might be simple mischief, but it seems more likely he sees this as a way to get his ultimate goal – to piss Kyouhei enough so that he jumps back in the seki saddle again.  We know more than ever thanks to the story he told Koushirou that Kyouhei is a bit of a wildman when the bit is in his teeth, and his raw seki ability appears to be unequalled.  It was his ability to use Kukkuri’s left hand to absorb and reflect the power of the rogue seki than saved the three kids’ life back in the village, and now that Miharu has kidnapped Hibino it seems more likely than ever that he’ll be forced to take Kukkuri’s reins again.  If Hibino’s life is at stake, how can he not?

For now, Hibino’s life may not be at stake but her innocence might be.  Hirashiro’s creepy henchman Shiba (Ono Atsushi) has been ordered not to kill her, but he doesn’t seem to be troubled at the notion of raping her.  There’s that sense of menace, again.  Much of the episode was spend making light of Hibino’s absurd breast size – including an extended scene of Miharu tuning in Tokyo with extreme prejudice – and indeed, I’ve never seen an anime make better use of the “big breasts” trope than this one.  They’re huge and everyone knows it, and the absurdity of it seems lost on no one except Hibino herself.  But at the same time she’s in grave danger, having been kidnapped by a psychopath and about to be violated by another, and she’s done absolutely nothing unkind to anyone in the entire series that I can remember.  It’s an odd dichotomy.

There’s no question that KamiDolls has a higher concentration of crazy people than just about any “realistic” series I can remember.  Miharu, Kukko, Aki, the Hyuga head, all pretty much nuts to some degree, and nearly everyone else has severe trauma issues.  It really makes you appreciate how normal Koushirou is, and how he might just be the best one to shepherd Kirio through the rest of his childhood.  He’s so matter-of-fact ‘ “The girl with the big tits was kidnapped!” – yet he’s clever, and never reacts without carefully considering his options.  As for the situation with Kirio and Utao, it seems to be acting mostly as a side story in the anime, but  it’s another element I’d like to see much more of in the second season. 

As of now nine volumes of the manga have been released, which should be roughly 54 chapters.  At the pace the first season is adapting, that’s just about enough material for a second season, and there almost certainly would be a year or so from now.  Are the Blu-Ray sales strong enough to justify it for Brains Base?  I certainly hope so – this one is a real winner.

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  1. A

    poor utao, not only her biscuit get crushed she also get hit by the table

  2. d

    Seems like each doll has one unique power. Koushiro's one can "sniff" enemies out and attack their precise location, Kukuri can absorb and shoot lighting, but Miharu's one seems special, can both teleport and barrier up

  3. S

    Oh Mahiru, you lucky bitch ;D
    The best parts have yet to come and there's definitely more than enough material for a second season. Fingers crossed the BDs will sell like hot cakes.
    Counting down to the second season of Ika Musume, degeso!

  4. Z

    I think all the dolls can teleport or rather phase out of our reality as we see Aki do it all the time and even Kukiri have done it a few times.

    Mahiru is only lucky if Hibiki gets away safely as she would rightly be the one blamed else and wouldn't exactly have a shot at her 'loved' one afterwards. Eliminating competition might sound good, but not when you have even admitted to doing it.

    I would normally assume that Hibiki would get away safely, but she wouldn't be the first girl raped in this show. But I guess cliffhangers usually turn out well and it's the unexpected stuff that goes badly.

  5. LOL, I hear people on certain forums saying Mahiru is "harmless" and it just makes me cringe. She's funny, she's KanaHana – so she's harmless, she's just quirky! Taser people and get girls raped much?

    Yes, I think all the Dolls – or at least some – can teleport. Moyako even asked Utao if she could teleport this week.

  6. N

    Finally I am up to date episode wise. I have to say the ending song is my favorite ending this season, it is really haunting, especially when I watched several episodes in row. I was a bit skeptical about watching Kamisama Dolls because after the opening and the first episode I knew, this show would play with my feelings. Thankfully I still watched it.

    I like almost all of the characters even Hibino who I feared would be only a Damsel in distress and fan service object. Well, OK, she is, but she is still more than just that.

    As you said Koushirou feels like the most normal person, which make me fear a bit for him to stay alive until the end of the story, because his normality and sanity is so important for so many people.
    I think he will make it probably alive through the last episode this season, but as you I am hoping there will be a second season, even if I am not so sure there will be one (still waiting for a sequel for Durarara)

    The Blu-Ray and DVD will be published next week.

    So far from the amazon preorders are looking neither like a super bit hit nor as a big failure.
    (Position From amzon.jp DVD/blu-Ray charts:
    Kamisama Dolls 1 (2011/09/21): Blu-Ray 215, DVD 2330 (the numbers mean chart position not number of volumes)
    For comparison: Natsume Yuujinchou San 2 (2011/09/21) Blu-Ray 99, DVD 174 (Volume 1 first week sales: Blu-ray 5676, DVD 4278), Ikoku Meiro no Croisée 1 (2011/09/21) Blu-Ray 553, DVD 3052, Usagi Drop 1 (2011/10/28) Blu Ray 197, DVD 1230
    The charts are updated every hour and change a bit of course (and naturally contain amazon sales only, but I find them nice for a first impression. ))

  7. That, if anything, discourages me that Ikoku Meiro isn't doing better. But thanks for posting those. Is there a link one can check, perhaps even run through Google Translate?

    I love both the OP and ED for this, both for the music and the very stylish and clever animation. In terms of character, seems to me that Hibino and Koushirou (along with her father) are the most "normal" and well-adjusted people on the show. Hibino doesn't get a lot of flashy moments, but she's not some kind of stereotypical dumb beauty – she's smart.

    And I fear for Kirio if Koushirou dies. That leaves him in the Elder's clutches.

  8. N

    I cannot read any japanese but it is relatively easy to navigate through amazon because the site structure is same I know from my country's amazon. Amazon.jp has an English site, but this helps me for books only.
    This is the Link for the 100 charts for DVD and Blue-Ray
    I didn’t manage to find a chart for more than 100 but you can look at the site from the volume of the anime you want to find. (Better search with the copied Japanese name) If you scroll a bit down the site you see the ranking. (The product details are in English, so it should be easy to find.

    Kamisama Dolls 1 Blu-Ray
    Kamisama dolls 1 DVD
    Ikoku Meiro 1 Blu-Ray
    Ikoku Meiro 1 DVD

    Oh and I like the opening from Kamisama Dolls too (Maybe even a bit more for the animation but I also like the music), but at first I didn’t noticed the ending. It just surprised me, how much I came to like it
    To Hibino: I really liked the scene when she talked to Aki in the library.

  9. Thanks, Niana. As you said – not terrible and not great. We'll hope for the best.

  10. F

    Oh man. Mahiru is joining Haqua in trying to give me a fetish for high-heels. Dammit.

    Anyway, she's just glorious. Amazing and glorious and wonderful. I love absolutely every moment she's on screen. I would never have believed that Hanazawa Kana could chew scenery so well. I wonder if Tomatsu Haruka's been giving her pointers. This is very much a performance I would have expected from her, not from HanaKana.

    And the show continues to bounce wildly from hilarious comedy to deadly serious, with Hibino in danger of getting raped very shortly (I seriously doubt it would happen, but still, most shows don't go there. This one does though)

    But seriously, there can never be enough Mahiru.

  11. F

    LOL, I hear people on certain forums saying Mahiru is "harmless" and it just makes me cringe. She's funny, she's KanaHana – so she's harmless, she's just quirky! Taser people and get girls raped much?

    While I wouldn't say she's harmless, I don't think she's like Aki, who was clearly not a good person from the get-go (though he did at some point try to shape up, and at least not cause problems. But we see where that got everyone…), but I think she's just very, very damaged.

    Of the three who faced the monstrous Kakashi, I think she was scarred the most. Both from being the youngest, and from having her mind directly touched by it. She's broken inside, holding on to her sanity with her obsession with Kyouhei, and I fear for when she finally realizes that she can never have him. I don't think it will end well for her, or for others, and I find that incredibly sad. She needs help, and she's not going to get it. Amazingly, perhaps the only way she could get help is if something is done about the village, but I doubt it will be in time for her.

    I would not be surprised if things did not turn out well at all for the entire older generation of Seki, with Utao and Kirio left to build something better with the Kakashi.

  12. I feel bad for her too, Fencedude, and I agree she's badly damaged. But I just cringe at "harmless". She's bloody harmful if you ask me.

  13. F

    The moment its made evident to her that Mahiru's fantasy is just that, all hell is going to break loose. I posted in the same thread Guardian Enzo mentioned that she is a powderkeg and I seriously mean it. People are going to die if she doesn't get help and fast.

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