Kannazuki no Miko – Anime Review

The Essentials

Kannazuki no MikoName: Kannazuki no Miko, Destiny of Shrine Maiden
Genre: Drama, Action, Romance
Episodes: 12
Released: October 2, 2004 – December 18, 2004
Based On: Kannazuki no Miko manga by Kaishaku
Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Produced By: TNK, Rondo Robe
US Distribution By: Geneon

Major Japanese Cast

Himeko Kurusegawa: Noriko Shitaya
Chikane Himemiya: Ayako Kawasumi
Souma Oogami: Junji Majima
Kazuki Oogami: Moichi Saito
Miyako: Ikue Ohtani
Tsubasa: Yasunori Matsumoto
Otoha Kisaragi: Chinami Nishimura

Major English Cast

Himeko Kurusegawa: Jennifer Sekiguchi
Chikane Himemiya: Michelle Ruff
Souma Oogami: Steve Cannon
Kazuki Oogami: Lex Lang
Miyako: Heather Lee Joelson
Tsubasa: Liam O’Brien
Otoha Kisaragi: Kate Higgins

Scores

Animation: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Story: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 9/10 (x 2 = 18 pts)
English Dubs: 7/10 (x 1 = 7 pts)
Gut Score: 7/10 (x 5 = 35 pts)

Total: 152/200 (76%)

Review

Kannazuki no Miko is about two girls – Himeko and Chikane – who are chosen to become the Solar Priestess and the Lunar Priestess respectively so that they may fight against the Orochi. Orochi is an evil god who takes 7 people – presumably all who live life in despair – under his employ in order to fulfill his will of the destruction of the Priestesses and end of the world.  Each of Orochi’s followers are given a giant mecha in order to find, fight, and kill the priestesses.

Himeko is liked by both Chikane as well as Souma, a boy who attends their high school. However, when Orochi appears, Souma is selected as one of his followers, but is able to resist Orochi’s power and is able to use the mecha granted to him to protect the Priestesses from the other Orochi followers. This gives the Priestesses time to attempt to summon the Ame no Murakumo, whose shrine is on the Moon, to defeat Orochi. However, as time goes on, both Souma and Chikane – the two people Himeko holds most dear – both start being lured more and more towards Orochi’s power.

One would think that Kannazuki no Miko would the perfect anime fan-boy combination: yuri action combined with giant mechas. It’s just like Evangelion with Rei and Asuka making out with each other! (OK, not really.)

However, this dream combination doesn’t exactly pan out as planned. The start of the series ends up being almost silly as the mecha battle sequences can be a little rough around the edges, and as the plot switches between mecha fighting and Himeko-dating-Souma mode with a predictability that even a watch could appreciate (How many times can the Orochi ruin Himeko and Souma’s dates, for example?).

The series is almost painful to watch as the first 6 episodes roll along. Then a funny thing happens. The series suddenly throws in a couple of plot twists and things start improving dramatically in the final half of the series The final few episodes especially are actually good enough to hold it’s own against most shows, with a final shocking plot twist that left even my mouth gaping.

Unfortunately in the end, the first half of the series is just too much of a burden on the finally-improving second half – especially since you have to bear through the bad half to get to the good half. The scores – especially the story and “gut score” scores almost end up being average of the first half of the series with the second half. Animation is only about average, though the soundtrack seemed pretty good. The dubbing was also OK.

Overall, whether one likes Kannazuki no Miko may depend on your tastes in anime and how much early badness you are able to put up with. Your mileage may definitely vary.

First Watched: July – September 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: If you’re willing to resist boring your eyes out for the first half of the series to get to the second half

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2 thoughts on “Kannazuki no Miko – Anime Review

  1. You know, i thought that spirits or demons in place of the mechas would have been a DAMN LOT BETTER. I mean, what the hell are MECHAS doing in a PRIESTRESS yuri story? SHRINE. PRIESTESSES. YURI. ANCIENT BATTLE. ENEMIES. ANCIENT PRIEST. What’s missing? Of course, SPIRITS/DEMONS. Not MECHAS.

    Anyway, i agree with what you said up there. Oogami pretty much screams, ‘HIMEKO!!!’ all of the time, which gets annoying after a ‘while’ (by a ‘while’ i mean after 2 episodes) Chikane is the ‘seme’ for the relationship, while Himeko is ‘uke’, yada yada yada.

    But i’m kinda surprised you didn’t elaborate on the ending in here. Most reviewers would have commented harshly on Himeko on her instant forgiveness at Chikane at her horrendous deed. I was at first blind to that fact cos i was too happy on it, like, the yuri kiss part, and the ending…

    Worth at least a 7/10. :)

  2. The first ep had a lot going on and caught my attention. I agree that Chikane was probably the best character since her character development was very dynamic. The ending was rather interesting as well. The whole 7 orochi thing made no sense to me and I probably would have wanted more on each orochi’s backstory since that appealed most to me. But I guess for a 12 episode anime there was only so much you could do.

    The beginning WAS uber slow and it did pick up but I could have done without 7 bad guys and focused more on Chikane and Himeko.

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