Kannagi – Anime Review

The Essentials

KannagiName: Kannagi
Genre: Comedy
Episodes: 13
Released: October 10, 2008 – December 27, 2008
Based On: Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens manga by Eri Takenashi
Director: Yutaka Yamamoto
Produced By: A-1 Pictures, Aniplex
US Distribution By: N/A

Major Japanese Cast

Nagi: Haruka Tomatsu
Jin Mikuriya: Hiro Shimono
Tsugumi Aoba: Miyuki Sawashiro
Takako Kimura: Risa Hayamizu
Daitetsu Hibiki: Takanori Hoshino
Zange: Kana Hanazawa
Meguru Akiba: Tetsuya Kakihara
Shino Ookouchi: Mai Nakahara

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 7/10 (x 2 = 14 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 10/10 (x 5 = 50 pts)

Total: 168/190 (88.4%)

Review

Kannagi is about a goddess, Nagi, who materializes into a corporeal form thanks to Jin, a member of his high school’s art club, carving a statue of a girl out of the wood of a sacred three that was recently cut down.  Nagi states that her purpose is to rid the area of “impurities” before they start causing too much trouble.

What ensues is a hilarious comedy as Nagi and Jin have to come up with excuses as to why they’re living together to their friends, and as Nagi, and her goddess sister Zange, compete to see who can gain the most influence over protecting the land.

My overall thoughts on this series are based on the assumption that there will be a second season, just because how this series ended was so open, with Jin and Nagi saying how they’re going to try to find out more about Nagi’s past, and because so many things are left unresolved, such as Zange’s possession of another girl’s body, the general relationship picture overall, and the fact that Nagi warned that, over time, her body will start crumbling without being attached to something being worshipped, and we failed to see any danger of this developing in this series.

Having said all of this, many of the characters in this series seem to be rather unique – or at least I can’t redily compare them to your standard, overused character archetypes very easily.  I mean, yes, you have the “childhood friend” character, the “otaku” character and so forth, but these characters were largely developed above and beyond just their initial archetypes.

Also, comedy setups in this series end up being executed much the same way, with vaugely familiar gag scenes being executed in a way that’s fresh and hilarious.  It’s sometime said that everything that can be told has been told, it’s just a matter of how you tell it (or something to that effect), and I think Kannagi illustrates this fact as well as any series.  And it strikes just the right balance in almost every respect along the way.

Besides the loose ends, I guess my main beef with this series is that the series set up the idea of Nagi going around exterminating impurities right off the bat, and while we spent a good deal of time in the first couple of episodes dealing with that, the series never really got back to that issue except for a few moments in a few other episodes, and that aspect of the show was largely forgotten.

As for the technical aspects, I wouldn’t say that the animation and music was done in such a way that wowed you, but both were certainly of pretty good quality as far as I could tell.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good, fun series to watch, give Kannagi a try.

First Watched: March 2009
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

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2 thoughts on “Kannagi – Anime Review

  1. I agree with what you’ve said here — taking familiar character types, situations, and gags and then presenting them in a fresh way.

    I really do hope that we get a 2nd series. I haven’t heard if the manga-ka has returned to writing the manga though.

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