Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss Volume 18
Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who is now the kami at the land god’s shrine. Nanami has two familiars serving her: Tomoe the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.
Kamisama Kiss Volume 18
Written by: Julietta Suzuki
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015
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Volume 18 sees Nanami returning to her normal life after spending time in the past in order to save Tomoe in the present. However, there’s now a major difference in her normal life: she and Tomoe are now a couple. Unfortunately, she’s so happy about being with Tomoe that she’s not bothering to study and doesn’t seem to care about her grades. Tomoe decides that he needs to study, which Mikage highly approves of. Nanami is getting excited for the upcoming school trip, but Mikage tells her that she needs to score at least an 80 percent on all her finals if she wants to go.
I have to say that I approve of Mikage trying to impose a condition on Nanami in order to encourage her to study and to improve her grades, but I thought that the 80 percent was a little harsh. Fortunately, it’s revealed that Mikage simply said this in order to encourage Nanami to study harder and didn’t intend to keep her from going on the trip if she didn’t accomplish that.
Another important development happens in this portion of the story: Mizuki decides that he wants to go to school with Nanami, too. His main reason is that he wants to be able to go on the school trip with her, and he can only do that if he’s a student. Even though Tomoe had originally transferred into Nanami’s class to keep an eye on her, he’s at least trying to take studying and learning seriously. I suspect this is due to him wanting to be with Nanami as a romantic partner instead of simply being a familiar who serves her. I really don’t see Mizuki ever taking school or studying seriously, so he could end up being a problem if he’s in class with Nanami.
Roughly the last two-thirds of Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 take place during the school trip to Okinawa. We see that Mizuki is in the class and is on the trip, and he’s constantly whining about not getting to be with Nanami because they’re in different groups. The trip starts out eventful enough when the plane encounters some turbulence, and then a freak typhoon hits. But then Nanami discovers that a weakened Kirihito is around, and this eventually leads to Ami, one of Nanami’s friends, being kidnapped and accused of stealing a mermaid’s robe of feathers. In the process of trying to save Ami, Nanami also finds herself being called upon to try to save Kirihito’s life.
Volume 18 also reveals that Nanami’s friend, Ami, has a major crush on Kurama. After Ami is kidnapped, Tomoe and the others have to reveal what they really are to Kei, a mutual friend of Nanami and Ami. That’s a development I hadn’t expected, since Nanami has been trying hard to keep the fact that she’s a land god, as well as the truth about various characters’ identities, from her friends. I guess having Ami being kidnapped in this manner kind of forced the issue for Tomoe and the others.
I was a little disappointed in Nanami early on in the volume while she was lazy about studying, she more than made up for it on the school trip when she started taking charge of the situation in order to help Ami. She had to make a difficult decision during all of that, but that decision could end up having consequences attached to it. All in all, Volume 18 kept me interested in what was going on, and I didn’t want to put it down until I had finished it. And the way the volume ends made me want to read Volume 19 in order to find out what will happen to Nanami.
Readers who have been following and enjoying the series should enjoy and be satisfied with how the story progresses through Kamisama Kiss Volume 18. Nanami and Tomoe being a couple adds a new element and dimension to the story, and I suspect there will be some kind of repercussions later on. And having Mizuki starting to go to school adds a new layer to the characters and their interactions. Suzuki has found some great ways to keep the series from going stale, yet keeping enough of the elements that grabbed and hooked readers into this series in the first place.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media