Kamigami no Asobi 01 Review

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Bishies, bishies everywhere! You either go ‘aaaaahhhhhhh’ or ‘kyaaaaaaaaa’. Because when the gods are involved, it’s revere or fear, especially when it’s reverse harem. 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I’m sorry it’s just HAHAHAHAHA oh my god(s) HAHAHAHHAHAHA hilarious HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ABSOLUTELY BOMBASTIC! HAHAHAHAHA That first minute and a half! HAHAHAHAHAHA buttons popping! HAHAHAHA what’s with that mecha-like sequence of transformation?!? HAHAHAHAHAHA that ED! LOL HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 以外に面白い!Surprisingly interesting!

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Brought to us by Brains Base, the very same people who gave us most recently Brothers Conflict. But for all the stereotype gripe one can have about reverse harems and those based on otome games like KnA is, let’s be fair and look at the production house objectively. They’ve actually done A LOT of productions such as Blood Lad, Ixion Saga DT and the Natsume Yuujinchou series. Yup, Brains Base gave us Natsume. So in terms of production quality, I’m sure they’ll give us lots of kira-kira (sparkles) and fluid hair movement when the gods emerge from a shower or something – that first minute and a half HAHAHAHAHA. And with this opening episode, they sure haven’t stinged on the kira-kira what with the BLOOMS each god gets when introduced! OMG the sound effects accompanying the blooming! LOL.

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Moving onto the Director. Kawamura Tomoyuki has done episode directing and KnA is his very first time in the director’s seat for the entire series. So… let’s give him benefit of the doubt and have faith that the gods are kind to this man and therefore kind to this reviewer. Just as important is the series composition, done by Konparu Tomoko, who is a god’s gift to KnA (and all reverse harem genres though it is too early to tell if she can make this genre actually work better than most before it). She’s the woman behind the series composition of slow-paced romance (Genji Monogatari Sennenki), high school romance (Kimi ni Todoke both seasons), university romance (Nodame Cantabile),  dark seijou romance (Nana) AND she has actually done reverse harem before – Uta-Prince 1000% and 2000%. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed very tightly that she’ll keep the gods in check and balance so some semblance of romance in any strand of plotline outshines the gods. I mean, she’s done so many types of romance and adaptations already! And she’s delivered here because those one-liners are CLASSIC! Since they’re going bombastic, might as well go all out! Hades (sounding like an emo brat) telling Yui to stay away simply had me in stitches because it was just so camp, so soon! Apollon’s transformation was so out of this world (yes, yes, he’s a god) I can watch it multiple times and still LOL every single time – does he get his buttons back?!

Music is brought to us by Elements Garden, the same band behind the Uta-Puri OSTs. The Uta-Puri OSTs are not bad to be honest. But they’re not outstanding either, which is understandable given the show is a reverse harem show that’s not to be taken too seriously in the first place. Because our gods are Greek, Japanese and Nordic, the music’s just as mixed up what with some traditional japanese music one minute then church organs the next before switching to medieval lute instruments and even middle-eastern music! Gee it’s one giant mix up, not that I mind though. We don’t have an OP this episode but the ED runs like a PV for the gods, complete with lip syncing and strategic posing. Campness to the max for this generic pop sounding boygodband!

Next up is the only reason I ever bother watching reverse harem – male seiyuu galore~~~ alright brace yourselves for we have massive flirt Apollon Irino Miyu (who’s also in Captain Earth this season), emo Hades Ono Daisuke, Cinderella-like klutz Baldr Kamiya Hiroshi (also in Captain Earth), cool teacher Thoth Morikawa Toshiyuki and brother-complex Takeru Toyonaga Toshiyuki both fresh off Buddy Complex, deliciously nasty Loki Hosoya Yoshimasu (captain!!) hot off Kuroko and Strike the Blood, Kaji Yuuki (Yuu-tan <3) and expressionless Tsukito voiced by newbie Uemura Yuuto. Uta-Puri Shining Saotome Wakamoto Norio is back as Zeus this time too. As for the unfortunate female seiyuu who has the honour of challenging reverse harem – Hayami Saori, who’s also in Mahouka no Rettousei this season. In Uta-Puri, even Sawashiro Miyuki couldn’t convince us to not cringe when all the male students were vying for her attention. Can Hayami Saori do it? She’s a good seiyuu, never going over the top even in the most dramatic of scenes (looking at you Yuuki Aoi) and if you look closely at her CV, she’s done lots of strong female characters –   Yukinoshita Yukino (Yahari, ore no seishun love come wa machigatteiru), Wako (Star Driver), Tsuyu (Noragami) and my all time favourite Tsuruko in AnoHana. So hopefully she won’t end up too whiny (or suffer the blasphemy of a director who insists on her whining) and pathetic (tsk tsk Hiiro no Kakera‘s Miyake Marie).

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So far so good. I mean, when was the last time you saw a high school student practice with a frickin’ REAL sword? Hayami’s pitch isn’t high so that’s always a good sign and the lines she gets aren’t wimpy at all. She holds her ground against Zeus and I loved it when she genuinely said she wanted to find out what’s going on when Loki “offered” to share, in spite of his close distance (and there were lots of these with surely more to come). She’s not intimidated by any of them (maybe because they’re not demons or vampires *cough*diabolik lovers*cough*) and that’s what makes Yui a tolerable female lead in reverse harem for once! In an opening episode at least.

Plot wise, I’m going in with zero expectations. This a Broccoli otome-game adaptation we’re talking about here so don’t expect any real plot (watch Hakuoki instead – it’s got an actual plot and narrative supporting it). With so many bishie gods Kusanagi Yui has to teach about humanity (cue – roll eyes), expect more or less an episode dedicated to each god’s me-time with her. The gods themselves are a mish-mash mix of Nordic, Japanese and Greek put together to learn about humanity from a Shinto priestess. So do yourself a favour, don’t bother with logic (Greek god Zeus has the power to force education unto the Nordic and Japanese gods? What jurisdiction does he think he has?). Just let it all go and bask in the glory of the seiyuu-kamis. That’s what I’m doing because so help me god, I don’t think I can get through this genre otherwise. Although if you watch knowing it’s BOMBASTIC, it’s actually hilarious! Just don’t take anything seriously!

*The review of Kamisama no Asobi is in response to the challenge fellow writer contributor Kiseki has issued. All sarcasm are unabashedly made as a result and should be taken with no caution whatsoever.*

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