ADVISORY: Destiny of the Shrine Maiden (Kannazuki no Miko) is a series that features mature subject matter. I would not reccomend the show be watched by anyone under the age of 16. I'd say 17 just to be sure. It is most definetly not for young children.
This is a show I should have never enjoyed. A show that had such a weird case of false advertising it wasn't even funny. With a theme song by KOTOKO and mecha, what could have gone wrong? Easy. A lot of things.
Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, or Kannazuki no Miko (Preistesses of the Godless Month) is a show based on the manga by the duo Kaishaku. Yes, the same Kaishaku that brought the world things like Steel Angel Kurumi and UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie.
I came in expect a Super Robot show with music by KOTOKO and being based on a manga. What I got was more of a love story with loveable characters, incredible music and an all star voice cast on both sides of the Pacific with some mecha (midly awesome mecha designs too!) thrown in on the side.
Now; when I say lovable characters, I mean it. Even though the show was only 12 episodes long, over the course of the plot, I saw characters develop, redevelop and develop again.One of the main leads in this show, Chikane Himemiya(CV: Ayako Kawasumi/ VA: Michelle Ruff) is a prime example. Chikane is one of the two main protagnists of the show and it shows. If anyone develops, it's Chikane. She's the every-girl. The girl every guy wants to date, the star athlete, the brainiac. Her relationship with our other main heroine, Himeko Kurusugawa (CV: Noriko Shitaya/ VA: Stephanie Sheh), a unconfident and shy schoolgirl, does show in the later half on our extradonairy levels. Over the course of the show, Chikane begins to like Himeko more and more. Yes, I mean that "kind" of like. This show has a boat load of yuri material. But that's beside the point. Himeko eventually becomes the most important person in Chikane's life. To that point, the girl gets the girl. The complete opposite of what I was expecting. My only complaint of this relationship was the later half of Episode 8. It was excessive. That's all there is to it.
From stunning visuals (for a 2004 series) to the astonishing soundtrack by KOTOKO, lovable characters and a plot that explores Japanese mythology to true love, no matter the gender, Destiny of the Shrine Maiden is a show worth watching. Don't take reviews or my word for it. Check it out and see for yourself. Opinions may differ as some people call this show crap and others say it's decent. I found myself midly enjoying myself.
Overall, Destiny of the Shrine Maiden recieves my thumbs up. Well, swords up.
Get it? Swords. Shrine. Maiden. Robots.
Boot to the head on anyone's thoughts but my own! V
Destiny of the Shrine Maiden is avaliable streaming online from The Anime Network in English or Japanese Audio (Subscriber-only). The DVDs have been released as a box set by Sentai Filmworks.
Kannazuki no Miko (Destiny of the Shrine Maidens)
Plot: "Gentle Himeko and reserved Chikane were born into very different backgrounds, but still became the best of friends. Their fates, they would soon come to discover, are intertwined in a fashion that they can't possibly imagine -- they are the reincarnations of two priestesses who once sealed the god of darkness Orochi in their past lives. Set to revive again, his giant robot-riding agents have set out to destroy the girls, one of whom is Himeko's friend who is in love with her. Riddled with memories of their past lives, the two try to survive long enough to cast the seal on Orochi again..." (site synopsis)
Before starting with the review i want to say a few words as an introduction/opinion about Kannazuki no Miko.This anime officialy enters in my top 3 shoujo-ai animes and for sure in my top 10 favourite animes.Its not to good like other shoujo-ai animes but its still very well made, very touching and with a strong, emotional and captivating yuri aspect.
Story: In terms of story this anime isnt quite that good (dont get me wrong, this anime has a story to begin with and to end with but at some points it gets rather complicated, confusing and with stuff that dont have connection but this is just around the begining because near the ending it clears up kinda fast, like forced ending).Whatever, the story is centered on a beautiful and gentle girl named Himeko.One day she gets to meet Chikane one of the most popular girl in high school who is a member of an important and wealthy family.Of course if we watch the first episode we see that Chikane and Himeko were born in different backgrounds with different life styles but who would have thought about the connections between those two.Who would have thought that Chikane and Himeko are the reincarnation of two priestesses, who in the past they sealed the god of darkness Orochi.Due to some unpleasent events like the revival of Orochi, Chikane and Himeko are informed that they possess the powers of the Sun and Moon Priestesses and they are the only ones that could stop Orochi from destroying the world.However this task didnt prove to be so easy, Oogami one of Himeko's friends is the seventh neck of Orochi who plots to kill the priestesses but because of his strong feelings towards Himeko he doesnt obey Orochi and decides to fight against him to protect Himeko.As the story develops more characters appear who have a significantly influence at the ending and more events take place that endangers the relationship between Himeko and Chikane.The thing that makes this anime interesting is that Chikane developed love feelings towards Himeko but because girl x girl love relationships were forbidden she kept her feelings locked inside of her in order to not cause problems.But this also didnt prove to be so easy to bear since Himeko and Oogami were dating very often.The story of this anime is engulfed with drama.It is nice at some points enjoyable but around the ending it gets realy dramatic, almost tragicaly.The thing is that the ending isnt that sad, but i recommend to you guys that if you happen to watch this anime be sure to check after the credits because it ends in a nice and happy way.
Animation: Not bad, not bad at all, Kannazuki no Miko isnt a masterpiece in terms of animation but it isnt of a low level also.The character designs were very well made i realy liked how Chikane, Kazuki and Tsubasa were designed which realy fited their role.Im not a big fan of mecha animes, but i dont hate them also i enjoy animes that have mecha aspects but not placed randomly and too often.
Sound: Well in terms of sound this anime is briliant.The opening song and the ending song were realy on my taste, i didnt like them from the begining but after listening them like two, three times i started to like them.The background sounds also arent that bad as well because it realy fits the anime environment.
Characters: Related to characters in this anime we can speak about a good character development but under my expectations.At the begining we see new characters appearing but as we pass throught episodes no more characters show up.A thing that i need to say here is that individualy most of the characters werent developed.Except for Himeko and Chikane and something trivial about Tsubasa and Oogami, the other characters were completely left behind treated like side characters.
Overall: Watchable, enjoyable, funny and warm at some points with a nice shoujo-ai aspect, sad, dramatic, almost tragic at the ending but it didnt proved to be that way, infact it ended in a nice, i can say even happy way (again i mention that it is wise to watch after the credits because if you dont then you will think that this anime is unfinished, uncleared, unsolved and confusing).For shoujo-ai fans this anime is a must to watch, but i recommend it to other anime fans as well since this anime in my opinion is kinda hard to hate.Rated it abit more because i realy enjoyed watching it.
~Enjoy and Cya Around~
Story: I love this stroy super sad but realy happy it is a must see it like falling into heaven and it is exciting and intriguing
Animation: Love how they did the Animation nice and smooth relly bright colors great job guys
Sound: Spot on with the sound
Characters: you will love all the Characters but you will love the most is
Chikane HIMEMIYA and Himeko KURUSUGAWA
Story | 7.5/10
First of all, I enjoyed this anime and its story. But its concepts aren't all that original. I've seen the miko (priestess) theme in a few anime before. However, the story was little crumpled altogether. The ending was puzzling, but I will not spill the details. Given it's such a short anime, I find the general details too spoilerific to share.
Animation | 8/10
A little choppy when it comes to the battle scenes, but still considerably action-oriented. But I do love how much color there is throughout Kannazuki no Miko. The character designs are lovely, but at the same could have a little more work. Every scene is nicely done, despite any flaws I may have noticed.
Sound | 8.5/10
I loved the opening and ending songs. The music is well-timed for each epic moment and battle scene. But sometimes the music could seem a little off with the subject matter in some scenes. Kannazuki no Miko has catchy or simply nice music as well as music that just pulls on your heartstrings.
Characters | 6.5/10
I love the two main characters Chikane and Himeko. They both develop in their own way, but also barely change at all. Though I adore Chikane Himemiya and Himeko Kurusugawa, I must say the villains and a couple other characters are rather flat or static. The villains hardly have any character development at all... The same goes for the characters who have romantic feelings... To be blunt, I feel as if the villains and a few other characters served little to no purpose whatsoever.
Overall | 7.5/10
Like I've said, a lot about this anime simply cannot be told of. I recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys something a little different from anime that have a priestess(es) and romance. I enjoyed this anime myself, yes, but Kannazuki no Miko could have been a little better.