Alt title: Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens

TV (13 eps)
Fall 2008
3.695 out of 5 from 7,400 votes
Rank #2,771

Mikuriya Jin makes a woodcarving from the remains of a guardian tree, but he gets much more than he bargained for when girl materializes from the statue! Her name is Nagi, the troublesome and at times violent deity of the land; and with nowhere to go, she announces that she will stay with Jin. Now, with Jin’s help and a magical girl wand purchased at the local convenience store, Nagi aims to exorcise the impurities that are infecting the land. Though when the sacred tree is finally uprooted, it is only a matter of time before her powers will diminish; thus, a new object of worship is required, and what better object than Nagi herself! However, obtaining your goal of becoming a popular idol is not so straightforward, especially when you have to compete with your sister, who is unwilling to share her fan base and plans to sabotage you at every step!

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STORY & CHARACTERSKannagi is a little deceptive kind of series: it may look like fantasy at first, yet soon it ends up a harem/moe comedy with insignificant fantasy elements, and well, it isn't nearly as good as some people make it out to be:- first, the major part of the "plot" is taken up by endless dialogues about nothing at the pace of a crippled snail. Perhaps, fans of K-On! and similar series may enjoy that, but I personally consider it to be nothing more than a boring waste of time;- second, the "story" is essentially a generic harem with your cookie-cutter boy-protagonist who allows a girl to live at his place, and how that girl and two other girls compete for his attention. That's the base, and the authors apparently try to add some other aspects to make the anime more entertaining, yet that eventually turns the "plot" into a total illogical mess. First, it starts as fantasy with the heroine taking on the duty to destroy some shadow creatures because it's supposed to be a purpose of a goddess - to protect the land from the negative energy those creatures are made of; then this mission suddenly gets abandoned, and she starts rivaling another goddess for popularity, making the show a parody on pop-idols; then this plotline also gets abandoned with no conclusion, and the anime shows several comedy fillers; and then out of nowhere it becomes a serious drama. None of those parts are logically connected, and nothing gets solved by the end, as the show has an open ending and no sequel whatsoever. Overall, it looks like those who wrote this "story" tried to appeal to different groups of viewers but totally failed to tie various elements together and make a proper conclusion;- third, the only good character here is Nagi - the female lead who somewhat reminds me of Holo from Spice & Wolf: she's cute, very likeable and lots of fun to follow. The other characters aren't nearly as interesting and memorable since they are only some shallow anime stereotypes that never develop into anything.All in all, my experience with this "story" & characters may be described as boredom with occasional sparks of entertainment when Nagi comes into play with her tricks & shenanigans. Basically, she's the main attraction of the show and the only aspect I truly enjoyed about it. ANIMATION & SOUNDThe animation utilizes fitting colour palette and shows nice fluency of motion. In general, it's good but not really something to brag about. As for the sound department, the voice-acting is quite remarkable, especially when it comes to Nagi who sometimes uses archaic Japanese words in her speech: not only it sounds rather amusing, but it also might be interesting to those who study the language. Sadly, the musical score doesn't match the voice-acting: it's bland and absolutely forgettable except for the ending song.OVERALLThe series might be enjoyable if you're ok with the extremely slow pace and the numerous plot issues it has (in other words: if you don't care whether the anime you watch is exciting and has a logical and conclusive plot). As for me, I personally like the comedy fillers: for example, the episode where Nagi locks herself up in the cupboard is very funny indeed. However, the rest of the show is pretty boring and nonsensical.

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