Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens

August 8, 2009

God. When one mentions that in the world of anime, the first image that conjures up is that quirky girl Haruhi of the equally weird series Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. So popular that show is so much so that there is a cult following called Haruhism for staunch believers and lovers of her. But this blog isn’t about her nor that said series but another anime show which involves a God-like character. This time it is Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens.
 
From the title, it may sound like a comedy series. Well, it is a little. Don’t forget the little drama and romance too. Don’t worry if you’re a pious or religious person because it’s not like you’re going to change your faith after watching this nor there is any mockery of any other religions. Hey, if you’re a totally devout and religious person, what the heck are you watching animes for anyway? Unless your religion is otakuism. Just like me. Hehe. Just kidding.
 
So let’s drop into the story as seen in episode 1, our main male protagonist, Jin Mikuriya. Your normal high school kid with parents working away so he’s always home alone. Ah, the usual setting so that adults don’t get in the way of whatever their kids do. When he was young, he spotted a spider on a tree and caught it. Before he knows it, some goddess appears behind him smiling and in a gust of wind, she disappears along with the spider. In present time, Jin is carving a goddess sculpture from a wood believed to be from a sacred tree for an exhibition. To his surprise, the wooden sculpture suddenly bursts and a young girl, Nagi, materializes from it. Well, it’s better than an angel dropping from the sky onto one’s feet. Nagi claims that she is the guardian of a sacred tree but when she finds out that Jin used that wood to carve her out, she beats him up. Divine retribution? To add to her despair, the sacred tree at a nearby shrine has been cut down. But I guess even if trying to put the wood to good use instead of wastefully burning it away isn’t a good reason.
 
Nagi soon finds impurities in the form of a centipede and believes humans aren’t able to touch it. But when Jin just picks it up and tosses it away, this incurs him another wrath of Nagi. "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU?!". You know for a God, she sure beats up people that easily. The duo return back to the house and the weird part is that while watching a mahou shoujo TV programme, Nagi gets an idea to purify the impurities. Yeah, she buys a magical wand to purify them! Is she turning into a mahou shoujo God-style? Well, she seems to take an interest in that show. But I’m not sure if the wand really works because when they return to the shrine to purify the impurities, it did work. With her hopes renewed, Nagi decides to stay at Jin’s place (more like freeloading if you look at it in a way) to help purify future impurities. So the rest of the episode sees Jin reluctantly trying to fit Nagi to live in his home. Like buying clothes for her, giving her some taiyaki to eat, teaching her about current modern technologies and such. Since it is odd for a girl to be living with him (even if she’s God), he tries to hide this fact from his childhood friend, Tsugumi Aoba, when she calls him that night. Since Jin was taking a bath and didn’t want Nagi to answer any phone call (in which she did), Jin had to run out only clad in a towel to do so. Haha. Then later that night, when Jin hears the flush of the toilet, Jin thinks how even God needs to use the toilet. Ironic. Well, she materializes in the form of a human, right?
 
One thing viewers will notice is that instead of the omniscient God that she is supposed to be, Nagi is quite naive and blur about the human modern technology. It gives an impression that she’s like a country bumpkin. Furthermore, she treats Jin like a slave albeit just bossing him around, and her childish character makes you wonder is she really God. Some kind of God she is.
 
In episode 2, Nagi breaks her wand and Jin just gave her a glue to glue it back. Outside the house, Nagi stumbles upon abandoned kittens and wants to take them in but Jin disagrees. After Jin returns from some errands, he finds the wand stuck upright to the table and is pissed that Nagi didn’t listen to his advice of using a newspaper and lectures her about washing her own panties when Tsugumi makes a surprise visit (haha, caught seeing Jin holding up a pair in his hands!). The girls sat down and chat and we learn that Jin’s dad has entrusted Tsugumi to look after his son. You can see that Tsugumi has a crush on Jin but she’s too shy to admit it. Aiyah. So irritating. Anyway, we also learn that Nagi is a smooth talker and a liar because she coolly tells Tsugumi that she is Jin’s relative to dispel any misconception about them living together. Since when did God learn to lie? But Tsugumi actually believes her! Woah. The power of God’s words. When Tsugumi leaves, Jin learns that Nagi has a split personality. This gentle side tells him her other side doesn’t know about this. Oh, now God has 2 personalities, eh? As Jin decides to get a glue remover, he learns that Nagi has been deceiving him on how the wand got stuck on the table and blows his top.
 
That evening when Jin is walking home, he spots a dead mother cat and rushes back only to find Nagi absorbing the kittens into her body since they too died. Nagi soon collapses. Jin takes her in to rest and fixes her wand back. When Nagi comes to, Jin asks about the kittens and since Nagi refuses to tell him, they both got into an argument in which Jin throws her out of his house. With nowhere to go, Nagi spots several kids playing at the shrine and notices one of them with impurities on his shoulder and his behaviour seems to be negative too. While the kids think she is some sort of weirdo and fraud, Nagi tries to purify it but it bounces off and fuses with a ball (one of the many toys of those kids). She follows it to a tunnel whereby she gets attacked by it in that small enclosure. Luckily Jin shows up in time to save her and carries her back. Though he is still upset, but he’s used to it and I guess this means Nagi is allowed to live back in his place. Meanwhile the kids think Nagi won’t be returning their ball but that negative kid starts feeling better.
 
In episode 3, we are introduced to the other members of Jin’s art club members of the private high school he attends. We have the president Takako Kimura who has weird fetishes and fantasies apart from teasing other male members in her club. Her other partner is Shino Oukouchi, the vice president but unlike Takako’s loudmouth behaviour, she is more gentle and observant even if she shares the same interests with Takako’s weird fetishes. Then there’s the big and ‘slow’ guy, Daitetsu Hibiki and the knowledgeable otaku freak Meguru Akiba (though he claims he is of another class. What’s the difference?). In this episode, we see Takako and Shino commenting and screwing with the guys like giving Jin a nickname, "Too Pure-pure Boy". Takako has the guys and Tsugumi (also part of the art club) to go clean the old storeroom, rumoured to be haunted. Supposedly some boy who died when he fell into the trapdoor. But when the gang hears the trapdoor banging, they start to panic and rush out. Jin noticed an impurity at the storeroom and decides not to tell Nagi about it. Due to his suspicious behaviour, Nagi gets him to spill the beans, then borrows a spare school uniform from Tsugumi and infiltrates the school. Actually Tsugumi was too ‘fat’ to wear that one after gaining a little weight.
 
I guess with Nagi’s appearance, Jin has no choice but to reluctantly introduce her to the rest of his art club members. What is this? Nagi says that she has someone else she loves? I mean, Tsugumi still wonders about the relative relationship thingy and has a flashback about earlier this morning when Nagi visited her in her room and there’s a slight yuri moment whereby Nagi in her bra got on top of Tsugumi! That teasing was enough to make innocent Tsugumi panic and that smirk on Nagi’s face has her know that Tsugumi has a crush on Jin as she sees nothing more than a child in that guy. Well Tsugumi, this is your chance. Try your best. Fight on! Anyway the gang enters the storeroom and when the door behind them shuts. Then the haunted knocking of the trapdoor as Nagi opens it only to her disappointment of seeing a ghost, finds an old man emerging instead. Who is he? He is Dokusasori and is the art club’s advisor. Uh huh. All this is part of Takako and Shino’s plan to introduce them to him. Yeah, he’s using the studio below as his work place. Nagi is upset about this prank and rushes out. She spots a nearby church and enters it only to find a girl in a nun outfit (why is her skirt damn short?!) easily crushing the impurity. Nagi recognizes as her sister, Zange. Oh, so now God has a sibling, eh?
 
In episode 4, we see this ever growing popular Zange sister going around with a signboard that she accepts confessions at a price of 100 Yen. I can see why many men are lining up and who’d want to pass a chance to be forgiven by a cute girl. Back at Jin’s home, Nagi says how she will soon completely lose her powers once the sacred tree completely disappears. Thus she decides to be an idol to increase her powers. God an idol? Now can you beat that? That night as Jin is returning home, he spots several thugs harassing Zange in an alley. Jin knows he can’t be a hero so he decides to leave but as fate and script says a young boy must never leave a damsel in distress, the thugs spot him and with sheer luck, he manages to fend them off and escape with Zange (God is by his side!). When they’re safe, Zange decides to hear his confession as gratitude for saving her and just before parting, Zange licks his face when spots a cut in his cheek! To add further to his shock, Zange says how she is interested in him. This guy is pulling in the Gods, man!
 
When Jin returns home, he and Nagi once again see Zange becoming more popular on TV. Nagi explains to Jin that Zange is her sister and says that there were 2 sacred trees in this city. Meanwhile Zange is in a church and is talking to herself about how she has taken over the body of this person, Hakua Suzushiro. The next day, Nagi and Jin go over to a church, supposedly where the other sacred tree is located and though Jin said that it’s impossible for a land to have 2 Gods, Nagi explains that back in those days, the land was vast and there wasn’t any bridges to connect the land divided by a river so 2 sacred trees were planted on both sides. Over time, both Gods of sacred trees developed differently. However Nagi is suspicious what kind of vessel did Zange materialize since the sacred tree at the church is still intact. Then at school, as Nagi continues to ponder, she is shocked to see Zange in school and her pals refer to her as Hakua. Later Nagi meets Zange in the gym room, and we see Zange getting nasty and overpowering Nagi while teasing her (reminds us of what Haruhi did to Asahina. Yuri!). Nagi confirms that Zange has possessed Hakua’s body as a vessel to appear in this world. Then Jin accidentally comes in to see the duo in a compromising position and his shock just close the door and walk away. That night at Jin’s house while they’re discussing about Zange, Tsugumi comes in and is horrified with the kind of food they’re eating and tries to cook for them. The door rings and to their surprise it is Zange who announces that she’ll be staying here. Aha. Now Nagi has a rival real close. Keep enemies closer…
 
In episode 5, Zange tries to get close and lovey-dovey with Jin. Surely not going down well with the rest. So a challenge to decide everything. The one who cooks the best meal for Jin wins. It seems Zange is having trouble cooking because Hakua doesn’t know how to do so and in addition Hakua, who still has a little ‘freedom’, seems to disagree of playing dirty. And though Nagi seems to be doing perfectly fine, her tasting skills suck! No winner in the end. At school Jin finds that Nagi has become a popular idol and there is a dedicated website for her! Yeah, Takako is a member too. Not only that, Nagi is also part of the art club. Wait a minute? She’s not even a student of this school. Ah heck, she’s popular and that’s what counts. With her increasing popularity, Nagi also notices her increase in powers and thinks she can purify impurities without Jin’s help. Zange on the other hand isn’t too fond upon finding out Nagi’s fansite. So she confronts Nagi and threatens to blow her cover but Nagi counters her that she too will be dragged into it if she whistle-blows. Zange quickly leaves when a teacher, Reiri Suzushiro spots them. But he questions Nagi and that causes the entire school to panic when Nagi has been ‘taken hostage’. Wow. It’s like a big thing. During Nagi’s interrogation with a teacher, she hears all the students expressing their support for her release. She powers up as her wand shines really bright and unintentionally revealing that teacher’s bald spot.
 
Soon Nagi becomes a fellow student of the school, much to everyone’s joy. Jin learns that Suzushiro is Hakua’s dad and a religious teacher. A flashback during when he questioned Nagi back then when he told her how he knew her daughter was being possessed and after knowing that Nagi and the one who possessed his daughter isn’t evil, Suzushiro makes a deal with Nagi that he will make preparations for her to enter this school as a legitimate student in exchange she will free Hakua. That night while on their way to buy groceries, the path was too dark so Nagi decides to use her new light power of her wand as a torchlight to light the way but encounters Zange who wants to treat Jin to a feast and proceeds to get close with him. The sisters get involved in a squabble and I’m not sure what Nagi’s Volt Lighter move is above except it’s shining real brightly.
 
In episode 6, Tsugumi is thrilled to get a call from Jin to go out shopping with her but is disappointed that it’s a setup go shopping with Nagi instead. We see Nagi not knowing the real value of money as she got 10,000 Yen from Jin to spend and thinks it’s big. Yeah, Nagi thinks Jin has tricked her as she can’t even buy a cheap purse! Welcome to the real world. Everything is bloody expensive. Then the girls try on some lingerie and we see Nagi has small boobs inferiority complex but ends up buying one 4 times her size! Due to the lack of money, the girls decide to take up a part time job. At the art club, Takako decides to bring her members to a maid cafe because she wants to stare freely at girls in cosplay outfit (this is also okay with her, eh?). At the cafe, the gang are being served by an awfully familiar cosplay waitress in white. It’s Nagi! Jin can’t believe his eyes and when Nagi realizes it, she runs away to hide herself in embarrassment. Tsugumi soon finds out about Jin’s presence and starts to panic. But the girls are being pushed out by their manager who wants them to continue working. Soon all the otaku geeks start swarming and taking pictures of the duo. Nagi becomes more moe with her clumsiness although she’s not acting. Tsugumi notices Jin’s eyes fixated on Nagi and bangs her head on the wall in ‘defeat’! At the same time, Zange learns from the internet that Nagi has taken a part time job and decides to do one herself so as not to lose to her.
 
Takako then calls Nagi over so that Jin could take a closer look at her. With both being embarrassed and too close to each other, Nagi apologizes and hopes Jin won’t kick her out of his house. By that time, Jin starts to panic and with his face fully red in embarrassment, shouts out loud how he thinks she is cute in those outfit. Nagi turns red herself. Once Jin and the gang leaves, we see Jin still not over his embarrassment and probably in misery over what he said. His body language is so obvious. No wonder Takako teases him Too Pure-pure Boy. While Tsugumi seems depressed while cleaning the table, Nagi chases after Jin and says she’ll quit if Jin doesn’t approve of her part time job. Though he denies, Jin mentions how he doesn’t like other guys taking photos of her. With that, Nagi decides to quit. Meanwhile, Zange is ready to start her part time job at the place where Nagi was working but is horrified to learn that Nagi has quit and wants out. However the manager tells her she got the job because Nagi quit and she can’t back out now because he’s tired of cute girls quitting. Beware his scary manly aura! Haha, now she has no choice but to go through this hell. Ganbaru ne, Zange-chan, the new attraction!
 
Nagi has confined herself in her closet and mad towards Jin in episode 7. She better come out soon because Jin’s adult magazines are in there! Too late, Nagi is going through them. Because she’s not listening to Jin, I guess that guy has to call Tsugumi over to help persuade her out. Since that’s not happening too, soon all the usual gang comes by to try and convince Nagi to come out. This includes Zange taking advantage trying to really get lovey-dovey with Jin by really pinning him down causing Tsugumi to panic and Jin eventually passing out after too much shock, Takako and Shino arriving with their real intention to see Nagi in some home cosplay outfit, and even Daitetsu rushing in about some misunderstanding. However they all fail to draw stubborn Nagi out with their outrageous plans. Then Nagi freaks out to find a cockroach in the closet and during the frenzy, the cockroach lands on Daitetsu’s head before escaping outside. Finally Akiba arrives (earlier Jin called him for help) and it’s a feeling of the advent of a saviour as they both embrace. So we find out why Nagi is so pissed on Jin was because Jin recorded a show on a tape he thought Nagi would like. However, he taped over an anime which Nagi has yet to watch. WTF?! That’s the reason for God to get upset?! So the thing which Jin hoped for Akiba to bring was a video copy of that anime. Unfortunately, it’s a blu-ray disc. Yeah, Nagi don’t know what is that. Akiba soon takes out a video tape after foreseeing this problem. However it’s a beta not a VHS. What’s that? Akiba says "It’s a Sony". When everyone leaves, Jin apologizes with his heart but later finds Nagi already out of the closet and just coming back from the toilet and ready to reconcile with him. So it’s over? We see that the so called anime is some typical mahou shoujo series with the loli fighting villains to save the world while trying to live a normal school life (the bad quality is part of the show) and I think Nagi even wonders that’s all to it.
 
Daitetsu temporarily takes shelter in Jin’s home on a rainy day in episode 8 because he forgot to bring his keys and his ways of getting in has his neighbours think he’s a robber. During his stay, Daitetsu observes Jin and Nagi’s interactions and wonders about their relationship. This causes him to fantasize about several situations in which all ends up as forbidden siblings love. Daitetsu drags Jin to have a private chat with him and asks him what he thinks of Nagi (their position may lead to a yaoi misunderstanding!) when Nagi intercepts. Daitetsu continues to observe them and notices Nagi’s bossiness and concludes that Jin is secretly being tortured by S&M Nagi! Jin and Nagi notices Daitetsu’s uneasy behaviour and try to act like siblings but their plan backfires. Daitetsu wants to know that the wood he gave to Jin to carve, was it Nagi as his model. They mistaken as Nagi’s true cover is blown but Daitetsu doesn’t understand all that God thingy so Jin apologizes for wasting the wood he gave. Upon learning that Daitetsu was the one who stole the sacred wood, she beats him up even though Daitetsu says he was stealing it to prevent it from being burnt. But Nagi disagrees and says that should’ve been a proper cleansing ritual. Nagi threatens him and it’s like she’s putting a curse on him.
 
Daitetsu has nightmares on Nagi’s words. He can’t take it anymore as he rushes out of the house into the stormy rain. Jin was just fixing the electricity outage when he spots Daitetsu. He wonders if this is another one of Nagi’s pranks as he goes to see her in her room but she isn’t there. Daitetsu arrives at the shrine and starts apologizing profusely and begs for forgiveness. A lightning strikes and blows Daitetsu offs his feet. The gentle version of Nagi appears before him saying he need not worry about such trivial things before collapsing onto shock Daitetsu. The next day as they head to school, Nagi doesn’t remember what happened last night and since Jin thinks Nagi is hiding something from him, they broke into another argument. Though he bumps into Daitetsu along the way, he too says he is unable to explain what happened. Daitetsu thinks deep about Nagi throughout school period and thinks Jin is in some sort of trouble and vows to protect him from that evil woman. He then sees Nagi in the art club room and prepares himself in a fighting stance. Meanwhile, Tsugumi tells Takako and Shino how she overheard something between Jin and Daitetsu and Takako thinks some yaoi development is going on when they enter their club room to see a Nagi-Daitetsu stand-off in their fighting stance. Such a tense atmosphere. Who’s going to make the first move? Ding! Ding! Round 1…
 
In episode 9, the gang are trying to figure out what happened between Daitetsu and Nagi. Tsugumi’s worrisome and blurting out loud about the gay possibility between Jin and Daitetsu which causes the rumour to spread like wildfire has made herself feel a little guilty. I can’t believe that there are other guys who are in love with Daitetsu! I mean, Jin received some letter about it… This is even confirmed on Nagi’s fansite. So a friend of Tsugumi has her to reluctantly see Zange, who suggests that Jin gets a girlfriend to quell this gay rumour. Zange suggests that she be Jin’s girlfriend after seeing Tsugumi hesitate but causes the latter to be alarmed. Later as Tsugumi visits Jin’s home and thinking he’s not home, accidentally caught a full view of him naked when she enters the toilet to dry her soaked clothes. After settling down, Nagi and Tsugumi talk embarrassing things about Jin and Zange soon joins them. This includes a photo album whereby little Jin is totally naked! Jin snatches the album from their hands. Tsugumi explains that Jin was a delinquent during his middle school years. Jin brings Tsugumi out before she could say anything more. Zange interrupts by suggesting Jin picking one of them as their girlfriend to quell the gay rumours but he refused. In the room alone with Tsugumi (Nagi and Zange eavesdropping of course), Jin apologizes for the troubles he has caused her during middle school days and this causes Tsugumi to feel touched because he’s always being bothered by it. But when Jin finds out that she was the one who started the rumour, he blows his top. Zange continues to pester on Jin’s girlfriend choice and as Jin is going to mention Tsugumi’s name, Nagi cuts him off saying that he doesn’t have to choose between them. Next day at school, Tsugumi and Zange are fighting over to feed Jin with their bento as the crowd watches with snickering Nagi watching from afar. How embarrassing. Even Daitetsu is shocked with the turn of the events. In the end, the rumours didn’t dispel but it gotten worse. Yeah, now they think Jin is a flirt too.
 
The usual gang goes for a karaoke outing in episode 10. To see who sings first, everyone plays rock-scissors-paper. We can see some hidden talents and some which should stay away from even thinking of becoming an idol. Like first up is Tsugumi who’s singing is pretty decent for a decent song and then the most surprising one of the package is Daitetsu. My, that guy can actually belt out a good voice! While Tsugumi is annoyed Zange is trying to get close to Jin, Jin gets up an excuse himself to the toilet. During his absence, Akiba sings some normal anime song. When Jin comes back, the funny thing is that he entered the wrong room. Cameo appearance of the Lucky Star quartet! Hahaha! Oh the parody cross-over! Jin makes it back in time for his turn and though initially nervous, his singing seems okay until a waitress comes in and he gets embarrassed and his singing becomes softer and shy-er. Embarrassed, Jin retreats to the toilet again. He gets some words of comfort from Daitetsu and Jin feels at ease. They return to find it’s Nagi’s turn to sing some bean commercial song. Weird. Then Akiba challenges Takako to sing and the weird part is that although her singing is good, her karaoke display is quite horrible and that everyone can’t seem to avert their eyes away from watching her. It’s like she’s both good and bad. Zange is jealous because she thinks as the last player, she should steal the show. So Zange sings a cute song but in a talentless way. Moe? When Takako decides the next round to be a duet, Tsugumi wants to pair up with Jin but that guy quickly requests for Daitetsu to be his partner. Uh huh. Gay rumours, remember… At the end of the day as everyone leaves, they realized that Shino hasn’t sung yet. But Takako warns them that if Shino sings, her eyes will open. Is that a bad thing? I don’t know what they saw because the episode ends in a cliff-hanger when Shino opens her eyes to show the shivering gang whatever it was. Some things are better left unknown.
 
In episode 11, because Nagi is still obsessed with the mahou shoujo series, she wants Jin to upgrade her wand. Like that will help. They spot Zange on TV trying to promote her debut CD and soon Jin gets a stalker call from one of Zange’s obsessed fans. He slams the phone down and soon gets another similar call but this one is from one of Daitetsu admirers! Damn. Next day at school, Nagi tries to chase an impurity in the form of a butterfly to the boy’s toilet but crashes into Jin. He then manages to catch the butterfly but loses balance and falls out of the window. Because of his injuries, rumours about Jin in a love square (that’s right, not a triangle) surfaces and this doesn’t help when Daitetsu approaches him to stay away from Nagi. Oh the misunderstandings. Later, Jin has a chat with Nagi outside and wants to know about her true intentions (which is to purify impurities lah). But as he questions further (like why impurities are only appearing in this city), all Nagi replied was she wasn’t sure, causing Jin to lose his cool. Nagi too gets angry and yells back at him for questioning God. Jin continues to yell back to her to think but this time he crossed the line because Nagi runs away in tears as she zooms pass Tsugumi. Jin goes to talk to Suzushiro about Nagi proclaiming herself to be God. I don’t remember nor understand Suzushiro’s explanation but all I can conclude is that Suzushiro thinks that Nagi is playing God to achieve her own means or a lowly spirit who falsely believes that she is God. Because Nagi proclaims herself as one, doesn’t mean Jin has to believe it totally and wants him to investigate further for concrete evidence. Meanwhile Nagi is seen sitting dejected alone on the school rooftop wondering about things and why Jin is being an idiot among others. She becomes despair upon not knowing who she really is. On the other hand, Jin tries to investigate the lore in the library but only finds lots of uncertainties. To his surprise, the recent borrower of that book is Nagi. As the rain becomes heavier, Nagi is nowhere to be seen except her want wand lying at that spot.
 
In episode 12, after Daitetsu gives Jin Nagi’s wand that he found on the rooftop, Jin continues his investigation to an address of an old couple suggested by Suzushiro. Though his findings isn’t much because the main records of the Kannagi shrine has been destroyed by a fire many years ago, the grandma did mention how the goddess saved people from hanging themselves. That night, Zange is being harassed by 3 thugs thinking they could bully a cute girl like her. But Zange shows that she’s no push-over because she kicks ass! Oh yeah! Show those bullies never to judge a book by its cover with those cool moves. The trio retreats in fear. Jin saw everything and he himself is shivering in fear and thinks he shouldn’t have saved her back then as she is self sufficient. Jin then asks Zange about the goddess thingy but she too didn’t reveal anything and says it’s a secret. When Jin goes back, he finds Nagi not at home and a written letter from her apologizing that she had lied. Gosh. He waits for her but she never showed up. He even begins to wonder if Nagi existed in the first place. Because of that, Jin is feeling very down and this is pretty obvious at class. Even Tsugumi notices this and asks him if there’s anything troubling him but he just ignored her. Jin requests to be excused from art club activities and this causes the rest to think that he may be having relationship problems with Nagi. Just stop with the fantasies already, Takako. As it continues to rain, Jin goes in search of Nagi on his bicycle throughout the city but his efforts are futile. He goes back home hoping that Nagi would call him but gets a call from Tsugumi instead, which he didn’t pick up. Jin gets more depressed the next day and this time when Tsugumi snaps him out and asks what happened with Nagi, Jin replies that Nagi may never be coming back.
 
We see Nagi taking refuge at the home of an old couple that Jin went to seek answers about the shrine in episode 13. Meanwhile Jin continues to be gloomy and spaces out while telling Tsugumi to butt out since all this is none of her business. Even Takako and Shino sensed something amiss but thinking that it is some sibling problem, it’s better not to get involved. Later Tsugumi goes to try to talk to Jin again and once she finds out the real reason of Nagi’s departure, she lectures him properly. It was enough to make him open his eyes and rush to look for Nagi. With the help of Nagi’s online forum board, Tsugumi relays information of Nagi’s whereabouts. During his search, Jin reflects on Suzushiro’s words about Nagi being God but he doesn’t mind because he thinks it has been fun. Jin finally finds her standing at a riverbank and confronts her. He tells her he doesn’t care about all that crap about her not knowing anything because he believes that she is God! Oh dear, Haruhi fans will get upset. Furthermore, he remembers meeting her while he was a child and thus held those memories close to his heart. Nagi starts to break down and says that she thinks she is God but can’t substantiate it. God crying? It’s heart wrenching to see her cry her heart out like that.
 
The duo are then confronted by a young lady in a kimono, Shige. As she shows them about the surroundings, she also tells them how she hung herself. Is she a ghost?! When her husband left for war back then, she was left with a child during those hard times and decides to take her life. However she didn’t die because she believed the goddess saved her. Shige bids farewell to Nagi and it’s confirm that she’s a ghost. Remember that grandma Jin visited earlier on in the previous episode? Yup, that’s her. Just recently departed. Hard to believe all this is happening, eh? As a funeral procession is held for Shige’s departure, Nagi once again questions herself to be called God (Haruhi fans know the answer very much already) but Jin assures her that they’ll look for whatever answers together. As they both head home, they replayed several heart warming messages from their friends that they left on Jin’s phone. Nagi gets her self-confidence back and decides to go apologize to everyone at school tomorrow. As Nagi decides to go take a bath, she thanks Jin, which causes him to blush. Having naughty thoughts, eh?. Jin turns on the TV to distract himself from those impure thoughts and we see Zange promoting her CD album debut. Her singing sounds so horrible that she won’t be at Simon Cowell’s mercy. Not even a bit. When Nagi finishes, she finds that she has forgotten to bring some clothes and decides to dash out to get some. As expected, she bumps into Jin and in their awkwardness, collided, and has Jin on top of her. Now, how’s that for a mere mortal to be on top of Almighty semi-nude. I think Jin was trying to confess that he likes her when all in good (or bad) timing, Tsugumi drops by after hearing how Nagi has returned. Uh huh. More misunderstandings. She may be thinking he’s more into incest than for a childhood friend. You can see that I-can’t-believe-it and going-crazy look in her eyes! Tsugumi runs out in tears and before Jin can quell all that, Nagi knocks him out on the head with a frying pan for getting a free glimpse at her. Ouch. Ah, back to normal.
 
Unfortunately, I didn’t find the ending to be satisfying. As usual, I felt it could have been done a little better. In my opinion, this series started out great and probably that’s where I built my expectations as each episode goes by, even if they are just random funny fillers, especially those episodes in the middle of the series. Then with the climax having Jin and Nagi’s quarrel taken to a whole new level, it was like all that excitement and hope died down because the last few episodes was just focusing on Jin sorting out his feelings and make peace with Nagi. He has to. She’s God, remember? Most of the other characters didn’t do much in the final episode and I was hoping that there would be something on Zange but nope. Nothing much happened. What about Suzushiro’s wish for Nagi to help free Hakua from Zange’s possession? Dunno. But if Zange were to leave Hakua’s body, we won’t be having a cute nun girl which would make Kannagi less attractive, eh?
 
Some of the filler episodes were funny enough especially the one which has rumours that turn Jin into a gay and flirt. I wonder how his reputation will be liked now. Should have had more episodes on this ‘conflict’ and I bet it would be darn funny. Yeah, I thought Zange would play a part in the contest over Jin. Somehow all that fizzled out. Did she figure out that Jin is more inclined towards Nagi? Maybe just like Tsugumi did in the end. And Zange’s hostility towards Nagi? That seemed to fizzle out in the end too. It’s also funny to see Nagi as a God trying to live a normal high school life and speaking of her job to purify impurities, it seems much lesser as the series goes by, doesn’t it? What about her split personality then? How I’d wish more of that was revealed.
 
Initially I thought that this series would turn out to be something like how Nagi turned into an idol worshipped by many fans as seen portrayed in the opening credits animation whereby Nagi sings and dances to the tune of the song. It’s like she’s a pop star idol and the rest of the gang are like her entourage in showbiz and Zange her competitive rival. How sad it didn’t turn out that way since Nagi did mention she needs to become an idol in order to increase her powers.
 
However that scene came closest through the unaired episode 14 which is included in the DVD set and serves as a filler. It all began when Takako and Shino found 100,000 Yen on the road side and for some reasons we all know too well for something perverted, she decides to make a movie with their limited budget even if they are art club members. Zange uses her seductive ways to get Takako’s approval to join the filming. After getting everyone’s idea of what type of movie they like, Takako forces Akiba to come up with a script due to his otaku background. And he does so in 15 minutes! It must be good because you can tell their various dramatic expressions. Soon filming begins and I don’t even know what some alien love triangle plot is all about. Besides their lame Z-grade acting, you can hear Akiba passionately directing while Daitetsu films. Then it started to rain and everyone takes refuge. It must be Takako’s perverted idea to have everyone in their school swimsuits. I don’t know how but they ended up playing retro video games. As usual when Zange and Tsugumi start fighting over Jin, a blackout occurs. Nagi uses her wand’s spotlight and they find a DVD which Akiba borrowed as study material for their film. However it’s passed the expiry date and Takako wants him to return it or else. The storm is not letting so Akiba decides he’s going to be a man and return it no matter what. Jin, Nagi and Daitetsu accompany him while dramatic Takako hopes they’ll come back alive. Out in the storm, a flying signboard hits Daitetsu in the face and knocks him out. Then out of the blue, some flood washes Akiba away not before he toss the DVD to Jin to continue his mission. The storm clears up as Jin and Nagi finally arrive at the store. There is a late penalty payment but neither brought any money. The next day as everyone watches part 1 of their lame fruits of labour while blaming it on their limited budget, Takako now spots a huge bundle of money lying on the road (seriously?!) and thinks part 2 is on.
 
The opening theme, Motto Hade Ni Ne, by Haruka Tomatsu is quite upbeat, catchy and lively. Makes me want to get on my feet and do a little jiggle too. The ending theme, Musuhi No Toki, also by Haruka Tomatsu sounds like a sleepy religious hymn. I mean, it has that soothing sound which makes you want to close your eyes. The ending credits animation shows that sacred tree and at the end of it, random manga sketches of the characters. My favourite voice acting belongs to Risa Hayamizu who voices Takako (Kanae in Skip Beat!, Yukihana in Kanokon). I just love it everytime that girl goes into loud mode and into one of her weird fantasies. Then Haruka Tomatsu also did a good job in making Nagi sound like a selfish spoilt princess at times. If you have watched Lala of To Love-Ru, you can recognize her voice role here which is almost similar. Miyuki Sawashiro who voices Tsugumi caught me by surprise. That lady who did roles like Shinku of Rozen Maiden and Shinkurou of Kurenai, once again to me is unrecognizable until I found out it was her voice then it hit me that it is indeed her. Other casts include Hiro Shimono as Jin (Tadashi in Special A), Kana Hanazawa as Zange (Sora in Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora), Mai Nakahara as Shino (Aono of Sola, Nagisa of Clannad), Tetsuya Kakihara as Akiba (Fujioka of Minami-ke series) and Takanori Hoshino as Daitetsu.
 
So people, especially you otakus. Would you consider Nagi to be your next God? Not likely since Haruhi will still remain and will always be God as proclaimed by fans and non-fans alike. No 2 ways around it. And I’m not saying I’m converting to Haruhism nor become a fan of Nagi after this. If anime was a religion, imagine all the craziness and outrageous ideas everyone will have. Oh wait. Doesn’t it seem like that now? Only thing is most of us calls it an extreme hobby/obsession. Religion: Anime. God: Anime (also insert name of anime character that you adore most). Bible: Manga. Prayers: Faithfully watching anime. Sunday Service: Watch more anime. You get the idea. But if Gods like Nagi or Haruhi can look good and provide moe fanservice, heck I’d probably convert straightaway!
 

Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens

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