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Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss Volume Five by Julietta Suzuki

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Kamisama Kiss Volume Five is a manga by Julietta Suzuki, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2011. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

Nanami Momozono is a high school student who loses her home after her father skips out of town to avoid paying his gambling debts. One day, she runs into a man who turns out to be the land god.

After kissing her on the forehead and giving her the power of a kami, Nanami becomes the new god at the land god’s shrine. Her familiar is Tomoe, the fox demon, and they have a contract that he is unable to break.

At the end of the Volume Four, the character of Mizuki becomes Nanami’s second familiar. The beginning of Volume Five has a strong focus on Nanami trying to get Mizuki and Tomoe to cooperate and work together; unfortunately, Tomoe is upset that Nanami now has a second familiar, and is being rather stubborn about working with Mizuki.

Nanami’s troubles are compounded when she starts hearing people talking about the shrine. It turns out that people believe the shrine is an abandoned ruin and won’t go to visit it.

Nanami decides that she wants the shrine to host a festival to prove that it’s not an abandoned or ghost shrine. Tomoe is adamantly against the idea, but Mizuki is more than willing to help.

Some hilarity ensues when Nanami tries to get help from the various yokai she has met during the series at this point. Kurama, the tengu who is the teen idol, is the most helpful since he’s been in the human world for 16 years.

This volume introduces a new character who looks like a delinquent from a motorcycle gang. He appears to be from the world of the kami, but his name is not given in this volume. He puts Nanami to the test to see if she can really fulfill the duties of the land god.

I thought the test he put her through was kind of interesting, although one of the characters definitely wasn’t acting like himself; this change in behavior in this character made this section an interesting read.

Volume Five definitely shows that Nanami has truly accepted and taken on her responsibilities as a kami. The fact that she wanted to prove that the shrine isn’t abandoned is the proof of this. I really liked how the festival was handled in this volume, and I also appreciated the fact that Volume Five ended with the festival taking place.

With how much the festival was being emphasized throughout this volume, it would have been rather disappointing if we didn’t get to actually see what happened before the volume ended.

Suzuki seems to understand how to pace her stories. In the five volumes I’ve read, she seems to have the knack to not make her stories run for too long, or to have them paced so quickly that they feel rushed. Each story arc is the right length for the reader to be able to get into the story and care about what happens to the characters.

If you’ve read the previous four volumes of Kamisama Kiss and enjoyed them, then I believe you’ll also enjoy reading Volume Five.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.
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