kamichu overview and 1

“Mitsue-chan, I became a meido.”

After I saw this image, how could I not watch Kamichu? Well, let me say this… the image is misleading as the series is not about meido, but I’m not disappointed at all. ^^

Kamichu starts with probably the most memorable line that I have seen in anime: “Mitsue-chan, I became a god.” Simple. Elegant. An instant classic that is on par with, “Call me Ishmael.” And dead on with the theme and crux of this series. One day an ordinary middle school student, Yurie, became a god. How did she become one? She doesn’t know. What kind of god? She doesn’t know. Why did she become one? She doesn’t know. When? “Last night.” Does any of that matter? Nope. Kamichu is about not only being a god (with responsiblities and burdens of such a job) but also about growing up. The story follows Yurie and her friends Mitsue and Matsuri as they try to balance Yurie’s new life as a god while figuring out her duties as a god… and then there’s Yurie’s current life as an ordinary middle school student (kami as in god; chu as in middle for middle school student). She’s not really different from anyone else at that awkward age: she gets lectured by her mom; she is babied by her dad; she has her first love; she has her failings (i.e. can’t draw or write neatly). Yet, unlike other people, she is a god.


I have a hard time classifing this show. Imagine something Ghibli might have created ten years ago as it has that old nostaglic feeling and sense of feel good morality. In Ghibli-like fashion, the entire town is full of hidden characters and other gods that humans who are not pure of heart cannot see. Yurie herself reminded me of Kiki (okay, maybe because of that bow in episode 4). since Yurie seems to approach her god job much like how Kiki approaches her job as a witch. After Yurie becomes a god, she sees that the human world is not the only one, but not all problems need to be solved with supernatural powers. Also, not many anime series try to sneak in life lessons (no, I don’t count “otome wa do my best deshou!” as a life lesson), and fewer succeed in bringing out the richness and enjoyability in simple stories that Kamichu accomplishes. There’s really no flashly gimmicks like yuri or meido or all-encompassing plot– only good, strong, compelling storytelling. Just because the story is a bit of slice-of-life mixed in with some feed good morality with a dash of school drama, don’t let that scare you off. It’s the best series that I’ve seen recently.

In addition to fantastic storytelling, Kamichu’s visuals and audio excel. Brains Base nicely shows off their deft animation skills as the characters all look vibrant and alive, and the scenary is a notch above typical anime fare. The audio add completely to the experience, and the way the music envelopes the story completely. I am very impressed with the production qualities… it’s rare that a series devoid of marketable jailbait, giant robots, or fancy franchise can command such lush interpretation.

The first episode has Yurie explaining, plainly, that she has become a god, and how she has a crush on a calligraphy fetishist named Ken. However, Matsuri — Yurie’s self-declared manager — is more interesting in thinking of ways to jumpstart Yurie’s new career as a god. Unfortunately, in doing so, Yurie inadvertantly starts a typhoon that threatens her town. In typical Yurie fashion, even if it means sacrificing a little of herself, she goes out of her way to help others… god-powers or no god-powers. It’s a point to keep in mind as future episodes keep mentioning that Yurie is a different kind of god. Fitting and dead on as Kamichu is a different kind of series. Highly recommended.

For more info, I recommend Animefringe’s (R.I.P.) excellent feature on Kamichu, and it has a great explaination of the easter eggs found in the series.

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