Article first published as Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss Volume Four by Julietta Suzuki on Blogcritics.
Kamisama Kiss Volume Four 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.
Kamisama Kiss Volume 4
Written by: Julietta Suzuki
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 2, 2011
High school student Nanami Momozono loses her home after her father skips town to avoid paying his gambling debts. One day, she has a chance meeting with a man who turns out to be the land god; after bestowing a kiss on her forehead and giving her the power of a kami, Nanami becomes the new god at the land god’s temple. Tomoe is a fox demon who serves as her familiar, and they have a contract that he cannot break.
In Volume Four, Nanami finally admits to herself that she has fallen in love with Tomoe. However, when she confesses her feelings to Tomoe, she doesn’t get the response that she hoped for. After reading this section of the manga, I thought that Suzuki handled this plot point very realistically with the character she has established for Tomoe. This development adds a new layer to the already complicated relationship that Nanami and Tomoe share; by the time I finished Volume Four, I could tell that this new development is something that Suzuki will run with as the series continues.
Volume Four also sees Nanami and some friends from school hitting the beach. Mizuki, the incarnation of a white snake who was the shinshi of a water kami, makes another appearance in the series during this story arc. At first, Tomoe won’t accompany Nanami on the trip, because he can’t go into the ocean. However, after Mizuki says he’ll be going along, Tomoe joins the group.
This story arc not only explains why Tomoe can’t go into the ocean, it also allows Nanami to learn a little more about Tomoe and his past. During this story arc, a very important change happens to Mizuki that adds a major new development for Nanami and Tomoe’s relationship. I have to admit that I didn’t see this development coming, and I’m very curious to see how Suzuki will move the story forward with this development for Mizuki.
At this point, Kamisama Kiss does provide the shojo trope of male characters falling for the main female, there’s enough other elements being presented in the story that it doesn’t come across as “just another shojo manga.” Kamisama Kiss provides just the right amount of romance, drama, and humor to keep readers interested in the story and wanting to come back for more.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Kamisama Kiss Volume Four that my older daughter checked out through the King County Library System.
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