Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who has become a kami at the land god’s shrine. She has two familiars serving her: Tomoe, the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.
Volume 19 continues Nanami’s school trip in Okinawa. Unfortunately, the trip has been anything but peaceful. The volume opens with Tomoe rescuing Nanami, who went out in search of a robe of feathers so she could save her kidnapped friend. Tomoe finds Nanami, but she’s in a weakened state. Fortunately, he receives some unexpected help for Nanami. When Nanami starts to recover, she admits something to Tomoe that bothers him but he tries hard to hide it. Even though Tomoe is known to have a short temper, he knows that this just isn’t the right time to show his true feelings to her about the revelation. While Tomoe doesn’t do anything about it at this point in the story, it is touched on later in the volume. I think Suzuki depicted this realistically, and this incident served as an important piece of development in Tomoe and Nanami’s blossoming relationship.
Meanwhile, Mizuki goes into the ocean in search of Nanami and forces Kurama to go with him. Both of these characters undergo very important development during their adventure. Kurama encounters a dugong who is actually Ami, the girl who was kidnapped. Unari, the mermaid whose robe of feathers was stolen, transformed Ami into a dugong as punishment and it appears that Ami may permanently turn into this creature and forget about her life and the fact that she had a major crush on Kurama.
At this point, Kurama’s not very confident about being in the sea, and he finds comfort in the dugong. But as the volume progresses, Kurama suddenly realizes that he has feelings for Ami, especially after learning that she was the dugong he encountered. Personally, I thought this felt a little too convenient. I didn’t see any true buildup for Kurama’s feelings for Ami, especially since prior to this, he was still acting like his cocky self. I hate to say this, but the Kurama and Ami relationship that develops here feels rather forced.
Mizuki’s storyline, however, feels more realistic. When he encounters Unari, he learns about her backstory and is willing to agree to become her husband in order to free Ami. But Mizuki realizes that he understands what Unari is feeling, and genuinely wants to help her and not use her to accomplish a goal. I have to admit that I honestly thought that Mizuki saying he would marry Unari would change the dynamics of the series since it would effectively write him out. But it turns out I was wrong, and Mizuki finds a way to be able to leave the sea but stay on good terms with Unari. I think Suzuki handled this aspect well, and it didn’t feel terribly forced. And as we see a little later in the volume, this encounter with Unari seems to bring about a noticeable change in Mizuki.
It turns out that the Okinawa trip ends right when Kamisama Kiss Volume 19 finishes. At this point, I have no idea what kind of story the series will head into next. This actually makes me want to read the next volume, because I’d like to see where Suzuki decides what direction to take the series in.
Readers who have been reading and following the series will want to see what happens between Tomoe and Nanami in Kamisama Kiss Volume 19. I think that readers will also enjoy seeing Mizuki’s storyline, and may find that they become interested in Unari’s character as well. These particular characters go through some realistic development and growth in this volume, and fans of Kamisama Kiss won’t want to miss it.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media