「神籬の娘」 (Himorogi no Musume)
“Sacred Shrine Girl”
From a statue carved out of a sacred tree’s wood comes the blue-haired goddess Nagi bursting to life in Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens. Starring Tomatsu Haruka (Lala in To LOVE-Ru) as the cute, demanding, and sometimes violent Nagi, and Shimono Hiro (Hirono Hiro in ef – a tale of memories.) as the high school arts club member Mikuriya Jin who has to put up with her, I was blown away by how captivating the characters are in this series. For a premiere episode that revolved around just two of them in what looks like a really bad broadcast, I found myself watching intently and laughing helplessly at all the timely comedic pauses, which I can’t say enough good things about.
Despite Hiro’s more serious role in ef, I still find that he’s much better suited for comedic ones like Touhouin Ikuto in Nagasarete Airantou and Karino Tadashi in Special A, which Kannagi re-emphasizes. Haruka on the other hand I absolutely love after watching To LOVE-Ru and hearing the range she has, so I couldn’t imagine anyone better being cast for Nagi — she’s just so adorable. On that note, I love the opening song she performs for the series, which goes along really well with the awesome dance and comedic scenes in the opening sequence. As Omni mentioned in his Fall Preview, Yamamoto Yutaka is directing this series — the mastermind behind the insanely popular Hare Hare Yukai and Motteki Sailor Fuku dances — which explains the dance in the opening. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing some live renditions of the “motto☆Hade ni ne!” (Be More Showy!) dance popping up on the Internet soon. In any case, with Yutaka as director, I have high hopes for the comedic value of Kannagi, which left a good taste in my mouth after the first episode. As for the ending song, Haruka also performs the more ballad-like theme there, which should go to show the range she has not only in voice acting but singing ability as well.
In terms of story, the introductory episode didn’t really reveal much other than how Jin inadvertently summoned Nagi, the guardian deity of the area, when he made a statue out of a piece of wood from her sacred tree. While Jin wasn’t the one that cut the tree down, Nagi’s not happy about it when she finds out. With the tree gone, impurities start to spread, so Nagi enlists the help of Jin to clean the place up because he seems unphased by them. Inspired after watching some magical girl anime on television, Nagi actually makes her own wand for this purpose, leaving Jin at a lost for words. Since the primary focus of the series seems to be comedy, I don’t imagine that they need much more than that to drive the plot. Kannagi just resonates a lot of fun right now, so I’m really looking forward to the next episode where we should meet more of the other characters. With a pretty high profile cast that includes some of my favorites — Sawashiro Miyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Nakahara Mai — this series can turn out to be quite a riot. I’m disappointed that it’s not produced in high-def and that the poor broadcast didn’t help any, but I’m more than willing to overlook that due to the amiable character and amusing antics (her shirt says “Shameless” 「羞恥心」 on it) I’ve seen thus far.
With Tomatsu Haruka starring in Kemeko Deluxe! on Saturdays as well (which I’ll have a Snapshot up about later today), I get the feeling I’m going to end up watching both series. Last but not least, don’t forget to watch the opening!
– Nagi (ナギ) : Tomatsu Haruka (戸松 遥)
– Mikuriya Jin (御厨 仁) : Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
– Aoba Tsugumi (青葉 つぐみ) : Sawashiro Miyuki (沢城 みゆき)
– Zange-chan (ざんげちゃん) & Suzushiro Hakua (涼城 白亜) : Hanazawa Kana (花澤 香菜)
– Hibiki Daitetsu (響 大鉄) : Hoshino Takanori (星野 貴紀)
– Akiba Meguru (秋葉 巡) : Kakihara Tetsuya (柿原 徹也)
– Kimura Takako (木村 貴子) : Hayamizu Risa (早水 リサ)
– Ookouchi Shino (大河内 紫乃) : Nakahara Mai (中原 麻衣)