「隻・枸雅匡平」 (Seki, Kuga Kyouhei)
“Kuga Kyouhei, the Seki”
Well, it looks like Hibino’s damsel in distress role has finally been upgraded to emotional support, after she took the initiative and thanked Kyouhei for saving her. I just love the way she went about it too, by first telling Kyouhei that she’s nobody’s property to put him on the spot for crying out for her in his sleep. I really wasn’t expecting their relationship to go anywhere this late in this adaptation, but I’m really glad it did as this is easily one of my favorite kisses in anime.
It happened so naturally and made me kind of jealous of Kyouhei for winning over Hibino the way he did. The smile on her face after she kissed him, her thanks for saving and screaming out for her, and her willingness to kiss him again — it sure beats the type of developments seen in high school romantic comedies. The lead-up really added to the lasting impression, as it was pretty easy to see that Hibino is happy about Kyouhei’s earnest feelings for her, even though she doesn’t fully understand to what extent. It was really sweet to see Kyouhei reciprocate her loving gesture with a heartfelt hug — something that really cemented the idea that he really cares for her. I’m definitely envious of Kyouhei, not so much because of Hibino in particular, but because of how perfectly things worked out for him. He stayed true to his feelings and they eventually reached Hibino.
Even without Kyouhei reclaiming control of Kukuri in this final episode, it didn’t disappoint whatsoever. After all, Kukuri’s hymn did suggest that it was acting in accordance to Kyouhei’s pent up emotions, and there was a climactic finish with the destruction of Magatsuhi. The most satisfying part was the aftermath, with both Kirio and Mahiru at a loss on where to go from here. There was also more of Kyouhei’s past involving Chihaya, where we finally got a good glimpse of how he lost it and was on the verge of slaughtering the villagers himself — the side of him that Aki’s been trying to uncover all this time. We learn of how Utao stopped Kukuri and subsequently got all of Kyouhei’s Seki responsibilities dumped on her, which served as a big step forward for Kyouhei to confront the demons of his past.
Those demons are none other than Karakami Village and Amaterasu, the latter of which Aki confirmed has regenerated on its own and is in the hands of Sahei (who seems to be trying to make Ayame the Seki for it). That served as an awesome teaser of things to come, especially with the preview suggesting a second season is in store where Kyouhei takes matters back into his own hands with Kukuri (woohoo). As far as this first adaptation goes, I don’t think they could’ve ended things off any better here than with Kyouhei and Aki reminiscing about their childhood and laughing about it. The smile Aki left Kyouhei with also emphasized how he’s also a victim of their village and had me hoping that the two of them would be freed from it someday.
Kami-sama Dolls started as one of my most anticipated shows for the summer season — and as one of only two that I committed to blogging — so I’m really happy that it turned out to be everything that I had hoped and more. Things kicked off on a strong note in the premiere and lost a bit of steam in the next few episodes, but the series completely redeemed itself once the middle stretch about Karakami Village and Kyouhei’s past rolled along. Episode seven was a series-defining turning point, touching upon Kyouhei and Aki’s unfortunate past. From that point on, the characters and story really started show their multifaceted nature, which made me appreciate the developments in the earlier episodes more. It was like a form of backwards storytelling up until the midway point of this adaptation, where everything was put into a proper perspective after the flashbacks. The characters quickly establish their personalities, we learn why they’re like that, and then we move onto the next part of the multi-layered story.
The second half didn’t fail to impress either, as Kami-sama Dolls showed how it can combine both plot and humor masterfully. I don’t know if this is primarily attributed to mangaka Yamamura Hajime or director Kishi Seiji, but it was awfully reminiscent of the latter’s work in Angel Beats. Mahiru single-handedly took the series to a whole new level of enjoyment for me, while Kuuko backed her up as a fail-safe. Their absolutely insane personalities stole the spotlight on more than a few occasions and left me wanting to just see more of them. At the same time, their crazy antics never once took away from the main story. The seamless injection of humor was quite unlike anything I’ve seen before, and for good reason, will go down as something that I’ll always remember this series for. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d consider recommending Kami-sama Dolls to any potential viewers for the comedic value alone. It’s pretty easy to do considering that there is a complex story to go with it. Brain’s Base has done a wonderful job with this adaptation and is really deserving of a sequel. Here’s to hoping they get the green light on one.
Season 2 Preview…?