I decided I would try to start blogging about anime that is not current but I still think is worth your watching in an effort to spread a little awareness of these forgotten past gems. The first show I will be talking about is Kamichu!, an anime I had recently watched on DVD which inspired this idea. It is a nice slice of life show with a unique story that really does not get enough credit for how amazing it is.
What it’s about
The story of Kamichu! centers around Yurie Hitotsubashi a middle school girl who becomes a goddess one day and as a result must balance her life around being both a goddess and a student. She spends much of her time with her two friends Mitsue Shijo, who is her best friend and is always looking out for her, and Matsuri Saegusa who lives in a poor local shrine and tries to use Yurie’s powers to help promote it. Also of note there is Yurie’s crush, Kenji Ninomiya, who spends all his time doing calligraphy on the school roof.
Since it is a slice of life there is no real linking plot that goes on between any episode but rather it is focused around a few themes. The episodes mainly revolve around either Yurie using her powers to help Matsuri’s shrine, Yurie and her crush on Kenji or Yurie dealing with the responsibilities of being a god (like going to the god world for meetings or dealing with local problems).
Why I like it
The big problem with slice of life shows is that it is easy to make something that can fall into boring plots and generic characters, however this is not one of them. In fact this is shown right from the start in one of the better introductions I’ve seen as Yurie is eating lunch with Mitsue and Yurie just casually tells her she turned into a goddess last night while Mitsue just as casually accepts the idea of the first human goddess as nothing out of the ordinary. Just as unquestioningly is Matsuri who over hears this and declares Yurie her new friend (for the purpose of helping her poor shrine).
The god and goddess aspect is based on Shinto religion so there is a god for every object in the universe and this makes for the most unique component to this show and adds some good depth to the world. The god world is very imaginative and all the different gods have some thought behind them as well as designs based on what they are of the god of as well as personalities that sometimes reflect this. In addition I love the way Yurie uses her power as a goddess as she shouts “Kamichu!” She doesn’t use her divine powers very often but when she does it has a certain impact and makes you want more. She’s also known to use it for more selfish and little reasons which can be equally fun such as changing the TV channel when she doesn’t want to move.
Among characters Yurie completely steals the show for me. For such a simple character who sometimes spends most of an episode doing almost nothing she really is a very endearing and adorable character. I think of her as almost a perfect moe character as she is someone almost anyone can like. Her crush on Kenji is something that you just can’t help but cheer on (off topic rant you won’t understand: people who talk about a need for maturity in relationships and love can watch this show and learn a few things about the beauty of young love).
The individual plot of each episode is also a strong point of this show. They were very entertaining and had some very nice heartwarming stories. A good example (I won’t spoil the ending so you’ll just have to trust me) would be when Yurie temporarily transferred to another school that views her as a sacred god and her resulting efforts to fit in while also attending a god association conference when she isn’t in school. There is some real creatively as well even if it sometimes bordered on the ridiculous (such as Yurie being called in to negotiate with an alien or Yurie fighting wrestling style in a cat war).
If you enjoy feel good slice of life there are few other anime shows I would recommend over Kamichu! However, it’s license in the US has expired so if you are interested in owning the DVDs I would recommend not waiting too long on this wonderful show.