Kamisama Kiss: How to Get Started With the Anime & Manga

From the title alone, it's easy to guess what to expect out of Kamisama Kiss. The shojo classic is a lighthearted love story that has its serious moments but, always returns to its signature optimism and sincerity, especially with the feelings that the cast of characters hold for each other. It is a feel-good story that continues to capture hearts with its exploration of Japanese folklore in a modern world, a plucky protagonist and her grumpy yokai guardian, and a time-destined love story. Fans of InuyashaNoragami and Beyond the Boundary may end up finding a new favorite. Here is a guide on how to start exploring the series.

Kamisama Kiss is the story of high schooler Nanami Momozono, who is kicked out of her apartment after her deadbeat dad gambles away their rent and leaves town. Nanami goes to a local park to try and figure out her next move when a stranger's calls for help grab her attention. She finds a man in a tree, hiding from a dog, and helps him out, after which he offers her a place to stay at Mikage Shrine. Nanami accepts the offer with no idea that the man she just saved was the god of Mikage Shrine -- and he's just passed his title and duties onto her.

The Plot of Kamisama Kiss

Accepting the job would be easier if the previous god hadn't been neglecting his duties for 20 years. This means that Nanami walks into a shrine that is covered with dust and home to an irate fox familiar named Tomoe who refuses to accept Nanami as the new god. So Nanami's misadventures as a human god begin as she attempts to fulfill her duties, wrangle her familiar into some sort of truce and somehow not flunk out of high school.

The series is flush with the supernatural and Japanese folklore and beautiful in its portrayal. Nanami and Tomoe are both as stubborn as they come, but their relationship evolves as the two manage to find middle ground and then dance on the head of that very small pin. Other familiars, spirits, lords and ladies of the fantasy realm round out the cast of an interesting story that explores the entire world Nanami has been thrust into.

Where to Read Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss began publication in 2008 and is licensed by VIZ Media. The 25 volumes of the series are available to purchase at most major retailers, such as Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. The volumes average at a price of $9.99 and can also be purchased digitally as well, either from VIZ Media or from other digital providers for the average price of $6.99.

Currently, volumes must be purchased separately as there is no boxed set available. Since the manga is older, it can be difficult to find certain volumes on secondhand sites, making major retailers more reliable.

Where to Watch Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss was adapted into two anime seasons, the first airing in 2012 and the second in 2015. Both seasons can be streamed on Hulu and Funimation. The complete seasons can also be purchased on DVD or BluRay form on Amazon, Best Buy and other major retailers.

An OVA series known as the "Past Arc" aired in four parts later in 2015 and a final episode was bundled with the official fan book in 2016 to conclude the series.  The OVA collection is not currently up for purchase or streaming, meaning that English fans of the series will, unfortunately, have to wait to watch these bonus episodes.

Since Funimation first streamed Kamisama Kiss back in 2012, it's unknown whether the company will choose to stream the OVAs. Streaming companies have not often chosen to stream OVAs in the past, but this is beginning to change with titles such as Wonder Egg Priority and My Hero Academia. Hopefully, the OVAs will become available to stream and fans can experience the entire anime at last.

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