DVD Review: Kamisama Kiss – Season 2
16/06/2016 Leave a comment
Tomoe and Nanami return in the second season of Kamisama Kiss but is the episodic content and storyline as amusing as the first season or has it warn off? Let’s take a look in our DVD Review of Kamisama Kiss – Season 2.
Nanami the Land God is back with the handsome fox familiar Tomoe at her side! After a rough start as a newly ordained god, she’s finally finding her land legs in the world of gods, demons, and spirits. However, not everything is going magically well.
Nanami’s feelings for Tomoe are growing stronger, but Tomoe goes from hot to cold faster than a weather god! And he’s not the only moody demon. The flowers in Kurama’s mountain home are dying, and the person behind the wilting wildlife is none other than his brother Jiro! Nanami’s got a lot on her plate. When the going gets tough, will this green goddess have what it takes to save the day?
With the first season of Kamisama Kiss offering a relatively unique tale of struggle, growth, romance and fun it’s quite hard to imagine what this second season can add to the overall experience. As one might expect the blossoming love story between our lead protagonists Nanami and Tomoe continue but throw in a new antagonist, a godly meet-up in the other world and tengus running amuck and you’ll soon realise that the love story you expected isn’t going to happen anytime soon which is a real shame as everything else on offer is a bit of a blur.
It’s clear to me that I did not enjoy what the second season of Kamisama Kiss had to offer but I fully understand that what I did not enjoy others will. Did I not enjoy the series because of bad storyline choices, bad casting or just uninterested at the topic at hand? It’s hard to say but seeing as I enjoyed the first season then I can only say it’s the former options. One may expect the lifestyle of Tomoe and Nanami to take centre stage in this second season with other deities trying to take over the shrine or overthrow the fake land god; instead we get welcomed to a new world of possibilities and very little time to adapt.
It all starts with Nanami who, after being visited by Otohiko, is invinited to the Divine Assembly, a gather of gods to discuss important matters; but before being able to go Nanami must help protect and raise a shikigami. Tomoe is not best pleased with these events, even more so when the egg hatches and a male-monkey shikigami, which later becomes an assistant to Nanmi, is born. Swiftly moving on from this debate Nanami and Mizuki are wisked away to the Divine Assembly, with Tomoe being forced to stay at the shrine, and while Nanami’s attendance at the assembly is to engage with other gods she soon finds herself being sent on an errand. This errand is what leads Nanami to be introduced to our antagonist – if you can call him that- of the series, a fallen familiar/god known as Akura-Ou, otherwise known as Kirihito, who is trying to locate Tomoe and return to the god-like world for his own desires.
You would expect some form of confrontatation between Nanami, Tomoe and Akura-Ou to take place; but alas that’s not to be as the story swiftly moves on to a delicate situation with the tengus which once again sees everyones favourite Shinjūrō Kurama back on screen. The tengu story-arc, which sees the once named ‘fallen angel’ return to his homeland I found to be an interesting story but just like with any event in this series its quickly moved on to the next topic at hand; and the real reason we stayed watching for this long. That’s right; the hot topic of romance between Nanami and Tomoe, which has been making small cameo styled appearences through the show, as well as Akura-Ou’s obsession with Tomoe finally starts to spill-out onto the screen and unlike the past eight episodes or so this story-arc provides plenty of interesting surprises, plot-twists and an emotional turnout that you wouldn’t have expected. An interesting storyline; but a little too late for those who lost interest early on.
Kamisama Kiss continues to provide a bleak output on anime as while the bonus content list looks full there’s actually only a handful of content included; namely cast commentary, textless songs and a trailer for the show itself. One observation should be made that the content labelled as “Episode 1” and “Episode 6” on the extras menu are actually textless endings of that particular episode. It’s bizarre that the disc author chose not to list them as such and as a result does make the menu slightly confusing.
It’s worth nothing that while some of the voice acting, and cast choice I found to be questionable the Cast Commentaries can prove to be informative as on the first disc we have a Cast Commentary with Jerry Jewell (ADR Director) and Brandon Potter (Akura-Ou) which provide an explanation into the dubbing process and that some elements of the voice-over work, such as narration, were done out of the house and not in the recording booth.
On the other hand the Episode 12 Commentary features Tia Ballard (voice of Nanami), J Michael Tatum (voice of Tomoe) and Michah Solusod (voice of Mizuki) just discussing general topics of the show and their experiences which isn’t as insightful as one may imagine.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:47:30 (Disc 1) 1:59:24 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448kbps (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 192kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Personally I found Kamisama Kiss – Season 2 to offer the same repetitive jokes and cliché scenarios we’ve seen before wrapped up in a forbidden love story that never comes to pass. Sure enough the god-like duties, and the inclusions of new environments and characters, such as the Divine Assembly, the Netherworld and the land of the Tengus, bring some fresh life into the series but it doesn’t feel like the series actually goes anywhere. Of course this perception can change in the final few episodes when some big surprises and revelations come to pass; but by then you may not have any interest in the series left to care.
Of course Kamisama Kiss does have some charming qualities; the colourful characters, the unique personalities and the varying topics that are brought about on day-to-day activities all offer an interesting watch; but once again I found myself hard to connect with the show. In my eyes the first season covered the general content of the characters well and this second season should have been about developing the bond between the characters, which it partly does; but the including godly activities, a new character that seems like an enemy, just holds-up the process of the content we want to see.
Ironically enough the blame can’t just be put onto the presentation and pacing of the show – which actually follows more of a traditional continuious storyline route rather than mixed singular episodes – as the English Dub offers more than to be desired. By now we have all become familiar with Tia Ballard as the English voice actor for Nanami and while she plays the role well in the first season the constant screaming and high-pitched voice-over in the second season leaves more to be desired. Brandon Potter, who voices the antagonist Akura-Ou, otherwise known as Kirihito, also seemed like an odd casting choice due to his deep voice tone. Some positive notes have to be awarded for Sean O’Connor, the voice actor for Shinjūrō Kurama, as during one ending sequence he sings the song which has been fully translated into English. Of course these are all just personal thoughts and nitpicks; but I found myself watching the Japanese audio more than the English Dub variation – which is bizarre as I actually enjoyed the first season in English.
Let’s be clear; I did not enjoy what the second season of Kamisama Kiss had to offer; sure enough it had some interesting talking points and it saw bonds between characters grow however there didn’t seem enough content to justify the existence of this second season especially when everything was covered quite nicely in the first season. Of course a few surprises and revelations are in store but it for me it did nothing to keep me entertained or wanting to watch more in the same sitting. DVD-wise however then this release by MVM Entertainment is pretty much flawless, except for the odd-mistake in the extras menu, and will be a nice addition to your collection but bear in mind a Blu-ray version does exist which will give you the better picture quality (even if the quality here is substantial).
Kamisama Kiss – Season 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK from the 20th June 2016.