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Kamisama Kiss 2
Episode 10

by Amy McNulty,

Jiro has an idea where the tengu chief's stolen soul might be, and although he cautions Nanami to wait safely behind, she doesn't heed his warning. Conveniently, the soul is in the very same pit that traumatized Kurama many years ago and led to SUIRO's banishment and inability to use his wings. No sooner does Jiro deride SUIRO for putting himself in danger to save a weaker tengu than he risks his life to protect Nanami. The thunderbolt beast that attacked her comically pukes up the tengu chief's soul like a hairball a few moments later, but Jiro is gravely injured.

This all happens in the first half of the episode. Kurama hardly has time to comment on the bad memories he associates with the place before the tension grinds to a halt, and the second half of the episode is devoted to Jiro's recuperation and a farewell celebration before the earth-bound trio departs. Everyone on Mount Kurama is inexplicably concerned about Jiro's health, and Nanami herself is moved to tears at the prospect that he might not recover from the wounds he sustained saving her. Thanks to her peach pills, he pulls through. However, while the tengu and Nanami celebrate his recovery, he does little to ingratiate himself to the viewers.

Jiro's one act of selflessness may have been a long time coming, but it's simply not enough to redeem him. This is the guy who murdered a young tengu's pet baby boar in front of him because he believed it should have died along with its mother just a few episodes back. While he recovers, he imagines himself as a young tengu speaking with the chief, and he seems to accept that there are different kinds of strengths and weaknesses. However, since we don't see him interact with his fellow tengu in a kinder fashion, it's not enough. The fact that his great selfless act was to save a helpless Nanami, despite all of her hard work to establish herself as a more capable human land god, undermines much of the work the series has done to further her character.

Nanami's over-the-top reaction to Jiro's injury and Jiro's obvious feelings for her lead to yet another misunderstanding between Tomoe and Nanami that the show should be well past at this point. Thankfully, it doesn't drag the episode down too much, but Tomoe honestly worrying that Nanami's going to stay on Mount Kurama with Jiro is another attempt at tension that falls flat.

Episode 10 is a rushed, if adequate, end to the Mount Kurama arc. It doesn't take any risks, nor does it properly convey Jiro's transformation from abusive jerk to kindhearted tengu. Still, with limited time left in the series for the characters to go back and confront Akura-oh, it makes sense for them to move on. Still, since Jiro's transformation was such a core component of this arc, it would have been more satisfying to see Nanami contribute to his growth in ways other than being the only girl he's ever met—and his damsel in distress at that.

Rating: B

Kamisama Kiss 2 is currently streaming on Funimation.

Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for two decades.

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