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Kamisama Kiss 2
Episode 12

by Amy McNulty,

This week's episode bears no resemblance to the finale the series seemed to be building up to with the Akura-oh storyline. In fact, on the surface, it hardly resembles a finale at all. Still, there is a small resolution couched amidst what would otherwise only make for an intriguing mid-season offering. As in the first season's finale, Tomoe takes another step toward admitting his feelings for Nanami—in fact, he leaves no room for interpretation this time. The only problem is that Nanami won't remember him telling her he loves her.

The episode speeds through highlights of Nanami's childhood, explaining that she inherited her spunk and independence from her mother. The tragedies in her past are largely portrayed in a humorous light, from her dying mom to her deadbeat dad to her classmates ostracizing her at a young age because of her justifiably jaded worldview. Still, the use of humor to soften these misfortunes doesn't feel out of place, as the series always shines when it sprinkles comedy throughout its more serious storylines.

Mizuki and Tomoe interact with young Nanami, and Tomoe even goes so far as to soften Nanami's stance against letting a man into her life by telling her he loves her and would make the perfect mate for her. He also admits to being weakened by her adorableness. It's too bad he doesn't have the guts to tell her again when she's back to her current self. Later on, he even has the gall to be perturbed that she doesn't remember his confession, although the fact that he doesn't take it out on her outwardly shows that he's making progress.

The remainder of the episode wraps up the supernatural quest to get a talisman from the Year God's shrine. The segment is cute, comical, and ends rather poignantly when the Year God presents Nanami with a photograph of her late mother as a gift. Tomoe learns more about how the passage of time affects human beings from the whole experience, setting him up to become more Nanami's equal in the future—if there are more episodes.

As the credits roll, we check in with all of the series' key players. It's good to see that no one's been forgotten, but the whole thing feels rather unfinished. Nanami's made progress as a god, but she didn't end the season doing anything particularly god-like. Tomoe's closer to admitting he loves Nanami, but he's in no rush to tell her himself. Akura-oh may have learned to value Kirihito's human family over his dark schemes, but he never confronted Tomoe about their shared past or fulfilled his goals. Secondary characters appeared throughout the season, and some got mini arcs of their own, like Kurama, but they seemed more important in season one and more like an afterthought here.

Everyone has been given a half-hearted end to their storyline without delivering on any greater potential. Still, as far as sophomore seasons go, Kamisama Kiss 2 was a worthwhile continuation. It was just too rarely ambitious, which is a disappointment.

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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