Kamisama Kiss 2 Episode 6
by Amy McNulty,
Some series can manage to pull off two or more segments in an episode, but Kamisama Kiss isn't one of them. The shorter storyline style does best with comedies, and although Kamisama Kiss 2 certainly has its comedic moments, it puts too much emphasis on the tropes of shojo romance to convey entire storylines in half an episode or less. As such, episode 6 feels like a transitional vignette that doesn't hit the mark.
The first half is mostly an epilogue to last week's episode, as Nanami requests some alone time to deal with her feelings for Tomoe. After Mikage informs her that yokai who fall in love with humans remain in love long after their partners pass on, Nanami questions whether or not she should continue pursuing Tomoe. As with last week, the romantic dilemma seems forced, considering all they've been through together. It isn't until she runs into Himemiko, a yokai in love with a human, that she comes to the conclusion we all knew she was going to reach: "It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." (Tennyson probably didn't consider the possibility of one partner outliving the other by thousands of years, but the sentiment holds true regardless.) The segment drags on a while before coming to an abrupt halt during a ridiculously long shopping montage set to the first season's opening theme. Girls and their retail therapy, am I right?
The second half of the episode is split between hinting at what Kirihito is up to (falling victim to another nefariously deceitful yokai) and setting up the plot for next week's episode. Nanami and Tomoe happen upon Botanmaru, a young, grumpily cute tengu who's on a quest to find a tengu chief's son. There's a little more humor in this segment, particularly when it comes to the illustration of the tengu chief's son in comparison to Kurama's actual bishounen appearance. (Come on, we all knew he was the tengu in question, right? He's the only tengu who's been remotely important in the show so far.) When Nanami makes the connection, she and Botanmaru attend Kurama's concert, where he sings not one but two songs that culminate in a Kurama-centric montage during the end credits. Although there's a certain appeal to seeing Kurama perform, he's more fun when he's being his vain self offstage, and his concert comes across as padding in an already-padded episode.
Scattered and bogged down with montages, episode 6 is a bridge between episodes 5 and 7 with little of value on its own. Of course, fans will need to tune in to see the start of the next arc, but the first half is unnecessary and the Kirihito scenes feel wedged in. Gone is Nanami's determination to become a better god, as she regresses to being unsure of whether or not she should follow her heart. Romantic tension is a must in any shojo series, but there's enough going on in this show that the producers can afford to stop making these characters take two steps back and one slow step forward over and over again.
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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