A sweet look at teenage Godhood

There are days when I need a break from angsty dramas, supernatural shows and action series. Granted I thrive on those kinds of anime but even I have a limit!

When I’m in this mode, I like to watch anime that is simple, soothing and slow-paced which would explain why I followed the series, “Kamichu” this year. I actually finished watching the final four episodes last night. It works for me because I simply accepted the premise – a middle school student realizes one day that she is now a god but doesn’t know what her powers are. Her two friends try to help her out. And the seaside town accepts her as a god who happens to still be attending middle school. Go figure.

Bear in mind “Kamichu” relies on viewers knowing something about Shintoism which is Japan’s national religion. In Shintoism, there are numerous spirits called “kami” which in English is usually translated to mean “god”. Those shrines you often see on anime are where worshippers go to pay their respects to a Shinto god.

This unlikely new god is a small teen by the name of Yurie Hitotsubashi who has a huge crush on the sole member of the calligraphy club – a somewhat dense boy called Kenji Ninomiya. The episode where she finally tells him she likes him and nervously holds out a box of handmade Valentine’s Day chocolates while the whole town roots for her is so sweet, ya gotta see it.

The series shows Yurie learning the ropes of her new status by attending the annual conference of gods where she goes through an orientation, getting assistants who funnel requests she can choose to grant and meeting people like the Prime Minister who needs her to deal with an alien stranded in Japan. He’s one of the few devious people in the show.

Most of the folks and spirits living in Yurie’s sleepy town are nice. The resident Shinto god at the local shrine who nurses a passion for singing even gives Yurie pointers. But she had to find him first since he ran away from the shrine for several days

I know some of my guy pals secretly watch “Strawberry Marshmallow” so I recommend this show to them.

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