Posted by psgels on 27 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews

With a title as “Crazy Shrine Maidens”, the first thing you’d expect is a highly energetic silly slapstick comedy involving shrine maidens, but Kannagi is a bit different from that, and it’s actually more slice of life than slapstick. This series basically tells about a group of high school kids, one of which is some sort of tree spirit or god turned into a human. I kept watching it because I hoped that there would be some potential in its second half, but in the end I can’t really say that I’m glad to have watched it, or that it’s been a great series, but there have been a few interesting episodes.

What mostly turned me off about this series wasn’t the speed at which it developed into a harem, but rather that the show has an identity crisis. It felt to me that the creators never really knew what they wanted to do with this series. They’d go: “let’s have a simple slice of life series with a quirky man couple”, to “now let’s insert a complex back-story”, and soon enough “I want a harem”, “it’s been too serious, more comedy”, “Yaoi! We need Yaoi!”, “How about karaoke?” to eventually “crap, we still have an unsolved storyline! We need more drama!”.

Through the series, the series jumps from one theme to the other like an indecisive grasshopper. It makes the series varied, but also inconsistent, and the different segments don’t really feel complete and don’t flow well into each other. The whole back-story of the series gets completely ignored after only a few episodes, and in the end the drama that makes up the finale of the series may feel well developed as a standalone story, but within the series it feels forced and out of place.

There are however a number of standalone episodes that are quite a bit of fun to watch. It often involves episodes that are completely dedicated to one single subject, like the lead characters going to a karaoke-place, or like in the first episode of Lucky Star, where the characters kept talking about food. Because these episodes are so centred around one topic, they’re really able to get the best out of them, rather than feeling like an uninspired attempt to fill up an episode.

Another reason to check out this series: the godly animation of the first two episodes. In those, the creators really tried to animate EVERYTHING, and the result looks really gorgeous. Unfortunately, this disappears and doesn’t return for the rest of the series at all, so those who are watching this series for the eye candy might as well drop it after episode 2.

But in the end, the series wasn’t enjoyable enough to make me really recommend it to others. There’s so much better stuff out there, and Kannagi simply feels like a decent series. Above average, but not much more. It’s good for those moments where you have half an hour to burn, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to watch it. The creators simply wanted to do too much in only 13 episodes.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10

10 Responses

  1. Avatar Westlo says:

    12 and especially 13 returned the animation to the level of the first two, please get your eyes checked or stop watching crappy streams. The rest of your post is opinion based so I won’t bother touching that and Casshern is more haremish than this :p

  2. psgels psgels says:

    I admit that the animation of the final two episodes was a step up when compared to the previous episodes, yeah. But to me it still felt nowhere near the huge animation quality of the first two episodes. I especially watched the final episode raw in HD, and it just didn’t look as detailed as episode 2.

  3. Avatar Westlo says:

    The first episode animation was good to great with some stunning pieces throughout which is how I would describe the last two. The second had a lot of movement (more than 1 cour of a Bee Train show), if anything too much and is unfair standard to hold anything too really.

    I also didn’t see the detail difference from episode 2 compared to 13 you’re mentioning and even if there was that has nothing to do with animation period. Animation =! character art.

    “The creators simply wanted to do too much in only 13 episodes.”

    Last scene of episode 13 ended with the last scene of Volume 3 of the manga, manga is currently up to Volume 6. just a FYI it does get a lot more focused on what it wants to do, provides some backstory on Zange and Nagi and still throw in the occasional lolz (BL chapter is lolz… poor Akibas mum….)

  4. Avatar choco says:

    “It felt to me that the creators never really knew what they wanted to do with this series.”

    ahaha… I figured that out fifteen minutes into the first episode… I felt like that the introduction of characters, plot, conflict, setting, etc… (the most important part of storytelling) has already brought lacking factors into the exposition of the story: no substance, no originality, just… crap that sugarcoats itself with karaoke.

  5. Avatar Kurisu says:

    Godly animation? If anything it was above average for a series like this and the few fluid scenes were just gimmicks to fool the viewers as this is what most of them are going to remember. It’s completely normal to use a larger part of the budget for the first episode to hook the viewer. Here they kept it up for 2-3 episodes which I find rather questionable because it will only piss of viewers half-way through – except for fanbois which even applaud use of stick figures, speed-lines and scanning over manga stills.

    Kannagi went really downhill with the appearence of Zange, a quite unnecessary character. I just wonder whether you’re sarcastic when you’re praising the karaoke episode, especially as it used such heavy-handed references to this other anime which you’re a fan of. If this episode isn’t the very definition of a filler, despite not featuring a beach, the point of it probably went way over my head. For what it’s worth, I don’t give a gundam whether they pulled it from the manga or the bible. I’m watching anime for the sake of enjoying anime not as a overlong advertizement for a manga or some CDs.

    Overall, there’s nothing exceptionally bad about it, if you ignore the lack of focus. It’s just your average harem-esque slice of life comedy resolving around school kids. What I’m sour about is that it promised to be much more during the first two to three episodes.

  6. Avatar Kekeke says:

    The events happened on vol. 4 onwards answers your questions about Zange’s existence, and Nagi’s search for her identity with Jin. Oh yeah, also about Nagi’s strange actions as if like she’s been possessed (in ep. 2 and 8), too.

  7. Avatar bob says:

    If the anime wasn’t that great why did it still get a 75%. By the way you were talking about it, I’d figure a 50 or 60 max.

  8. Avatar DuhMightyBeanz says:

    I quite agree with the review…It actually summed out everything there is.Actually the starting of the series was reasonable with comedy relief in between which was nice…until they decided to add more characters into the mix.It initially had to potential to do so much more with the storyline but the creators screwed it up.Decent anime,not the best,not the worst either.Just a time killer I guess.

  9. Avatar Solaris says:

    I totally agree with PSGels here.
    This shows doens’t even know what genre it’s about. It starts as a Magical Girl anime, then turns into harem, then to school commedy, then back to harem and continues spinning around aimlessy.
    The show mostly fails attempting to develp a subplot that yet doesn’t even exist even in the manga in the first place.
    Maybe it was better to mak an anime out of this manga whenever the story was developed enough.
    On the other hand the show shines bright and fun in some random commedic episodes.
    Neverthless the chars were quite nice and fleshed out good enough to sustain a decent commedy. It shows in several episode like the karaoke or the closet one, where there isn’t any story development but only nice commedy. And those are the most fun episode to watch.
    I’d rate this show quite insufficient, like 55/100

  10. Avatar C says:

    The anime develops and closely follows the manga — which is even more indecisive. (: The manga will add something that should be important, then… doesn’t do anything with it.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

10 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Mix – 02/03

Star Crossed is one of the oldest anime blogs left on the English-speaking internet, so we’re bound to have a few devotees of Mitsuru Adachi, that master of classic storytelling, among our readership. If you fall into that category, you might wonder why someone who has never read or watched Touch, his seminal work, has […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 3 [Sabito and Makomo]

Welcome to Kimetsu no Yaiba, the premier Saturday Morning Cartoon of the season! This time we burn through a training arc, meet some ghosts and learn the arcs end-goal. Lets jump in! Starting off, like always, the production. Yaiba does a great job here, like usual, looking fantastic. Assume you like digital effects that is. […]

Paranoia Agent – 13 [The Final Episode] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all to the finale of Paranoia Agent! People grow up, Shounen Bat is defeated and absolutely nothing makes any sense. Lets dive in! Starting off, visually, it worked very well as a finale. Lots of awesome shots, action and moments throughout, all blending into just a joy to watch. Really, it just flowed well. […]

One Punch Man S2 – 2 [Human Monsters]

Breathe deep… Siiiiiiiiigh… Guess we are doing this. Strap in folks, because this is going to be a rough season of OPM. Let me start off, with a friendly warning. If your here for my usual attempts at constructive criticism and attempted multifaceted analysis, I apologize. There will be very little of that for these […]

Dororo – 14 [The Story of Sabame]

Another week, another episode of Dororo. This time we learn the mystery of Dororo’s back, meet a new demon and get a lot of parallels to their current overall situation. Lets jump in! Starting off, Dororo once again is a bit disappointing on the production front. There were a number of dull or sliding stills, […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 2 [Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki]

Welcome one and all to the 2019 Spring Season! My name is Lenlo, and I am Shounen Trash. This, is Kimetsu no Yaiba, now with cute demon sisters, mysterious old men the the high possibility of developing a drool fetish. Sounds weird? Good, lets jump in! First off, production. Its Ufotable, obviously Yaiba looks fantastic. […]

Paranoia Agent – 12 [Radar Man] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, and welcome to the Galaxy Brain episode of Paranoia Agent. Apologies for the lateness, but I really needed to wrap my head around this. Threads are brought  together, more questions are raised, and I am somehow entertained, confused and enlightened all at once. Lets jump in! Now I have so much I need […]

Dororo – 13 [The Story of the Blank-Faced Buddha]

Hello everyone and welcome to the Spring season! While we are still preparing our First Impressions and picking what interests us, carryovers from last season are picking back up. That of course includes Dororo, which left off on a huge first cour finale. Lets jump in! Before we get into the meat of this episode, […]

Paranoia Agent – 11 [No Entry] – Throwback Thursday

And so Paranoia Agent gets back on its weird tracks! This week week see what’s happened with Maniwa and the chief, Shounen Bat gets one upped and Kon get’s a little weird again. Lets jump in! I have to say, this was a unique episode. All of Paranoia Agent’s episodes are unique in some way, […]

Latest Reviews

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]

Planetes Anime Review – 84/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]