Romance galore for the past season! Not to mention that there were so many good ones: Sukitte Ii na Yo, Sakurasou, and apparently Chuuninbyou and Tonari are also really good but I did not watch them. Kamisama Hajimemashita for me stands out as the best though. Why? Execution.
For the people who haven’t heard me repeat this over and over yet: the director of this series is Akitarou Daichi. He did Fruits Basket, Kodocha and Bokura ga Ita before so yes, he can direct really good romance, and yes, he can do this incredibly consistently. Kamisama Hajimemashita feels the most like 13 episodes of Kodocha, with a bit of its energy calmed down. Though it’s still a series that is full of energy, especially if you watch its first episode.
The trick with this series is that it has perfected its timing: shots last for the exact right duration. Jokes are timed perfectly. The energy is built up over each episode really well. The show managed to use its camera work to bring out the emotions of the characters really well, and especially the feelings of love and laughter. This show is really good at juggling these around, making you laugh hard one moment and feel sorry the next. No other romance this series was as balanced as this series.
And the thing is, that this is not the most ambitious series: the characters are simple, they don’t try too hard to be likable at all. The storylines are also really quite simple when you boil down to them. The character development too: simple. Yet this series shines in it, and due to this simplicity and polish it is really enjoyable. Not to mention that without exception, it manages to end every single episode with a really charming climax that is full of warm feelings (that ED works brilliantly with it). I don’t see many other shows pull the same.
The problem mostly is that this series really needs to be a 26 episode series. With 26, its story just cuts off in the middle with a hasty end boss, and the characters don’t develop as well as they could have. It loses most of its points on that.
|Storytelling:||9/10 – Awesome timing, really uses its simplicity well and knows really well how to build up.|
|Characters:||8.5/10 – Simple but effective characters. At first they might not seem much, but they grow on you.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Well drawn camera angles, although they don’t move much. Catchy soundtrack.|
|Setting:||8/10 – It’s the same old setting about youkai, but well used.|