After finding a site to torrent anime series (that are complete), I decided to download Kamisama Dolls because of the influence of a certain Population GO writer. Honestly, I never had any plans to watch Kamisama Dolls because it looked like some girl-centric anime involving mecha. The name is quite misleading and so was the first picture I ever saw of it— which basically showed some robot and girls. I decided to continue downloading it so that I have a series to watch when exams were over. However, that wasn’t the case because life decides to whack the idea of marathoning the series is a good idea as opposed to reviewing for an English long test.
Now, the funny thing about Kamisama Dolls is that the main protagonist is rarely shown on the promotional posters. As shown by the picture to the left, the picture contains girls— important girls in the protagonists life. Judging by how the promotional items were designed, the creators were planning to pull in men or boys with a fascination for girls and mecha— well, something along those lines either way. Truly, this may have been a successful tactic as the female fan base for this series is relatively small. However, like the common saying goes— “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Now, I’m not saying that Kamisama Dolls is a sleeper hit for girls, but the content and character development is in contrast to the promotional paraphernalia.
Kamisama Dolls is a story about a boy named Kuga Kyohei. He comes from a relatively unknown village called Kurakami. The anime adaptation focuses on the struggle of Kyohei in the big city as he tries to get away from village traditions. However, his efforts are proved futile when an old friend appears before him, creating a chain reaction of events that’ll make Kyohei realize that he can never escape his past— that he is bounded forever to the beliefs of his village, which ultimately leaves an eternal bond with the doll he used to manipulate.
What makes Kamisama Dolls an interesting series is how it portrays the struggle of breaking away from tradition. In most series, such a struggle is characterized by the undying will to escape, which is basically a form of stubbornness and cliche because it’s used in just about any situation. What Kamisama Dolls does is avoid direct confrontation and use the events occurring around the protagonist as a means of highlighting the effect of tradition towards character development. This is why I found the connection between Kuga Aki & Kuga Kyohei quite interesting— they’ve had such a strong connection that they can shake up each other’s lives, which occurred at different points in time. Aki is pursued by every seki in Kurakami village, but all Aki wants is to torment Kyohei for the deed Kyohei had done in the past. It’s the constant pursuit of Aki for Kyohei that brings Kyohei to the predicament of reanalyzing the event that have played out before— and probably how it affects Kyohei’s treatment towards tradition. The bond between Aki & Kyohei symbolizes the struggle between following & rebelling Kurakami Village’s traditions & beliefs.
Kuga Utao is one of the prevailing characters in Kamisama Dolls’s paraphernalia and in the series, she is the sister of Kyohei who ends up becoming a seki because Kyohei stepped down. Over the course of the series, I found Utao rather annoying and whiny, but this is probably due to what Utao represents. Utao is a forced seki— chosen to become a seki because her brother stepped down. She represents the formidable power the village has because she, at a young age, must replace her brother. She is a casualty of village traditions and beliefs because she is forced to follow her brother’s footsteps. Her brother-complex spurs from the fact that she feels inferior to Kyohei because Kyohei was one of the village’s greatest seki. She has a desire to fulfill her brother’s wants and wishes, which is why the strength of Kukuri will never surpass that of her brother— much to both her brothers’ dismay.
In total, Kamisama Dolls is an engaging series that’s meant to analyze the strength tradition plays on its followers— or even those it has been thrust upon. The paraphernalia of the series contrasts that of its content, but it manages to make itself a worthwhile watch. There isn’t anything notable about it except for the tradition-complex it brings upon its watchers. If one is planning to grow his list of anime series watched, Kamisama Dolls would be a worthwhile series to add. It’s nothing great, but it does keep you entertained with its “tradition-complex.”