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  • Genre : Happiness, otome, mullet reverse harem, magical boy
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Brain’s Base

 

Yui is just your average run of the mill, beautiful, smart, sweet, kendo practicing high school girl capable of immediately accepting and adapting to any situation no matter how outlandish and one day she is swept away to a magical garden/high school full of god boys from various mythologies brought together by Zeus to develop a better understanding of mankind. That old story. We’ve all been in this exact situation a billion times right? It’s happen to me twice this week alone! You know how these things go, eventually we have to drown a pretty blond boy to avoid a Matrix type Ragnarok. Yawn.

I never know how to qualify these shows. They’re not exactly cute boys doing cute things, I mean they don’t really fall into the slice of life category at all. Technically you could call them reverse harems, I mean that is what they are but this title could fool you into thinking they are romantic storylines. The are not. The romance (if any) is usually completely secondary and only serves as an excuse to bring the characters together. It’s rarely central to the story and in this case was completely irrelevant to the main conflict.

If anything, you can recognize these shows by their standard dating sim adaptation structure which means we get separate mini storylines for every boy and their unabashed embrace of kitch. When done well these are pleasant, slightly manservicy comedies that will make you giggle, when they’re done badly they are annoying and infinitely stupid. When done very badly – the are comedy Gold! I’ll level with you, at this point I find it really hard to tell the difference.

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nice hair…

All of this as just to explain that I have to be in a particular mood to review these types of shows. A mood I like to call: frantically rapturous. It’s achieved by eating absolutely nothing but processed sugar for 3 days then writing the post real quick before the crash comes. The diabetes is more than worth it.

One of my favorite commenters Dawnstorm, clued me into this series by showing me this clip:

Please note the hair transformation!

Needles to say, I immediately took the rest of the day off and proceeded to binge this. As you can see, the art style is what you would expect, and you shouldn’t look too closely at angles or distant characters, but the transformation sequences are phenomenal. Sadly, there are very few of these, most characters only get a brief one in the last episode. This is unfortunate as the god costumes are one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our age. The mere sight of them will touch you in ways you did not think possible. Try not to drink before one as getting wine up your nose can really burn.

The animation is sporadic at best. Essentially, characters are mostly stationary or going through slow minimal movements and suddenly there is a burst of action that immediately dies down. It’s not a bad way to disguise limited resources and I enjoyed the visuals as whole. Voice acting is competent although I never quite got use to Loki’s voice. The best part however, is the ED which features actual bad lip-synching from our boys complete with moody scenery and art school project desaturated colors. It was my everything.

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I’m just gonna throw this screencap in…

In structure, Kamigami no Asobi follows the standard otome template pretty closely. It should be noted however that there wasn’t enough time to concentrate on all the boys. This means that while Baldr and Loki are personally established and get their own quite important storyline, Thor is largely ignored. We see kitty boy Anubis cameo through the show but I’m not sure main character Yui even knows who he is. As a result, the world feels a little fuller than your standard otome offering where the only characters that seem to exist are the main cast. Otherwise, the show is fairly stereotypical but deeply enjoyable. Dawnstorm had already sold it as one of the best offerings of the genre and although I am not yet well versed enough to make this type of sweeping statement, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The archetypical boys are all there, but they have been given just enough personality to be endearing and the narrative is careful to never take itself overly seriously. In fact, here’s Toth aptly describing the entire harem better than I ever could:

 The lighthearted, obviously caricatural hand with which everyone has been drawn is a great way to keep things light and easygoing. I get annoyed when these silly little shows try to take themselves too seriously and give their shallow characters overdramatic characterizations. It was also nice to see the ditzy trope applied to the otherwise perfect prince character.

However, otome heroines are usually one step up from plant life in these things. They seem an after thought with little to no personality beyond nice and unable. Unable to do what? Anything. In this, Kamigami towers over the competition with Yui who while undeniably nice is capable, restrained and seems to have actual interests and motivations of her own. Her character gets sidelined a bit in later episodes and she becomes much less interesting but for the first half at least she is a refreshingly down to earth and rational heroin. In fact, watching Yui react just like any normal reasonable person would when put in traditional otome situations had me cracking up the entire time. For my money she could have been even more forceful and self-reliant but I still loved Yui and that’s saying something under the circumstances.

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a rare example of the femullet

Like I said, the romantic aspects are usually a surprisingly small part of these shows and Kamigami pushes that even further. Although there are brief mentioned of attraction and vying for Yui’s attention here and there, the emotional core of the show, and most of the driving force behind the ultimate plot point has absolutely nothing to do with her at all. I must say this was quite unexpected and very welcomed. I sort of wish this was a different type of show that would have explored the Norse Mythology retelling they were going for instead. I mean with all the pretty magical boys of course.

The fact that these boys are given a touch more personality and backstory beyond their tragic pasts and how much they love the MC is an important element to flesh out the story a bit. The bigger established mythologies that get hinted at also add a bit of depth. By creating much sturdier foundations for the narrative than these shows usually get, the jokes land much more cleanly and I found that I was laughing along with the show almost as often as I was laughing at it.

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ombre – fancy!

I was about to end this post without even going into the most important part. The mullets. Look at these glorious mullets! These are epic. Loki even has this awesome gradient in his that makes me want to dye my hair red again. (I won’t – it was a huge pain getting it white, I’m not messing with it now). Maybe it’s because I’m also watching FMA at the moment and Ed is rocking how own impressive mullet when he lets his hair down, but I’m starting to associate the hairstyle with pretty boys. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!

When did anime start to conspire to make me think mullets are attractive? I know this isn’t the first show to do it  

Still the mullet king – Pixiv Id 79390

but it’s the first time even the heroine sports one….and I really dig it! Thankfully my hair isn’t quite long enough to copy the look or else I probably would have cut it like that and be really sad now. But honestly, why is anime doing this to me? What’s the end game here? Guys, I’m scared…

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the elusive side mullet

Favorite character: Thoth!!!

What this anime taught me: We must not get complacent in the fight against bad hairstyles

Adulthood has shown me that you really don’t need fun to have alcohol.

Suggested drink: Mount Olympus

  • Every time you see the Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi – take a sip
    • if it’s in actual sword for – take another!
  • Every time Baldr is a clutz – point and laugh
  • Every time we see Melissa – take a sip
  • Every time Apollo is super eager – clap
  • Every time the blondes stick together – be suspicious
  • Every time Hades says misfortune – take a sip
  • Every time Thoht *corners* Yui – take a sip
  • Every time someone days “human” or “humanity” – drink some water
  • Every time they get the mythology right – take a sip
  • Every time spontaneous stripping – raise your glass
the actual emotional core of the series

33 thoughts on “Kamigami no Asobi and the Great Mullet Conspiracy”

  1. Ahah it was so nice to read a Kamigami no Asobi review, it’s been so long since I’ve watched it and you captured its lightheadedness perfectly. It’s a simple show that doesn’t aspire to be anything more than just entertaining, but still well made, with nice characters and humor. Anubis was really cute too, I loved his cameos <3

  2. I forgot how much I liked this anime. I want to rewatch the episode where they put on the play. Best production of Cinderella ever!

    I also have a strange fondness for mullets. I blame DC’s Nightwing.

  3. I was laughing from the moment I read the title of this post, and I am laughing so hard even now. I love how THAT video clued you into this series. Perfect introduction, probably.

    When you said “When done well these are pleasant, slightly manservicy comedies that will make you giggle, when they’re done badly they are annoying and infinitely stupid. When done very badly – the are comedy Gold! I’ll level with you, at this point I find it really hard to tell the difference,” I couldn’t help but relate, because I also love shows of this fashion from time to time when they’re so bad that they’re good. *cough cough* DiaLovers *cough cough* And I mean, the obligatory beach episode was only three episodes in, so that kiiinnndaa sets the tone in its own right, no?

    I also agree that, when you like the personality of your MC in a show like this, you’ve found yourself something worth noting. I will insist, however, that while it *is* enjoyable, Kamigami is not particularly a pinnacle of its reverse harem subgenere, though it does feature SOLIDLY level two bishounen. When I say that, I mean, “These characters, still not much more than tools used to satisfy female audiences’ bishie cravings, may possess attributes that make them more likable on grounds other than those of their appearance. However, their main draw is still intended to be their looks. Such characters’ backstories may have plot potential, but find their appeal seriously limited by the method (or lack) of execution chosen on the part of creators. Again, the characters drown in abundance of their unique tropes’ quirks. To put it simply, they are clearly ‘types.’ Naming each type in such a grouping is second nature to even a fairly inexperienced revere harem watcher.” So, I suppose I disagree with Dawnstorm. (Unless she considers this a specific subgenre of the reverse harem subgenre? Because then I may need to re-evaluate.) But I will also say that I enjoyed it, and I feel like re-watching it now, tbh. Also, I should probably review this show. Why have I not done that?

    In any case, I need to play that drinking game.

    Also, “side mullet.” I’m just crying at this point. lolololol

    1. Ohh I remember your post on this: https://shoujoramblings.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/revere-harem-in-retrospect-your-posse-in-effect-or-bishonen-classification-within-the-reverse-harem-sub-genre/
      I really liked it!
      I have to admit my experience with the genre is limited – I’ve played a lot of games but I haven’t watched many adaptations and so far I’m sort of taking them as B movie mindless entertainment. I’m looking forward to watching the MUCH recommended Yona.
      This said, seeing as a this is in fact a commercial for the games – I still found surprisingly enjoyable. The comedic timing was good. I actually laughed a lot at the play episode and Thoth was fun to watch as he sneered or ridiculed a lot of the standard tropes of the genre.
      I guess ultimately, I enjoyed it more on comedic construction and plot timing than on characters that were admittedly quite shallow.
      But honestly, Loki’s two tone mullet was a wonder to behold

    2. So, I suppose I disagree with Dawnstorm. (Unless she considers this a specific subgenre of the reverse harem subgenre? Because then I may need to re-evaluate.)

      Heh, yeah, I was thinking in rather limited terms. See my reply right under yours (“all fanservice and only token story”). That’s shows like Amnesia, Dance with Devils etc. and not any in the wider sense.

      Also, I’m not comparatively deep into the genre, so there are many, many shows I haven’t seen, and I haven’t really bothered to think about when a story exceeds token status.

      I mean scenes like Hades not only receiving daifuku but also discovering that they’re ichigo daifuku is such a calculated moe move, but oh how it works!

      Finally, my gender pronoun is “he”. Not that I care much, but I had someone confide in me once, who wouldn’t have confided in me had she known my gender, and I’m correcting people since then.

      1. I’m sure Shoujo meant it as a compliment 😉
        To be honest – I have a fairly unusual classification system and a certain kitchiness or shallowness has always been a feature of these shows for me.
        I’m not sure I would consider a profound ad very well written one as part of the same genre even if all the other elements were present. That’s just me of course but there’s a specific enjoyment in gaudiness.

      2. Oh! I will be sure to refer to you correctly in the future; I apologize! (I know someone in RL named Dawn, and it just popped into my head!) Also, I read your comment, and I agree that Yona is AMAZING and it wins all the prizes.
        \(^-^)/
        (I haven’t reviewed that either yet. Man, self, why haven’t I done that?)

        (Also, off topic, I love Amnesia AND DwD, Omgosh.)

          1. Oh, my goodness, yes. I saw the show first, and I liked it; it made me want to play the game, but as much as I honestly enjoyed it A LOT, I wouldn’t objectively call it a pinnacle.

            1. oh neither would I ut I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would
              I’m a complete dork so I voice act my otomes and gave all the guys super goofy accents. That may have influenced my experience…

        1. Heh, don’t worry about misgendering me. I don’t really care. In fact I didn’t start correcting people until after I got into a rather awkward situation. Life lesson: Even if you don’t care, someone else might.

          I’m not actually that fond of the Amnesia anime. It’s a bit hit and miss with its arks. I did like Orion, and I adored those freaky rainbow eyes. The heroine, apart from the decent character design, must have been the dullest one I’ve ever seen, though. And that cage episode… I don’t much that it happened, it’s just that it made me realise that it made little difference whether she was in it or not – it’s not like she acted as if there was a difference. If that’s a romantic fantasy, then fine; but… uh, it’s not for me.

          I did quite like DwD; it did the musical numbers better than the actual musical show that season (whose name I forget, which was quite fun, too, with sparkly dolphin riding in front of rainbows…). Who can ever forget a choir of evil pmeranians chanting “Grimoir, Grimoir, the forbidden Grimoir”. Dear god, that show.

  4. Yeah, I called it one of the best entries of the genre, but what I thought of was the rather limited genre that’s all fanservice and only token story. After reading kimchisama’s excellent reply I’ve realised the signficance of this. Yona is awesome – and has the bestestest heroine ever. (Also, I’m not really positioned to make such sweeping statements either, since I’m not talking about any of my top genres here, but I make them anyway because I’m careless and easily excitable.)

  5. Ah reverse harems my secret enjoyment. Oops not a secret anymore. I remember when my main goal was to be surrounded by hot guys. I blame Twilight and the wolfpack for this fantasy.
    I have to admit I’m always on the hunt for a good reverse harem and I’m at the point where I think I watched them all beside Diabolik lovers and yeah, that one was just too ick for me to get past the first episode.
    This was an easy show to watch and now I secretly love mullets… OMG they got me! SAVE YOURSELF!

      1. My favorite is Yona of the Dawn. It has the handsome men but they all have unique personalities. It is probably the best I’ve ever seen and since then I have yet to find its equal.

        Ouran (which you probably already have seen) and Wallflower are both hilarious.
        Amnesia is ok for a quick fix but the otome game is way better.

        1. I haven’t seen Yona but I have the others, Since Ouran and Wallflower are parodies I keep forgetting about them but I loved them both. Amnesia – I really enjoyed the game but I did not like the anime at all. ok Yona is on the list.

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