Friday, October 6, 2017

Review: KAMISAMA KISS Volume 25


MANGAKA: Julietta Suzuki
LETTERS: Joanna Estep
EDITOR: Pancha Diaz
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9382-1; paperback (October 2017); Rated “T” for “Teen”
208pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Kamisama Kiss Volume 25 with a new cover
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9848-2; paperback (October 2017); Rated “T” for “Teen”
208pp, B&W, $17.99 U.S.
Kamisama Kiss: Kamistravaganza – hardcover art book – 5 x 7 1/2
Hardcover; 64pp, Color & B&W

Kamisama Kiss is a supernatural romance shojo manga from manga creator, Julietta Suzuki.  It was originally published in the Japanese shojo manga magazine, Hana to Yume.  VIZ Media began publishing Kamisama Kiss in English as a paperback graphic novel series in 2010.

The series focuses on high school student, Nanami Momozono.  She was kicked out of the apartment she shared with her father after he left town to avoid his gambling debts.  Later, Nanami saved a strange man named Mikage, so he generously offered her his home.  Nanami later discovered that Mikage had tricked her into taking his job as the tochigami (local god) of the Mikage Shrine.  To make matters worse, Nanami fell in love with her head shinshi (or familiar), Tomoe, a fox yokai who hates humans.

As Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 25 (Chapters 144 to 148 to Final Chapter) opens, Nanami prepares for her final year of high school.  She is getting ready to leave the Mikage Shrine, and she also has been accepted into a junior college.  That means rejoining the human world for good.  Tomoe is ready to become a human and leave the world of the yokai.  Obviously, Nanami and Tomoe will be together, but will they be together as husband and wife?

Kamisama Kiss Volume 25 offers a happy ending that is also bittersweet, which I had expected since I began reading this manga.  This is the end of Nanami and Tomoe's story for now, and the ending and a promised new beginning are as genuinely magical as Kamisama Kiss has ever been.  This is a graphic novel series that deserves to be reread and discovered by new readers.

In commemoration of this final volume, there is a Kamisama Kiss Volume 25 Limited Edition.  It features a cover that is different from the regular edition cover, and it comes wrapped in a bundle with a mini art book, Kamisama Kiss: Kamistravaganza.  The book includes a bonus story set a decade in the future, some full-color art, and some pencil sketches Suzuki drew for the final chapter.  In America, we call those “pencil sketches” pencil art, because they look more detailed than sketches.

10 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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