Kannagi Ep. 2: Gyokuon Attack!

(Pardon the dust, but I’m fixing up the site a bit 🙂 )

(For the record, gyokuon = the Emperor’s voice.)

The fun continues with a small dose of drama in the second episode of Kannagi.  This really is the surprise hit of the season for me; I picked it up on a whim and I’m so glad that I did.  So far, it’s easily in my top three shows for the season (the other two are Mitsuganae for the JS nut in me and TotA for nostalgic reasons, and for being one of the better adventure shows so far).  This episode implies that there’s more to Nagi than meets the eye, but that doesn’t mean she has to sacrifice her humorous side at all.  I’m impressed, and looking forward to more of this.

Summary:

Jin is still somewhat incredulous of the previous day’s events, and even suspects that when he opens the door to his room, Nagi won’t be there.  Of course, his faith is rewarded with Nagi opening the door right into his face, then giving him the task of buying her a new magical wand.  Jin’s been going to the store buying weird things lately, so this only adds to his embarassment.  Still, Jin throws Nagi out of his room so he can change.

Instead of eating breakfast, Nagi goes outside and finds two sleeping kittens.  Although she wants to feed them, Jin refuses, saying their mom should come back soon anyway.  Nagi doesn’t want them to dry up, but gives in anyway and goes back in.  Jin departs to go buy some supplies at the store, leaving Nagi by herself to fix her wand with some super glue.

Jin is obviously preparing for his long-term guest, buying another toothbrush, chopstick set, and a rice bowl.  When he gets back, though, he finds a new table ornament; Nagi’s managed to glue half of her wand in the exact middle of the table.  To make matters worse, during their argument Tsugumi, Jin’s childhood friend who was entrusted with caring for him, drops in for a house call.  Awkward times, indeed.

Jin is unsuccessful in arguing his way out, but Nagi claims schizophrenia due to a repressed childhood and a family that didn’t want her around.  Jin suddenly becomes Nagi’s half-brother, and the only person she can turn to (even though they only met yesterday…).  Tsugumi amazingly buys all of this; Jin too starts believing that Nagi has split personalities after a short conversation with the suddenly polite goddess.  Of course, Nagi can’t keep the charade up for long.

On his way back home, Jin finds two girls talking about a dead cat nearby; suddenly recalling the kittens back home, he returns quickly and finds Nagi taking their…soul?…to the next world before collapsing.  While she rests, Jin repairs her wand with some glue, this time avoiding the table altogether.  When she wakes up, Jin tries to question her but she’s suddenly evasive about everything.  After hearing enough, Jin throws Nagi out the door.

At her old shrine, Nagi is fuming when she finds a bunch of little kids playing, including one that has an impurity stuck on his right shoulder.  She tries to exorcise it by herself but fails miserably as the impurity sinks into the superball and goes bouncing away.  It ends up that instead of hunting it, the impurity becomes the hunter, attacking Nagi in a dark tunnel until Jin shows up and grabs the superball, allowing Nagi to exorcise it easily.  Jin’s still angry, but at least accepts Nagi for who she is.  For now.

Impressions:

  • A competent male lead in a semi-harem anime.  This has got to be the first in a looooong time for me (someone tells me it’s the first for them since Onegai Twins!, whatever that is).  Jin is actually a great counterpart for Nagi.  Independent and capable of taking care of himself, his serious nature is such a contrast to the normally wild Nagi that it makes the humor of Nagi’s movements and actions that much more pronounced.
  • Anybody want to take a guess on the episode name?  I’m not quite understanding it, unless the impurity is a gyokuon…but it’s just a toad shadow, no?  I’m a bit confused.
  • Tsugumi is kind of cut and dry in comparison to Nagi.  She fills in the typical ‘childhood friend secretly in love with main character’ role, as shown in obvious scenes (Eat the omelet!  Eat the omelet!).  Not to mention that she’s utterly oblivious to an obvious lie.  Nagi really had her going there.
  • Yes there is some fanservice here.  Yes, some of the elements can be a bit…risqué.  But I’m loving how this series takes its main source of humor from normal things.  The whole scene with the magic wand being broken, Nagi’s sudden “split personality”…it’s all these little things that makes it worth watching.  However, this is also the first episode where we actually see something that may be more serious.  Nagi’s interaction with the kitten isn’t understood at all right now, but it’s certainly something to keep looking for later on.
  • More characters coming soon!  Yay!

Preview:

‘The School Goddess’.  What’s with this season and nobody wanting to put in previews with some actual footage?

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