Kannagi 12

かんなぎ Episode 12
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens 12

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Jin checks with a teacher to obtain information about who runs the Kannagi Shrine. Before heading there, Daitetsu shows Jin that he found Nagi’s abandoned baton on the roof of the school. After school, Jin discovers an eccentric older couple are the current guardians of the shrine, not Shinto priest. Living with them is an elderly lady (known as “Baa-chan” for “Grandma”) and she reflects back on how “Kannagi-sama” helped the people during the war (WWII). Jin takes all this to heart.

That night in the city, three punks come upon Zange, who’s still selling her ¥100 confessions. They want more than a confession and mean to rape her, but she beats them something fierce, combining an impressive array of martial arts moves. With the punks defeated, she makes the two standing punks carry off their unconscious comrade. An older man comes out of the shadows and has a canned beverage for Zange for her efforts. Jin, who’d witnessed the fight, realizes that Zange was never in trouble the time he rescued her.

Jin talks with Zange about her being a kami. Zange has the same non-answers that Nagi had regarding removing impurities from the world and the problems they cause. However, unlike Nagi, Zange doesn’t get angry about it and she’s not concerned that she doesn’t understand things more than what she has stated because it isn’t important. Jin tells her of his conversation with Suzushiro-sensei and how Nagi and Zange could be spirits, not deities. Zange is a little frustrated with that, but does concede that since Nagi’s humanoid form came from the sacred tree, it is possible a spirit took Nagi’s form while inhabiting Jin’s carving.3

Jin comes home to find it empty, save for a note from Nagi apologizing for having lied to Jin. Jin then finds Nagi’s school uniform in the trash. He spends the night getting little sleep but before he goes to school, he adds a note to Nagi’s note telling her to stay as he won’t get angry. He leaves the door unlocked and goes to school. When Tsugumi notices Nagi missing, Jin says she’s not coming, implying she’s sick. After school, Jin learns that no one has seen Nagi, so he bails on art club to go home, leaving Tsugumi worried. In the rain, Jin rides his bicycle trying to find Nagi but fails. He returns home very depressed and refuses to take a call from Tsugumi. Falling asleep, Jin has a dream-vision of Nagi unconscious in an alley. The following day at school, a worried Tsugumi asks about Nagi, leading an exhausted Jin to tell her that Nagi may never come back.

Thoughts/Review: What happened to the storm from last episode? This episode looked to pick up right where last week’s left off.

While this episode certainly takes a stronger turn into serious territory, the humor wasn’t completely forgotten, despite Nagi’s absence. For example, when Jin went to the home of the shrine guardian, it was amusing that Jin kept getting offered snacks, but the grandmother is the one that gave me the biggest laugh with her sudden speech (I half-expected her to be dead after she wouldn’t respond to Jin). Zange-chan kicking thug but was also amusing to me somehow, though not in a big-laugh way. I’d been afraid that the series, which I love most for its humor, would not handle this serious stuff well, but surprisingly, it works well.

As I watched this, I really wished I knew if this is how the manga went. Why? Because many good anime adaptations feel the need to tie things up even if the manga is ongoing and thus write their own ending. I would hate it if this were the case here because it would make having a sequel Kannagi series very difficult and frankly, this series is too good not to have a sequel (and as an aside, hopefully the manga-ka TAKENASHI Eri-sensei is able to recover from whatever illness she had and resume the manga).

So, what exactly happened to Nagi? Of all the places Jin looked, why not check out the construction site? As serious as things are here with Jin’s depression over Nagi’s absence, his dream (or vision) of Nagi unconscious in an alleyway, Nagi’s tears last episode, the baton left behind, the uniform thrown out, Nagi’s note, and Nagi’s absence from this episode in general, I can’t help but think that when she shows up next episode, there will be some gag about this. I can almost see Nagi telling Jin, “you think I would let all this keep me away?” Then again, maybe that will be part of it with Nagi returning because a new tree is planted on the sacred site. I say this because of all the places Jin looked, he didn’t go there.

Sadly, we are down to the last episode. I sure hope FUNimation licenses this one.

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