Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens Volume 2 Manga Review

かんなぎ Volume 02
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens Volume 2

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens Volume 2Nagi has a strong suspicion about Zange’s humanoid form and after explaining how she and Zange became separate deities and thus sisters, Jin also begins to wonder.  Nagi borrows a school uniform and infiltrates the school to confront Zange.  Zange takes her off to a storage shed, where she confirms Nagi’s suspicions that Zange has possessed a human (Hakua). Since Nagi’s powers are weak, Zange has no trouble tying up Nagi and tormenting her.  However, Zange gets busted when Jin shows up, thus revealing her true nature to Jin.

The following day at breakfast, Tsumugi shows up and is horrified at the poor-quality breakfast Jin and Nagi are having.  Zange shows up with a large bento, thrilling Tsumugi since Zange is a TV star. However, Zange flinging herself on Jin (thrilling Hakua) and telling Jin to live with her changes Tsumugi’s mind and the three end up agreeing to a cooking competition that night. Hakua refuses to help Zange, so her meal looks horrible. Tsumugi only knows how to make a couple of dishes. Nagi’s looks awesome but tastes bad, even though she thinks it is fine.

At school, Jin discovers the existence of the Nagi-sama Official Fan Club.  Confronting the members of the Art Club about this, he learns it is even deeper than he knew as there’s an official website. Takako, the president of the art club, explains things to Jin, including the rules to protect Nagi’s privacy and hide her from the teachers. She knows all of this because she’s also a member of the fan club. Nagi comes into the club room to hide, not expecting to find Jin there. Nagi explains that by authorizing the creation of the club and doing things at school, she’s had an increase in power, which she needs to become an idol.

Zange finds out about this and decides to confront Nagi by taking her off from her adoring fans in the school yard to have a private chat. Zange wants Nagi to leave and threatens to expose her to the faculty. Zange’s warning given, she leaves and immediately sees a teacher, Suzushiro-sensei, before dashing off.  Suzushiro-sensei confronts Nagi, demanding to know who’s body Nagi has possessed. Nagi, understanding this is Hakua’s father, explains the situation and promises to help free Hakua. Suzushiro-sensei agrees to arrange things for Nagi, thus making her an official student at the high school with an all expense paid scholarship.

Nagi and Tsugumi take a trip to the shopping center where Nagi finds that ¥10,000 doesn’t go very far when it comes to clothing. On returning home, they pass a maid cafe and Nagi decides she should get a job. Meanwhile, Takako decides the art club should go try out the new maid cafe in town since she wants to see what its all about and needs the cover of club members coming with her, especially an expert. Akiba figures this remark is targeted at him and has to retort back.

Jin is glad that Nagi wasn’t around for this conversation, but when the club goes to the maid cafe on their day off, Nagi ends up being their maid waitress. Tsumugi is also there, having agreed to cover for someone, and the two are not exactly happy that the art club showed up. Nagi decides to work other areas, leaving the table to Tsumugi, but Takako gets her back and she’s a bit flustered since she didn’t tell Jin her job plans. Jin is not used to seeing her in such a cute light and has an outburst as a result. This causes Takako to give him the nickname, “Too Pure Pure Boy” after they leave.  Nagi catches up to Jin later to apologize, saying she’ll quit if he asks. He doesn’t ask her to do that but does state he didn’t like how guys were taking pictures of her. His words please Nagi so she quits and Zange takes a job at the cafe, expecting to show Nagi up and discovering she’s too late.

Daitetsu gets caught in a downburst and crashes at Jin’s place. He and Nagi end up clashing as Daitetsu finds their behavior to not exactly be brother-sister like. When he overhears a conversation between Nagi and Jin and discovers the truth, he also finds Jin’s original sculpture drawings for Nagi and concludes that the statue that Jin planned to carve and Nagi are the same. Nagi confesses to this, but Daitetsu only meant that Nagi was the model. Daitetsu becomes worried when Nagi speaks of curses on those who abuse sacred objects, such as the sacred tree she came from, and runs out into the storm to the stump to ask for forgiveness. A lightning strike causes Kannagi to appear before Daitetsu and assure him that he did well with the sacred wood before Nagi collapses. The following morning, Daitetsu cannot explain what happened out there and Nagi has no memory of the event.

Thoughts/Review:

Reading this volume, I’m struck by what an awesome job the anime production team and series director Yamamoto-san did in adapting the manga into an anime. Seriously, they took a good, funny manga and actually improved on it IMO, all without changing the storyline or anything else negative.  I really appreciate that.  Takenashi-sensei has done such a great job with the manga, so having the anime properly reflect that is a good thing.

As to the story, one of the things I’m really looking forward to learning is more about Kannagi and the disconnect between her and Nagi.  I’m guessing that this has to do with the way Nagi was manifest through the statue that has caused the two personalities.

I’m also looking forward to learning more about the Hakua-Zange connection, though that won’t be forthcoming until after volume 3.

I think my favorite part of volume 2 came when Nagi was being grilled by Hagashima-sensei and received enough power from her supporters that she was able to have her toy, magic girl baton shoot out a beam of light. That cracked me up in the anime and continued to do so in the manga.

On the Bandai side of things, I first want to call them out on the back cover writeup.  Seriously, they write that the manga is “based on the popular anime.” WRONG!  The anime was based off of the popular manga, not the other way around.  It just so happens that in the U.S., most of us were introduced to Kannagi via the anime, which is how most of us are introduced to manga titles (though less so today than it was back in 2002 when I got into anime).

I do approve of the fold-out color page at the front of the manga.

As before, Japanese honorifics are used and Zange properly refers to Nagi as “nee-sama,” which I heartily approve of.  There are quite extensive translator notes this time, which is always a good things.

I may be just nitpicking here, but my only translation issue was changing the word “idol” to “graven image” when Nagi reminded Jin of her plan. I don’t think that works because I don’t think Nagi literally wants to become a graven image idol. Indeed, the imagery used behind her when she reminded Jin of her plans showed Nagi as a Japanese pop idol.  The idol industry in Japan is huge with young girls constantly coming and going and during their often short terms as an idol, they are “worshiped” by fans. So, I think the word “idol” should have been used, though I admit that not having the original Japanese, I don’t know what word was used there.  My memory of the anime is that Nagi used the word “idol” and many things in the anime adaptation where lifted word-for-word from the manga. (Update: I’m told that it is almost 100% certain that the word ‘idol’ wasn’t int he original Japanese, thus the switch to ‘graven image’ to reflect the change in the Japanese text.)

Otherwise, I’m always happy to get more Kannagi love. Indeed, reading this volume of manga really makes me want to go back and watch the anime.  I’m looking forward to the next volume from Bandai.

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One Response to “Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens Volume 2 Manga Review”

  1. Prasetyo says:

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