Kamichu!: Divine is our Youthful Innocence

July 19, 2010

One could easily be misled to expect the next Spirited Away after wildly ghibli-esque opening episode of Kamichu!. Yet it becomes progressively more apparent that beneath this superfluous veil of shinto-inspired fantasy setting, Kamichu! is essentially a slice of life at heart. It’s a sentimental trip back to our youthful years, watching Yurie and her friends being clumsy, struggling with silly issues, and having fun in this nostalgic high school setting. Although I didn’t think the series was as  amazing as many would claim, I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who can appreciate gentle softness of slice-of-life genre.

What I found particularly interesting however, was its seamless blending of shinto-inspired fantasy setting into the show’s slice-of-life aspects. Also intriguing it is that the true significance of fantasy elements present in Kamichu! didn’t hit me until I saw last few episodes, which are almost devoid of supernatural shenanigans.

Take an episode focusing on Matsuri for example. However absurd it was to expect anyone to celebrate Christmas at her shrine, she still promoted with everything she has…and people did come! Miracle was the only word to describe it. And how about Yurie actually becoming school president after Mitsue delivered that heartfelt nomination speech? Or how the new classmates opened themselves to Yurie after she courageously opened herself to them?

These precious moments of our youth are like little miracles of life and we don’t need to be kami or have Yurie sneeze kamichu! to magically solve our problems. While painting our nostalgic period of childhood in imaginative strokes, with that same brush Kamichu! shows us that miracles are everywhere around us waiting to happen, and the divine power to realise that can be found  in our youthful innocence. Beliefs so pure and strong, unfiltered by pessimism we develop as adults struggling to survive in society, can be the kami that opens our eyes to all the wondrous and miraculous possibilities of life.

In the series, Yurie's hair glows and grows long (as if she's becoming adult) whenever these feelings are at their most pure and genuine. Could it be that we are becoming less mature by losing our sight of youthful innocence?

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5 Responses to “Kamichu!: Divine is our Youthful Innocence”

  1. kadian1364 Says:

    “in this nostalgic high school setting”
    *middle school*

    But yay Kamichu! What an adorable show. I agree with that it makes a big appeal to the innocent still inside the crusty, jaded hearts of us older folk. That the fantasy trappings are so laid back and doesn’t call attention to itself works wonderfully for the overall s’life tone. I wish this were the standard for MOE rather than the shlock we get now.

  2. Vendredi Says:

    This has been in my backlog for far too long. The production values of this series still remains impressive though – it’s rare to see anything as gorgeous as Kamichu! outside of film, and yet also so very accessible for all ages. Brains Base just lavishes so much attention and artistry to every one of their shows.

  3. gaguri Says:

    @kadian1364

    oh dear I forgot to mention that this is one of the most moe shows ever along with Aria!

    @Vendredi

    it certainly looks gorgeous, I know this is slice of life but I wish rest of the series was more like episode one, which just blew me away.

  4. 2DT Says:

    So what did you think about the Martian episode?

  5. gaguri Says:

    ridiculously cheesy and adorable!


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