This held a lot more punch to it then I thought it would, of course I’m finding that just about every anime I’ve watched seems to find away to take itself a little above what I originally expected.
Kamigami no Asobi or play of the gods or school of the gods (the translation seems to depend on what website I am on and I am no expert on Japanese), was mostly light and fluffy, but also dealt with heavier things as the series progressed. This makes sense when the characters are all immortal gods who have been living with regrets and problems for longer then you’ve been alive.
This series was based off of a romance video game, but there really isn’t any romance in this series, just friendship. There is one moment where the god Balder proclaims he is in love with the main and only female character, Yui, but after things take a turn for the worse they basically dropped his feelings.
In the game you have a choice to romance any character you wish, it’s a bit like a choose your own adventure book. From all the gods you can choose a particular one to make the character you play, Yui, fall in love with a vice versa. It makes sense that in the series, where all of the gods have the same amount of screen time, that they would shy away from letting her fall for a particular one since it is the watchers choice. There are some sweet moments, but nothing overly satisfyingly romantic.
The characters are what makes this series, while the premise is interesting, the characters are the heart behind it. Each one of them has some type of problem that they have to overcome. The main characters do at least, there are a few side characters that don’t do as much.
Among the characters you have the Greek gods Zeus, Hades, Apollo and Dionysus. Zeus, being the prick that he is, set up the school where everyone is forced to reside, thus causing just about everyone to kind of resent him. He comes off as a bit creepy when he takes on his child form. The rest of the Greek god’s are students, Hades and Apollo being main characters while Dionysus is a side character.
I wish Dionysus had a bigger role, he was kind of neat, my favorite moment was finding out that while in his full on god form his main weapon seems to be an over flowing wine glass.
Hades was my favorite. I guess I like the dark brooding characters that just make me scream “go give them a hug!” but then said characters are like “Gah, no! What are you doing Idiot!” In my mind I eventually win them over.
Then there are the Norse gods, Balder, Loki and Thor. I am probably the most familiar with these three because Marvel comics has continually peaked my interest in them and thus I have poured over every wikipedia document regarding them, even more so than I have the Greek gods. I’m a mythology lover. Of these three, who are all students, Balder the pretty boy was my favorite. Loki was just Loki and Thor was a side character who had even less screen time and character development then Dionysus. I didn’t really mind though, I get enough Thor via Marvel.
Next is the Japanese gods. Of all of the mythological characters I was the least familiar with Tsukito and Takeru. Tsukito held an advantage over his brother though, because I was aware that there is a Japanese god of the moon who has a rabbit thanks to a webcomic I read. Of course in the webcomic the god was portrayed as a goddess. As soon as I saw the bunny rabbit I recognized it and I actually got a little excited.
Last but not least are the Egyptian gods Thoth and Anubis. Thank goodness for the movie god’s of Egypt or I probably wouldn’t know who Thoth is at all and Anubis would have been nothing but a familiar name. I have dabbled some Egyptian mythology but it was very little and long ago. These two gods are faculty rather then students. Makes sense since Thoth is the god of wisdom and knowledge. Anubis on the other hand doesn’t do much. He kind of acts like a big cat right down to his hair perking up like ears on occasion.
Of course we can’t forget about the representation of all human kind, Kasunagi Yui. Basically she must teach the gods how to love and understand the human heart over the course of a year or she will never be allowed to return home. (thus says Zeus, which is the main reason he comes off as a big jerk). She can do no wrong and in the end everyone will grow to love her. Mary-Sue anyone?
There is also Melissa, the creepy doll that Zeus made out of clay who has a deep male voice. I was thrown off by this because in America Melissa is a girls name. The less said the better.
So we enter a world of platonic friendship, beautiful men and unpredictable weather. It was a decent show, but there really isn’t anything all that special about it. I will say it is the first show that isn’t about singers in show business where the ending and opening songs are sung by the actors playing the characters. Takeru’s voice is pretty darn amazing if you ask me.
The ending of the series left me feeling a bit flat. It was interesting enough to be sure and it had a fairly nice all out exciting ending with interesting stakes, but it kind of fizzled out in the end. Of course Yui goes home after her task is accomplished just a Zeus promised, but she is utterly heart broken. Then… I don’t know… I just didn’t care for the ending.