Kamisama Dolls is a title that didn’t score big sales in Japan. This article from Crunchyroll shows that after a year, Kamisama Dolls only sold 1,437 copies of its physical edition, that being said – it also was rated highly by the audience that did watch it. An intriguing discrepancy…
A few minutes into the first episode, the opening credits roll. It’s simple enough, the characters in different poses with radials uncovering different designs, but it works really well. This technique was used in the Monogatari Series recently, with similar applaudable effect. The music accompaniment is a catchy salsa tune that doesn’t get old after the 13 repeats, like many other openings can.
The outro music is good too, but the opening really steals the show.
The beginning of the show throws the viewer straight into the story – perhaps too immediately. With so much left unexplained (for now), I was unsure if perhaps this was the second season and I had missed one – I started thinking of all the titles I could remember with Kamisama in the title…
After I realized that it was indeed the first season, I continued on in confusion for a while and eventually the pace of the show slowed down to catch up on some of the skipped details. The ending was fairly rushed too – A new character appears with 3 episodes to go and plot lines are left open for a second season – which never came.
The mid-section of the show has a good pace, presumably due to avoiding the rush to finish and an impatience to get viewers into the story as fast as possible. There’s an overall theme of identity throughout the show as each character realizes who they are and what their motivations really are – leading us to question who exactly is the antagonist, and if there is any group who isn’t at fault.
The designs of the robots are generally fairly unique (although this one kinda looks like Kyubey from Madoka)
For the most part, the characters are interesting – especially the mysterious Aki who seems to have some nefarious relationship with the main character. I especially liked how the protagonist wasn’t the one controlling the god (robot), instead his replacement – Utao, who is a young often-emotional girl. Not that it affected the plot much, but it was nice to watch a shounen series where the protagonist doesn’t slowly become unbeatable. The only character I wasn’t particularly fond of was the main love interest, mainly because her character was restricted to being an owner of large boobs a lot of the time. Although, that might be to the rest of the audience’s taste.
The MVM Entertainment edition includes 5 shorts as extras - one of which is Hibino doing exercises... in her bikini top and shorts
Kamisama Dolls suffers a lot from overestimating how long it has to air. Lacking a second season, many plots are suddenly tied up – some ending up being of no consequence whatsoever. The core of the show is decent and it’s entertaining when it’s progressing normally – unfortunately the lack of closure is ultimately what lets this show down. However, I’m sure the manga will probably provide a better, further-detailed perspective on the events of the anime – and the ones yet to happen.
I did enjoy the show – and I think it’s one that the Western market might particularly enjoy, but because the show didn’t get its second season it feels messy.