Kamigami no Asobi: Episode 01 Review
Streaming Alliance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaissance Report by Katie Cunico
Progress: Episode 01
You can’t just have a regular old dating game anymore. You’ve got have a catch these days—vampires, monster girls, pigeons—some sort of hook to pull people in beyond the usual tropes that separate each route. Kamigami no Asobi, true to its name, pulls gods from all sorts of pantheons, reimagining them as attractive high school boys.
All I can say is this: at least it’s not even trying to take itself seriously. The first episode opens with what appears to be a huge, intergalactic battle in space—literally in a field of stars—with what are clearly gods giving all their strength to fight in the battle, and the heroine trying to get them to stop. Then, in what is possibly the greatest magical girl transformation sequence I’ve ever seen, Apollo turns from a blond boy in a school uniform into a pegasus-riding, golden-tattooed, toga-wearing deity, and assures her it’ll all be okay.
I am totally on board.
Yui Kusanagi, our heroine, is a new third-year high school student whose family runs a shrine. With the arrival of her third year comes anxiety about her future. She’s really only ever done what was already there for her to do, which suited her just fine. Then suddenly, she’s pulled from her life and into a strange school by none other than Zeus, who has planned and set up a high school for the gods with the intent of making them reconnect with their human followers, to gain a better understanding of what it is they’re supposed to be shaping and who they’re helping.
It’s a decent enough idea, but as anyone who’s read some Greek mythology knows, rarely does anything Zeus plans go off without a hitch. Especially when this Zeus transforms himself from a middle-aged form into a ten-year-old boy and back, just for kicks. The gods chosen are supposedly those who have the most trouble connecting with humans, but let’s be real: they’re the ones who fit the dating game tropes the most easily. Add in the fact that, for a school that’s supposed to help relations between gods and humans, they’ve only got one human—and one female to all the males—it’s clear that Zeus is definitely going for a different endgame, here.
The gods chosen are fairly easy to figure out—they’re pairs of gods from Greek, Japanese, Norse, and Egyptian mythology—especially once you figure out one of the pair or one introduces himself. It’s a ridiculous concept, and I’m glad to see they’re not taking themselves seriously at all. From flowers blooming behind each of the guys when they’re introduced to an ending theme sung by the cast (complete with matching lip movements), they’re definitely toeing the line between a unique otome game and an otome game the likes of Hatoful Boyfriend, of pigeon dating fame.