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Manga: Kannazuki no Miko
The Shrine Maidens of the Godless Month

It was one of those days for the innocent Kurusugawa Himeko: Wake up late on your sixteenth birthday, rush to get ready and get to school... Then an ancient evil wakes up with designs on world destruction, a couple of anthropomorphic robots trash the school dormitory, and life as you've known it is over.

On top of all this, Himeko is also the Hi no Miko (Priestess of the Sun) one of a pair of miko (shinto priestesses), destined to summon the Sword God Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi to defeat the evil god Yamato no Orochi.

Himeko is taken in after the destruction of the dormitory by her friend and fellow priestess Himemiya Chikane (the Tsuki no Miko, or Priestess of the Moon), and tries to get on with her life as much as possible even as the two girls attempt to learn the ritual which will summon Ame no Murakumo and come under periodic attack by the eight "necks" of Orochi, henchmen of the evil god, who run the gamut from serious (Tsubasa) to traitor (Tsubasa's younger brother, Oogami Souma, who fights on the side of the Priestesses) to downright goofy (Nekoko, the catgirl, who levels a fifty square kilometre region of coastal Japan for the lulz.)

Though Kannazuki no Miko attempts to fool viewers into believing that it could be a schoolyard drama (which it is, to an extent), and then a mecha action show, the truth is that it is, essentially, a love story. (Actually, a rather simple Love Triangle, wherein Himeko has some feelings for both Chikane and Oogami Souma, but initially believes that those two are a couple, while both of them hold romantic feelings for Himeko.) The strange blend of seriousness and humor in the series makes for a very "love it or hate it" reaction from viewers.

As a point of interest, the term Kannazuki in the title is the name of the tenth month in the old, thirteen-month Japanese calendar, and literally means "The Godless Month". (Japan now uses the Western calendar, with all-new month names.) In mythology, this is the month where all the gods of the pantheon gather for their yearly meeting in Izumo — and thus, for the purposes of the series, not out in the world to keep Orochi from making a nuisance of himself.

As a humorous aside, playing on kannazuki as the 10th month, Kannazuki no Miko began airing in October. Whether this was intentional or not is unknown.

After the original Geneon release of Kannazuki No Miko went out of print, Sentai Filmworks reissued the series in 2009 under the title Destiny Of The Shrine Maiden.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Himeko's foster parents, as well as Souma and Tsubasa's father.
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": Most people who haven't seen the show already know it for the infamous rape of Himeko during episode 8. Even if they don't know that, people are well aware that Himeko and Chikane become romantically involved; for most of the first few episodes the series didn't seem rather Girls Love but more Romantic Two-Girl Friendship driven.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Tsubasa.
  • Big Fancy House: Chikane's house. The Thing That Goes Doink is actually in the absurdly large indoor bath.
  • Bishōnen: Souma and Tsubasa, among others.
  • Betty and Veronica: For Himeko, Souma is the Betty and Chikane is the Veronica.
  • BFS: Tsubasa's Weapon of Choice. Souma eventually gets it.
  • Blank White Eyes
  • Boobs of Steel: One of the reasons why Chikane can trash Souma easily and steal his mecha, then takes it to the enemy base then slaughters the Orochi necks on foot. "Lunar Boobs" indeed. Also applies to Sister Miyako, to a lesser extent.
    • Lampshaded by one of the Orochi whilst getting his ass kicked-"THIS IS WHY I HATE GIRLS WITH LARGE BREASTS."
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Sort of...or at least Reiko seems to think so.
  • Cat Girl: The aptly-named Nekoko.
  • Calling Your Attacks
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Himeko and Souma have known each other since childhood. Souma is completely in love with her and Himeko has feelings for him too. However, her feelings for Chikane are stronger.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Who knew it involved breast fondling and works after two compressions?)
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Chikane curb stomps and kills every Orochi Neck other than Tsubasa.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: Shared by Chikane and Himeko.
  • Dynamic entry: Episode 2, Souma, on a motorcycle.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Chikane's birthday gift to Himeko is to kiss her while she is unconscious. Sorta.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Chikane.
  • Everything's Better With Sparkles: The leaves sparkle.
  • Evil Counterpart: Tsubasa, for Souma.
  • Expy: The series Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora features expys of many of Kannazuki no Miko's characters, including Chikane, Himeko & Souma.
    • One of the robots looks like Providence from Gundam SEED. And it has remote weapons too.
    • Chikane herself is basically an expy of Azuma Hazuki from Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito.
    • The whole series itself shares many plot points with Hades Project Zeorymer, especially the Orochi Necks with the members of the Hakkeshu in the Zeorymer's OVAs.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Chikane, or so it seems at first.
  • Fanservice
  • Femme Fatalons: Corona has long, rather tacky orange nails with star decals.
  • First Kiss: Himeko, from Chikane.
  • Freudian Excuse: Each of the first six necks of Orochi have one.
    • While Freudian Excuses like parental abuse and rape give relatively plausible motivations for wanting to destroy the world, Reiko's "my manga of my dreams isn't successful" thing comes across as overly wangsty.
      • I always thought Reiko's bitterness towards the world came from how her manga/anime got screwed by Executive Meddling.
  • Foreshadowing: Lots of it.
    • Seconds-long flash-backs of the priestesses ritual are shown a few times throughout the series, so quickly and briefly that you don't really understand what's going on but subconsciously register the blood.
    • The whole first part of Episode 8 heavily hints that Chikane's up to something
    • Watching the show several times will induce cringing during some seemingly perfectly innocuous moments, such as Chikane commenting that she likes the color of Himeko's robes better than her own or even just Nekoko saying she doesn't like to get injections... Also the fact that on the painting-scroll-thing of the Orochi monster, seen in the very first episode, the eighth head is quite deliberately separated from the others and won't be seen at first glance, but that's less foreshadowing and more you-will-only-notice-it-when-knowing-to-look-for-it.
  • Foreign Subtitle: Under Geneon the full title was Kannazuki no Miko Destiny of the Shrine Maiden. Sentai's release shortened it to Destiny of the Shrine Maiden.
  • Friendship Trinket: The matching seashell halves start off as a Friendship Trinket but get upgraded to Love Trinket for Himeko and Chikane.
  • Furo Scene
  • Gainaxing: Chikane does this when Girochi wraps her in his chains. It makes the scene just a wee bit hard to take seriously.
  • Gayngst: At least part of what motivates Chikane's choice is her self-loathing and contempt for the "dirty" aspects of her feelings towards Himeko.
  • Girls Love: Duh.
  • Grand Finale: The series ends with Orochi being destroyed permanently.
  • Hair Colors: Himeko is blond, though there is also a reference to her hair being reddish-brown in the Drama CD. Chikane has an ojou's typical dark blue, which is referred to as black in one episode. Sister Miyako's hair is purple and Tsubasa's is a pale green.
  • Hair Contrast Duo: Himeko and Chikane are an archetypal example and can be considered modern Trope Codifiers.
  • Heroic RROD: Souma's Orochi-granted powers eventually petrify him.
  • Hot Wings: Tsubasa's mech.
  • Humongous Mecha: If they took the mecha part seriously, it'd fit right in G Gundam for some weird reason.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Himeko is positively puzzled about what Chikane sees in an "ordinary girl" like her.
  • Idol Singer: Korona.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Both Chikane and Souma exhibit this towards Himeko.
    • Also Otoha, towards Chikane.
  • Joshikousei
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: An oddly recursive example. When she joins the Orochi, Girochi reaffirms what a Jerkass he is by harassing Chikane, wrapping her up in chains and calling her a pervert. But since this was right after her heavily-implied rape of Himeko, well, dude kind of had a point. And then not long after, Chikane completely annihilated him, as well as the rest of the Orochi, to prove just how powerful and evil she had become post Face-Heel Turn. But since they were the priests of the Big Bad, who had previously attacked the heroes, manipulated Chikane, and destroyed the town, they're far from blameless either.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Subverted when Chikane kisses Himeko in episode 1: the camera cuts away right before their lips meet...and a few seconds later, it cuts back, and the kiss continues for several more seconds!
  • Knife Nut: Tsubasa. Chikane also uses knives a lot in the second half of the anime.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The English DVD cover makes it pretty clear who Himeko ends up with.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Himeko and Chikane.
  • Like That Show but with Mecha: It's based on an older Kaishaku work known as Cross Triangle.
  • Lingerie Scene
  • Love Allegory: Himeko's seashell story.
  • Love Triangle: Chikane wants to protect Himeko, who only has eyes for Souma.
    • Fourth side: Otoha wants Chikane all to herself.
  • May-December Romance: Implied in the epilogue: Assuming that it happens during Himeko's current lifetime (rather than some future reincarnation) and that Chikane was reborn immediately after her death, they have at least 16 years' age gap between them.
  • Meadow Run: In the opening.
  • Meaningful Name: Himemiya Chikane and Kurusugawa Himeko, since Hime means princess. Additionally Oogami Souma, as Oogami meaning "great god".
  • Meido: Chikane has a whole army of them, to go with her Big Fancy House. Otoha is the only one named.
  • Miko: Himeko and Chikane.
  • Mind Rape: A rather nasty one given to Chikane by Miyako.
  • Mix And Match: Girls Love + Humongous Mecha.
  • Moment Killer: The Orochi, Otoha, and Chikane's Girl Posse all get moments like these, interrupting meaningful moments between Himeko, Chikane, and Souma.
  • Mood Whiplash: It's a series about Schoolgirl Lesbians and giant mechs battling. It's obvious this would show up several times.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Some watched it for the Schoolgirl Lesbians. Some, for the Humongous Mecha. Some, for the Moe.
  • Naughty Nuns: Miyako.
  • Nice Guy: Souma is a genuinely nice guy who wants what's best for Himeko.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Tsubasa does not have a high opinion of the world.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Magical lesbian girls who fight against giant robots because they're the reincarnation of shrine maidens and- yeah.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Himeko, as a result of Domestic Abuse in her childhood.
  • Off Model: Himeko in episode 4.
  • Official Couple: Himeko and Chikane.
  • The Ojou: Chikane.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase: Himeko's "Chikane, what am I supposed to do!?"
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Tsubasa and Souma, as well as Himeko and Chikane, in a way.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Himeko.
  • Orochi: This Orochi's necks are giant necha.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience
  • Panty Shot
  • Parental Abandonment: Himeko, Chikane, Souma, Tsubasa.
  • Pillar of Light: Any time one of the Orochi's mecha gets destroyed.
  • The Power of Love: Souma, in holding off his conversion to Orochi.
  • Promotion to Parent: Kazuki to Souma, but he's not Souma's biological brother.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Souma and Chikane.
  • Red String of Fate
  • Reincarnation: Himeko and Chikane. While the necks of Orochi return each time, there is no indication that they manifest in the same people. The two priestesses are an example of both the "destined love that survives death" and the "duty that survives death" type of this trope.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Himeko and Chikane.
  • Ret Gone: After defeating Orochi and restoring the world, Chikane was apparently erased from existence. However, in The Stinger, we see her and Himeko reunited at some unspecified time in the future. Also see the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Rocket Punch: Megaton Knuckle!
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Chikane and Himeko. Also, it is implied that Himeko's roommate Makoto has feelings for her, and Otoha-san quite clearly has feelings for Chikane.
  • Screw Destiny
    Chikane: Even if the Gods of Death would block my way, they absolutely won't stop my love for you.
    • Which makes her raping of Himeko to ensure that she is the one that dies, thereby playing along with destiny, even worse.
  • Shrines and Temples
  • Shrinking Violet: Himeko.
  • Shout-Out
  • Solar and Lunar: Chikane is associated with the moon, Himeko with the sun.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Not always, but pretty common.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Himeko and Chikane never get to be together in any of their past lives because the reincarnation loop requires one of them to kill the other. However, they probably finally are able to be together after Chikane breaks the reincarnation loop and returns to Himeko.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Himeko is cornered by Chikane's fangirls, but since hurting Himeko in any way is Chikane's Berserk Button, it doesn't end well for them.
  • Strike Me Down: Chikane's involves joining the Orochi, slaughtering most of its members, take in its powers, and deliberately make Himeko angry so Himeko would hate her and kill her. This is because Chikane's previous incarnation killed Himeko's previous incarnation in order to seal the Orochi, and was unable to break the cycle due to an implanted hatred for the god she was to summon. Chikane believed that was unfair, and was determined to be the sacrifice this time around.
  • Super Empowering: Himeko's power is to do this to Souma.
  • Taken for Granite: Souma, if only temporarily.
    • Also all of the Necks of Orochi except for Souma and Tsubasa, courtesy of Chikane.
  • Title Drop: Invoked by Chikane at the last episode.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Ties in with the reincarnation aspect, the two priestesses being initially selected by the gods.
  • Triang Relations: Himeko believes her friends Chikane and Souma are in a serious relationship, and is somewhat oblivious to the fact that those two are willing to lay down their lives to protect her.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Tsubasa.
  • Twelve Episode Anime
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Himeko, Chikane and Souma.
  • Uptown Girl: Chikane (the rich girl) and Himeko (middle class).
  • Verbal Tic: Catgirl Nekoko sports the standard "~nya!"
  • Virgin Power: Chikane and Himeko are supposed to be virgins, which was more of a pre-requisite in the anime but a full on condition of retaining power in the mangas, leading to the whole rape scenario.
  • Wham Episode: Episode eight.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Thanks to the Ret Gone that removes Orochi altogether in the new timeline, the Orochi Necks were able to live as normal humans without falling to despair, events that would lead them to be disillusioned are removed, rather than having them becoming Karma Houdini. To wit:
    • Tsubasa and Souma led a better, stable life, presumably because their parents aren't that abusive this time around. Tsubasa is still an antisocial loner, though, just not homicidal.
    • Miyako and Girochi are more adjusted and faithful to God, presumably because either they become stronger after the war that costed them everything instead of falling to despair, or their faith are untouched because said war never happened.
    • Corona is now able to become a successful Idol Singer without going for prostitution, presumably because either she worked harder, or the fans are more appreciative to her.
    • Reiko is now able to make a manga that she liked and still become a successful mangaka without going for Darker and Edgier against her wish
    • Nekoko is no longer an experimental guinea pig, in fact she's welcomed to become an assistant in the hospital she's in.
  • Yuri Fan: Himeko's favourite manga is a yuri by Reiko.

Howl's Moving CastleAnime of the 2000sKoi Kaze
Kami-sama no Inai NichiyoubiFantasy Anime & MangaKanojo ga Flag o Oraretara
Junsui AdolescenceYuri GenreKashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
KannagiAnimeKanokon
KannagiMangaKanojo ga Flag o Oraretara

alternative title(s): Destiny Of The Shrine Maiden; Kannaduki No Miko; Priestesses Of The Godless Month; Kannazuki No Miko
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