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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.
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.
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.
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, for Himeko and Chikane. (At first—they later become a Love Trinket.)
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.
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 she raped Himeko, well, dude 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!
Love Triangle: Chikane wants to protect Himeko, who only has eyes for Souma. There's a 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.
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.
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 are (probably) finally able to be together after Chikane breaks the reincarnation loop and returns to Himeko.
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.
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, which is why Chikane rapes Himeko with a flute — Himeko's resulting blood and the loss of her virginity begins the process of summoning Ame no Murakumo.
"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 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.