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Manga / Destiny of the Shrine Maiden

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It was one of those days for the innocent Himeko Kurusugawa: 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 Yamata no Orochi.

Himeko is taken in after the destruction of the dormitory by her friend and fellow priestess Chikane Himemiya (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, Souma Oogami, 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).

Destiny of the Shrine Maiden (Kannazuki no Miko in Japanese, lit. "Shrine Maidens of the Godless Month") is a manga created by Kaishaku (of Steel Angel Kurumi and UFO Princess Valkyrie fame) that originally ran monthly in Shonen Ace from 2004 to 2005 and was compiled into two volumes. However, the series is far better known by its animated adaptation, produced by TNK note . The series is considered somewhat of a cornerstone for the Turn of the Millennium Yuri scene.

Though Destiny of the Shrine Maiden 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 Souma Oogami, but initially believes that those two are a couple, while both of them hold romantic feelings for Himeko).

As a point of interest, the term Kannazuki in the Japanese 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, Destiny of the Shrine Maiden 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.


  • Bisexual Love Triangle: Himeko habors feelings for both her childhood friend Souma (male) and Chikane (female). In the end she chooses Chikane. Chikane and Himeko are destined to be together anyway.
  • BFS: Tsubasa's weapon. Souma eventually gets it.
  • Birthday Buddies: Chikane and Himeko share a birthday.
  • Book Ends: At the start of the series and near the very end, Makoto wakes up Himeko, comments on how long it took for her to wake up compared to last time and mentions who's on morning duties.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Sort of...or at least Reiko seems to think so.
  • Bury Your Gays: Chikane dies at the end, Himeko spends her life (or at least a long time, see The Stinger and Preserve Your Gays below) grieving for her lost love.
  • Cat Girl: The aptly-named Nekoko.
  • 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: Chikane performs CPR on Himeko in the first episode, but mainly seems to end up fondling her breasts.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Chikane curb stomps and kills every Orochi Neck other than Tsubasa.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: The series begins on Chikane and Himeko's sixteenth birthday, and kicks off with the Orochi attacking their village.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Zigzagged all over the place. On the first hand, Girochi's Attempted Rape of Himeko is seen as heinous and a sign of how much of an asshole he is though that doesn't stop him and his older sister Miyako from being redeemed as their Dark and Troubled Past is retconned. On the other hand, Chikane's actual rape of Himeko is supposed to be a a part of a Sadistic Choice (causing quite the case of a Broken Base) but there's a notable lack of repercussions, or even disapproval of her acts in-universe and Himeko still falls in love with her in the end. On the third hand, however, Miyako's Attempted Rape of Chikane herself is portrayed as a huge Kick the Dog moment, contrasting by how the audience's supposed to root for Chikane despite what she would later do to Himeko.
  • Dynamic Entry: Episode 2, Souma rams into Ginrochi on his motorcycle.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Chikane's birthday gift to Himeko is to kiss her while she is unconscious. Sorta.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: First it is depicted as a strong Bittersweet Ending, however at the end of the anime, Himeko implicitly makes it clear that she still hopes to meet that "only person who is waiting for her somewhere in this world", after which the epilogue shows implies that already as being adult women, Chikane managed to reincarnate back into the same timeline to reunite with Himeko and again fall in love with each other as Himeko's last words in the work say. Even better, both future series Shattered Angels and Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesian, works by the same creator as Kannazuki no Miko, show that Chikane and Himeko reincarnated several more times, each time without the threat of the Orochi, allowing them to be together and not have to sacrifice each other.
    • In turn, the manga has a slightly sadder version, where Chikane is still dying, but in the epilogue she already reincarnates with Himeko as twin sisters, fulfilling the popular Japanese legend that Star-Crossed Lovers in the next life will be twins. And although the whole epilogue carries a few Les Yay and Incest Subtext, Himeko's words show that they are happy and "always be together."
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Chikane receives love confessions from boys and girls alike.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The leaves sparkle.
  • Expy: 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. Also, the protagonists can be considered a blueprint for characters in Cross Triangle, another work by Kaishaku. For example:
    • Himeko Kurusugawa: Kurusu Shinjou.
    • Chikane Himemiya: Kiraha Meiou.
    • Souma Ogami: Ogami.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Chikane, or so it seems at first.
  • Faux Action Girl: Subverted. Chikane looked like the peerless student, being athletic and more action-oriented than Himeko; and also being a captain of the archery squad. But against the super powered Orochi Necks... well, Chikane's archery and athletic skills naturally did jack shit against them, requiring Souma (who is powered with Orochi) to save the day and giving anguish on her in terms of protecting Himeko. Then she pulled a Face–Heel Turn, and made use of the same archery and athletic skills, now enhanced with super powers, and it was terrifyingly effective, with her arrows becoming powered with destructive light. She wiped the floor with Souma, and all of the Orochi Necks as a result.
  • Femme Fatalons: Corona has long, rather tacky orange nails with star decals.
  • First Kiss: Chikane steals Himeko's first kiss while she's unconscious in the first episode, but then proceeds to feel guilty enough that she washes herself.
  • Freudian Excuse: Each of the first six necks of Orochi have one.
  • 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, for Himeko and Chikane. (At first—they later become a Love Trinket.)
  • Furo Scene: There are a few scenes of Himeko taking baths in Chikane's mansion, including when she first moves in and when she returns late in the series.
  • Gayngst: At least part of what motivates Chikane's [1] is her self-loathing and contempt for the "dirty" aspects of her feelings towards Himeko. Sister Miyako taunts her for these feelings in her Breaking Speech.
  • Fusion Dance: Orochi's true form is the fusion of all eight mecha piloted by the Orochi necks.
  • Genre Mashup: It's a Girls' Love story meets Humongous Mecha.
  • Girls' Love: Duh.
  • Grand Finale: The series ends with Orochi being destroyed permanently.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Chikane's nickname, "Miya-sama," is used in the English dub, which otherwise doesn't use honorifics.
  • 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 as punishment for turning against the evil deity and the other Orochi necks.
  • Hot Wings: Tsubasa's mech.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The people in Himeko and Chikane's village were all mostly nice, some Alpha Bitch aside, but it is revealed that the Necks of Orochi ended up that way because the cruelty of mankind around the world inflicted upon them, most prominently war (Miyako and Girochi) and abuse (Tsubasa, Souma, Corona, Reiko, Nekoko). And Orochi preyed upon such victims.
  • Humongous Mecha: If they took the mecha part seriously, it'd fit right in Mobile Fighter G Gundam (for some weird reason). According to the creators, the series is an homage towards Hades Project Zeorymer.
  • 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.
  • Love Allegory: Himeko's seashell story.
  • Love Triangle: Chikane wants to protect Himeko, who only has eyes for Souma. There's a fourth side: Otoha wants Chikane all to herself.
  • 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. Chikane also dresses up as a maid when serving Himeko dinner in Episode 10.
  • Miko: Himeko and Chikane are the Solar and Lunar Priestesses, and wear robes for the occcasion.
  • Mind Rape: A rather nasty one given to Chikane by Miyako.
  • 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 lesbians and giant mechs battling. It's obvious this would show up several times. The most noticeable is at the end of Episode 10, when Himeko spends a pleasant evening with Chikane, and is happy enough to see her that she almost forgets about Chikane raping her two episodes ago. The next morning, Chikane suddenly declares that she's going to kill Himeko that night.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Used in-universe. Chikane's plan hinges on making her look like she crossed this for Himeko, she needs Himeko to hate her and then kill her as a result. She tried with rape (and reveal her Face–Heel Turn), that didn't work out that well since Himeko still held feelings for her and just wanted to talk. She announced to kill her after luring her to a sense of safety, that still didn't kind of work out. She started slicing her up while acting like a Psycho Lesbian that wanted to destroy the world just to have Himeko by herself, that didn't quite work out. She only succeeded when she shot an Orochi-powered arrow to Earth, devastating the already ravaged planet further and laughing at that, finally pissing Himeko enough to make her commit into killing Chikane in rage, exactly what she counted on.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Some watched it for the yuri. 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.
  • Night and Day Duo: Chikane is associated with the Moon, Himeko with the Sun. The symbolism is further explored when Himeko, who believes herself to be an utterly ordinary girl, wonders what the star student and school idol Chikane sees in her. Chikane then proceeds that, just like the Moon only shines with the reflected light of the Sun, so is Chikane inspired and motivated to "shine" in all things by her relationship with Himeko.
  • 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.
  • Orochi: This Orochi's necks are giant necha.
  • 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.
  • Shrinking Violet: Himeko.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Big Bang PunchMegaton Knuckle 2
    • Hikari Ni NareBlast into pieces!!
    • Chikane is referred to adoringly as "Miya-sama" and has a horse named Saint Just, which are almost certainly references to Fukiko Ichinomiya (who's also nicknamed "Miya-sama") and Rei Asaka (whose nickname is "Hana no Saint Juste") from Dear Brother.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Not always, but pretty common.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening shows Chikane and Himeko fighting with swords on the moon, spoiling the penultimate episode.
  • 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 finally able to be together after the Orochi is permanently destroyed and Chikane breaks the reincarnation loop to return to Himeko in the same timeline, and future installments where Chikane and Himeko are reincarnated again, this time without the Orochi present in the series, means they no longer have to deal with it or the ritual where they have to sacrifice the other.
  • 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.
  • Suicidal Sadistic Choice: The priestess sacrifice ritual is essentially a dual sadistic choice, where they have to decide amongst themselves.
  • Super-Empowering: Himeko's power is to increase Souma's abilities to the point at which he can take on multiple Necks of Orochi in their Humongous Mecha at once, despite previously having struggled against a single on.
  • Taken for Granite:
    • Souma turns to stone after his fight with his brother, if only temporarily.
    • All of the other Necks of Orochi except Tsubasa fall prey to the same fate, but for a different reason.
  • Title Drop: Invoked by Chikane at the last episode.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The two priestesses being initially selected by the gods, which ties in with the reincarnation aspect.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Tsubasa.
  • 12-Episode Anime: The anime adaptation lasts twelve episodes.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Himeko, Chikane, and Souma.
  • Uptown Girl: Chikane (the rich girl) and Himeko (middle class).
  • Vehicular Turnabout: A variant, as Chikane steals Soma's mecha and uses it against the other Orochi necks, and later, Himeko and Soma themselves.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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 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, or she just never met the guy/manager who suggested a career boost by prostitution.
    • 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, implying that either the audience's taste no longer shifts against her ideals, or she's under a manga editor/company that are more appreciative to their mangaka's freedom for success.
    • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Kannazuki No Miko, Destiny Of The Shrine Maiden