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Manga / Kamikami Kaeshi

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"I want... to be free!"
Mashiro Kamitsuka

Kamikami Kaeshi is a manga series by Ema Toyama. It ran in the shoujo magazine Nakayoshi from 2010 to 2016.

There is a religious ceremony called "kamigami kaeshi," where gods rest in a person's hair until their strength and power are rejuvenated. For the past thirteen years, Mashiro Kamitsuka has been living in a small room ever since she was three years old when she interrupted the ceremony by accident, and the gods chose to rest in her hair, as Mashiro is from the branch family. Until Mashiro returns all of the gods from her hair, she cannot see her mother.

The only contact Mashiro has with the outside world is what she can see through her window, the books she reads, and Hayate Kokumiya—her old friend and her hair-brusher. When Uno and Seno, two creatures Mashiro discovers, escape her room, Mashiro chases after them and overhears that her aunt, who's despised Mashiro for being in the branch family, has been instructing Hayate to seal the gods in Mashiro's hair the entire time, so that the gods can never return.

When Hayate attempts to get Mashiro back into her room, Mashiro rejects this, wanting to be free and no longer desiring to be confined in her room. Her wish is answered, and from her hair returns the god of fireHinokagu, who proclaims that he'll protect Mashiro.

Can Mashiro's wish come true?

This series provides examples of:

  • Betty and Veronica: Hayate and Hinokagu for Mashiro.
  • The Caretaker: Hayate towards Mashiro.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Hayate and Hinokagu.
  • Ethereal White Dress: Mashiro has white hair and has mostly white clothes. This signifies her role as the gods' resting place.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Akane and her son Midori.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Iwanagahime vs Konohanasakuya and Aoi vs Akane. Neither Iwanagahime and Akane takes their loss well. And both of them still haven't got over it.
  • Hikikomori: Mashiro is techically one, but being confined in her room wasn't voluntary.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Hayate tries to convince Mashiro that the outside world has "dirty air, disagreeable people, and scary things" and that the room Mashiro stays is the best place for her to be.
  • I Just Want to Be Free
  • Jerkass: Mashiro's aunt Akane, saying how troublesome Mashiro is and how much easier it would be if they killed her.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hayate acted like a jerk, but he was really Mashiro's ally the entire time.
  • Kick the Dog: Hayate kicking Uno and Seno.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Kamikami Kaeshi" translates to "The Gods Return from Hair." By reading the kanji differently, there are several puns in as well, such as the Visual Pun that the gods do live in people's hair, and that "kami" in different kanji can mean "god" and "hair" (as well as "paper").
    • Mashiro comes from the Japanese term "Masshiro," meaning "pure white."
    • Hinokagu is a pun of "God of Fire."
  • Mystical White Hair: Mashiro's white hair is also where the gods had chosen to reside.
  • Parents in Distress: Mashiro's mother is taken as hostage by her aunt. As it turns out, her mother isn't in danger, but Mashiro isn't permitted to see her.
  • Personality Powers: Hinokagu, who controls fire, is Hot-Blooded.
  • Playing with Fire: Hinokagu, the god of fire.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Aoi and Akane. Aoi was the Chosen One, but she is carefree and her goal was to free the gods from Kamitsuka family and to live by her own, not by the gods' support. When Akane is serious and strict, and is the Unchosen One, and feels rather inferior because of it.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Mashiro's aunt, who hides a knife in her fan and threatens to cut Mashiro's throat in Chapter 2.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hinokagu and Hayate.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Uno and Seno, the "sheep" Mashiro finds in her room.
  • Screw Destiny: Why Aoi was banished, for saying this was her goal despite her being the miko.
  • The Rival: Hinokagu for Hayate.