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Looking for the Sunshine

Kamichu!

By Hideyuki Kurata 

14 Dec, 2019

Translation

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Hideyuki Kurata’s Kamichu! (Kamisama de Chūgakusei or A Deity As a Middle School Student”) was an anime series, later adapted into a manga. I didn’t get my hands on the anime, but I did find the manga.

One day awkward eighth-grader Yurie Hitotsubashi woke up, aware that she was now a goddess. 

Goddess of what? Unclear. Being a god may come with power, but it does not come with a user’s manual. Luckily for Yurie, one of her classmates, Matsuri Saegusa, is a shrine miko. She claims she can sense Yurie’s divinity. Surely with Matsuri’s help and the support of friend Mitsue Shijo, Yurie will be able to discover of what she is the goddess, and how she might best serve her home town of Onomichi.

Her first test: proving that she does indeed have divine power. Success! She calls up a typhoon. An impressive display. Too bad the typhoon almost killed Kenji, the calligraphy-obsessed boy with whom Yurie is smitten. 

Yurie’s grasp on the nature and limits of her powers is shaky. Nevertheless, she feels that, as a goddess, she has responsibilities. As problems present themselves, Yurie does her best to resolve them. She tries to find a missing god and to protect her town from a wandering god of poverty. She does her best to fulfil wishes.

Confessing her feelings for Kenji is a task that challenges even a goddess. By the time Yurie feels ready, it may be too late.

~oOo~


You’d think being a god would be a full-time job. Yurie is expected to handle her divine duties on top of her school work, something she was already finding difficult. She also has to juggle the usual challenges of being a young teenager. 

Spoilers: despite panels like this 


despite Kenji’s monumental obliviousness (it’s not just that he has never noticed Yurie’s massive crush, he hasn’t noticed that his schoolgirl friend is also the goddess who saved him from the typhoon) this isn’t the sort of manga where hearts get stomped. Fear not.

It is, however, the sort of manga in which friends are not averse to capitalizing on the profit potential of a pal’s sudden rise to divinity. Matsuri has an ulterior motive for helping Yurie; her family’s shrine has fallen on hard times. Having an actual god in her pocket could save the shrine. It may not be a coincidence that finance-focused Matsuri can no longer sense the supernatural, while her naïve younger sister Miko1 can.

Such complications aside, most of the characters are well-meaning and no dire catastrophes ensue. Yurie usually manages to find solutions for the problems she encounters2 and when she doesn’t, her friends are there to help her. This is a comfort read about a girl who, having been handed immense power, does her best to use it responsibly. Yurie is a stark contrast to a certain other god-level schoolgirl….

I could not find a legal English language edition of the manga.

1: Yes, Miko is a miko whose name is Miko. Her parents may not have put a lot of thought into naming her. 

2: Sometimes the solution is that there is no problem, only skewed ways of looking at the situation.