Early Anime Impressions: Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai

a.k.a. “The World Only God Knows”

To explain briefly, the main character, known as “kami-sama” (i.e. God) is the god of romance video games, where the objective is to “land” girls through dialogue choices, or put more bluntly, through fictional seduction. Reflecting the biases of some gamers, this character is completely uninterested in women in the real world and is a bespectacled (that’s a fancy word for “wearing glasses”) geek who is not considered all that hot stuff at school. He is usually depicted playing games on a PSP (an actual PSP).

So, in comes a challenge that he accepts without knowing the full story: to “land” the most challenging girls out there as part of a contract with a er, well, “little sister type character” enthusiastic demoness whose mission is to capture evil spirits hiding in the openings in the (figurative) hearts of human beings.

(The Japanese here, btw, is 心の隙 (kokoro no suki), not “that” suki (for liking) but the one describing openings whereupon one unleashes a 53-hit combo upon an opponent.)

So in other words, he’s expected to “land” real girls, but he has no experience whatsoever with the real deal.

Well, he’s forced to do it the hard way. Failure to execute the contract will result in execution – that is, they’ll literally lose their heads (thanks to metal collars they can’t take off on their own).

So, put simply, the guy now has to engage in video game like seduction of girls (who very conveniently start forgetting his involvement after the evil spirits have been Ghostbusters-style trapped), leading to quite a bit of comedy.

Furthermore, our little demoness starts parading as the real little sister of our main character, justifying it with a (forged) letter claiming that she is his father’s love child. (A few scenes later she’s explaining how the mother is off seeing a “lawyer,” not that she has any idea what a lawyer is mind you…)

The Review

Comedy factor is very high. Also, it’s not overdone; this is something taking place in a “real” world but with a supernatural influence, but is rooted in actual video gamer culture and just enough plausibility in terms of human characters and reactions that I was able to laugh along, enjoy myself, and be pleasantly surprised.

Production quality seems average in a way that is done smartly. In other words, effort is expended on making the characters look good, which is a good place to put effort. In other words, it’s not going to blow you away, but the characters are pleasant  to look at, and I can’t ask for much more here.

Best of all, no one needs to be a romance game addict to “get” this show, any more than we needed to be MMO players to appreciate .hack a while back. A general idea and at least a minute’s acquaintance with Tokimeki Memorial and you’re set.

J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for Technorati.com and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: jeremiahbourque@gmail.com
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