Kamisama Kiss portrayal of gender norms was subtle and swift: Breakdown + Analysis

Kamisama Kiss portrayal of gender norms was subtle and swift: Breakdown + Analysis

Kamisama Kiss is a shojo manga and anime series that was first published in 2008. The series follows the story of Nanami Momozono, a homeless high school girl offered a place to stay by the god of a local shrine, Mikage. In exchange, Nanami must become the new god of the shrine.

Nanami is initially overwhelmed by her new responsibilities, but she is determined to do her best. She is helped by Tomoe, a powerful fox spirit who was originally Mikage’s familiar. Tomoe is initially reluctant to serve Nanami, but he eventually comes to respect her.

Kamisama Kiss portrayal of gender norms was subtle and swift: Breakdown + Analysis
Kamisama Kiss | Image courtesy of TMS Entertainment V1 Studio

As Nanami learns to balance her new life as a god with her schoolwork and social life, she also finds herself falling in love with Tomoe. However, their relationship is complicated by the fact that Tomoe is a fox spirit, and there is a long-standing feud between humans and fox spirits.

How Kamisama Kiss Challenges Our Assumptions About Gender

  • The series is notable for its portrayal of gender norms. At the beginning of the series, Nanami is homeless and dependent on others for help. However, as she grows into her role as a god, she becomes more confident and assertive.
  • She is also not afraid to stand up to Tomoe, a powerful fox spirit who is initially reluctant to accept her as his master. This transformation is a subversion of the traditional gender role that portrays women as being weak and dependent.
Kamisama Kiss portrayal of gender norms was subtle and swift: Breakdown + Analysis
Kamisama Kiss | Image courtesy of TMS Entertainment V1 Studio

The series also subverts traditional gender roles in other ways. Tomoe is initially portrayed as a powerful and stoic man. However, as the series progresses, he is shown to be vulnerable and emotional. He is also shown to be capable of love and compassion. This portrayal of Tomoe challenges the traditional gender role that portrays men as being strong and unemotional.

The series also features many strong friendships between men and women. These friendships are shown to be just as valuable and important as romantic relationships. This depiction of men and women as friends challenges the traditional gender role that portrays men and women as being only interested in each other romantically or sexually.

Kamisama Kiss portrayal of gender norms was subtle and swift: Breakdown + Analysis
Kamisama Kiss | Image courtesy of TMS Entertainment V1 Studio

The Subversive Gender Politics

The portrayal of gender norms in Kamisama Kiss was subtle and subversive, especially considering that the series was released in the 2000s when gender roles were still relatively strict. The series does not explicitly state its message about gender equality, but it does show it through the characters’ actions and relationships. This makes the message more powerful and impactful as it sets the tone that gender equality should be deeply rooted in cerebral equality and not in physiological natural boundaries.

Kamisama Kiss portrayal of gender norms was subtle and swift: Breakdown + Analysis
Kamisama Kiss | Image courtesy of TMS Entertainment V1 Studio

Conclusion

The series showed that it is possible for women to be strong and independent, and for men to be emotional and vulnerable. This was a progressive message at the time and is still relevant today. Overall, Kamisama Kiss is a progressive series that challenges traditional gender roles. Watch the anime here!

 

Scroll to Top