Manga Reviews: Kamisama Kazoku vol 1

The creative team behind Kamisama Kazoku upends the "harem" sex-comedy we've all grown tired of and makes us laugh while doing it. 

Kamisama Kazoku vol 1


From the back cover: "Samataro has it all: a loving family, two adorable sisters, a great best friend and even a guardian angel! It's always clear sailing, never a cloud in the sky...but that's just what happens when you're the son of a god! Poor Samataro is bored to tears, since his loving mother and father always use their powers to make everything easy for him...but can he make it on his own when he finally tells them to back off? "

The son of a god can probably get laid pretty easily but can he actually fall in love with out good old dad butting in and making the gears of love (or lust) turn?  Our hero, Samataro, is in quite a prediciment and luckily his meddling family of gods / goddesses / goddesses in training make it a very funny one.   Samataro just wants a normal teenage experience but his sisters have a tendency to mess him around with their various abilities (such as a wheel of emotions they spin to direct people near him to feel and do strange things), while his father always grants him his wishes at the worst possible moment and in the worst possible way (such as his fleeting and unconscious wish for the Japanese school system to maintain girl's "bloomers" i.e. old fashioned gym wear, which results in his MALE teacher showing off said gym shortie-shorts to the displeasure of the class) and, finally, his mother just has a tendency to take off her clothes a lot.  Which is always *healthy* for a child's social-sexual development, right?  Or maybe not.

There are some traditional elements of the harem sex-comedy, but always offered with a bit of innovation -- Samataro seems like your average romantic-comedy shonen schlub but there is the fact is father can probably end all existence if he wanted to.  Not to mention that while there are two girls in Samataro's orbit, each character is served up with a bit of a twist.  The usual girl-next-door role is actually a guardian angel who Samataro's father (remember, an actual god!) has sent to watch out for him.  Like most girls-next-door she is pixie-cute and has a desperate crush on the hero.  Unlike those other girls she has (invisible) wings coming out of her back and a strong sense of dedication.  To helping Samataro get laid.  (In spite of the fact, she, of course, likes him too.  This is still a harem-comedy after all.  Just a really odd one).  The other girl is the beautiful princess of adolescence -- the one we're never, ever supposed to get -- who may or may not have any depth of character or feeling to her.   Chances are she is just incredibly normal (read: boring as hell) beneath all that beauty -- which is in and of itself a pretty surprising development.  

Eventually we all know Samataro will have to choose between the girls, the question remains if he'll manage to discover anything about who he really is -- or even *who* these girls actually are -- considering all the meddling his father & family love doing so much.  Life for the cosmically connected is tough, no?  Or maybe that's just high school....not matter who your daddy happens to be.

Not so shockingly, even when messing around with the "harem" formula, the creators still indulge in fan service but instead of titillation, I feel the majority of the boob & butt shots are almost always in service of a laugh (usually a big one) although somebody's naked mother will always be creepy no matter what.  Although since it isn't *our* mother, creepy generally gives out to laughter in the end.  The art is attractive, generally more detailed than shojo, and it reflects the tone of the story (crazy hijinks with just a dash of teenage angst) quite well.  This volume was such a fun treat to read I'm really looking forward to the release of number two next fall.

Review Copy provided by Go! Comi

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