I have reviewed things that appealed to a large female audience in results, but not anything that was targeted originally for them! So for this review, I will be looking at a series that’s not only targeted for a female audience, but a series based on visual novel targeted for girls!
Kamigami no Asobi: Ludere Deorum is an anime based on an otome visual novel where the “routed” male heartthrobs are gods. And not just any gods, but gods from Greek, Norse, Japanese, and Egyptian mythology. As the story goes, our heroine (player character), Yui Kusanagi is a high school student whose main skill is in kendo and her family owns a local Japanese shrine. One day, however, she is transported to a magical floating island where she meets various gods who look like hot teenage guys with flowers randomly growing in the background (a common shōjo gag). While in this mysterious realm, Yui is tasked to help these gods learn about humans and their cultures while they go through a simulated version of Japanese high school. It is up to our heroine to help them with this endeavor until they graduate, or they will all (including Yui) be trapped on this island without their divine powers for eternity!
From what I understand, the original video game only had six routes, including Apollo, Hades, Loki, Baldr, Tsukiyomi (called Tsukito), and Susanoo (called Takeru). In the anime, however, they also add Dionysus and Thor to the mix of students, while also including some others such as Thoth, Anubis, and headmaster Zeus.
You probably don’t need to know anything about these gods to watch the show, as many of their situations are hypothetical and original –seeing how some of these gods culturally never met each other, let alone go to high school– but there are a few references that bring light to their actions.
In one particular scene, the Greek god Hades (Lord of the Underworld) makes a very profound statement regarding the Heavens, as his character in the series is interested in astronomy. While we who are influenced by Western ideals often think of Hades as one evil judge who was cast out of Olympus (whose name is also associated with all of Hell), I found his story, along with the others’ to be a redeeming sense of worth for them in a modern philosophical context.
But if there’s anything that makes this series incredible for me, it’s our heroine, Yui Kusanagi. For most of these Otome-based anime (or any visual novel-based anime, for that matter), the player character lacks a lot of personality, in an attempt to give viewers a chance to put themselves in her place rather than be led to assume a certain role. This also means our heroine isn’t very heroic, as protagonists are often defined by their persona.
In this anime however, not only did they give Yui Kusanagi a personality, they also, in my opinion, make her an amazing character too!
I guess you kind of have to be pretty amazing as a person to be walking with the gods; but more importantly, there are times that she is the character who helps them, challenges them, and saves them from their own mistakes! It’s also interesting to note that her surname Kusanagi is also the name of the legendary sword wielded by Susanoo, and is therefore a legend fit for the gods!
Note: just because her name is Kusanagi, doesn’t mean that the character Takeru is given any kind of special treatment.
Call it what you may, but for once, our heroine has quite a mind of her own in this series, and she lives up to her role as a “hero.”
So if you’re a girl/woman who has been frustrated with the idea that your otome heroine is terrible in an anime, or maybe just a guy who was curious about bishounen gods (though I won’t judge if you identify with the opposite genders I have used here), then try Kamigami no Asobi. You might or might not be surprised what you’ll get out of it.