11 November, 2009

A Naked Hot Spring Goddess

I was introduced to the manga title Kamisen a little bit ago, and just now I read up on the latest chapters (there are 5 that I know of as of this writing), and wanted to mention the one thing that bugs me about it. It's a tiny thing, but it's worth mentioning, considering my specific interests. Even so, I still like the series - don't get me wrong. It's light filler, but it's entertaining. And sexy.

Kamisen is basically a variation on the theme of Kannagi - a rather popular title - about a goddess who awakens in a shrine and the mischief that ensues (which is largely her fault). The thing that caught my attention, though, was the words sprawled in big red letters in the opening pages to the first chapter...

As you can see, right up my alley. My expectations of a series where the main character (who happens to be a cute girl with divine powers, for better or worse) never wears any clothes turned out to be a little high, unfortunately, but that's (also unfortunately) to be expected. But I'm totally down with the red letter philosophy above. Think about it. A nature god(dess) living at a hot spring. Where do clothes even fit into that? Oh, but of course, for the sake of modesty, we must go out of the way to clothe the naked. Even (or especially?) the divinely naked.

Anyway, as I said it's not a big deal, but the thing that bugs me, besides the fact that the goddess isn't naked as much as I'd like her to be (and you can't always get what you want, I know), are the few subtle lines that pop up here and there that go completely against the red letter philosophy previously introduced. For example, in the first chapter, when the goddess is sitting atop the hot spring proprietor's grandson (for completely innocent reasons, I assure you), he embarrassedly mutters, "Um... Could you put some clothes on for now...?"

Okay. A beautiful goddess is running around naked. Asking her to put some clothes on is bound to make me rage. But I understand where this guy's coming from. He's embarrassed, he's young and inexperienced, and after all, he's the central figure in what's surely to become an unwanted harem (don't click unless you're not planning on leaving the house or getting anything done in the next few weeks), and is thus bound by the laws of manga to not be able to show any interest whatsoever in the sensual pleasures of the girls he's surrounded by.

In other words, I don't like it, but I'll let it pass. And I would have just dropped the subject, but for this other occasion in chapter 3:

"A God loses her majesty if she runs around naked."

First of all, you can clearly see that she's not even naked in this scene - the 'offensive' bits are all covered in towels (albeit mercifully tiny ones). Granted, "naked" doesn't always mean "naked", but she's just come running out of the hot spring, so she has every reason to be under-dressed. But the thing that really throws me off about this scene is the fact that it's the perverted Gramps - who has gone above and beyond proving his perviness and his desire to fetishize the goddess in any way possible (and for that he earns my blessing :3) - who says this. It just seems wholly out of place. Is it not meant to be taken seriously? Is it there just for comedic value (not unlikely)? I suppose there could be some logical reasoning for it in the right context, but it's just so weird.

And worst of all, it offends my sense of spirituality. A God loses her majesty if she runs around naked? All I have to say about that is - she's a God, and this is a hot spring, so what's wrong with being naked!? Far as I'm concerned, a God gains majesty by running around naked. Partaking in nudity is spiritually fulfilling, not morally degenerate.

But hey, I said it was a small thing. I still think the series is fun. I just wanted to make my point. And here's the fan service you've all been waiting for:

1 comment:

  1. Upon further analysis, it is clear that Gramps has a grudge against Konoha-sama, considering that he is the proprietor of the hot spring, and Konoha-sama is a God of Poverty... So naturally, Gramps doesn't miss an opportunity to tease or insult the goddess. Even with that having been said, I still find it hard to believe Gramps could say a thing like this with a straight face.