San Choume no Kamisama
Wataru, Adam "OMEGA" Arnold,
and Steve Diabo (Kaneda)
Five years ago, Chihiro had to
leave his childhood friend, Inaho, because his parents were
moving to a bigger city to earn a steady living. As the two said
their goodbyes, Inaho planted the seed in her friend's mind that
their friendship was all because Chihiro needed a friend.
Now in the present, Chihiro is set
to return to the countryside for the first time in three years to
visit his grandparents. With this comes old memories, promises
unfulfilled, and regrets. For Chihiro's dad, Hirotomo, regrets
are all he has left -- it was because of his ambitions that the
family packed up and left the countryside.
As Chihiro races home from school
to pack, Hirotomo takes a breather on a park bench to reflect. As
he begins to think out loud, a voice echoes forth and he
scrambles to his feet only to find a woman claiming to be the
Devil at the top of a star-shaped light post. The Devil possesses
the poor man's body and vows to destroy the company that causes
him such grief.
Hirotomo manages to find his way
home, but is acting strangely. Over dinner, as Hirotomo's
behavior becomes more erratic, it is decided that rather than
cancel the trip, Chihiro should go visit his Grandpa and Grandma
The next day, Chihiro takes a bus
to the countryside and then follows the river bed through the
forest to reach his grandparents' house. Along the way, he is
confronted by an fierce bear that has been injured by a hunter's
bullet. Suddenly, a young girl with bells appears, extends her
hand, and tells the bear where to go to find respite. Strangely,
the bear listens to her and leaves peacefully. But, before
Chihiro can thank the girl, she vanishes.
When he reaches his grandparents
house, they discuss the weird encounter, his dad's strange
behavior, and the conversation soon evolves into a remembrance of
the past and how he used to play with his friend Inaho at the
Goddess Inaho Shrine. But, his grandpa is quick to point out that
there is no kid named Inaho in the village.
With the memories of the past slowly coming back to him he
decides to go to the shrine where he fully remembers his promise
to Inaho that, "No matter how long it takes, we will meet
again." And with that, the memories all become fresh as the
day they occurred and Inaho appears behind Chihiro, saying "Osu."
San Choume no Kamisama (which can be roughly
translated as 'The
God Living in the Third District') is an engaging new manga
by Monthly Shonen Ace's new manga pioneer Nishidate
Naoki that comes hot on the heels of the conclusion of the fan
favorite Jyoshi Karatebe + One (Female Karate Club + One)
in Monthly Shonen Ace 1999 #9. Near the end of the three-volume
series, Naoki managed to work out all the dangling plots and
romantic situations. A feat in itself, since most creators side-step
loose-ends in favor of a dramatic conclusion. To keep the
creative juices following in between series, a forty-page short
story entitled "Child Hazard" followed four issues
later in Monthly Shonen Ace 2000 #1. This was all
leading up to the debut of the completely original manga "San
Choume no Kamisama"in issue #5.
Overall, Naoki's artwork
emphasizes a rounded style of drawing that is reminiscent of a
cross between Toshihiro Ono's Pokémon manga and
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's Neon Genesis Evangelion manga. This
style seems to hinge on the overall cuteness of the main
characters, giving them an innocence that could be lost at any
time. The supporting characters blend more with the backgrounds
and tend to have more lines that signifies a worn look that comes
with age and maturity.
Even though Naoki's current work,
"San Choume no Kamisama," doesn't have a set number of chapters yet, it
has proven to be a heart warming fantasy story with enough weird
goings-on to give it the far reaching effect it needs to catch
peoples' attention. The manga gives Naoki a chance to break the
previous character molds by having a goddess as a main character.
|San Choume no Kamisama:
An athletic young
boy who was powerless to leave his childhood playmate,
Inaho, when his parents decided to move to the city. The
memories of his past have begun to surface and leave many
questions about the mysterious nature of his friend
Chihiro's Dad who
moved his family away from the countryside to find a
steady income in the city. Now filled with regrets, a
Devil has possessed him poised to destroy the company
that has brought him such grief and heart-ache.
A caring housewife
who submitted to her husbands decision to leave the area
she grew up in when her father and husband began to not
see eye to eye about the unpredictable nature of farming.
The parents of
Chihiro's mom have lived a simple life farming in the
countryside and are quite fond of Chirhiro, but balked at
his father's decision to move the family.
The young girl that
Chirhiro used to play together with at the Goddess Inaho
Shrine before he moved away. Inaho is an energetic and
imaginative young girl decorated with big ribbons, beads,
and bells who can tame a wild beast with a wave of her
hand. Oddly enough, there isn't a girl named Inaho in the
A goddess who has
been protecting the village near the lake where Chihiro's
grandparents live. Villagers often pray at the Goddess
Inaho Shrine because legend tells of a young girl who
sacrificed herself by walking into the lake to save the
A mysterious body
snatcher that thrives on anger and regret and is ready to
leave destruction in her wake.
Hey! Do you have a copy of Monthly
Shonen Ace 2000 #5? Wanna read this manga, but can't
understand Japanese? Fear not! ANIMEfringe gives you a full,
unofficial translation script for San Choume no
Kamisama to use! Even if you don't own a copy of the actual
manga, a lot can be enjoyed just from reading the translation
script itself. Click here to access it!