Kamisama no Memochou – the many characters in God’s notebook
July 7, 2011
This post focuses on the cast of characters in Kamisama no Memochou (“The Notebook of God”, or as some are referring to it, “The Only NEET Thing to Do”) ~ hereafter, Kami-Memo. So far an extended episode (that some are describing as episodes one and two) has been broadcast, affording us insight into the series, and introducing us to many of those who populate it’s world.
I was going to start off with a standard first impression based upon the first episode, then I got all worked up by some rather bizarre reactions in the aniblogiverse. What I saw seemed to be a distortion of the show I watched. Fortunately the reviews that have followed have abandoned the worst of those earliest comments, particularly the notion that this show is all about the supposed male lead, Narumi Fujishima. Anyone watching the OP (linked below), should be able to tell that there are many individuals featured, with Fujishima having a somewhat small role.
Fujishima isn’t even shown until 17 seconds into the OP, and several other characters are shown first, most notably Alice. I’m not saying this is an ensemble piece, where every character will be given almost equal weighting, but some of the criticism that emphasized Fujishima’s role seems misguided.
When I want a reference to the characters in a show, I always run to Hachi’s website, because he makes great ones. His character reference to Kami-Memo is located here, as usual it includes pics of both the character and the seiyu, as well as links for more info in Japanese and English. Nevertheless, for this post, I want to present a visual guide to the characters, so here goes.
The main thing I want to say, besides commenting that I like ALL of the characters listed, is that there is a big difference between “main character” and “perspective character”. Fujishima (at least in this first tale) provides a perspective on the story for the audience, but that doesn’t make him the “main character” or the protagonist. Many have commented that Fujishima is yet another bland protagonist, and certainly the story itself jokes about this, when Hiro comments that Fujishima “lacks presence”. Fujishima describes it differently; he has drifted from school to school, never quite connecting with the people around him, before moving to a new city. This first episode was the story of how he started to connect and became a part of something.
Musically there was also a lot to enjoy. There were several background pieces that featured a bell-like instrument, sometimes resembling a child’s piano, sometimes it seemed more like gamelan music.
I really liked this first episode, and thought it laid out some interesting questions, such as what is up with Ayaka’s brother? Why did Souichirou know that Fujishima had joined the Gardening Club? And, of course, Alice is a bit of a puzzle. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this series!