Kamisama no Memochou – the many characters in God’s notebook

July 7, 2011

A cast of many characters.

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.

Yuuko Shionji (Alice) ~ the main character.

Soichirou Hinamori (Yondaime) ~ the Fourth?

Minli Huang (Min-san) ~ Master of ramen shop, Hanamaru.

Tetsuo Ichinomiya ~ drop-out, pachinko pro.

Hitoshi Mukai (Major) ~ weapons and device specialist.

Hiroaki Kuwahara ~ Ladies' man.

Ayaka Shinozaki ~ Garden Club president.

Narumi Fujishima ~ one single pixel.

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.

The artwork featured some very rich backgrounds.

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!

7 Responses to “Kamisama no Memochou – the many characters in God’s notebook”

  1. If we’ll compare this to Sherlock Holmes (the original novel) in terms of character roles, Alice is like Holmes while Narumi’s like Watson. Holmes is the protagonist, Watson’s just his assistant, but we get to learn Holme’s story from Watson’s perspective. So I think Narumi is indeed not the leading character, but he’s already pretty significant.

    I changed my mind on the OP. Some parts of it had been cool, the parts that I find a little lame made me forget the cool ones, ahaha.

    I find this series interesting (totally love the bg music! Iwasaki Taku as awesome as ever~) but hhmm… not that hooked. Haha!

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Excellent comparison to Holmes and Watson! That was exactly what I trying to say. Despite the fact that we see everything from Watson’s perspective, he is not the main character. That doesn’t make him insignificant.

      Musically the OP is okay, but by no means great.

  2. foshizzel Says:

    This was a fun series! Really had fun watching the first episode, seems JC Staff got some extra money from something. Then again I have found they do put more effort into a first episode of course, it’s usually what happens after episode one when people get worried.

    Soooo many characters! Has a bit of a Durarara feel to it, with each character having different personalities and of course Alice extremely smart! I just hope the mysteries can keep people addicted.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      They definitely are interesting characters.

      There’s no way of knowing if there will be a production quality drop before it happens, but I hope it doesn’t. I liked this first episode and think this could turn out to be a good series.

  3. tomphile Says:

    Alice is a lolicon magnet and all seems good in the world. With JC Staff behind this series, it’s going to be good.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      I think of all the characters introduced Ayaka was most interesting to me. She seems to have a real range of attitudes. She also seems to enjoy the people around her. I think she would be a fun person to meet in the real world, and can imagine her being in the real world, because she has a certain down-to-Earth quality. She also has a very strong personality, dragging Fujishima into the Gardening Club, and etc.

  4. […] In addition, KamiMemo is much more of an ensemble work, and Alice plays just one role amongst a large and varied cast. Narumi […]

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