Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (かんなぎ Kannagi?, lit. Shrine maiden), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eri Takenashi. The manga began serialization in the January 2006 issue of Ichijinsha's shōnen manga magazine Comic Rex. Six tankōbon volumes have been released in Japan. A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by A-1 Pictures aired between October and December 2008 in Japan. An original video animation (OVA) episode was released in May 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga and anime series, including the OVA.
- Nagi (ナギ?)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
- Nagi is a goddess who wakes up after years of slumber with Jin's unexpected help. Her mission as a deity is to cleanse the impurities of the world, but as her powers have weakened over time due to her sacred tree being cut down, her body is easily harmed by them. She ends up having to do it with the help of Jin and brandishing an improvised exorcist staff created using a magical girl-themed toy baton.
- Kannagi (かんなぎ?)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
- A different personality that exists inside Nagi. She seems to be the only one who knows about Nagi's real identity. When she descends upon Nagi's body, the process cannot last very long as it consumes a significant amount of energy, though this can be prolonged with the help of another person.
- Jin Mikuriya (御厨 仁 Mikuriya Jin?)
- Voiced by: Hiro Shimono
- After using a part of a fallen sacred tree to make a sculpture of a girl, he inadvertently brings Nagi back to life. Since then, Nagi lives in his house and counts on his help to hunt down the impurities (as he is able to catch them with his bare hands), a task impossible to Nagi due to her weakened state. Later, when Nagi was frustrated by being uncertain about her own identity, Jin decides to assist Nagi to trace back her origin. He enjoys Worcester sauce on a slice of bread or a bowl of rice.
- Tsugumi Aoba (青葉 つぐみ Aoba Tsugumi?)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
- Tsugumi is Jin's childhood friend who harbors a crush on him. She is concerned about Jin living alone with another girl despite Nagi fabricating a story about being his half-sister.
- Zange (ざんげ?)
- Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
- Another goddess and Nagi's twin sister. Unlike Nagi's, Zange's tree is still intact and located in a church's courtyard, thus she is still able to catch and cleanse impurities by herself. The fact that she switched her character to that of a Catholic nun, as it is a stronger religion nowadays according to her, contributed to her divinity staying intact. Despite seemingly being kind and caring on the outside, she usually takes advantage of Nagi's weakened state to torment her. The word zange in Japanese means 'penitence' or 'confession'.
- Hakua Suzushiro (涼城 白亜 Suzushiro Hakua?)
- Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
- Hakua is a girl from Jin's school possessed by Zange. Since childhood, Hakua was able to see spiritual images around her and her body has been very susceptible to spiritual possession. As other children considered her ability very odd, she had trouble interacting with children of her age. When she was still a child, she makes a friend with Jin during a summer camp, who did not consider her ability strange as he also possessed a strong spiritual sense. However, in the current storyline, Jin doesn't seem to remember well about his encounter with Hakua in the past. Since then, Hakua has not been able to go outside her house and she compared herself to a "princess locked up in a castle". Just before Hakua attempted to commit suicide due to depression, she "willingly accepted" Zange to be her host. However Nagi claims that despite this, it may put too much stress into her body. Both Zange and Hakua develop a liking for Jin and decide to bring him to their side.
Art club members
- Daitetsu Hibiki (響 大鉄 Hibiki Daitetsu?)
- Voiced by: Takanori Hoshino
- Daitetsu Hibiki is Jin's friend and a member of the art club. He seems to be talented at everything from singing to sculpting and Jin hopes to one day be as good as him. Despite his imposing figure, he can be sensitive and has a surprising love for cats.
- Meguru Akiba (秋葉 巡 Akiba Meguru?)
- Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara
- Akiba is one of the three male members of the art club. He claims to have joined the art club instead of the manga club because he could not stand the otaku behavior of its members, although Akiba is quite the otaku himself. He dedicated himself to drawing manga. He often launches himself into very long and detailed diatribes, speaking so quickly that people end up just ignoring him.
- Shino Ōkouchi (大河内 紫乃 Ōkouchi Shino?)
- Voiced by: Mai Nakahara
- Shino is the vice-president of the art club. She is quiet member who is close friends with Takako, and is often observant of the male members' personalities. She especially takes an interest in how Jin interacts with Nagi.
- Takako Kimura (木村 貴子 Kimura Takako?)
- Voiced by: Risa Hayamizu
- Takako is the presiding president of the art club, as well as a fujoshi, even though she knows very little about anime, manga, or games. She enjoys teasing the male members of the art club. She is a devoted fan of Nagi's, being a proud member of her fan club at the school.
High school teachers
- Reiri Suzushiro (涼城 怜悧 Suzushiro Reiri?)
- Voiced by: Kenta Miyake
- The teacher of religious studies and Hakua's father. He is aware of his daughter being possessed by Zange and easily figures Nagi's identity. He is worried about Hakua's condition. Although Hakua "claims" to do so by free will, he gets himself a little relief when Nagi promises him to find a way to make Zange leave her body.
Kannagi began as a manga series written and illustrated by Eri Takenashi and began serialization in the first issue of Ichijinsha's shōnen manga magazine Comic Rex on December 9, 2005. The first tankōbon volume was released on August 9, 2006 under Ichijinsha's Rex Comics imprint; as of November 8, 2008, six volumes have been released in Japan. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga for distribution in North America.
The manga was put on hiatus starting in January 2009 because of concern about the author's health problems. The installment of the manga just prior to the author's illness caused some fan controversy, because of implications that Nagi was not a virgin, but was not linked to her illness. The author underwent surgery on December 12, 2008 and announced in September 2009 that she would be taking at least a year-long break to fully recover before working on her manga again. Ichijinsha will announce in the November 2010 issue of Comic Rex when Takenashi will begin drawing Kannagi again.
Internet radio show
An Internet radio show to promote the anime series was distributed ten episodes between June 11, 2008 and April 7, 2009. The show is hosted by Haruka Tomatsu (who plays Nagi in the anime), Hideyuki Kurata (the anime's screenwriter), and Yutaka Yamamoto (the anime's director). The broadcasts are distributed on the anime's official website.
An anime adaptation was produced by the animation studio A-1 Pictures, directed by Yutaka Yamamoto, and with screenplays by Hideyuki Kurata. The anime aired in Japan between October 4 and December 27, 2008, and consisted of thirteen episodes. The anime was dropped by the satellite channel BS11 Digital before it started airing; no explanation was given. An original video animation episode was shipped with the final Japanese DVD volume on May 27, 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the anime and released the first of two seven-episode DVD compilation volumes on July 17, 2009. The second volume was released on September 24, 2009.
- "Manga section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- "Kannagi Manga to Return in Japan". Anime News Network. August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- "Kannagi Manga Reportedly on Hiatus Due to Creator's Health". Anime News Network. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- "Kannagi Creator Takenashi Undergoes Surgery, Recovers". Anime News Network. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Kannagi's Eri Takenashi to Rest for At Least 1 Year". Anime News Network. 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- "Kannagi Creator's Brother Starts Kanpachi Spinoff Manga". Anime News Network. March 7, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- "Internet radio show section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- "News section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "1 of Kannagi's 8 Stations Drops Program from Lineup". Anime News Network. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Bandai Entertainment Adds Kannagi Anime DVDs & Streams". Anime News Network. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Eri Takenashi's personal blog (Japanese)
- Anime official website (Japanese)
- Kannagi anime at A-1 Pictures (Japanese)
- Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia