The series was adapted into a 12 episode anime created by TNK and aired in Japan between October and December of 2004. A drama CD based on the anime version was released on November 25, 2004 by Geneon. In North America, the manga is licensed by Tokyopop, and the anime was licensed by Geneon Entertainment, but the license transferred to Sentai Filmworks in 2009. In 2010, the anime aired on the Anime Network under the title Destiny of the Shrine Maiden.
Himeko Kurusugawa and Chikane Himemiya are two high school girls who attend the prestigious Ototachibana Academy in the fictional Japanese village of Mahoroba. Himeko and Chikane are also the reincarnations of the Solar and Lunar Miko. When their ancient enemy, the eight Orochi (who are the eight heads of Yamata no Orochi from Japanese folklore) rises once more, the girls are plunged into destiny as their long-sealed persona awaken to defend the world from them. When the Orochi awaken, it is the first day of October (called Kannazuki, lit. "the godless month," in the traditional Japanese lunisolar calendar), which just happens to be Himeko and Chikane's birthday. The first Orochi who tries to kill the Miko is Sōma Ōgami, Himeko's childhood friend who is also in love with her. However, after a blinding flash of light brings him to his senses, he rejects his fate and vows to defend Himeko against the other Orochi. The Miko must awaken Ame no Murakumo to combat the threat while Sōma repels the Orochis' efforts to kill them.
Himeko, the Solar Priestess, is a very shy and innocent 16 year old girl. Himeko carries the solar symbol on her chest. She has known Chikane for many years without knowing Chikane's affections towards her. At first, Himeko has affections for Sōma Ōgami, who is her childhood friend. When the two date, their relationship puts Chikane's heart into turmoil. She starts off considering Chikane a very close friend although the two very rarely meet outside of secrecy. Himeko is an amateur photographer, a hobby she developed thanks to the support she receives from Chikane Himemiya. Himeko is initially a shy and timid girl, uncertain of her own worth and abilities. This is mainly because she was orphaned at an early age in an unknown manner. She was initially adopted by abusive relatives before being moved to other relatives. At school, Himeko seems to have only one friend, her dorm roommate Makoto. After the destruction of the dorms when Himeko comes to live with Chikane, she soon gains the enmity of Chikane's female fans at school; a fact she does not deal with well. Despite her timidity, Himeko gradually starts to display great determination and courage. In the last few episodes, she finally realizes and accepts her feelings towards Chikane. In the post-credits of the final episode, Himeko is reunited with Chikane.
Chikane, the Lunar Priestess, is a very commanding girl of the same age. She carries the lunar symbol on her back. She has a very noble and elegant aura, lives in a large mansion with many maids, and is in the highest standing at their school. She has a considerable fan following of both genders and is the frequent target of love confessions. She is a member of the prestigious kyūdō (Japanese archery) club and frequently uses a bow as her weapon of preference during confrontations with the Orochi. She uses the Orochi mark as a target to shoot at. Later events show that she is also skilled in the use of a tantō. Her combat skills are somewhat reminiscent of those taught to the brides of samurai; possibly another indication of Chikane's family's high standing. Chikane is also exceptionally skilled in the areas of tennis and, more significantly, the piano. She enjoys playing for Himeko, who enjoys listening to her perform. Many at school believe she has a relationship with Sōma, though this is proven to be untrue. She has been in love with Himeko since they first met, although she does not reveal it until much later, all the while hiding her jealousy and hurt at the sight of Himeko and Sōma together. Her feelings for Himeko soon border upon obsession. She wants to complete the Ame no Murakumo summoning ritual quickly so that she can protect Himeko alone. She eventually appears to "turn evil", vanquishing all but two of the other Orochi heads and assuming their place, after attacking and sexually assaulting Himeko, and then torments her in many different ways during their final battle. The truth behind her actions is more complex than at first meets the eye, but it is eventually revealed that she did all of them in order for her to force Himeko to be malevolent enough to Chikane that she would kill her friend, so that she could spare Himeko from a terrible fate. In the post-credits of the final episode, Chikane is reunited with Himeko.
The great villain of the series is Yamata no Orochi, an evil god who wishes to destroy the world of humanity and create its own realm, a place of darkness and nihilism. Like its counterpart from Japanese mythology, the Orochi of Kannazuki no Miko has eight heads, its eight worshipers and followers, who are also called Orochi (オロチ衆,orochi shū?) by association. Each of them possesses a mecha, which is both an 'other self' for the Orochi members and joins together to make the evil deity Orochi's body, while it's spirit takes the form of a bottomless vortex of darkness. The powers of Orochi are devastating, and only Ame no Murakumo can undo the destruction they cause after Orochi is defeated.
Each individual follower has exaggerated personal characteristics. It is indicated that the evil deity granted its followers great physical strength and endurance, a limited capacity for teleportation and levitation, as well as a unique power or weapon to suit their individual character. If a follower who has the willpower to repress the wellspring of rage that rises in their minds when Orochi claims them they can use the powers they have gained against Orochi. The evil deity, unfortunately, administers a dire punishment to those who resist it. Orochi chooses its followers from those who have experienced great pain in their lives and have given in to despair. Each of the seven Orochi fit easily into archetypes, consisting of a sociopathic criminal, an unintelligent brute, a former Japanese idol, an anti-social manga artist, a catgirl, a seemingly betrayed friend, and a disillusioned nun. They are extremely discordant with each other and do not coordinate attacks on the miko until the middle of the series. By the end of the series, the seven members are restored with no memories of them being associated with Yamata no Orochi.
The First Head(一の首,Ichi no kubi?), Tsubasa is the leader and the most powerful of the Orochi. Tsubasa is a tall, teal-haired bishōnen, as well as a sociopathic criminal with a long record, starting with the murder of his abusive father, whom he killed to protect his younger brother. Tsubasa is Sōma's biological older brother, having left him as a young child in the care of the Ōgami family when he went on the run. When all the other heads failed at taking his brother down, Tsubasa was ultimately the closest to be successful. Sōma has few memories of him, and Tsubasa is hesitant to harm him seriously when they first fight; he is more focused on convincing Sōma of the Orochi cause than killing the miko. He eventually saves Sōma from the effects of the Orochi's curse and shows himself to be a good person who sacrifices himself for his little brother, even in the end. His mecha, Take no Yasukunazuchi, has deployable wing-like structures which it uses to fly, and attacks with swords mounted on its arms. He is the only one of the Orochi who puts up a good enough fight against Chikane after she "turns Orochi", that the battle ends in an impasse. However, he successfully (though only temporarily) destroys Take no Yamikazuchi and ends up abandoning the fight instead, not feeling the need to finish it. It is worth noting that Tsubasa waited until Chikane defeated the other Orochi before attacking, another sign of his sociopathic nature. In personal combat, Tsubasa mainly uses a sword, although he has shown some skill with throwing knives as well. The knives can carry a kinetic charge that causes explosions. Tsubasa eventually proves that his feelings for his brother are stronger than any attachment he might have felt to the Orochi's nihilistic vision of global destruction. He carries the mark of Orochi over his heart.
The Second Head(二の首,Ni no kubi?), Miyako is a purple-haired nun who is the first Orochi to appear and attack, having lost her faith due to living through a terrible war (presumed somewhere in England due to her Orochi light coming from London). Although there is little co-operation among the Orochi, she seems to be the closest thing therein to a second-in-command having great respect for Tsubasa and the most cool-headed of the lot; it is also implied that she holds an unrequited love for Tsubasa. She can control Girochi and induce some semblance of cooperation among the three other female heads. Her influence appears to be what turns Chikane to the Orochi cause, though it is later revealed that the Lunar Miko went to them of her own accord.
Her mecha, Yatsu no Onokoshizuchi, vaguely resembles a lightning demon in appearance, having no arms but an array of tentacles and a giant circle of electrodes on its back which fire deadly beams. In personal contact, Miyako can make use of enchanted mirrors to create complex illusions and to spy on others over distances. She is a skilled manipulator and a keen observer, and through her attempt to subvert Chikane, she actually forces her to face her feelings for Himeko. She is the last of the Orochi to fall in combat against Chikane, she is later purified. There is some indication that she carries the mark of Orochi on her throat.
The Third Head(三の首,San no kubi?), Girochi is one of the first Orochi to attack the miko. He is a very large man with heavy chains hanging off him, which he uses as weapons. He is attracted to Himeko and wishes to go on a date with her, which only fuels Chikane's jealous protectiveness of the Solar Miko. Girochi is said to be Miyako's younger brother. In a flashback scene, he is shown in a scene of destruction as a young boy, crying near a body crushed under a collapsed building. Presumably, the same war that destroyed his sister's church claimed the life of their parents and left Girochi traumatized and disillusioned. His mecha, Hi no Ashinazuchi, is nicknamed Gungal, and it is characterized by an excessively large right arm — so large that the entire mech's body can fit inside it when he uses it as a weapon (the "Megaton Knuckle" attack). He is the first to be petrified by Chikane, he is later purified along with Miyako. He carries the mark of Orochi on the back of his right hand.
The Fourth Head(四の首,Shi no kubi?), Corona is a delusional pop idol whose dismal sales (68th, though Reiko constantly taunts her with "69th") are partly responsible for her becoming one of the Orochi. She is almost manic in her behavior, constantly trying to impress the other Orochi with her showmanship, but her energetic exterior hides a dark past. A flashback scene depicts her lying on a bed next to an older man, with much of her clothing torn; the exact nature of the liaison, as well as the reasons behind it, are left unsaid, although the scene is accompanied by the suggestion that Corona was "betrayed by her dreams". Her mecha, Ooube no Senazuchi, nicknamed Final Stage, takes on the forms of a wheel with a demonic eye in its center and of a giant centipede with an anthropoid head and arms. In personal combat, Corona throws lipsticks at her target. This attack is not as harmless as it might sound, since these lipsticks carry a kinetic charge capable of causing explosions. Corona is eventually petrified by Chikane, then purified. There is some indication that she carries the mark of Orochi on her left breast.
The Fifth Head(五の首,Go no kubi?), Reiko is an antisocial manga artist of few words. She continues her "day job" as a member of the Orochi and has in fact done better on the market since joining, though her manga have taken on very dark themes since then. She barely interacts with the other Orochi and is stone-cold in battle, though her level-headedness is more the product of cynicism and numbness than Miyako's. She shares her last name with Hitoshi Ōta, one of Kannazuki no Miko's authors. Her mecha, Ho no Shuraizuchi, takes on the forms of a Jōmon-style (straw-rope pattern) fired pottery jar and an anthropoid shape. In personal combat, Reiko throws fountain pens at her targets. Like Corona's lipsticks, these carry a kinetic charge capable of causing explosions. Interestingly, Himeko adores Reiko's work and is an avid reader of hers. Reiko is eventually petrified and purified by Chikane. There is some indication that she carries the mark of Orochi on her back.
The Sixth Head(六の首,Roku no kubi?) Nekoko is a small, squeaky-voiced catgirl (her name is derived from Japanese word for cat (猫,neko?)) who is often seen wearing a nurse's outfit and wielding a giant syringe. She appears to fit the stereotypical, cheerful catgirl archetype, but it is later revealed that she was the subject and victim of horrible medical experiments, which is most likely what made her an Orochi follower. Nekoko's syringe contains some form of medication that can heal injuries and sickness, but the injection causes horrible pain, as noted by Girochi. Alternatively, Nekoko can launch the syringe like a rocket, carrying the same kind of kinetic charge displayed by Tsubasa's knives, Corona's lipsticks and Reiko's fountain pens. Her mech, Izuhara no Tamazuchi, nicknamed Meow Meow, is a large mechanical ball with many cannons on it that is capable of destroying buildings easily. Chillingly, Nekoko went on a rampage that wound up destroying several Japanese landmarks, acting the whole time like a stereotypical cute little girl having fun. She is later petrified by Chikane, then purified. There is some indication that she carries the mark of Orochi on her bottom.
The Seventh Head(七の首,Nana no kubi?), Sōma is the only Orochi who was able to resist becoming completely evil and the first to be purified. The reason behind this is possibly that he has no life-changing event to turn him fully evil and the factor of his feelings for Himeko. Sōma is the lone protector of Himeko and Chikane for most of the series and later plays a part in bringing the Orochi down. He has a very high social standing at their school, comparable to Chikane's, and most of their fellow students believed they were dating even though in reality they rarely ever interacted until the Orochi events. Like Chikane, he is in love with Himeko and is extremely protective of her, fighting to keep her safe from Orochi until he is overwhelmed by the Orochi curse and put out of action. He is later rescued by his brother Tsubasa. Sōma's mecha, Take no Yamikazuchi, is a humanoid robot that possesses more varied attacks than most of the other mecha, which it conceals within its own body. In personal combat, Sōma initially uses his own body and sometimes his motorcycle. Later on, he adopts the sword and fighting-style of his brother Tsubasa, significantly increasing his power. He carries the mark of Orochi on his forehead.
The Eighth Head(八の首,Hachi no kubi?) is originally a mysterious figure, whom the other Orochi believe is hiding from the public eye. Later, the position is revealed to belong to Chikane, once she joins the Orochi. It is uncertain whether the evil deity Orochi always knew Chikane would come to it, but it does not speak again until Chikane has defeated the other Orochi. At no time does she display the mark of Orochi anywhere on her body, but her lunar symbol does temporarily absorb threads of Orochi's power. Chikane takes over and uses Sōma's mecha, transforming it to look demonic. She then uses the mecha to obliterate all of the other Orochi before becoming the Miko of the Orochi and the only and most powerful head of Orochi, forcing Himeko to make a very drastic decision. The mecha that supposedly belongs to the Eighth Head is Yokusemi no Mizuchi, which takes the forms of a fast-flying bird to rescue Orochi members from defeat and the form of a humanoid with a huge drill as its lower body for combat.
In Kannazuki no Miko, Ame no Murakumo is the god of swords. When Orochi rises, it is prophesied that only the god of swords will be able to stand against it and undo the damage that Orochi causes to the world. Ame no Murakumo, who shares the name of the legendary sword Kusanagi, rests in its shrine on the moon until it is brought forth by the Miko of Sun and Moon. Ame no Murakumo takes the shape of either a giant sword or a humanoid mecha, and can be piloted like the Orochi mecha. Ame no Murakumo is capable of fighting and defeating Orochi, but none of the legends about Ame no Murakumo warn those who summon the god of swords about the terrible price that it requires to restore the world. When Ame no Murakumo lay dormant after its previous battle against Orochi, its shrine on Earth was placed under a seal of six swords. Ame no Murakumo and its priests set this arrangement up themselves, to test the powers and the determination of the future Miko of Sun and Moon. During their most recent battle, Orochi naturally displayed a great hatred for Ame no Murakumo. The god of swords itself did not address its enemy however. The only times that it spoke was when it was addressing one or both of the Miko of Sun and Moon in a feminine voice.
Voiced by: Moichi Saito (Japanese), Lex Lang (English)
Sōma's adopted older brother and legal guardian, as well as priest of the temple of the Solar and Lunar Miko. His duties are to care for and maintain the legacy of the Miko, as well as to prepare them for battle. Calm and collected, he is especially worried about Sōma and what his Orochi blood will do to him; he also worries to an extent about Himeko and Chikane and what their duties will do to them. Even still, there are some indicators that imply he is not telling everyone the full extent of what is going on.
The temple assistant, his duties are to assist the priest and Miko in readying the weapon that will defeat the Orochi. It is unclear if he is a hired employee, relative of the Ōgami family, or a junior priest-in-training. He is also Sōma's best friend and confidant.
Chikane's personal maid, Otoha is loyal and devoted to Chikane. When Himeko comes to live with Chikane, Otoha immediately notices the bond between the pair and grows intensely jealous and angry at Himeko for taking Chikane away from her and hurting her mistress. Aside from playing a humorous role and some very weighty scenes of her own in the series, she is a supporting character who clarifies how Chikane reserved her feelings for Himeko alone. Otoha's feelings for Chikane are further explored when she is sent away due to all of the commotion and she confesses to Chikane on how much she cares for her and admires her. When Otoha is embraced and thanked by Chikane, she blushes and cries.
Himeko's friend and roommate, "Mako-chan" is an athletic girl, one of the best runners on the Ototachibana track team. On the day Sōma attacked Himeko, she was severely injured in the collapsing dormitory. Her competing in the Interhigh competitions was shot to pieces. She pushed Himeko away, possibly blaming her for the injuries, but more likely distraught over not being able to run anymore. She does not appear in the series again until near the climax, where she helps Himeko to come to a final decision regarding the events surrounding her.
The leader of a group of girls who are Chikane's biggest fans at school. She is very jealous about Himeko's close relationship with Chikane and she and her group resort to bullying tactics when Himeko even gets to stay at the Himemiya mansion, although they initially stop after witnessing Chikane's quiet fury at what they had done. She and her friends all tend to address Chikane as "Miya-sama".
A friend of Izumi's that shares Izumi's jealousy for Himeko.
Voiced by: Yukiko Minami (Japanese), Mela Lee (English)
Another friend of Izumi's.
Chikane is with the Orochi the whole time in the manga; in the anime, she joins after witnessing Himeko's first kiss. Himeko does not know who the Lunar Priestess is until halfway through the manga, at which point she is raped by Chikane; in the anime, the priestesses work together since the beginning. Makoto does not injure her leg in the manga from the attack on the school. Himeko does not respond to Chikane's death wish by injuring Chikane, but hugs and embraces her instead in the manga. Himeko, in the manga, stays on the moon with Chikane, and later both are reincarnated as twin sisters.
In the manga, it is revealed that all the major players in the confrontation between Orochi and Ame No Murakumo, with the exception of Chikane, were brought to Mahoroba when Chikane's grandfather gathered together orphans from all over Japan in hopes that he would gather all the key players. For example, in the manga, Himeko is not actually born in the village and is shipped in with a bunch of other orphans; in the anime, she is still an orphan but is not an "outsider". In the manga, the backgrounds, as in why they want to destroy everything, are not expanded upon; in the anime, the backgrounds run through each Orochi's motivations quickly later on in the series.
The manga goes into more detail on the relationship between Himeko and Chikane. In the end, Himeko chooses to be incarcerated forever in the shrine with Chikane. It also shows that a number of years later two twin girls are born and are actually Himeko and Chikane, with the memories and feelings for one another intact.
In the anime, Himeko's memory of Chikane is taken away after Chikane sacrifices herself for Himeko and is incarcerated in the shrine. Though Chikane is ultimately reincarnated and their feelings for each other are intact, they are without past memories of one another; their connection is rather sensed through instinct. At the end of the anime, all the Orochi heads go back to their original lives and Himeko is seen walking down a street intersection. As she walks during the post-credits, she comes across Chikane in her new human world body and instantly senses that she is meant to be with this person. The two hug, and narrate how they will always find their way back to each other.
The Kannazuki no Miko manga, written by the manga group Kaishaku, was first serialized in the Japanese mangazine Shōnen Ace published by Kadokawa Shoten starting in 2004. The series' 14 chapters were bound in two tankōbon volumes. The series was licensed in North America by Tokyopop, which published both volumes in English in 2008.
The anime adaptation of Kannazuki no Miko was produced by NHK and animated by Rondo Robe. It was directed by Tetsuya Yanagisawa with music by Mina Kubota and character designs by Maki Fujii. The opening theme was "Re-sublimity" and the ending theme was "Agony", both composed and arranged by Kazuya Takase and performed and written by Kotoko. The insert song, "Suppuration -core-", also sung by Kotoko, was used in episode five.
The series was broadcast in Japan by NHK in 12 episodes between October 2 and December 15, 2004. It was released on six DVDs between December 22, 2004 and May 25, 2005. The series was licensed in North America by Geneon Entertainment, which released the series on three DVDs in 2006. The license was transferred from Geneon to Sentai Filmworks in 2009 who reissue the series on August 25, 2009 in a DVD box set. It is also licensed in France by Dybex, in Poland by Vision Film Distribution, and in Taiwan by Proware Multimedia. In 2010, it was shown on the Anime Network under the name Destiny of the Shrine Maiden.
Original air date
"The Land of Eternity" "Tokoyo no Kuni"(常世の国)
October 2, 2004
Chikane and Himeko share the same birthday and it's rapidly approaching. On the day of their birthday, the Orochi are awakened and at first Sōma attacks Himeko who is the Solar Priestess. Eventually, he comes to his senses and is able to fight back against another one of the Orochi, the Second Head, Sister Miyako. Chikane and Himeko share a kiss.
"Overlapping Sun and Moon" "Kasanaru Jitsugetsu"(重なる日月)
October 9, 2004
The story of the Orochi and the Priestesses is revealed to the unsuspecting Solar and Lunar Priestesses. Later, Himeko contemplates on leaving the town, but first a fight ensues between the Priestesses and the Third Head of the Orochi, Girochi. Finally, before things get too out of hand, Sōma comes to the Priestesses aide.
"Secret Love Shell" "Hirenkai"(秘恋貝)
October 16, 2004
With nowhere else to stay, Chikane offers for Himeko to stay at her mansion for the time being. Later, Kazuki Ōgami reveals more about the Priestess's past and what they are meant to do to protect the world from the Orochi. Also, the Sixth Head of the Orochi, Nekoko, attacks the Priestesses.
"Direction of Affection" "Omoi Tamauya"(思い賜うや)
October 23, 2004
Sōma invites Himeko to the amusement park on a date and Chikane tries her best to help Himeko prepare for her outing. While on their date, Tsubasa, the First Head of the Orochi, attacks the couple as Sōma tries his best to protect Himeko.
"Over the Darkness of Night" "Yoan o Koete"(夜闇を越えて)
October 30, 2004
Sōma initially gets defeated by Tsubasa in their first fight and Tsubasa promises to return again. In the meantime, Sōma trains to get even stronger for their next fight. It is also revealed that Tsubasa is in fact Sōma's biological older brother.
"You, Where the Sun Shines" "Hidamari no Kimi"(日溜まりの君)
November 6, 2004
Some of the past is revealed on when Chikane and Himeko first met and how they became friends. Later, the Priestesses continue their training to become stronger, but fail once again. Finally, Himeko goes on her second date with Sōma.
"Rainfall in the Hell of Love" "Rengoku ni Furu Ame"(恋獄に降る雨)
November 13, 2004
While Sōma and Himeko are on their date, it begins to rain and they take shelter in an abandoned warehouse. Meanwhile, Chikane has an encounter with the Second Head of the Orochi who also begins playing with Chikane's feelings for Himeko. Later, the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Heads of the Orochi all attack Sōma while on his date with Himeko. After the fight, Sōma kisses Himeko.
"Storm of the Silver Moon" "Gingetsuei no Arashi"(銀月の嵐)
November 20, 2004
During yet another outing with Sōma, Himeko searches for a present to give to Chikane since she knows something is not right with her. Upon returning to Chikane's mansion, Himeko is shocked to find that the Lunar Priestess has joined the Orochi, becoming the Eighth Head. Chikane sexually assaults Himeko.
"To the Edge of Hell" "Yomi Hikazaka e"(黄泉比良坂へ)
November 27, 2004
After the previous night, Himeko is still shaken up by what happened between her and Chikane. Later, her friend Makoto Saotome comes back to school and their friendship is finally healed. Meanwhile, Chikane begins fighting and in the process defeats each of the Orochi one by one until the only one left is Sōma.
"Invitation of Love and Death" "Ai to Shi no Shōtaijō"(愛と死の招待状)
December 4, 2004
While doing the ritual alone, Himeko finally is able to revive Ame no Murakumo. Later, Chikane comes back home and the two Priestesses spend time together just as before everything began. However, it was shown all to be a ruse by Chikane who warns Himeko that she will kill her very soon.
"Dance of Swords" "Ken no Butōkai"(剣の舞踏会)
December 11, 2004
Himeko and Sōma enter into the final battle between the Orochi which ultimately leads Himeko to leave Sōma behind so she can find Chikane again. In the end, the two Priestesses have a battle together where the fate of the world rests in the balance.
"Priestesses of the Godless Month" "Kannazuki no Miko"(神無月の巫女)
December 18, 2004
After Himeko strikes Chikane's chest with her sword, they share a tender moment which ultimately reveals the unpleasant past the two Priestesses have shared in their past lives and how Chikane only pretended to want to kill her as to pay the cost this time around. The Orochi are finally defeated and everything goes back to normal, but at a price the two Priestesses were not ready to accept. In the post-credits, Himeko and Chikane are reunited.
Drama CD and radio show
On November 25, 2004, a drama CD called Kannazuki no Miko drama CD was released in Japan by Geneon based on the anime version of Kannazuki no Miko.
Kannazuki no Miko had an Internet radio program named RADIO Kannazuki (RADIO神無月?) that ran on i-revo TE-A room from October 2004 to March 2005. The hosts were Noriko Shitaya (Himeko) and Junji Majima (Sōma Ōgami), who are currently hosting RADIO Kyōshirō (RADIO京四郎?) while Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora is running until all the DVDs are released.
Kannazuki no Miko received mixed reviews. Anime News Network (ANN) criticized volume one of the series:
Everything about Kannazuki no Miko says instant fan favorite, but somehow it adds up to less than the sum of its parts. Changes in scene and mood don't seem to connect, characters behave without rhyme or reason, and even thrilling action scenes are hampered by sloppy animation. There are lots of little things to like about the series, but as a whole, you have to wonder—"What? That's it?" ... If Kannazuki no Miko were split into two different series, it might be easier to enjoy the separate story threads.
ANN did, however, credit the anime with having "so many striking visual elements" and "effective designs". The site had a mixed response to the soundtrack, finding it "especially effective during dramatic character moments", but criticizing the battle music. They said that volume one of the series "promises something to suit every anime fetish", before adding, "[b]ut if sensible storytelling and deep characters are what turn you on, then this isn't the series to go to."
ANN criticized the second volume as being "overblown" and melodramatic, with too much "[a]ngst, rage and sentimentality". However, they also said that "the voice actors in the English dub still manage to express the sentiments of their characters" and that "the middle episodes of Kannazuki no Miko represent a genuine turning point in the series: the romance and adventure storylines, once so disconnected, come together and swing the cosmic battle in a new direction."
In her review of the series, Erica Friedman (president of Yuricon) heavily criticized the series for its controversial scene of Chikane raping Himeko, as well as for its manga ending, in which Chikane and Himeko are reincarnated as sisters who are lovers. She also criticized it as not being well-written. Friedman rhetorically asks why, "if both [Sōma] and Chikane love Himeko so much, do they allow her to be bullied, outcast and victimized instead of stepping up and claiming their friendship publicly?" Regarding Himeko, Friedman critically wrote "[s]he allows the whims of others to take control of her life, she indulges them by not having an opinion of her own, she naively forgives even the basest behavior, and she never once takes an interest in the truth of what is going on." Friedman stated that the story actually revolves around "the love triangle and Himeko's victimization by herself and the people who profess to love her". She said, "Tokyopop's team did as good a job with the material as they could. It's not a good story, nor is it well-drawn, but they made it make as much sense as possible. I applaud them for that. It's not as easy as they made it look." For volume two, Friedman later stated that Tokyopop did a "very superior job with this series".