Don recently had a list of kid-friendly anime titles, to which I added Someday’s Dreamers because of the appeal that the “magical girl” genre has for my four-year old. Along those same lines comes this recommendation from AnimeAICN: Kamichu, Little Deity.
Kamichu is basically a story about a schoolgirl who wakes up one day to find she’s been given godlike power overnight. God is typically referred to as Kami-san (with the -san suffix indicating great reverence), but here -chu (or -chan) is a endearment suffix, so the implication is of a cute little god. The plot is apparently heavily drawn from Shinto and animism philosophy, with modernistic twists:
The anime offers some interesting and amusing views of Animism. Except for Yurie and a young shrine maiden, the other characters can’t see the active spirit world around them in which a blink or change in perspective reveals a busy ecosystem of rock spirits, water spirits and the like. The complexity of this world is even stranger when Yurie steps into the full spirit world and sees sights like the gods of obsolete disc media formats sitting around kvetching.
There’s something about the idea of gods for disc formats that appeals to my inner geek. The review at AnimeAICN makes it clear that Kamichu is a heavily culturally-specific work, and was not initially designed with kids in mind, but rather for disillusioned adults to help them rediscover joy and optimism. However the end result looks to be eminently kid-friendly, so I think it will be worth the try. The release date is June and will be available on Amazon. Volume 2 will be out in August.