Hatsumode is the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year.

Priestess and priest are considered mystical as they serve gods, and many anime or game characters are inspired by them. They are drawn in various ways. Some of them have psychic power, and others are successors of historical shrines or just wearing costumes.

So, here at Anime!Anime!, we conducted a readers’ survey titled ‘Which priestess/priest character do you think of?’. The survey period was from December 10 – December 17, 2020, and we received 219 responses.
The gender ratio was almost the same ratio as females about 55% and the males about 45%. For the age distribution, about 35% are from minors while 35% are from those in their twenties.

■Priestess characters dominate top positions!
1st place
1st place went to Tojo Nozomi from “Love Live!” with 10% support rating.

Tojo Nozomi is helping other priestesses at Kanda Myoujin. The readers’ comments are ‘I was surprised as she looks good in a priestess costume’, ‘She looks good as a priestess even though she is just a part-timer’, and ‘Her calm atmosphere matches a priestess’. The gap from her usual image is also attractive.

2nd place
2nd place went to Kikyo from “Inuyasha” by a close margin.

Kikyo is a priestess that sealed Inuyasha before. The comments are, ‘She is always beautiful in a priestess costume!’, and ‘I was moved by her sorrowful relationship with Inuyasha. Some reader was surprised by the new series currently broadcast, saying, ‘I was surprised as she appeared in “Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon” in an unexpected way.’

3rd place
3rd place went to Domyoji Karin from “The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls” with 8% support rating.
Domyoji Karin is an idol whose family home is a shrine. The comments are ‘Her family home is shrine, and when she was serving as a priestess, she was scouted as an idol. Her birthday is New Year’s Day, which makes her priestess-ish. In the game, she is dancing in a priestess costume.’ and ‘She is the priestess for me and the idol that I am proud of the most. I always feel like my mind is purified whenever I see her making a steady effort.’ The readers are motivated to see her trying the best even though she is a bit clumsy.

■Let’s introduce other comments!!
For Miyamizu Mitsuha from “Your Name”.
‘She was nice when she was performing Mai.’
‘She should represent the recent priestess characters.’
For Urushibara Luka from “Steins;Gate”.
‘He is really cute, but he is a boy, which is fantastic!’
‘”But he’s a guy” was so impressive.’

For Hino Rei “Sailor Moon”,
‘She is a student and Sailor Moon as well as priestess, and all the costumes look good on her!’
For Sakura “Urusei Yatsura”.
‘She must be the early character as a glamorous priestess. She ends her words with “ja”, and she is a school nurse, which is the most unique character that no one can compete with.’
The readers coted for the characters of all ages.

The priestess characters won the majority of votes. It could be a reason that we consider priestess more familiar than priest.

■Overall Ranking
‘Which priestess/priest character do you think of?’
1. Tojo Nozomi “Love Live!”
2. Kikyo “Inuyasha”
3. Domyoji Karin “The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls”
4. Hino Rei / Sailor Mars”Sailor Moon”
5. Hakurei Reimu “Touhou Project”
6. Higurashi Kagome “Inuyasha”
7. Miyamizu Mitsuha “Your Name”
8. Sakura “Urusei Yatsura”
9. Urushibara Luka “Steins;Gate”
9. Furude Rika “Higurashi: When They Cry”
11. Hiiragi Kagami “Lucky Star”
12. Amayadori Machi “Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear”
13. Ane “Gintama”
13. Mone “Gintama”
13. Kamiki Izumo “Blue Exorcist”
16. Hotogi Shirayuki “Aria the Scarlet Ammo”

(Survey Period: December 10 – December 17, 2020)