Noragami – 06

Noragami - 06 -5 Noragami - 06 -17 Noragami - 06 -25

The course we seem to be on is not at all an unexpected one.

The slow turn of Noragami to the dark side is actually not a turn at all, since that darkness has always existed side-by-side with the very effective comedy.  Nevertheless it’s been impossible not to pick up on the feeling that the ratio was changing, and the series about to head into grimmer territory.  There was news this week that BONES is adding an anime-original character to be played Takahiro Sakurai (and designed by the mangaka, Adachitoka), which has the manga readership rather upset.  It’ll be interesting to see how the inevitable shift into original material impacts the feel of the show as a whole.

For now things are still firing on all cylinders – BONES is delivering top-notch visuals here (yes, Lawson’s is in the Production Committee), the story is getting more and more interesting and so far, even Yukine’s character is working pretty well for me.  He’s definitely slipped into the catalyst role, bringing a lot of interesting elements out in both Yato and Hiyori.  I get that he’s supposed to be pretty unsympathetic and he certainly is a brat – his negative impulses “stinging” Yato to the point where he can no longer purify himself.  And those negative impulses are coming fast and furious now.  Even more depressed and skittish than usual, he’s jumping at shadows and using Borderline against even the tiniest phantom (you know how it is with boys that age – they learn how to do something new and they can’t stop doing it), and he succumbs to the impulse to steal the skateboard he’s been eyeing since last week’s episode.

Yukine remains both a link between Yato and Hiyori as surrogate “parents”, and a bone of contention between them.  When Yato calls Yukine on the carpet over the theft Hiyori lies to protect him, despite his betrayal of her kindness and trust.  For me though, it’s hard to judge Yukine too harshly because he’s obviously been dealt a pretty shit hand in life (and death), and at this point he’s basically being used as a killing machine against his will.  But before these three get the chance to air all this out fate intervenes in the person (Kami) of Bishamon (Sawashiro Miyuki) – who we saw briefly last week.  She’s a War God with a particular vendetta against Yato (it was her Shinki he killed) and a bevy of powerful Shinki including the lion Kuraha (the superb Kazuhiko Inoue)  – coordinated by the bespectacled Kazuma (Fukuyama Jun) – at her disposal.

The fight between these two Gods is wonderfully choreographed and animated, but it also reveals all sorts of interesting things about the parties involved (including the aforementioned information about whose Regalia Yato killed).  I note that Bishamon refers to Yato as a “God of Misfortune”, which is quite different than a War God.  Then there’s the comment Yato makes after Bishamon destroys a small woods in her attacks on him, that she’s “given up a bit of immortality” in the process (that Gods forfeit some of their lifespan for killing mortals is an interesting notion, especially considering Yato’s past).

It seems likely this struggle might have ended in Yato’s death had Hiyori not gone to Kofuku for help – though her remedy might just have been worse than the disease.  It’s no surprise disaster follows when a Bimbougami unleashes her power, and in this instance it’s a “vent” in the Earth which unleashes a flood of phantoms into the world of the living (I assume there’ll be consequences for that later).  I think we’re seeing some interesting recurring themes developing here: actions have unintended consequences, and sometimes there are no good choices, only bad options to decide from.

What we’re left with, overall, seems like a pretty grim situation for all concerned.  Hiyori is no closer to a solution, and Yato and Yukine’s relationship seems completely untenable.  Not only does he have no desire to be a weapon, his impure thoughts – of which he has plenty – are slowly killing Yato (or so it seems).  The wild card here is Nora, who enigmatically pops up at the end of the episode yet again.  I feel like a baka for not noticing it until a couple of viewers pointed it out last week, but of course she’s the “Nora” of the series title – which certainly indicates her role is significantly more important than we’ve been let in on so far.  She seems more than willing to let Yato use her however he likes – so why is he so reluctant to do so?

Noragami - 06 -8 Noragami - 06 -9 Noragami - 06 -10
Noragami - 06 -11 Noragami - 06 -12 Noragami - 06 -13
Noragami - 06 -14 Noragami - 06 -15 Noragami - 06 -16
Noragami - 06 -18 Noragami - 06 -19 Noragami - 06 -20
Noragami - 06 -21 Noragami - 06 -22 Noragami - 06 -23
Noragami - 06 -24 Noragami - 06 -26 Noragami - 06 -27


  1. s

    The series descent into grim territory is definitely inching ever so closer, and with Nora on the lose it looks like things are bound to get more and more sinister. In terms of fight choreography and animation i feel like BONES can do better (and have). This series doesnt necessarily have the most dynamic action sequences but they are enjoyable enough to keep me entertained so im not to bothered by it (the art direction tides me over). Besides, its the story im most invested in, specifically Yato's characterization. This series is displaying itself as a fine example on how to develop your character's with story-execution rather than long flashbacks or character-focused monologues. Again, this series is just very-well executed. As for Yato's reluctance to use Nora, take a closer look at her and the little bit of dialogue she's had since her appearance and i think you may find your answer…at least some of it.

  2. w

    Hee! Nora-gami ^_^
    To be fair I'm usually awful at making those connections, and it's places like this that figure things out for me. And last week it took literally until after I had written her name down for it to click. Still, delighted I spotted that.

    There was something odd about the way Kazuya greeted Yato at the end. I can't help but wonder if he knows something Bishamon doesn't about the regalia Yato killed, or even had a hand in it. I certainly don't buy into 'because I felt like it', though I highly doubt we're meant to..

    I was actually convinced that Nora was the regalia he killed, but I'm not so sure after this episode. She seems pretty well known amongst the gods, but all those brands suggest she's been through more than a few retainers. I'm curious as to what happened them, and then if it's not so much that she wants Yato but more she's targeting him..

  3. A

    You know, I'm a little confused by the almost total lack of attention paid to the fact that Bishamon is riding a Lion and wearing some sort of customized dominatrix suit and whip.

    I guess that's just something that happens in anime nowadays.

  4. s

    Actually, that girl's name isn't "Nora", rather, "Nora" is a general term meaning "stray" (like stray cats). Her defining feature is all the names she has – just like a stray cat with many names. It would be more accurate if the subs had referred to her as "the stray" instead. Along with that, themes of finding one's place in the world, family, and bonds is integral to the storyline, so the title would actually mean "Stray God" – i.e. Yato at this point in time has always been sort of a stray, always forgotten by mortals, somewhat detested by the gods, no place to call home, etc.

  5. n

    Yato said in the previous episode that gods learn human morals through their regalia (by pain in the neck, ouch) so I'm guessing Nora was the regalia who didn't teach Yato the morals that she was supposed to, and made him take other's lives. That's probably why he doesn't wanna use her because he know she cannot be trusted when it comes to moral senses.

  6. s

    What Yato meant by "learn human morals through their regalia" is that they learn what it means to suffer consequences for your actions. Gods are not tied down to constructs such as right or wrong so they dont receive consequences for such actions. Its through their regalia that they experience what its like to experience consequences for ill thoughts and actions. All of the Gods are fully aware of the morals of the world; they're just not bound to them

  7. R

    Wow really? I thought it's pretty obvious that the title has something to do with Nora the moment she appeared. ^^
    I noticed that Bishamon kinda smiled at Yato when she about to leave. I wonder if she actually not that malevolent toward him. More like a rivalry relationship perhaps..?

  8. R

    it seems like kofuku is just playing the klutzy girl card. bishamon has a high degree of respect for (or even fear of) her. so am really curious about her story.

    and i am definitely even more curious about nora now. yato seems to be trying to totally distance himself from her, but it looks like in the next few eps, he might have no choice at all.

  9. S

    I noticed you mentioned about when Bishamon cut down all those trees you said "that she's 'given up a bit of immortality' in the process", but at least in the subs I was watching it was said she could overlook some "immorality" for the sake of purging evil. So rather than losing life span I think it was just meant that she was willing to go so far as to destroy near shore life if it meant killing Yato. Not sure if that's correct either though, but it makes more sense to me so just thought it worth mentioning.

Leave a Comment