Noragami – OAD 1

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Sorry it took so long, Noragami – I promise is wasn’t for lack off affection.

This one has been sitting in my inbox for quite some time, and it’s not alone – the beginning of any season, especially Spring, is a tough time to fit in anything outside the broadcast schedule.  But I’ve snipped some of the low-hanging fruit from the watching list and Wednesdays are a pretty slow day for anime in almost any season, so what better time than to reconnect with one of the best shows from Winter?

There are going to be two Noragami OADs, so there’s no chance this will be the last we see of the series in anime form.  And with sales looking quite respectable (look for the final average to be somewhere between 5-6000 units) we’re in the grey area where the invested parties might just be willing to pony up the dough for a second season.  It’s close – definitely no slam-dunk like Hoozuki, but this is a show that could benefit from it.  It has a built-in storyline that would be a perfect fit, and BONES rigged an original ending for the first season rather than burn it, which suggests they were at least hoping it might happen.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, we have a very fun OAD to content ourselves with.  I believe this is manga material, but either way it definitely feels like it – the tone is 100% authentic to the first nine episodes of the TV series.  It’s definitely comedy-driven, but then OADs and such generally tend to be given the limitations and expectations of the format these days.  There’s not a whole lot of Kamiya Hiroshi here, but that’s not to say there’s not much Yato – he’s just inside Hiyori’s body, which gives Uchida Maya a chance to stretch her comedic muscles quite extensively.

Jitsu wa, it’s Hiyori’s first day of high school (confession: I thought she was already in high school in the TV series).  Naturally, Yato chooses this moment to perform a “divine possession“, which is exactly what it sounds like.  This is definitely the Yato we saw a lot of in the first few episodes – irresponsible, flamboyant and selfish – but comedically, it’s good to have him back.  Pretty much the entire episode is Yato going on a spree in Hiyori’s body with Kofuku acting as his wingman, she taking time out to seduce most of the teaching staff.  Some of the highlights are Yato-yori handing out his cards with a promise of “that” for ¥5 (you can guess what the boys assume “that” is), spinning tales of time spent as hostess clubs (indeed, Yato has clearly had an interesting life), promising to confess to the entire soccer club if they win, only to have Kofuku’s misfortune trip them up in hysterical terms (forcing Hiyato to rally them to a 810-5 victory) and a poor sap played by Natsuki Hanae drafted to carry him/her to the nurse.

This is one of those scenarios it’s plainly better not to think too much about, because Yato is really screwing over Hiyori’s high-school life pretty good here (though certainly making an impression).  Poor Yukine has been assigned by Daifuku to keep an eye on things, but when he sees them spiralling out of control he has a chance meeting with Mayu, who enlists Tenjin to help.  This seems like a good idea until it becomes clear that the old lecher is simply keen on dressing up in his best modern  finery and having an outing, and when the young girls call him “dashing” he”s soon ignoring Hiyori and dispensing life-advice haiku (the gag about Tenjin “knowing what it’s like to leave loved ones behind” is clever indeed).  All this finally gets resolved when a peeper played by Shimono Hiro plants a hidden camera in the girls showers (where Hiyato is about to peep on himself) while under the influence of a phantom, forcing Yato to save him from falling to his death and injuring Hiyori’s shoulder in the process.

One of the undeniable strengths of Noragami is its ability to switch back and forth between outrageous comedy and tragic seriousness without missing a beat, so this OAD being so successful is hardly a surprise.  This is a seriously good show, one that does a lot of little things right and not all that much wrong, but does it in such a way that it’s easy to take it for granted.  There’s obviously plenty of life left in this story and these characters, and plenty of enthusiasm from the creative minds at BONES to give the series the adaptation it deserves.  Here’s hoping we see another full season of it on television.

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  1. t

    so far Noragami doesn't seem to sell well enough as I hoped…

    the OVA was really nice. it is based on the manga material, and indeed great comedy by BONES, which once again show their affinity to this type of series. it was really lovely with all the characters and the comic relief.

    now only left the 2nd OVA in June/July. I wonder what will be there..probably more fun 😛

  2. w

    You know, if Yato wasn't so irresponsible that possession power could be very useful as a countermeasure to Hiyori's fainting spells..

  3. R

    It's worth the wait to see your post on one of my favourite Winter shows — this OAD completely had me in stitches. By the way, how's Easter like in Tokyo? Happy Easter to you and the readers here.

  4. You'd never know unless you knew already – Easter (and Passover) aren't even a blip in Japan.

  5. s

    You know what's the best thing about this series?..that it only keeps getting better and makes it look so easy? You wouldnt think there'd be so much depth in Noragami at first glance but the further it goes, the more layers it begins to have. Here's hoping to a second season (with 22 eps instead of 12)…P.S i almost got fooled by Hiyori's status in school as well, but then i realized that in Anime, middle school uniforms tend to have longer skirts than the high school uniforms and so that gave it away for me

  6. Z

    Didn't like this OVA at all when I watched it last month. This felt like extra fanservice and not plot progressing manga material.

  7. t

    but that's what OVAs are…at least lately. they bundle them with manga volumes and…it simply sells well in japan. that's why we see lots of OVAs which basically are just an extra or something like that. sure, there are OVAs (like blood lad) that are a bit more plot-driving. but in the end of the's an extra stuff for the fans (and for the sales of course).

  8. Z

    Time wasters designed to push DVD sales? My how OVAs have fallen…

    It was just so trivial and silly though. Considering how efficient the manga was I was disappointed to find out that no this was indeed manga material. Considering the tone, it might as well have been done in that comedic Super Deformed style and at half the length. Being Noragami I thought this OVA might be worth a damn. My mistake. I'll just stick to the series in the future.

  9. b

    The chapter itself has more plot related elements than the OVA, the problem is that Hiyori's high school debut is set as a needed breather after the intense chapters at the end of Bishamon arc.
    The next OVA adapts chapter 24 (this one adapts chapter 25) but it's going to be tricky because unless they make big changes to avoid spoilers or assume the watchers have read Bishamon arc I don't know how they're going to adapt it.

  10. t

    seriously??they are going to adapt chapter 24 next OVA??it will require major adjustments in order not to spoil everything (they did some minor adjustment in this OVA too, but in the end of the is not really big deal since it's kinda stand alone). chapter #25 is really important and most of it is…the heart of the ending for Bishamon arc. I doubt they will assume watchers have read the manga..besides, nowadays OVAs are…for extra fun not some serious stuff.

    @Zeta Zero – OVAs either designed to push DVD sales (like little busters EX) or push manga sales which is a better thing (like Noragami since they sell it along the manga volume and usually it doesn't really affects the disc sales we count in the end of they day). but yeah…that's what happening in recent years. sadly?maybe. there are times it's turn out to be pretty good. and there are times it turns out to be…waste of time or just an extra of a series you like. you know how it is..when a really good series ends and you just…wanna have a bit more. sure, it's not necessary needed in 2cour series..but if it works, I don't see reason to have..negative feeling toward it.

  11. Z

    @beverley-chan – So the next OVA is more serious? And set after this one? Sounds complicated. I'm curious as to why the studio is needlessly making more work for themselves.

    @thedarktower – I'm more disappointed that turned out to be "official" material. Noragami has a sense of humour but I think this went a little too far into crazy OOC territory. I'm making more out of it than I probably should. Forgive me.

  12. Z

    *Set before

  13. t

    oh, no need.
    actually, I understand your point that they might have…pushed the humor a little too far into crazy. even in comparison to the chapter in the manga it feels a rails.of course, I think they've managed to remain..loyal to noragami and what's it represent so..I let it be.

    "I'm curious as to why the studio is needlessly making more work for themselves."
    LOL it is indeed..weird why they chose it that way. we'll see the result of this whole..overwork themselves..LOL

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