When I posted on then first Noragami OAD a few months back, I noted that there was no chance it would be the last we saw of the series in anime form – because, of course, of the presence of this one. Obviously this one could be it, and that makes the viewing a wistful thing, as it always is in these situations. Noragami looks like it will end up averaging about 4500 units per volume, which isn’t bad, but certainly isn’t enough to make a second season certain or even likely. All we can is give ¥5 to the Yato God and pray for the best.
There doesn’t seem to be much point in worrying about the plot of this episode, because it apparently covers a portion of the manga that takes place after the Bishamon Arc that would likely provide the backbone of any theoretical second season (and it was bundled with a manga volume after all). And in fact, there are a number of things here that don’t make much sense because they’ve never been explained in the anime. And those, unsurprisingly, all involve Bishamon – the most prominent being the matter of who is the “Touma” she refers to, the one whose death wasn’t Yato’s fault, after all?
Instead, anime-only viewers are left to focus on atmospherics and comedy – would is pretty much the norm for OADs anyway. Apart from the Bishamon material (and not all of that) this ep is comedy driven, as the first OAD was. Hiyori invites Bishamontachi, Tenjintachi and Daifoku and Kofuku to a Hanami party under a Sakura whose import is presumably explained in the missing chapters. Everyone (apart from the underage ageless immortals, of course) gets hammered, Tenjin shows up in a trailer and grills like a boss, and Yato and Bishamon push each others’ buttons more and more the more sake the swig. This ends with a rather absurd un-kiss by Yato, and unsurprising retribution from Bishamon.
The other subplot here is Yukine becoming more and more aware of how crappy his working conditions are compared to most Shinki, and Daifoku’s role in helping him explore his options. This is the best part of the episode, especially the stuff involving the Shinki recruiting magazine that drops out of the sky and the questionnaire which Yukine fills out and its method of return. I liked the detail on the fully fleshed-out Shinki existence, including the daytime talk show that Mayu appears on to share her sob story of working for “Mister Y”. Of course in the end Yukine is going to choose to be loyal – whether Yato deserves it or not – but apparently Gods to pay a price for violating Shinto labor laws.
We’ll see where it goes from here – it’s fair to say I’m hoping we get a second season, but not expecting one. Noragami stands out more than usual because it was part of a pretty weak Winter 2014 season, but it was a very good show in its own right and I’d love to see more. It’s fair to say it excels more by the sheer number of things it does well than by doing any one thing brilliantly, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and Noragami indeed does a lot of things very well.