Not much time to write, but I thought this week’s episode of Noragami Aragoto was so good that it’d be a shame not to at least check in. The Bishamon Arc is highly-regarded by fans of the manga, and it’s easy to see why. It has tension, action, emotion and exposition in equal parts. Not much comedy, perhaps, but with Noragami the comedy is always suffused with an air of fatalism anyway.
I really like the way this arc has ben set up. Kugaha is an excellent antagonist, a truly reprehensible bastard without being a moustache-twirling villain, and his plan (with Nora) is well-constructed. There’s a ton of pathos, what with Yukine suffering through yet another heartbreak through no fault of his own. And it’s very interesting the way this story highlights just how fragile the existence of a God is – and just what a two-way street naming a Sekki is. Every time they suffer, you suffer – and that’s what makes Kugaha’s plan all the more despicably clever.
This arc is also bringing us closer to finding out just what really did happen between Yato and Bishamon in the past. Kazuma’s assertion that Yato was her “saviour” was a new twist, I believe – what does that mean, exactly? Were some of Bishamon’s Regalia killing her, possibly involuntarily through their own discord or pain? Whatever the truth, it’s now obvious why Kazuma has such a soft spot for Yato that he continues to help him despite knowing what his Master will do when she finds out.
What that is, in fact, is exile him – though she came within an inch of revoking his name (Kuga’s hope) after Yukine and he showed up at her mansion (how did they teleport there, exactly?) That scene is interesting in its own right, with Yukine basically calling out Bishamon as a fraud and clearly hitting way too close to the truth for her comfort, and after the fact Kazuma ends up taking refuge at Yato’s side in Daikoku’s house. The truth is out now, with Kazuma having caught Kugaha (and the very annoying Aiha) in the act of using phantoms to attack Yato and Hiyori. So now it’s a straight-up fight rather than a covert operation – though for Kazuma, convincing Bishamon of the truth is going to prove no easy task.