In a way it feels like this arc (does it have a name?) of Noragami Aragoto has sort of crept up on me. The Bishamon arc was a big story, no question about it, but it was more or less playing out inch by inch for the entire run of the series, even when other stories were on the front burner. That’s not the case with Ebisu’s arc, which has turned out to have been a whopper in its own right, but not one in which I feel quite as emotionally invested.
It seems only fitting that Nora/Hiiro would lead Yato to Hell (well, more properly the Underworld) because that seems to be what she’s been doing from day one. That would be a problem any old time, but the fact that as she’s doing it Hiyori is in the process of forgetting about Yato and Yukine exacerbates it. Tenjin clearly approves, and I’ve no doubt he sincerely has what he sees as Hiyori’s interests at heart – but it seems as if the one thing he’s not doing is taking what she actually wants into consideration.
The conjurer Nora has lured Yato into rescuing with the promise of eventual freedom is Ebisu, as has been foreshadowed over the last couple of episodes. He’s been naming phantoms for a long time, it seems – presumably that’s why he reincarnates so often – and the other Kami have finally figured this out and issued a divine arrest warrant. Ebisu’s idea was to go the Underworld and swindle a Locution brush from the terrifying Goddess of the Underworld, Izanami-no-Mikoto – which he believes will allow him to control named phantoms without becoming tainted.
Ebisu… surprises me. I was expecting something quite different from the God we got, who’s basically just a guy with horrendously bad judgment skating by on his 1/7th share of the best luck ever. But I suppose you have to give him credit for having a plan, no matter how freakishly ill-considered it is – and he also has the trump card that Nora happens to be one of his Regalia in addition to being one of Yato’s, and this whole venture has been a double-cross on her part.
Even if the fight between Ebisu is for show, it’s a good one – and Yato doesn’t seem to realize that it’s all for effect. Still, it’s a pretty dirty trick to play on your mother. Meanwhile, Yukine is playing the good little soldier so as not to taint Yato, and Hiyori has indeed forgotten the both of them – almost. An invitation to a triple-date at Capybara Land almost brings it all back, but not quite – the fireworks and parade at the end of the day may just have pulled the trick, but it’s hard to say.
I’m not sure what the story is with Fujisaki Kouto (Ishikawa Kaitou), but I don’t trust the guy – and I didn’t even before he kissed Hiyori just as she was on the verge of remembering. He shows up by “coincidence” too often, he smiles too much, and the timing of that kiss had the whiff of desperation to it – as if it was planted specifically because he know Hiyori was about to remember Yato and Yukine. Maybe he really s just a nice guy who likes Hiyori, but for me he doesn’t pass the sniff test – If pressed I’d bet he’s something only half-evil, like a plant by Tenjin or something, but at this point it wouldn’t shock me if he were a flat-out bad guy.