Noragami Aragoto – 09

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Noragami is a series that never hesitates to stare into the heart of darkness, literally or figuratively.

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.

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4 comments

  1. P

    I liked how the sleeves shift from Yato's jersey and then back to this Fujisaki guy. I wonder if Hiyori remembered him at the last moment.

    This episode has been great, and I agree on most of your points. I don't know if I like Ebisu, but the opening had me thinking he's another god with a grudge on Yato, just like Bishamon, but now I think that might not be the case. What is it that Ebisu is seeking that he would reincarnate all the time and why would his Regalia respect his wish so much?

    That aside, I can't wait for next episode. I like how they gave us a picture of young Yato and an insight over what kind of god he is, but still toying with us not to give us a name!

    Ty for your review really, M.

    PS. they messed us up with last weeks pv, it was Yato kissing Hiyori's-look-alike but now it was Hiyori who got the kiss!

  2. Y

    Thansk, as always, for the review.

    A few quick questions, just because I found some of the events somewhat confusing:

    1. Did you guys get why Ebisu wants to bind ayakashi with masks? I might have missed something, but it wasn't totally clear to me why he thought that was worth getting devoured so many times.
    2. I'm guessing that Ebisu isn't actually the conjurer who's resposnible for Kugaha and Nora getting their hands on masked ayakashii…right? (Presumably the person who's really behind it all, the series seems to be suggesting, is Yato's father…?)

  3. Don't answer the second question, please. Seems like that would be a spoiler.

  4. P

    I didn't realize this before but in the ending, the shrine used to have a light atop so you can't see the name, and now it spells (what I think is) Yato's name :( poor Yato didn't enjoy his shrine!

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