Originally a manga created by Adachi Toka, who seems to be best known for Noragami, but has also written Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen and aired by the studio Bones which has brought us anime shows such as Darker than Black, Eureka Seven, Soul Eater, and Ouran High School Host Club. Those are some good anime’s, to me at least. Because of Bones’ reputation (minus season two of Darker than Black), I was pretty excited for Noragami and I am happy to say I wasn’t completely let down.
Noragami takes a fresh, interesting view on gods and goddesses by pairing them with regalias and with the need to be continually worshiped to maintain power and influence. There are also phantoms, which can be described as basically corrupted evil spirits from the ‘far shore’.
The main characters here are Yato, Hiyori, and Yukine. Yato is a god of war that has lost his influence over time due to peace. People have forgotten about him and for now he takes on lowly jobs for five yen to help bump up his declining influence. Since the Yato God has been forgotten over time, it is hard for him to maintain a regalia- a person who has died and is named by god that can become that god’s weapon to fight evil. No regalia wants to be with an unknown god. Despite his current reputation, his piercing eyes seem to suggest there’s more to him then the happy go lucky attitude he carries himself with currently.
After a chance encounter with Hiyori, she becomes a half-phantom and his new companion for the series. It is interesting to watch their interactions and seeing how they connect.Before too long Yukine comes on the scene and is a bundle of mischief. This accelerates the plot, which despite only having twelve episodes, was necessary.
There’s a curse surrounding short anime shows. They are either really good with a tight story or they are unfocused on the story and the ending comes way too abruptly, trying to tie things together the way a young child might attempt to tie their shoes. It can be a mess. Noragami isn’t a necessarily tight story, there were times when it felt like a lot of filler for only twelve episodes.
The story was slowly propelled forward and the ending felt a tad rushed, but it not terribly so. I enjoyed the anime overall, though the Rend scenes could have been shortened after watching them the first three times and more could gone into the main story and into Bishamon’s hatred for Yato. Noragami takes a few twists and turns that definitely feel hurried. At one point it seems like the main conflict will be between Yato and the goddess of combat, but that quickly comes to an unresolved close.
As with so many of these anime shows with only a handful of episodes, with the exception of Samurai Flamenco, I strongly suggest checking out the manga. There are key points in the anime that do not happen in the Noragami manga or that offer a different explanation than the manga. Manga tends to offer a more in-depth story line, though it does offer the problem of waiting for the English publication. Overall, I really liked Noragami, the ending was pleasant and didn’t leave me feeling as if something was completely unfinished between the main characters.
Check it out on Netflix!