Episode 3 – Bidden Calamity
Consistently great, consistently engaging, consistently Noragami.
There is no other anime this season that has been top to bottom great week in week out. In a season riddled with series of ups and down, Noragami stands out as one that is consistently a good source of anime entertainment each and every week. And you know there is good reason for it as well, not only is the source material great, but the studio working on it is firing on all cylinders as well.
This weeks Noragami dives deeper into the series mythos, exploring the very nature of life and death. What does it mean to be dead and what does it mean to be alive? Hiyori makes for a perfect viewer substitute as she stands firmly between both worlds, an anomaly between the near and far shore. Through here we get to see both sides of that coin and the results are actually quite tragic.
Yuki is developing to be one hell of an interesting character and definitely a tragic hero for us to follow. He has no recollection of being alive, but feels a deep sense of emptiness, a void in his existence. We seen through a series of flashes when he became Yato’s regalia that his past life was not exactly a good one. But through that we see Yato take Yuki under his wing, almost like a son. The connection between the two of them goes further than that though, there is also a literal connection between their minds that allows them to share their feelings (even the dirty ones).
From there we see an interesting side of Yato. The Stray God that we have come to know thus far is really only just scratching the surface here. When he is confronted by another much more successful god in the God of Learning, Yato comes off as a rebel of sorts, more anti-hero than hero. He flat out refuses to save people who are committing suicide, which of course sets Hiyori off. But there is a method to his madness, he thinks that life is something that should be valued and not just thrown away. Ultimately he does the right thing, but because of all this we see that there is a darkness in him, he is a Stray God that has stared out at the cruelness of the world and kept walking on.
With the introduction of the God of Learning and the return of Yato’s former regalia, now under the command of the God of Learning, we are sure to see some more Gods being thrown into the mix.
Yato’s goals seem simple at a glance but I feel that there is more to him than meets the eye, underneath his somewhat rough exterior is a warm heart and with Yuki and Hiyori as his charges, I expect to see that heart shine brighter than ever before.
As we dive deeper into Noragami, it is becoming clearer and clearer that this is an anime with a lot on its mind. With the beginnings of what looks to be a series long exploration of life and death, Noragami is shaping up to be one of the most thought-provoking anime series of the season.
With this episode, Noragami is verging on beauty in its journey into the concepts of life, death, love and existence itself. If it can stay consistent, Noragami might just wind up being a profound examination of the human condition at its very core. What will make or break this series however is if it can maintain its warm heart in the face of harsh darkness. Only time will tell where the Stray God and friends may roam.
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