Episode 6 – Scary Person
The tides are turning in Noragami, but are they for the better?
This week Noragami takes on the ideas they have been building since episode 1 head on. The idea that Yato may actually be a dangerous merciless god is put on the forefront here and the bond between him and Yukine is so badly damaged that it is hard to imagine how it could be repaired at this point.
We get confirmation of Yato’s dark past in the introduction of another war god dead set on vengeance against Yato. It turns out Yato killed her regalia in the past, why he did it is still not known. This woman is a walking arsenal and utilizes about a dozen different regalia, overcompensating much? The core issue remains the dark side of Yato and she seems to be someone who has been directly victimized by him. It is hard to see her as a villain at the moment when considering just how badly Yato had hurt her in the past.
There is a problem building in Noragami these past two episodes that has only just begun to sink in with me. That sweet balance I spoke about several weeks back is completely off. The dark side of things has completely tipped the scales here, throwing any of the more light-hearted moments off the radar completely. What’s left is a rather depressing show, dripping in angst and at this point lacking severely in a sense of hope.
Is there any possible way to repair the bond between Yato and Yukine? If there is, it certainly isn’t apparent. So while Noragami loses that sweet balance between dark and light, it does become a very interesting psychological drama here.
Yukine is a boiling pot of angst and Yato continues the be the most intriguing character on the show. Yato is never an easy book to read. He has so many different sides to him but there doesn’t seem to be any real tether between them. That through line may very well be the enigmatic Nora, who appears once again at the end of this episode. Could she be the tie that binds the many faces of Yato?
Intriguingly the real highlight of this episode turns out to be Hiyori. She struggles with the knowledge that has begun to build up against Yato and desperately tries to protect Yukine from his wrath, going so far as to lie for him to cover up his stealing of a skateboard. In that one scene Yato is more fearsome than he has ever been, never has he felt so much like a god.
Hiyori’s struggle proves to be the most interesting. She is the most human character in this story and she teeters between both worlds dangerously. Yato proves to be the poison in the well for her and one has to wonder how long it will be until she becomes corrupted by his dark side. She does however have an intelligence to her that keeps her grounded, she has street smarts and realizes the situation surrounding her and is ready to stand up for herself if push does come to shove.
So where does this leave Noragami? Well it is at a pivotal moment right now, at the halfway point of an anime things are usually gearing up to the final straight and that much looks to be true here for Noragami. The question now is, will it make it to the finish line or crash and burn along the way? It is honestly hard to tell at this point. The warm soul beneath the cold surface was what brought Noragami to the game, but that warm soul has been slowly fading these past few weeks. With that soul flicker out or with it ignite and light up the dark? Regardless, the battles between the near and far shore will still rage on.
Check out more Noragami impressions HERE.