Noragami is a Bones Japanese anime directed by Kotaro Tomura. It started airing in 2013 and has two complete seasons. The series is based on the manga of the same name by the mangaka Adachitoka. Noragami tells the story of an unknown Japanese god named Yato who strived to acquire a shrine.
A peculiar meeting with a girl called Hiyori Iki leads to a series of uncanny adventures. It all started when the schoolgirl (in an attempt to save Yato from a being squashed by a bus) found herself in-between life and death with her soul randomly slipping out of her body for an uncertain amount of time. She paid the calamity god five yen in exchange for a solution, which bonded her to him. Yato also met a wandering young and lost soul. He made it his regalia (a person that transforms into a weapon) and named him Yukine.
The plot in itself is surely creative. Indeed, the origin of Japanese gods, their survival, the concept of regalia, and the bond between those regalia and the gods is new and refreshing. Instead of delivering dramatic debates about life and death, love and hate, and co-existence, Noragami uncovered these childhood and adulthood traumas with a dark sense of humor. The episodes never fail to make the viewer laugh, cry, and yearn for more. The characters themselves are unique and relatable. For instance, the popular fortune gods versus poor gods like Yato.
Each character is different and full of surprises at every turn. Furthermore, there are no purely evil or purely good characters. They are all put through the test and their true motives are often unforeseeable. The main messages behind the series seemed to revolve around the importance of loyalty, friendship, and consequences.
The visuals are remarkable. The characters and landscapes are impressive. Although, they emphasized on adorable motifs such as big eyes and warm smiles rather than classically beautiful drawings. The overall feel was charming.
The soundtrack also worked in perfect harmony with the action. The opening theme song of the first season “Goya ma Machiawase” by Hello Sadness may come off a little too strong at first. Nevertheless, it grows on the listener. On a side note, the passage from the first season to the second season was flawless. There were no plot holes; the characters, storyline, and overall feel of Noragami remained the same. Except that the viewer may feel closer to the characters and more engaged with the story. For those who do not enjoy watching the series in Japanese, the English dub was excellent. The episodes’ number was short with thirteen episodes for the second season.
Noragami is a gem. With only two seasons completed and a third one on the way, the series delivered the promise and potential of becoming a classic. For those looking for action, fantasy, creativity, and a dash of romance, Noragami will not disappoint. Do not judge before being swept away with visions of heaven and horrified by the Near Shore. Noragami’s totally worth it.