Noragami (2014): ANIME REVIEW

After two months of watching Fairy Tail and still not being done with it, I decided to take a short break with another anime. I did miss the good, short 12-episode-long anime and it was a very good one this time if I may add. A lot of people actually hate short anime, but I like them because they omit the worst possible thing that can happen. The middle-episode catastrophe. Anime such as Zetsuen no Tempest, Guilty Crown etc. are a perfect example. But let's quit talking about that and concentrate on this anime's review: NORAGAMI! 



Plot and Story Line

As expected from a #348 ranked anime on My Anime List, Noragami was very good. After thinking about whether to rate it as a 7 or 8, I gave it a 7. It is a good one but not as good as Mirai Nikki, SAO, NGNL, Gnagsta or Gosick that have a rating of 8. But what is it now about, is the question?
Up to the setting... The world of Noragami is divided into two parts: The Near Shore, the place where people recide, and the Far Shore, or the so called Afterlife where Gods, phantoms and dead souls live. The phantoms, or in Japanese Ayakashi, are emotional fragments that try to posses humans and cause all sorts of trouble. Now, the gods, fight the Ayakashi, and our main protagonist of this anime is none other than Yato, the god of war. They do it with the help of weapons called Shinki that are actually  spirits of dead poeple. 
In the very beginning of the story we meet Yato with his Shinki Tomone, that leaves him shortly after three months of work together. After being left alone, Yato decides to run simple errands without all the ayakashi stuff. And while chasing a little cat, he nearly got hit by a buss, but luckily a girl saved his life. Her name was Iki Hiyori. Hiyori was dead for a second but came back to life afterwards, causing her soul to become unstable and leave her body from time to time. In that "body-less" state Hiyori has a fancy, pink tail. In order to become normal again she asks Yato, as a god, to help her stabilize her soul. He accepts the job for 5 yen, but he firstly needs to find a new Shinki. (I think this an "as expected" situation, and so I don't see it as a spoiler). Yato will eventually find a new Shinki and that's when the whole fun begins. 

When talking about the story it self, it is necessary to mention that it is more the character development that makes the show, rather than the happenings.
The idea behind the anime is very good in my opinion. The spirits and the gods fighting phantoms together, a girl whose soul leaves her body at least twice in one episode and  the steady flash backs from the past. I know I said in the beginning that I love 12-episode-long anime but while some anime would be better with less, Noragami would be better with a few more episodes. The background story of Yato's new Shinki, Yukine,  and the way he died weren't mentioned at all. There are some scenes in one episode where you can grasp a thought, but nothing more. Also, Yato's background story was told but it's not enough. There are a lot of questions left and I really wanted to get the answers in the anime because I don't feel like reading the manga now. Luckily, on October 3rd, 2015 Noragami Aragato (the 2nd season) started and is still airing. I am still not sure if I will start watching before it finishes airing, but I'll see. I think that we might get some answers about Yukine's history but not about Yato's. Still, figers crossed. 
Yet, I consider the character development and all the psychology in the anime to be its main turning point. The way Yato tries to kill the ghosts of his past, the way Yukine is being eaten by the causes of his own death again and the way Hiyori finds acceptance with her new self...Awesome. In addition to that, you also have the various cases of people trying to die or kill that actually happen everyday. Yato kinda finds his own way in solving those, although being the one that said that If they wanted to die, they should. 
And while being very deep from time to time, Noragami is an anime that will sure make you laugh. There are tons of scenes that force at least a smile on your face. Especially Yato, being a person as he is, always does something very entertaining. 
And while talking about entertainment, I don't want to forget all the action in the anime. Awesome fights are one of the shiny sides of Noragami and I definitely expect to see more in the next season. Can't wait for it. 
Noragami has a very smooth plot line with a little plot hole here and there mostly while talking about the past. Still, a good character story and action blended everything out and made it so good. 


Characters


The happy-go-lucky YATO is actually one of the gods of war, but better known as the "God of Calamity". After his first Shinki leaves him, he starts calling him self  "stray delivery god" doing some odd jobs for just 5 yen. When it comes to his personality it's like he has two souls inside. At one moment he is the childish young man that does all kinds of silly things such as buying fake good luck charms. He is really persistent in trying to become a more popular god and so he writes his cellphone number wherever he goes. The other Yato is more serious and very mysterious. Some secrets of the past reveal his old self form a different time, and that is what I found the most intriguing part o the show.



And here is she, our main female, IKI HIYORI. She is a daughter of a respectable family and a martial arts-loving junior high school student. She also has a older brother, and that's my dear readers what you know about her. I little bit more about her life would have made the anime considerably better. When it comes to her personality you can clearly see the positivism she carries all the time and her open and free soul. Also a very caring person that  thinks about others before her self. I hope the second season shows us more about Hiyori because I personally liked her a lot.



And this is now YUKINE, Yato's new Shinki. He is a 14-year-old boy that was found by Yato while wandering around as a small spirit. In the Shinki form he has the name Shekki and transforms into a katana. Yukine died at a very young age and so he misses his normal life as a middle schooler. A bit sad and frustrated he stole money from people thinking it would be alright since he is dead. Luckily Hiyori saves him from becoming a "bad boy" and from then on Yukine becomes more respectful an obedient towards Hiyori and Yato. As said before, I juts hope that we will find out more about his life in the second season. 


Animation and Style


As expected, a very good job done by Bones, the same producers of Fullmeetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Darker than Black, Gosick etc. The animation is great, I mean it would kinda be impossible  to be bad since we have the year 2014. When it comes to the style, there is something special about it, but I really can't figure out what exactly. I think it's the colors, but whatever it is, I love it. 


Conclusion

I can't wait to see the second season of Noragami. It is really an awesome anime with and intriguing and  well developed plot, nice story line and pretty good characters. I think that there is nothing left to say despite the fact that this anime is worth your time, and worth giving it a try in the second season Noragami Aragato (2015). 

Your AnimeGirl <3

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