|My vague plans to watch a bunch of anime titles weekly this season fell apart pretty quickly due to distractions
Finally, we have the appearance of a god who isn’t Yato, and looking at Tenjin… well, Yato still seems to be at the bottom. It looks like better known gods have multiple shinki and way more money, so maybe Yato’s delusions aren’t as weird as they seem to be. Maybe they could come true if he collected enough money for a shine and such. …Of course, he has to get there first, and there’s always the problem of his personality.
Though once in a while, we’re given reminders that as pathetic as Yato seems at times, he’s still a god. One would think that he would be all over saving people from ayakashi, but this episode, he was rather indifferent. He wasn’t out to help the people trying to commit suicide, but instead blamed the fact that they were weak in the first place as the reason why ayakashi could take over. Hiyori provided a good character foil to this attitude, since she just feels like helping everyone, but this just goes to show that Yato isn’t as human as he seems at times. The sympathy in not wanting anyone to commit suicide in front of shinki reflects this too. It’s kind of understandable why he’d have no sympathy for anyone throwing their lives away, since Yato has to work with shinki all the time and is constantly reminded of their feelings of wanting to be alive. His attitude is still harsh, but his view on life and death is different.
Yukine and Mayu are pretty sympathetic figures. Or I guess all shinki are, since they’re all dead and they obviously wanted to live since none of them committed suicide. …Which raises the question as to where the souls with suicidal thoughts who died in accidents outside of their control sit in this world. Could they be candidates for shinki, or are they still impure? However, that’s not really relevant to the episode. What is relevant is that Yukine has it pretty harsh, since Yato can’t really provide much. Sure, Yato tries to look out for Yukine by taking fish or clothing, but it’s a pretty pitiful situation all the same.
Not only are they dead, but there’s also a ton of things that the shinki are not allowed to do since it effects their god. For example, Yukine having impure thoughts caused Yato physical pain this episode, even if they were minor. It’s no wonder that Yato commented that having a teenager as a shinki would be a hassle. Though this connection between shinki and god also explains why Tomone was allowed to leave Yato so easily. It wasn’t really stated this episode, but the mental health of the shinki can also cause problems for the god. If the shinki is seriously unhappy, that also can cause pain or worse for the god. Yato really had no choice but to let her leave, since making her stay would have caused more harm than good. Oh, the fact that she changed names and is insistent on being called “Mayu” is pretty significant too, though the plot should go into that soon.
I read the manga to Noragami (or at least, up to partway through volume 4, since that’s all that’s been translated) and it’s really good~. The anime has been adding little things into the action scenes and taking things out, but the anime has been a great adaptation so far. Really, the only huge thing that’s missing is that the bullied girl with the pigtails had a longer story to it, but Hiyori wouldn’t have been introduced until episode 2 if they hadn’t cut that, so it’s understandable. Plus while we’re missing information about Yato’s personality that was introduced in that chapter, this episode covered some of it. What wasn’t covered this episode should come up soon. There’s also the fact that Yato has some ability that can cut relationships too (which I’m not even going to attempt to explain, since it’s rather abstract), but I’m sure the anime will go into that when it becomes relevant. Because I read the manga though, I’m now really looking forward to hearing a lot of the seiyuu in their character roles. In particular, I’m looking forward to seeing (hearing?) Sawashiro as Bishamon~. Her voice will be perfect for the role. Though looking at the voice cast in general, the people in charge chose well. (I’m actually really curious as to what kind of voice Kugimiya Rie is going to use for her character.)
Do I even need to comment on Hiyori anymore? She’s just an awesome character, even if she can’t do much. Yato’s image kind of changed a bit this episode, but it’s rounding out his character and as for Yukine… well, you’ll see where his character goes. This anime is still super good all around between the story and production. Looking at the manga, the extra animation they’re adding to the fight scenes is great. I’ve never really paid close attention to the action scenes and compared an anime to the manga before. So I don’t know if adding extra actions is uncommon, or if I just noticed it in Noragami because it’s well done, but I really enjoy it here.
Ono Daisuke and Toyosaki Aki’s characters are up next~