Some people just can’t let go of the past.
|You have no idea how sad I am to see Noragami go. You also have no idea how many times I spent over the season accidentally spelling “Yukine” as “Yukina” and vice versa thanks to me simultaneously blogging Strike the Blood.|
Well, this episode was pretty straightforward in terms of Hiyori’s rescue and Rabo’s defeat. Yato did what he had to, and there weren’t really any huge plot twists. Not everything is solved, of course, since they kind of ignored Bishamon in favour of Rabo, but as far as Rabo’s plot goes, everything there was neatly concluded. …Minus Nora still being alive. Though she probably has to be alive both for her involvement in future plot events and the fact that the title of the franchise itself is Noragami. She seems like a rather important all around.
So apparently Rabo’s main goal in all of this was to die by Yato’s hands. There were probably less roundabout ways to accomplish this, but he seemed a bit mentally unstable, so maybe that explains it. Plus he seemed to be working with Nora, so maybe that explains the rest of it. Nora was actually a really interesting antagonist, even though there isn’t a lot that is known about her at this point. She’s obviously just a liiiittle obsessed with Yato, but she also seems like a rather logical character. She doesn’t seem overly insane and nothing seems to bother her too much, but she’s also not afraid to be ruthless in order to fulfill her goals. But even when she does do things to accomplish her goals, she either doesn’t seem to follow through (like setting the masked things after Hiyori; however, that might have had something to do with the sun rising/ her powers), or she goes about it a really indirect way. Nora obviously did not like Yukine, but she never tried to kill him directly. She could have had Rabo just stab Hiyori at just about any point, but instead opted to steal memories. She’s was a hard character to place (though that was probably the point). In comparison, Rabo was pretty easy to understand, once he explained that he wanted to die. Maybe he wasn’t the easiest character to empathize with, but as a god/former human who lived for nothing but killing, this was probably the only end he could think of. …Though who knows how or why he could call Ayakashi. I assume that they’re never going to explain that either since he was anime exclusive (unless that was somehow Nora).
Yato’s secret technique is that he looks 10 times more reliable once he removes the scarf.
Despite being a (if not the) main character/cause of this event, Yato kind of took the back seat to everything else going on. Really, all he did was show up, be a badass for the majority of the fight, and that was about it. There wasn’t any real character development, nor did we learn a lot about him. Yukine definitely seemed rather unimportant too, since all he really did this episode was support Yato and Hiyori. Obviously the episode couldn’t have happened without either of them, and they both accomplished things, but I can’t help but feel that more could have been done with both of the characters in regards to the whole Rabo thing. Oh well, at least Hiyori had a somewhat important role (and the relationship between Yato and Hiyori seems to have developed just a little bit).
I’m rather glad Hiyori went with them, even though she was still the damsel in distress in that situation. For one thing, she once again saved Yato where he couldn’t have gotten out of the situation by himself. The other thing about it was that it made her feel more involved that way. Other that time withYato almost drowning, there was really no need for Hiyori to be there. They could have made this entirely about Yato and Rabo and had Hiyori as an afterthought, even though this all started over her memory loss. I suppose she had to be there to help Yato snap out of his old state too. Not that he was ever entirely consumed by rage at any point and needed a call back to reality, but one of the main points of this fight was that Yato wasn’t weakened by the bonds he shares with his new friends. It would have been counter productive if Rabo had been killed while Yato was the same heartless person he was in the past (again, with Hiyori still kind of the main point, but mostly there as an afterthought). The part with Hiyori getting her memories back served to show that Yato was serious in regards to the fight, but it wasn’t like he was a completely different person.
Her getting her memories back due to Yato’s scent was undeniably cliche. The way it looks, Nora’s powers were reversed due to the power of friendship and (somewhat implied) love. That… doesn’t seem like the greatest explanation, but I suppose it fits in with the rest of the themes of this event. Plus, the ending just makes Yato and Hiyori just that much more shippable. At the beginning, I figured that this would have been a series that would have tried to avoid the romance aspect, since the difference between gods and humans seemed a rather large obstacle to overcome. This is why I wanted to avoid talking about it at all, even though I’m a huge fan of shipping characters together (whether I mention it or not). With this episode though, I guess the relationship between Yato and Hiyori might be going somewhere. I guess there have been hints in the manga too, but this episode made it just that much more obvious. Especially with all of the blushing and Hiyori saying directly that she wants to stay with Yukine and Yato forever. Though maybe if you ignore the blushing, you can still say that this is all just friendship. Either way though, it was a really satisfying ending that distracted away from the fact that the story obviously left so many loose plot threads hanging.
Yes, this was a brilliant distraction. You win this time, Bones.
Obviously, the plot parts they ignored aren’t exactly the anime’s fault. The manga is still ongoing and there’s no way they could have fit everything in 12 episodes. Actually, maybe it’s because the manga is ongoing that I’m okay with the anime ending like that. I would normally be upset if so many things were left open ended alone, but in this case, there’s obviously the manga that I can go back to. …Plus, having implied romance also (admittedly) was a really effective distraction for me. Actually, this might be one of the best anime adaptations of a manga I’ve seen. If I remember correctly, this was the director’s first real anime, and he seems to have done an awesome job. Maybe I just don’t notice in other anime because I never paid attention to things like this before, but Bones added in so much extra animation. It made the fights so much more fluid and exciting. I also have absolutely no complaints about the voice casting either. Even despite my bias, everyone did such an awesome job. They spent a rather large amount of time on showing the arc about Yukine’s issues, but it seems like a necessary thing to focus on, considering how the rest of the plot in the manga is going so far. Plus that answered a bunch of questions in regards to the shinki/god relationship, and helped establish the character dynamics between the main trio. If Yukine had went straight from learning he was dead to angsting for an episode, to being okay with it, it would have felt really shallow. They might not have needed so many episodes either, but I think that having the in between events were necessary too. It’s not like the Ayakashi attacks stopped completely just because one dead teen boy was having personal issues, and Yato couldn’t really ignore his job either. Anyways, I’m definitely a fan of the decisions made in regards to this anime.
Hopefully there’s a season 2 in the future~