「雪のような」 (Yuki no Youna)
Noragami has taken a slower turn this second episode with the introduction of Yuki. Perhaps it’s because I read really fast or I have a tendency to skim, but I feel like this episode was a bit too repetitive of the premiere. The first half was a bit dragged out but I guess it’s necessary to establish the relationship between Yato and Hiyori. Furthermore, I think it clarifies that the story is actually about Hiyori and not Yato. When I first jumped into this manga, I thought this was about Yato’s dream of building a shrine, but the story doesn’t actually follow his POV, but rather Hiyori’s and how she overcomes her difficulties. It’s interesting to see how her average life is so affected by the fact that she falls asleep everywhere randomly. It must also be terrifying if a stranger just picked up your body…
I didn’t mention this last week, but after this episode, I feel the need to talk about the attempt at comedy in this series. I’m usually not so picky when series try to be funny or put comedic moments to lighten the mood. It’s only when it’s too overdone or just so random that it makes me question if I have no funny bone or the humor is just not right. Noragami tries to be funny and I get that it can be… but most of the time, I just think it’s off cue. The fact that Hiyori keeps falling asleep can be hilarious if her facial expressions weren’t always the same. She’s not terribly stupid or anything, but she’s kind of just ignorant to her situation and she’s not exactly doing herself any favors by tainting phantoms. So I can’t really laugh at her situation or her stupidity and I just find it wasted effort. On the other hand though, some people might find this very hilarious or a good break to the show, so perhaps it’s just me. About the only scene that made me laugh was Yato’s expression at the end.
This week we were introduced to the final trio member in our story – Yukine (Kaji Yuuki) or Yuki. He’s a young boy who assumingly passed away at an early age and he just happens to also be at the right place at the right time. He transforms into a katana yielded by Yato and he has quite the attitude problem. Talk about hitting puberty – Yuki gets no sympathy votes from me (dead or alive). The story will explain itself later on, but Yuki has a tragic story (which leads to his death) and that’s why we see Yato crying at the end of the battle scene. Yato learns more about Yuki as the two are connected and we’ll see more of their partnership dynamics later… most of them being unpleasant I assume. Yuki’s not the most likeable character in the world, but I expect that’s where all the character growth comes into play. I’m sure somewhere down the lines, Hiyori will break down any tensions between the two.
Next week looks to be the intro for our secondary characters and perhaps we’ll finally see some progress for Hiyori’s condition. This is starting to remind me a lot of Blood Lad which traps the female in a hopeless condition and the guy has to help her – then a series of stuff happens and before we know it, the season is over. I hope it doesn’t turn to that because while I feel like that worked for Blood Lad, I’m taking Noragami on a more serious note and hoping that there’s a better story than… “this happens, then this, then this…”. I’m not following the manga anymore past this point so we’ll see what surprises come up.
TL;DR – @RCCherrie: #Noragami continues with the intro of Yuki. And he is quite the ungrateful brat o_O I’m sure there’s room for improvement there.