OP Sequence

OP: 「狂乱Hey Kids!!」 (Kyouran Hey Kids!!) by THE ORAL CIGARETTES

「死後の名を冠し」 (Shigo no na o kanshi)
“Bearing a Posthumous Name”

If there’s anything Noragami Aragoto‘s first episode means to do, it’s give us more of the same—but that’s not an entirely bad thing.

Conventionally speaking, the beginning installment of any season should establish the tone and conflict which will permeate accordingly into the ensuing chapters. And episode 1 of Noragami’s sophomore effort does an incredible amount to re-affiliate its viewers with the prominent character dynamics and relationships which distinguished the prior season.

Nothing’s really changed here, for no significant developments seem to have occurred in the gap period. Yato (Kamiya Hiroshi) remains a minor and unknown god striving for big time praise and glory, Yukine (Yuuki Kaji) is still being tutored in standard subjects of academic curriculum and remains a tad bit critical but nevertheless respectful towards his master, and Hiyori (Maaya Uchida)—oh sweet Hiyori—continues to be afflicted by metaphysical narcolepsy while contently appreciating her life and all the friends and acquaintances who fill it. The crew seems to keep in good contact with Kofuku and Daikoku, and their visits exhibit the same quirky fun and camp that we saw the first go-around. The first battle of the season refamiliarizes the viewer with the same beautifully animated and stylized action sequences which complemented the first season’s drama. Hell, even the music is virtually the same.

And that’s just it really, while this episode goes to great lengths to exposit the unchanged landscape of this universe, it offers very little in the way of concrete development of conflict and incentive for the season to follow. You really have to pick at the implied and the implicit to identify any changes to the audience’s current understanding of the characters and come up with any idea of what issues and dilemmas the crew will face this Autumn. If it wasn’t already revealed that this season would dive deep into the complicated past and struggle between Bishamon and Yato, I wouldn’t know what this season would entail. However, the analysis of Bishamon and her actions this week is the viewer’s sole window into the potential future of this season.

The episode opens with quick and perfunctory flashes of the past strife between Bishamon and Yato—though brief and cursory, these images connote an intriguing new contribution to the dynamic between these two characters. We already know Bishamon hates the bejeezus out of Yato for some distantly historic occurrence or struggle, and is an absolutely dominant physical threat to Yato and his friends. What’s fascinating about the opening glimpses, however, is the wholly unfitting passivity which describes Bishamon—a character who we know now as nothing but fire-willed and adamantly strong—and the continuing images of a completely unrecognizable and powerful Yato—an uncompassionate and merciless figure of macabre.

This complete flip of the current status quo (even though very brief), I think, adds an entirely new dimension to where Bishamon stands with our ditzy, goofball protagonist. Perhaps the reason why she is so unrelenting in her search and hatred towards Yato is because of the intense anguish and weak-willed helplessness which he brought her in the past. Maybe she’s hunting down and lashing out at Yato not just for whatever it is he did, but because he reminds her of the insecurity and weakness which characterized her centuries ago, and maybe just a little guilt for not being powerful enough to stop him.

Furthermore, the minor development and exposure to Bishamon’s character throughout the episode’s latter half speaks boldly of the severity surrounding the actions of Yato’s past self. Though we’ve seen brief glimpses before, here, we are exposed to a far more compassionate and self-sacrificing Bishamon—an individual who would compromise her immortal health and life to provide a good home to comparatively aimless and previously hopeless spirits. Someone this charitable and kind-hearted hates Yato? Even though he’s pretty cool now? Dude must have done some really raw stuff in the past to get this kind of unmitigated hate. The fact that she might’ve snapped at her most trusted and beloved acquaintance if she truly realized his collaboration with Yato is a scary thought.

Who knows what we’ll think of Yato by the time all is said and done.

Besides this, though, this first episode didn’t do much else in the way of introducing conflict. Sure there were quick flashes of mystery and ominous characters, but nothing in the way of substance or solid development, aside from that which was implied.

However, I’m not wholly opposed to the idea of this season taking its time.

It seems that Noragami Aragoto intends to resolve some of the very questions which I was disappointed that the first season left unanswered. Who was Yato in the past? What did he do to make Bishamon hate him so much? What made him change so drastically into the guy he is today? Why is Kazuma so indebted to Yato? And so on.

If a slow first episode is all that’s compromised for an otherwise well-paced and fully fleshed out addressment of these pressing matters, then I have no qualms. If anything, I’m just happy I got to spend time with some of my favorite characters again. We’ll just have to see where it goes from here.



ED Sequence

ED: 「Nirvana」by Tia



  1. is this your first write up of RC jig? i like your writing style so keep up the good work and glad to have you on the team. If there’s one thing i can praise this ep for is that it effortlessly transports the viewer back into the noragami flow (hell even funimation is numbering this season opener as “ep 13” as well as season 2 ep 1) as if it never left and that is a pretty good thing all things considered since that’s what a sequel should always aim to do (while raising the stakes in a profound way of course)

  2. Bishamon on the first scene its full of blight probably due to having a lot of regalias.
    Yato is saving her thats why kazuma thanks Yato. I think that its, she probably going to have the same problem again…

    1. Very much this. And it seems that “saving her” implies slaying the “faulty” or “damaged” regalias like the broken mirror girl from ep 1.

      Btw jig … good first post.

      1. Yeah, thinking about that makes me think that could have been what Yato was doing those centuries ago, slaying such Regalia that were most likely killing her (much like how Yukine’s actions in season one were doing to Yato due to the blight), but the series is trying to play a red herring by making him look like he was a completely different person who seemed to do it…just because…and this episode clearly showed Bishamon on being someone who wants to “save” as many wandering souls as she can, even though only a few of them seem to play any role related to her actual godly duties, so having someone just killing a number of her Regalia like that would definitely have a huge psychological impact on her.

  3. Nothing much happening yet, but this sort of re-introduces the characters to me after taking a long break from noragami. I think I’m quite excited for future episodes because I vaguely remember liking the first season and the characters very much, though I can’t really remember why. For the first episode, just the fact that YATO IS TALKING YUKINE IS TALKING OMG IT’S KAZUMA HI HIYORI etc is enough to make me happy, but I’ll be expecting things to really get more exciting from here on out. Looking forward to future episodes (and posts!)

    1. The intro does make me curious just how far this season is going to go. The first season covered chapters 1-12 (plus a spattering of other scenes from later chapters). But since the intro contains Ebisu, Fujisaki, and a brief glimpse of a nude woman clutching Yato, who is most likely Show Spoiler ▼

      , they’d have to make it all the way through chapter 37 to include all that stuff and still reach a reasonable stopping point. That’s twice the number of chapters from season 1.

      Yeah, season 1 had two episodes that were wholly anime-original, and chapters 24-25 were already adapted as OAVs, so may be skipped, but that still doesn’t gain them enough leeway to make it all the way from chapter 12 to chapter 37 in 12 episodes without really rushing.

      Maybe this season will do what the previous season did and just invent an anime-only ending that gives Ebisu, Fujisaki, and mystery-naked-woman something to do.

      Fast Moon
  4. Its a bit strange watching the beginning of Bishamon’s arc (as Season 2) when the second OVA episode for the first season takes place directly after Bishamon’s arc..

    Not that I’m complaining though, more Noragami is always welcome.

  5. I didn’t get all that far into the first season of this, but…

    and Hiyori—oh sweet Hiyori—continues to be afflicted by metaphysical narcolepsy

    I realize this is her entry into this world, but I would think, given the danger this poses to her both physically and spiritually, someone would be showing more interest in trying to resolve this situation.

  6. It seems that Noragami Aragato intends to resolve some of the very questions which I was disappointed that the first season left unanswered. Who was Yato in the past? What did he do to make Bishamon hate him so much? What made him change so drastically into the guy he is today? Why is Kazuma so indebted to Yato? And so on.

    If that is what Noragami Aragoto intends, I look forward to this season!

    It was great to see Yato’s antics again!

  7. It was a lot of sameness, but I don’t think it would be Noragami if we dived right into conflict like before. I always enjoyed the build we got out of the show, it was never bad, just not fast enough for those who want things to move…faster.
    What I got out of the first episode is enough to ponder about.
    Bishamon is noble and valiant enough to sacrifice her own physical and spiritual health as a God to take on these amounts of regalias. Tying that to the scene with Yato I’m willing to guess there was some sort of conflict where Yato noticed Bishamon was in a life threatening situation as a result of her pile of regalias and killed them all for her. This is why Kazuma is thankful to Yato and whatnot.

    We’ll have to wait and see, that’s honestly only a guess. Other people seemed to have cosigned this possibility too.

  8. Nice job, Jigs! And good to see Noragami being covered, woohoo! 😀

    If I could offer some constructive criticism, though…

    I like your writing style. I enjoyed reading it, though in the first half of the post, some of the vocabulary used is too flowery for my tastes – almost to the point of feeling like you’re overcompensating for a lack of content in the post itself, even though you really aren’t. Words like “metaphysical narcolepsy” and “perfunctory” are not in the average reader’s dictionary, and I certainly wouldn’t want to use a dictionary in order to understand the message you’re tying to convey.

    It’s still a good write-up! Keep at it! 🙂

  9. Ugh you have no idea how happy I am to see this guys again! Rg this ep was full of every moment I love from the frist season. I also commend Bishoman for providing a safe and pleasant home for souls she gathers, it shows a very touching side to her.

  10. Just watched Noragami season 1 for the first time about a month ago. I am so pumped up to season 2 now. Can’t wait to read your reviews Jig!

    Animation seemed lower quality compared to the first season unfortunately. I’m guessing a lot of it will be fixed in blu-rays. Iki seemed to be constantly off model though, it was very distracting when she was on screen. I liked this opening more compared to the first one though.

    1. that happened from time to time in the first season as well in terms of characters not having their faces fully drawn in at certain scenes or the animation being a bit jerky (i assume you noticed that in the first season as well seeing as you just recently watched it). to be honest, the production values for both seasons this time around are fairly the same however, season 2 boast slightly better shading and lighting so overall a tiny tiny bump up from season 1.


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