「願」 (Negai)
“Wish”

Things’re heatin’ up.

This week’s installment of Noragami Aragoto seriously ramps things up—addressing questions and issues I didn’t think would come up until the season was starting to wrap up. The fact that the imminent skirmish between Yato and Bishamon is occurring during just the fourth episode of the season is actually somewhat comforting. It implies, I think, that the season will do more with the characters and narrative during the meat of the later couple of episodes than what was expected going in. I feel that the landscape of this world will be drastically altered—starting with the apparent slaying of Yukine–but more on that a little later.

So the past conflicts between Yato and Bishamon were revealed to us this week. Now, this story was been hyped up for quite a bit (since last season)—and while I think the execution was a little lackluster (merely in a cave through Kazuma) compared to (at least my) expectations, I found the explanation for their feud…sensical. Didn’t add any earth-shattering understanding or perspective to the characters involved—but it made just made sense concerning all the little bread crumbs the series has been dropping thus far. Maybe a little let down that it wasn’t anything more dramatic or ground-breaking, but nonetheless a tight, and functional explanation for all the conflict. It’s germane to the behaviors and priorities of Kazuma, it somewhat justifies the adamant hatred from a god who so dearly values her shinki, and so forth. I am complacent—although I feel not nearly enough was revealed about Yato himself, and his past personality. However, maybe there’s more that hasn’t been said here (which I hope), but I guess we’ll just see.

Also, I really am surprised just how deeply Bishamon now seems to loathe her now former regalia. Now, while it’s not unlikely that these are merely tentative, of-the-moment sentiments—birthed in irrational, knee-jerk anger—I think a significant inference can be seen here. So Bishamon’s deep-seeded hatred towards Yato is rooted in his responsibility for wiping out her former “Ma” family. Thus, it’s somewhat unintuitive to think that she’d so easily toss the only surviving “Ma” member—even if he involved himself with her sworn enemy. This sort of leads one to believe that at this point in time, Bishamon detests Yato at least more so than she grieves the loss of her former regalia. Her animosity has evolved past any sense of rationality—almost as if she’s forgotten the reason she hates him so much. She just sort of hates him now, which is powerful statement to her character.

Also, some greater detail has been revealed of Kuguha’s schemes…this early in the season? Again, I’m not concerned so much of the narrative developments are being addressed so early—I’m actually excited because it means I’ll likely be surprised at what comes shortly after. Just like the little story Kazuma provided early, this is a very efficient and clever narrative development, but just like that story, it’s nothing more than functional—not especially engaging in nature. It just sort of gets the job done—which is all I suppose one could really ask for.

However, now that we know exactly what his plan is, I’m now more curious what his driving motivations and intentions might be. He still needs to be explored and developed as a character.

Also, I still don’t get who or what Aiha is—or what sort of role she plays in the plot. I hope more attention is paid to her as the series goes on—a lot of catching up needs to be done with her, I feel.

The episode’s concluding event, though, is just the sort of radical game-changer I’ve sort of been waiting for. This could send the series going in so many different directions, and I’m thrilled to see if the writers either stick through with this development or kinda cop-out and take back the credibility of Yukine’s apparent death. I really do love, though, how different Yukine is from when he started—he’s evolved into a far more likable and sympathizable (I don’t even know if that’s a word) little dude, making this little development all the more heart-wrenching.

Overall, I’m diggin’ the direction that this series is taking. The episode could have benefited a little more in the surprise department, but it’s goin’ alright nonetheless. The rapid pace of this season continues to do more good for Noragami Aragato than any bad.

 

Preview

36 Comments

    1. Well, even if she was saved, as Kazuma said, she was very kind-hearted and, obviously, had a lot of Regalia who were all killed right before her eyes (regardless of what had happened), and seeing how Yato seemed to act back then, he probably didn’t even try to explain the reason why. Or possibly, Yato even purposely didn’t tell her why he killed them and had Kazuma not tell her why either, opting instead to be an outlet for Bishamon’s emotions over the loss rather than let her wallow in her own grief from more than likely blaming herself for her Regalia’s deaths; rather having her live while hating him than die while hating herself.

      HalfDemonInuyasha
    2. tbh I felt like that in the beginning, too. But later on there will be an explanation that *kinda* makes it better, I guess?

      Show Spoiler ▼

      I totally get what you mean though. Often times I feel Yato isn’t given enough credit for all the crap he goes through to help other people.

      Kodama
    3. I really like Bishamon.Imo, she’s really a strong character, who isn’t always right and who also admits she makes mistakes and tries to learn from them, as we have already seen in the OVA.

      At the beginning I also thought she was “stupid” and that her hatred towards Yato was unreasonable. But if you actually put yourself in her position it’s a bit different: imagine someone would kill a family-member of yours that you really really love. As we have seen, Bishamon thought that she might still save her “children” somehow, and she also heard how they begged her to help them. It’s not like her Shinki were truly evil. For example – your mother is really ill, you spent all your money to help her and you think she might be saved. Your mother begs you to help her but then someone comes along and brutally slaughters her, just because this persons likes to kill. That’s Bishamon’s perspective at least. I think I too would be pissed of at this “unintended saving”.

      Libélula
  1. @Jig: A small correction. The episode title, Wish, uses the 願 kanji with ねがい(Negai) as its furigana.

    It’s very likely now the anime director will be adapting 2 story arcs into Season 2, Bishamon’s Show Spoiler ▼

    Hence the rather quick pacing of the plot now, so he can cover the next arc soon.

    Aiha’s role was explained deeper in the manga, but it was mentioned briefly in a previous episode. In summary, she was a suit of armour for Bishamon, before Tsuguha (un)intentionally ursurped her position to be the new preferred armour. Jealous and sidelined, she falls for Kugaha’s schemes to get back into Bishamon’s grace, and the rest is history.

    You’ll find out why he wants to forcibly reincarnate Bishamon next episode.

    zztop
  2. I like how this arc’s basically fleshing out the God-Regalia relationship from Season 1 even more. So not only are Regalias responsible for defending their patron, but also to serve as a responsible surrogate parent for their reincarnated masters as well.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    In fact, this is one strength of the manga’s writing. Each arc builds upon certain themes introduced in the previous arc, instead of being forgotten entirely like in other works.

    zztop
    1. That’s definitely a strong point of Noragami. Also I think it’s pretty obvious how the whole story will end. At least the manga made it pretty clear already if you pay close attention. So the author is definitely planning ahead of time, even if there are some minor inconsistencies 😉

      Libélula
  3. I thought Aiha’s actions were explained already for the past episodes.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  4. It has been some time since an anime has me so submerged into the story I ended up watching season 1 again after this episode! I love the battles but I can’t really bring myself to respect Bishamon now, particularly that she was willing to sell out Kazuma. How far will her hatred make her not see whats so obvious before her?

    I can’t wait for next episode, I can’t stop thinking about Yukine! And also Hiyori, judging by how her real body weakens the longer she’s further away..

    ty for ur review!
    M

    Mi-Chan
      1. Isn’t that the scene where in the song we have the line “I always want to be connected to you”? If this had been Yato with Veena, I would have advised the people responsible for the opening to better pay attention XD

        Libélula
  5. I can’t get over how good this show is. I was literally at the edge of my seat through this episode and I even lost track of time to the point where it just flew by, a feat that doesn’t happen with me often!

    starss
  6. I can understand why Bishamon detests Yato so much and I can’t be angry with her because if I would be in her position, I would feel the same. Something like that is not easy to forgive/get over it.

    I don’t know if I’m remembering right, but Kazuma Show Spoiler ▼

    gabun
  7. Maybe a little let down that it wasn’t anything more dramatic or ground-breaking

    Yeah, one could kinda already work out what happened based on some hints dropped here and there.
    But I also think it wasn’t dramatic because – again – anime just left out many scenes from the flashback. If Kazuma’s story was done panel by panel, it would have probably taken at least twice as long. So I guess they decided to stick only to the main point and leave out all the build-up.
    I feel a little bit disappointed though that they didn’t animate one particular scene from the flashback Show Spoiler ▼

    ’cause it would have added like +110 to the drama. Oh, well.
    I loved the sky above Bishamon’s domain. It really set the mood.
    I feel like the final Yukine moment kinda lacked dynamism it had in the manga? But apart from that it was cool.

    Last but not least – I could stare at Yato’s eyes forever…

    somename
    1. She wasn’t exactly fine at the time. She probably heard more than she had seen, and what she did see was Yato slashing people around. If she did see something wrong, she probably thought that it was a hallucination and refused to believe that her Regalias turned into demons.

      Nayrael
    2. Well Kazuma did say “over time” her sadness had manifested into hate for Yato. It doesn’t mean she necesserily loathed him at the start as much as she does now or so xd

      Mi-chan
  8. I think Yato never bothered to explain to anyone that he’d killed the ‘MA’ clan at Kazuma’s request simply because the way Gods think in the Noragami world, i.e. Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m marking it as spoiler since I think this has only been covered in the manga.

    Sanae
  9. I get where Bishamon was coming from and I might have understood why she was so bent on killing Yato if she was unaware of what happened. However, she wasn’t unconscious or anything during the corruption, did she want to die for her Regalia? What did she expect? Then she repeated the same mistake and still acts high and mighty. It’s really hard to sympathize with her. Doesn’t help no one tells anyone anything either haha.

    LightHawk

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