「為すべきこと」 (Nasubeki Koto)
“What Must be Done”

A nice little red bow atop this season’s first half.

After last week’s absolutely powerful installment of Noragami Aragoto, this week’s episode concerned itself with merely sweep away all the crumbs and bloody entrails which remained. It didn’t necessarily resolve matters with any grandiose revelation—just sort of cleanly wrapped up last week’s events, which is honestly just fine and dandy.

The main thing this episode really addressed is where Bishamon would go from here. At the end of last week, we were left with an utterly broken god of war—physically and emotionally devastated by the loss of so much of her family. When Yato implicitly refers to Kuguha, we have little to no idea what action Bishamon will take—how she will react to the regalia responsible? Would she weep on her knees in submission—unable to recover from so much loss? Or would rage overtake her emotions—responding with the same lividness she once addressed that who was previously responsible (Yato)?

Well, neither, actually. Bishamon opts to first hear out the crook’s alibi—feeling out where the truth is in his statements, and realizing that his motives didn’t really contain any mal-intent. However, upon realizing his undeniable responsibility for so much death, she—in a clear sign of well-prepared character development—makes the very judicious call to release Kuguha, sending him reeling back to the earth’s surface. Though as Yato reminds her, Kuguha is left with his life, so I’m pretty sure this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of him.

And I surely hope so because, if this is it, I still stand by the opinion that Bishamon’s curer wasn’t an entirely fascinating villain. I mean, I realize he was meant to be nothing more than a catalyst for a plot which centered around developing Bishamon, Kazuma, Yato, and so on (a purpose which he served dutifully), but it wouldn’t have hurt if he was a tad more complex and compelling. Again, he was fine enough for the purpose he was meant to serve, but it would’ve been a little rad if we got a more proper villain (although it was interesting seeing him sort of break down before Bishamon’s might—even when she was layered in blight, she managed to appear powerful and intimidating).

Her subsequent resolve to destroy the phantom and all the remnants of regalia life encased within was seriously badass. Using a rusty old blade to do some serious, effortless damage helped too. As Bishamon dutifully wiped out the baddie, she also achieved retribution for her past mistakes. Now she will rationally assess herself and the situation in order to take the wisest route possible—even if that entails familial bloodshed.

This theme carried over into the episode’s conclusion. As Kazuma (who’s alive now, I guess) woke up in bed, adorned in traditional Japanese clothing (as he wore when requesting Yato’s services in the past) next to a radiant Bishamon, we realize that all past ailments and demons have been amended. When he wakes up referring to his master as he once did centuries ago, and she responds with a fond smile, we realize that Bishamon and Kazuma both acknowledge the messiness of the past, and now mean to learn from it moving forward. The shared diary Bishamon has put in place is testament to this.

But seriously, what function did Aiha serve?

Enough of that, though. Overall, a satisfying way to close up the middle of the season that left me feeling warm and cheery, to say the least. Looking forward to what the latter half of this season will bring. If it’s anywhere close to the quality we’ve yet seen, then we’re all good.

 

Preview

20 Comments

  1. Since I don’t remember where in the manga it falls, re: Aiha

    Show Spoiler ▼

    kiryuu
  2. Bishojo Bishamon wrecking the phantom with walking-stick blade…
    “take that at your words about useless regalia being collected beedlessly, Kuguha!”
    too bad the mad doc got away, pretty sure he will cause trouble again

    ewok40k
  3. I’m going to take a stab at it and say Aiha is meant show redemption and mirror the past. She was used by Kugaha, not knowing exactly what was planned. She loves Bishamon but like many of her “family” and those before them, hid the anxiousness and feelings of envy and wanting attention. Then when she finds out exactly what’s going on she puts herself at risk (kind of like Kazuma before) to help save Bishamon. In the end she gets redeemed (via ablution) and a chance to start over like all the survivors.

  4. Minor fun fact for anime-only viewers: (if you don’t know about it)
    Go search for the 2nd Noragami OVA from the first season.
    Its a direct epilogue to the Bishamon arc, related to the cherry blossom tree.

    Techim
  5. One hand is not enough…but Yato did well to sum up Kugaha’s pathetic villain motives.
    https://randomc.net/image/Noragami/Noragami%20Aragoto%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    I’m happy for Kazuma and Bishamon; he can stay by her side and she’s still strong as ever with her main Regalias.
    https://randomc.net/image/Noragami/Noragami%20Aragoto%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2034.jpg
    And they obviously forgot the danger Hiyori was in.
    https://randomc.net/image/Noragami/Noragami%20Aragoto%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2008.jpg

    random viewer
  6. How fitting would it be if Kuguha ended up returning for revenge, only, like Aiha almost was, completely taken over as a twisted Phantom and simply used by Nora or whoever “father” is?

    HalfDemonInuyasha
    1. As excited as I am for the Ebisu arc, I worry how the anime is going to end it. Since the Ebisu arc is the catalyst to opening up the bigger overarching plot, it doesn’t really end with the same sense of “closure” that the Bishamon arc did. At the pace it’s going, it’ll end at chapter 38, meaning unless they do an anime-original ending, we’ll be left with Show Spoiler ▼

      Fast Moon
  7. Ahhhhh Yato is so cool! “Mama – pay more attention to me” scene was so.. I rather not put it in words! I wonder what will happen to Kugaha now that he is cast off and am I the only one who is irritated by how his nose is drawn? it is far too unique for me! xD (/quotes Sakura-chan from Naruto), but I wonder what he will now be up to..

    Though I would think they totally forgot about Hiyori there xD

    I think the newest addition to Noragami would be Yato’s “gods do no wrong” as compared to humans. Damm you Kugaha!

    I want to put any comment on Bishamon being so cute with the book, and Kazuma being alive and all, but that ending clip with Nora now is making me nervous! Though I am still glad that this wasn’t a cliffhanger, I’ve been tortured long enough!

    Thank you for your review, M.

    PS. I am glad I don’t remember the cherry tree or ever watching Ova 2, looking back it would have been a spoiler.

    Mi-Chan
  8. what did aiha serve (this was told in this arc in the manga but somehow not told in the anime. really they cut many scenes)

    Show Spoiler ▼

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