「斯く在りし望み」 (Kaku Arishi Nozomi)
“A Certain Desire”

Noragami Aragoto continues to impress with its latter half.

Before I really get into it though—the first few minutes was some seriously dark stuff huh? Like, uncharacteristically so. I thought the implication at the end of last week’s installment was that Hiyori’s life was moving in the direction of this other guy—her affections and memories of Yato would get lost in the relationship she builds with this other individual.

But no, Noragami Aragoto decided to make the event something really quite traumatic for our poor heroine. The result is a scene that comes of as sort of disturbing. Not to mention that Hiyori is depicted as utterly powerless and weak—atypical for someone who has no hesitation throwing kicks at phantoms and running right into the middle of some intense battles between freakin’ gods. I’m not really sure if I’m diggin’ it.

And then the rest of the episode just sort of forgets about it as the primary plot ensues, making this scene just seem really arbitrary. I’m not denying that it was a well-crafted scene (which I think it is) that followed reasonably from the end of last week (which I think it somewhat does)—one could say that it even fleshes out Hiyori quite well as a character, and might imply that just as Yato needs her, she too needs Yato for strength and courage. I just hope that, as the season continues, more is made out of this as far as plot developments go, so it appears more pertinent (and not just become some throwaway scene), since as it stands, it was tad bit too jarring in contrast with the rest of the episode. But hoo ha, what do I know.

Aside from that though, this week’s episode made some great strides in the development of this story arc. I’m especially impressed with the Ebisu character—he kicked ass. Not physically though—as he made clear last week, he’s not an especially competent fighter. No, this guy is so great is because he’s righteous enough of an individual to really remind Yato of what kind of god he wants to become.

When Ebisu reveals that the meaning of his actions is well-intentioned (the freakin’ protection of mankind), it really puts some perspective on Yato’s current deeds, and how they are ultimately unconducive to his ultimate goal. Yato wants to become a god who doesn’t resort to cheap, rudimentary methods of name recognition, but one who is shameless, and truly good.

More than that, though, he wants to be someone who makes Hiyori proud. In this moment, he realizes that Hiyori is the only human whose affections he really cares about, and it’s really an important development which he undergoes. Perhaps now, Yato can finally renounce Nora and move on with his life, no matter how he might struggle.

Also, how disturbing was it when his regalia were captured? That was seriously kind of horrifying. Noragami Aragoto really doesn’t let up with the graphic deaths

Anyways, a fear I have with the series going forward is the sort of secondary plot concerning the gods of fortune. I don’t know, it just seems a tad bit aimless, and exists completely outside of the core, Yato-driven narrative. It hasn’t yet received a healthy amount of time and development. However, I’m sure it’ll eventually tie in nicely with everything else that’s going on, since Yato has been trusted to carry on Ebisu’s torch, in what will likely result in opposition with the gods of “the heavens” and alliance with the gods of fortune who obviously care a great deal for their fellow god. Maybe this is the means by which Yato will redeem himself and ascend to higher standing as a god.

Also, some strong moments between Hiyori and Yukine. How touching was it when Hiyori first only heard Yukine’s voice, then saw him appear before her, then read his name, and then remember everything about him. A short but well-handled scene that packed a bunch. Also, towards the episode’s end when the two resolve to find Yato, and we continue to witness a stronger and more competent Yukine. Really good stuff.

Overall, a strong foot forward for Noragami Aragoto—looking forward to seeing more on Yato’s past too (which we might dive into next week as Yato ends up wherever he will).

 

Preview

16 Comments

  1. the stuff with the gods of fortune actually play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the noragami series…a future that we may or may not see in anime form. Also the scene with hiyori, i thought was excellent, partly because of how unsettling it was. The way the episode opened and how the scene transpired almost felt like a different director was handling it. The way the camera looms over Hiyori’s face for some time as the viewer is made to watch her discontent expression with a lecture going on in the background; the way hiyori beats herself up about what happened during the trip to the amusement park..all good stuff. As this is an emotion hiyori has not felt before, it makes sense for her to act the way it does

    sonicsenryaku
  2. I thought the scene at the beginning with Hiyori was pretty good, actually. I mean don’t get me wrong, it was definitely upsetting seeing her like that, but I think it was absolutely necessary to show her reaction to the kiss; it would have been strange if the series had just glossed over it like nothing had happened.

    And it makes sense she’d be distressed, in my opinion. Fujisaki seems to like her, but she barely knows him and was really caught off-guard by what happened. I didn’t think she came across as powerless, though, it’s just that she has no experience with romance and is understandably overwhelmed at the moment (when it comes to fighting, she has more of a handle on it because she’s a martial arts fan and has that background knowledge). But I’m sure she’ll recover and get back to her usual self soon, especially now that she’s remembered everything.

    A
    1. I agree to every point you said. Someone commented last week that ‘Hiyori just started high school’, and that scene just looked like not for her age. I hated the guy for really mistaking her pain trying to remember something she’s forgotten to actually just kiss her. That reaction was expected.

      Mi-Chan
  3. I say the Heaven Organization is somewhat cruel since they even rule above the Seven Fortune Gods.

    I guess when you’re in the highest ranking position, one can overlook a certain explanation such as they didn’t even bother to bring Ebisu alive. And just because he took in Strays…*screams discrimination*

    So this case is certain that the HO members won’t hesitate to “kill” the famous god. Talk about the irony of those heartless gods thinking they’re doing justice no matter what kind of savage acts they did like torturing (and killing) several Regalias during interrogation. T.T

    Richie Kim
  4. Okenishki (mind the spelling) was so cool with that background music lol I was clapping under my breath xD

    Ebisu continues to amaze me though, I thought it was so cool of him calling on all those phantoms and I liked how Yato just does what he can to save Ebisu, even using himself as bait, after the coolness of the opened vent, it was unexpected that Yato would be trapped and the ending song at that moment just killed me -.-‘ I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Of all the cliffhangers this season, this is the worst!

    Ty for your review, M!

    Mi-Chan
  5. I think as a manga reader, I know that all the things you said was unimportant are actually very important, so I enjoyed to see them animated. Also they cut out some major part about how the heavens discovered the truth about Ebisu.. I won’t say what, but this part emphasize their “character” and made me kinda hate the heavens.

    HG
    1. that makes us 2…
      …and paladin armor style Bishojo Bishamon!
      I liked her “modern military uniform” style, but we need more “combat style” that doesn’t look like S/M outfit…

      ewok40k
  6. That kiss will be a major plot point after the ‘reveal’. Actually, I was surprised by how nonchalant the reveal was then connected the dots from there.

    Also, there were some liberties in the adaptation but I wholly support the small tweaks. In the manga, it was only Hiyori alone who went to the entrance of Hell and Yukine simply followed her like a stalker and only revealed himself when Hiyori finally needs some saving.

    Some Yukine action next episode. Yato’s Blessed Regalia being bad ass.

    Raiu

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