「福の神の言伝」 (Fukunokami no kotodzute)
“The God of Fortune’s Message”
What a way to end it.
Unlike last season—or even the last arc, for that matter—Noragmi Aragoto’s second half concludes not with the flash or spectacle of some epic, high-stakes battle, but instead, with the grace and gratification of closure—glorious, glorious closure.
One of my biggest fears heading into this last episode was that it would mainly concern itself with the skirmish waged between the heavenly gods and Yato & co.—leaving little to no time to tie up the myriad of loose ends strewn about the landscape of the narrative. Luckily, the season finale jumps right into the aftermath of last week’s kerfuffle, as we waste no time away from exploring what our main cast has taken away from preceding events.
What I’d like to address first and foremost is how Yato was handled this week. Previously, I had my doubts that this season’s latter half—while still excellent—would address Yato with something even really close to the kind of excellent development delegated to his former rival in Noragami Aragoto’s first half. I made it clear that I was hoping for some deep exploration into the chasms of Yato’s dark past—particularly concerning his relationships with Nora and his ‘father’—which the episodes continued to avoid doing, week after week.
However, the season finale provided Yato with a character arc which was at least as profound—if not more so—as Bishamon’s—despite not depicting the aforementioned character history I so previously longed.
This was because of Ebisu’s absolutely integral role in the plot.
In previous episodes, it was made clear that Ebisu represents Yato’s ideal of himself: put simply, a good god—a stark departure from the bad god he’s been for most of his life. Over the course of this season and the last, Yato had made obvious his ambitions to rework his image and life purpose in pursuit of this image—a noble god adored by millions across the nation. In short, he sought purpose and moral righteousness through the gratification and acknowledgement of those outside of himself—of people who he’d never even met before. He thinks by catering to them and building a name for himself, he will attain happiness.
But obviously, this causes for a plethora of conflict. Yato—thinking a widely known name is what he seeks—turns to Nora on apparently multiple occasion in order to quickly achieve this, sustain himself, and go on with his business. He doesn’t realize the folly of his ways—his negligence of those he holds most dear on his quest for the recognition of other people. This is the Yato who first comes into contact with Ebisu.
Ebisu’s genuine desire to help humanity resonates with Yato. However, unlike Yato, Ebisu could give a rat’s ass what other people think of him. The heavenly gods don’t mean jack to him—even his own, personal life means nothing to him. All he wants is to help people. That’s seriously it.
This mentality is the ticket out of Yato’s suffering—what he needs to finally cut ties with his previous life, and what he needs moving forward. He’s got to realize the sentiments of millions of people shouldn’t mean anything to him—his loved ones are the only lives which should matter. The god he wants to become isn’t necessarily one with a big fancy shrine and thousands of regalia, but one which is undeniably good. Good to his close ones. Good to humanity. This is his key to happiness.
This is how Yato is to become a helpful god. At first, it seems the cause is hopeless. Ebisu’s moral righteousness seems to be deeply inherent. How can Yato—someone who’s been raised since birth to kill people—possibly attain something like that?
Well, first and foremost, he should stop trying to find the answer by himself and consult his loved ones. When Yato finally cuts ties with Nora (been a long time coming dammit, how freakin’ satisfying was that?), he abandons his only previously guaranteed outlet for making a name for himself, and in turn, becoming a relevant god. As a result, he realizes the need now to consult his friends, and cries out desperately to Yukine for help. This demonstrates the first time Yato has truly—helplessly—relied on Yukine as his exemplar—relinquishing all power and control in this dynamic. He’s coming to Yukine as he truly is, openly displaying his inner turmoil and conflict for the first time.
As such, Yukine provides him with the course of action Yato needs to take in order to become what he desires: do exactly as he’s doing now. By coming to Yukine in desperate search of advice, he’s already doing what his previous self would never have done. Yato is now turning to his loved ones to become the kind of god he holds highly—to come even close to Ebisu’s morality. Screw everyone else; screw conventional forms of success for gods; screw having copious amounts of followers, regalia, and so on. All that matters is he stay true and faithful to those who love him the most, and ain’t that a lesson each o’ us could take to heart.
This proves for a character arc which leaves me utterly gratified in the wake of this finale, despite not being provided deep exploration into Yato’s past. I thought I knew what I wanted, but Noragami Aragoto proved otherwise to me. This season—and more particularly this latter half—has by no means been a perfect run. The pace was often rushed and choppy, and many elements of this most recent arc have not been assigned the time and development they really needed to make some of the battles more engaging. However, I’m able to look over these missteps after a conclusion like this one, from a show which continues to spit in the face of the status quo in favor of a strong and ever-evolving cast of characters. Powerful and profound, this series has humbled me once again.
However, Ebisu wasn’t just a conduit to Yato’s development, but a fully-fleshed (despite being a cosmic being transcendent of phsycial matter, HA HA EY OH k i’ll stop) character in himself. On his deathbed, he realizes that Yato’s words ring true—sometimes it’s pertinent to take a step back from relentless altruism and think about one’s self. It’s important to take a break from thinking about what others want and really consider what oneself wants. It showcases the dangers of excessive selflessness, in contrast to Yato’s previous selfishness, making for a fascinating character dichotomy. Not only does Yato learn from him, but he learns from Yato. As a result, Ebisu is a deeply impactful and memorable character, despite being a more recent addition. Really shows the series’ focus on excellently developed characters and dynamics. Utterly superb.
And that’s a wrap! What a series and what a season. Judging by the post-credits stinger (what a twist amiright? Suddenly adds greater relevance and meaning to Episode 10’s creepy cold open), there’s still a greater story to be told with these characters—one which might finally gimme the sweet deets on Yato’s backstory (can’t help me if I’m still curious hue hue). I’m incredibly excited for Noragami’s (likely) inevitable third season! Thanks for reading (￣▽￣)ノ
Day 4, still shocked with Yato’s Fujisaki father and can’t make sense why he’s a student in high school -.-‘
That series ending puts you into the mouth of the tornado xD
It is dispicable to think that Ebisu was a chess piece in Yato’s father game of letting him take the blame. And if we remember he visited Ebisu in the hospital before that (maybe?) but regardless, there is something sad about the new Ebisu losing what the old one has suffered to get before passing away. I cried so much more than I should.
Letting go of Hiiro was the best of this episode.
Thank you for your review!
Remember in Season 1’s finale how Nora/Mizuchi said she’d go home and meet the Father again?
No doubt she told him how Hiyori was getting in her way (and by extension the Father’s way), so he enrolled himself into Hiyori’s school to get an idea of the girl who’s been encouraging Yato’s dreams of independence, and crush them (and her) if needed.
The third season/next 2 arcs are where the MEAT of Noragami lies.
Come on Bones! You have to animate it. Next arcs are going to be a blast with so much feels.
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Ebisu’s death was so painful to watch… they also wrapped the ending really well! Hopefully, season 3 gets confirmed soon!
I’m all for progressing the story with so many well developed characters. But the last minute introduction of ant-hero/villain with superpowers left me with a bitter taste. The story could’ve used “Black & Whites” so much better than going on to pin the blame on to someone-overpowered-to-be-their-adversary.
If a third season does happen, you will finally get your answers jig…well some of them; there’s still a couple of things the manga has yet to tell us about Yato but with a third season, we shall learn what was triggered in Yato to make him start rethinking his life style; where he derived the name yato from; why kofuku and daikoku seem to care a great deal for Yato, and just a smidge more about father (he’s still a mystery in the manga). Come on season 3….make it happen BONES
-What 3rd season, that’s the best news today/now. This anime sure gets my recommendation (of course it was a diamond in the rough back in season one but I saw there was potential to it to stick around for it.)
-I’m ambivalent towards Ebisu’s fate: I’m sad the grown-up one is gone; I’ll agree that’s the only Ebisu I know. Yet I’m glad he “lives” on to say the least…he gets another chance and this time I hope he deserves a good long life. This time he has Yato as a buddy from the start so he won’t stray from his path, or at least be used as a scapegoat.
-Speaking of which, now it is “justified” that Hiyori was crying that episode ago. It ain’t right what happened with that smooch stealing. Yukine really has matured and he will be a good influence if I do say so myself (caught surprised to say this many episodes ago, really would be so the character development gets the thumbs up).
-A conclusion that would bring out that twist and a nasty dead-knot (-> Nora) that really hooks anyone who has watched up to this far. It would had felt good times were coming (-you know with everyone being at a good place and all things were wrapping up) if not for that epilogue.
-The point is a job well done deserves where credit is expected. Something’s done right then there’s got to be praise in hand. Plus, Yato’s really a good guy once you get to know him. |^|^|^| https://randomc.net/image/Noragami/Noragami%20Aragoto%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2046.jpg
in an age when most animes stop telling stories half-way this sort of closure is greatly appreciated…
and what a story it was… probably one of top 3 this season, in my viewing experience
And to think that the material to come is even better,
The Father’s origins, backstory and endgame are still an ongoing mystery in the source manga, although his personality and means of existing has been made clear.
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Yeah, the big Yato backstory arc is only a couple chapters after this season left off, so we’ll definitely get it if we get a season 3. Hell, the next season would be the everybody backstory arc, since
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I had reservations with how the anime decided to make Ebisu’s death scene so fragmented that the emotions could hardly get across, but I appreciated how the episode was done generally. Farewell for now, Nora, you won’t be missed.
For my fanboy moment (shouts aloud): THIS IS THE ANIME OF FALL 2015.This is how you do a shonen show and a sequel to boot.
Has a third season been confirmed? im curious if i should pick up the manga or not, and does anyone know what chapter the anime ended in the manga? i can just pick up from there if there hasn’t been many changes.
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This tweet from the director says to keep reading the manga while the anime is on “temporary break”, which seems to at least imply the desire to do another season.
Father needs some OPM to the face, he looks like a wuss anyway, probably won’t even last two hits.
I did not like the anime only parts, don’t think Yato needed a shounen like powerup (this is the wrong amine for that knind of bs imho), but overall it was a good season for Noragami.
In the manga, after Ebisu says “I don’t want to die”, Bishamon deliver his last word to Inami, after that Inami begging the (successor) Ebisu to not risking his own live like previous predecessors anymore, it actually makes me sad and disappointed that it was not shown in the anime ;-;