Noragami

August 16, 2015

Having problems that you can’t fix yourself? Missing Cat? The pipe is stuck? Need somebody to do the chores? Don’t worry. With only a price as cheap as 5 Yen, you can get all that done and with satisfaction guaranteed. Wait a minute. What kind of human would ever provide all that service with such a cheap price? That’s right. No human would. All this is possible if you call a certain god and pay your 5 Yen to him! Sounds like a good deal and too good to be true? Well, it is the real deal! Ah, yes. It might be mind boggling that a god is stuck doing such chores that only humans would do and I supposed that is what being a Noragami (literally means Stray God) would do. Well, I suppose this god is trying to collect funds to make his own shrine. I know there are lots of questions you want to ask about that but this story isn’t just about a god trying to do odd jobs to achieve his goal (thus eliminating any speculation this is totally a slapstick comedy show). When he accidentally saves a girl from an accident that would have killed her, she turns into a half spirit, they work together battling Ayakashi monsters who bring harm to humans. Along the way, gradually revealing a dark secret from his past.

Episode 1
Yato just finished destroying an Ayakashi. However his Shinki (Divine Instrument), Tomone wants to call it quits! She can’t bear to be with this poor God in a tracksuit. How insulting. But you can see how happy she is with her newfound freedom. Yato is adamant he’ll get 120 million worshippers and stand above all Gods! Yeah well, good luck. I mean, he needs to advertise via wall graffiti about his problem solving business. And any call he gets, he becomes an eager beaver to be at your service for a mere 5 Yen. This includes finding somebody’s lost cat. Hiyori Iki is a martial arts lover when she spots Yato trying to get a cat crossing a road. As expected, a bus is in the path. She pushes him away. Good news: They live. Puzzling news: Isn’t that Hiyori’s body in the middle of the road? Wait a minute. Is she dead? The next thing she knows, she is in a hospital bed and her family and friends are relieved that she has woken up. CAT scans show she has no problems whatsoever. When Hiyori mentions about a guy in tracksuit, they don’t remember and think she might still be in a daze. That night, Hiyori is surprised Yato pays her a visit. From underneath her blanket! She wanted to call the police but he is here to clarify that although she is the first human who tried to save him, it wasn’t really necessary. He claims he is going to be God although he is a stray one right now. Maybe she should call the police… He warns that without a Shinki, he can’t stay here long and this place is crawling with bad Ayakashi.

Over the next few scenes, Hiyori seems to feel heavy and can’t keep herself up. It’s like she wants to fall asleep or something. I mean, your friends would be really worried if you just suddenly collapse in the middle of the corridor, right? Then she remembers. Yato was trying to find a cat. She decides to go look for it. Yato is trying to use catnip as bait. Sure, he got the cat. But now he is confronted by Ayakashi monsters who want a piece of him. Yato can’t do much against this giant toad since he doesn’t have a Shinki. Surprisingly it is Hiyori who comes to his rescue. That’s the second time. She uses her martial arts move she copied from her favourite martial artist, Tono and it worked. Well, if only it didn’t regenerate… Now run! After at a distance, Yato points out her soul slipped out. You can see her body ‘sleeping’ on the fence. After handing the cat back to its owner, Hiyori wants some questions answered. What is happening to her? Far Shore and Near Shore. The living world people live in is called Near Shore. Far Shore is what people call the afterlife. Then there are those in between like Ayakashi who are incarnations of emotional energy. Hiyori panics upon thinking she is an Ayakashi. What can she do to stop letting her soul slip out? He’s a God, right? Maybe he can help. For a cheap price of 5 Yen, he can make her wish come true. I hope it won’t be the case of you pay peanuts, you get…

Episode 2
Hiyori has a hard time adjusting to life. How can she when her soul keeps slipping out in most unlikely of places and her pals thinks she is such a heavy sleeper. Despite in her soul form, she still can touch and contact things. Of course it is fun hopping around town but when she starts to notice Ayakashi around her, it doesn’t sound so fun anymore. It is explains the Far Shore denizens coming in all shapes and sizes. They are everywhere and only animals and babies can see them. It has been 2 weeks and Hiyori is of course furious that she has already paid him and nothing has been done! Well, he is busy with other jobs… He warns her that she is both a living and an Ayakashi. This makes her stand out and attract other Ayakashi who wants to eat and corrupt her soul. Then he goes on ranting about his dream of saving up all the 5 Yen coins to build a shrine of his own… So why can’t he just fix her problem? He doesn’t have a Shinki. In other words, he is useless without one. Thinking that if she could help find one for him to speed up solving her problem, she goes to find spirits that would serve Yato. Well, she looks like a weirdo peeking into corners and holes to call Ayakashi to work for Yato. I think she’s scaring them. Yato is definitely a useful guy to call to when you have plumbing problems in your toilet. Heck, he even fixes your bath as freebie! All for a meagre 5 Yen! I want this God! Yato gets a call from Hiyori as she claims she has found him a Shinki. This giant spider… That’s not a spirit, it’s an Ayakashi! Now run! Hiyori thought she could fight it but Yato saves her and in return got his hand bitten. It’s a kind of disease and defilement if he doesn’t cure it soon, he will die. The chase continues as Yato spots an uncorrupted spirit in the form of a tiny snowflake. He initiates the ritual to turn him into his servant and Shinki. He names him Yuki and as Shinki named Setsu. His casual name will be Yukine. Yato now has a sword in hand and cuts the spider. Hiyori couldn’t understand but see Yato crying (he must have peeked into Yukine’s past during the bonding ritual). Yato heals his hand with holy water from the shrine. Yukine then turns into a boy who feels cold from his surroundings. Yato gives him his tracksuit to wear but he won’t wear that stinky piece and would rather borrow Hiyori’s scarf. That’s just insulting, isn’t it?

Episode 3
Yukine can’t believe this God he is serving. So poor, living off the streets, finding their food from the dumpsters and his wall graffiti advertising that is just so unprofessional. And Yato even got the cheek to make Hiyori treat them at a diner. At first she is surprised that others can see him. Yato explains that he is not invisible, just hard to notice. He tests Hiyori how many waitresses she noticed. She guessed wrong. It’s the same that applies to him. People see him but forget him soon after. I mean, you don’t remember all the people who passed you in the streets, do you? More unbelievable, Yato and Yukine are eating like there’s no tomorrow. That hungry, huh? Yato gets another call for a job. Hiyori won’t let him run this time and joins him. They find themselves in a shrine and Hiyori recognizes the recited poem. He is Tenjin, the god of learning. Now this is what you call a real God exuding charm and reverence so Hiyori and Yukine bow before him! He is even wise to give Yukine advice not to prostrate before other Gods as it would be an insult his master. He also introduces his Shinki (feels like they are miko priestess cosplayers). As he is the one calling Yato for a job, due to exam season, he has his hands busy with the number of requests so he would like Yato to take care of the Ayakashi in this area. He knows Yato has been sleeping in his shrine without permission and has nothing better to do. Heck, he even teases Yato to join him and could make him branch manager of his shrine over the country. More mockery when he gives a 10,000 bill and seeks change… The income gap… Tenjin then has his Shinki, Mayu to guide Yato around. Does Mayu look familiar? Yup. She was formerly Tomone! I can tell she is living a better life under Tenjin. Hiyori asks Tenjin if Ayakashi is bad. He didn’t give a direct answer except he hints she can easily interfere with them.

Mayu brings them to a site where Ayakashi possess them and drove them to suicide. A waste of young life. However Yato says if people want to kill themselves, go ahead. They are already possessed so it doesn’t matter if they’re dead or alive. They can’t even become Shinki. Hiyori is mad about this and goes off to stop the Ayakashi herself. But they soon overwhelm her and try to coax her to join their side. They pin her on the rail tracks but before the train runs her over, Yato comes to her rescue. He warns her to take care of her tail. That is what connects her soul to her life and if it is severed, she will die. A depressed student is being possessed by an Ayakashi to walk into the middle of the tracks. Yato rushes and makes it in time to cut the Ayakashi. However Yuki was too frantic that his blade was so sharp it cut other surrounding objects. In the aftermath, Hiyori asks Yato about saving the day when he said to let them die. True, but he refused to let anyone die in front of the Shinki. Even if life is tough, they should be grateful for being alive. Hiyori realizes all the Shinki didn’t die via suicide and are people who still wanted to live. Therefore having other people waste their lives in front of them is something Yato cannot stand. She felt so touched that she started crying. Don’t bother, it’s just debris in her eyes. Yato and Yukine sleep in some shrine and the latter accepts his tracksuit as blanket for the cold night.

Episode 4
Yato is famous! He has lots of worshippers and living the rich life! He is trendy! He’s got his own limo and shrine maidens! Too good to be true? That’s right. Just all a freaking dream. Yukine kicks him down the shrine stairs… Too noisy to sleep… What is even more frustrating is that Yato bought some pot from a lady who guaranteed his happiness (among other stuffs). He’s been had. Hiyori breaks it! After that advice to pull himself together for Yukine’s sake, Yato wants them to meet somebody. OMG. This cute chick, Kofuku Ebisu is his girlfriend?! She’s not faking it either! He makes up some emotional plea he can’t provide enough for Yukine so she gives him some money! Then this big guy, Daikoku beats him up! Oh dear. Is this some love triangle going on? They learn Daikoku is Kofuku’s Shinki and be careful not to stare at him too long. He looks scary… Especially when Yato ‘jokes’ about him liking kids. But Kofuku warns them that Yato despite his goofiness, he is actually a scary god. Yato happily gets a call for a job. Yusuke Urasawa is about to jump off the building and kill himself. Then Yato pops up and accidentally pushes him off! OMG! You killed him! This is going to be a really long fall. Because Yato has got time to introduce and advertise himself, exchange name cards and even have time for Yusuke to tell his sad story of why he wants to kill himself. His company just went bankrupt and he wanted to call his mother but accidentally dialled Yato’s number. I can’t believe his advertising is that effective.

Anyway, flashback reveals Yusuke picked up a high school girl who ran away from home. For the sake of anonymity, Hiyori’s face is used. Don’t ask. He took her in and they had a pure relationship. Bad luck started when he took her to an amusement park she wanted to go so much. It affected his work performance and his savings dried up. Before he knows it, he started accumulating debts. At that point, he still loves her but couldn’t bear to be a burden. Yato asks for her picture and true to his suspicion, his girlfriend is Kofuku! In actual fact, Kofuku is the god of poverty. Yato shows Daikoku as her ‘boyfriend’ and wants him to forget her and sever ties. But Yusuke won’t. He truly loves her. Yato tells him off that he isn’t worthy of love if he can commit suicide. Yusuke’s last words for Kofuku are for her to lead a happy life. Yato has Yukine transform into a sword and sever his ties. A soft landing for him. They go confront Kofuku who doesn’t think it was her fault since she was just trying to have some fun. And Daikoku is sad she did it behind his back. Of course, he didn’t allow her to do things because of the bad luck she brings. Daikoku is impressed that Yukine is able to cut ties, something that is harder than creating ties. Hiyori thinks Yato as a scary god is a hoax but Kofuku insists it is true. He killed a Shinki a long time ago. He also killed people since he was the god of war. Because people’s wishes are what allow gods to exist, distinguished gods are remembered while obscure ones are forgotten. What do you do to avoid being forgotten? You grant any wish you get no matter what. When Hiyori asks Yato why he brought her to see Kofuku, he just says if anything happens to him, go straight to them. A girl, Nora appears before them. She wants Yato to call her by the name he gave her and will always be waiting for that.

Episode 5
Yato teaches Yukine how to open a Boundary that prevents Ayakashi from crossing over. Only a Shinki is able to do this move. Yato and Hiyori argue over to look after Yukine. Obviously that kid goes with Hiyori. Who wants to be with a stinking tracksuit guy living in shrines? She lets him live in her older brother’s room as he isn’t staying here anymore. Of course her plan works to perfection as the housekeeper and parents can’t see her. Till Yato drops in. Not that they notice him either. He is here to check things out as he explains unlike this house, shrines are sacred grounds that protect them from Ayakashi. He doubts Yukine can handle it because he is afraid of the dark. He can’t sleep alone in the room so he goes to Hiyori’s room. Despite with the night light, he can’t sleep since she is sleeping right next to him. Before he could harbour perverted thoughts, Yato makes his appearance. Next day, Hiyori takes Yato to the mall. Although he is just borrowing stuffs, Hiyori views it as stealing and doesn’t want him to do that. He wanders off by himself before Hiyori realizes it. Yato is again watching them as he explains how he can feel Yukine’s pain. This is the price to pay for having a Shinki. It is only one direction too. Only negative emotions like jealousy, fear, desperation and greed. Because Shinki are once human. And people sin. Therefore even if what humans perceive to be right or wrong, it doesn’t apply to Gods. This includes hurting or killing someone. He will give Yukine his divine punishment in due time. Yukine realizes too late that night has come. He hears a girl cowering in the alley and calling out to her mom to pick her up. However he knows she is a ghost who died in a car accident. He agrees to wait with her till dawn till her mom comes pick her up. When Hiyori comes by, the girl is lured by the voices of the Ayakashi. Yukine creates a Boundary to prevent them from crossing but the girl has been tainted and now wants a piece of him. Hiyori saves him from being devoured but she also requires some saving from Yato. He agrees to help that girl and has Yukine turn into a sword. However Yukine is dismayed that he is going to kill her. A person who is this corrupted by an Ayakashi will only experience living hell of utter damnation. It is their job to release her. Yato cuts thorough the Ayakashi like a hot knife through butter. He feels Yukine’s pain.

Episode 6
Yukine is freaking out at any Ayakashi he sees and wallows in depression. Hiyori tries to find him but bumps into her friends who think she is having a secret boyfriend. Yukine’s dark side got the better of him as he steals a skateboard but Yato stops him and wonders where he got it. He lies Hiyori bought it for him. Nice timing, Hiyori is here as he asks her and seeing the circumstances, she also lies that she did. Suddenly Yato is attacked by a war god on a lion, Bishamon. This S&M lady is the strongest war god?! Yato flees with Yukine as Bishamon is adamant in hunting him down. Yukine’s instable emotions are also affecting Yato’s stamina. In fact, his back neck is partly tainted. Yato doesn’t want to hide anymore and takes on Bishamon head on. She has so many Shinki that it makes you scared. Like Yukine. Taking direct hits could kill him but I think they were really lucky. Yukine is shocked in hearing that Yato has killed a Shinki before. Meanwhile Hiyori runs to Kofuku and Daikoku for help. They don’t want to help since it is a problem between Yato and Bishamon. Then Hiyori realizes that Bishamon’s grudge on Yato may be because he killed her Shinki. They tease that she likes Yato. Or could it be he blackmailed her? Kofuku decides to help anyway. Hiyori uses the distinct nice scent of a God to locate where Yato is. Yato is catching a breather in the woods as Yukine’s dilemma is continuing to affect him even further. He worries that Yato may kill him if he becomes useless or screws up. No time to argue because Bishamon is here. Kofuku drops in by opening a vent that has lots of Ayakashi gushing out. Did she blunder? Yato wants to use this chance to escape but Bishamon orders her lion to bite him. Yato cuts its eye to free himself and this makes Bishamon mad. Kazuma suggests they retreat now and when she doesn’t want to, he reminds her she can become Ayakashi food if she wants to. But does she have the right to put the rest of her Shinki in such predicament? She backs down and everyone makes their escape. The taint on Yato is getting bigger and he can’t cleanse it. He worries it might not work out with Yukine. But Nora reminds him he can always use her.

Episode 7
Hiyori comes to give Yukine breakfast in his room but it seems Yato is here! Did Yukine run away from home? She goes to Tenjin for help and he admits Yukine was here earlier trying to work under him but was rejected. Because if Tenjin takes him in and calls him by a new name, he will become a Nora. Wait, Nora isn’t a name? As explained, Nora is a Shinki with many masters. They are despised because they are more likely to betray their master. He gives an example of becoming Hiyori’s godfather and calls her by a different name. Would she like that? Hiyori cannot ask more since the mere mention of Nora sends shiver down their spine. Hiyori later spots Bishamon but Kazuma caught her. He casts a spell that makes her unable to move. She is praying to God for help but all she could think is Yato. She is so screwed. But this spell is to avoid Bishamon detecting her as she and her team are out to exterminate Ayakashi that escape the vent. After she is gone, Kazuma reveals his ability to grasp everything that is going on around him. He warns her not to meddle too much in this affair and confirms Yato is their enemy. However he also owes him his life and hopes she could save him. He knows the blight Yato has is not from outside and from within. It is caused by his Shinki and must be disposed off before it is too late. A Shinki prone to misdeeds will cause his master to fall ill. The pain will accumulate and spread throughout the body. Yato finds Yukine as there is a job. But who could have figured out it was manning a convenience store counter?! Hiyori leads Kofuku and Daikoku here as the latter duo have a request they want Yato to handle that isn’t their style. Yato senses Yukine’s misdeed and thinks he has stolen cash from the register. Actually he stole the donation box. He runs away. Yato accepts Daikoku’s job to take out an Ayakashi but makes them man the counter. Hiyori feels confused after all that has happened and slaps herself to come to terms that Shinki isn’t just instruments. Yukine is Yukine. Meanwhile Nora is trying to play mind games with Yukine and telling how pathetic he is. Yato is here and Nora wants him to use her. She can kill anything he wants. Yato tells Yukine not to listen to Nora because the enemy he must slay is this moth Ayakashi. However Yukine’s blade is dulled and cannot cut through. This also weakens Yato. Nora tempts him to use her but Yato uses purified water to reforge Yukine and cut through the moth. Rabou notes how Nora has been rejected. Back home, Hiyori is left to think about Kazuma’s words that if Yukine isn’t dealt with soon, Yato will die.

Episode 8
Toilet is where you do lots of thinking, right? Hiyori is doing just that but what the f*ck is Yato and Yukine doing here???!!! Well, apparently their client is also here. So is Manabu Ogiwara a peeping tom too? Actually he is here hiding. His classmates always harass him so he is hiding in a place where they won’t find him. Manabu is getting depressed just thinking why all this is happening to him but Yukine is just getting pissed and leaves himself. He gives Manabu something dangerous to solve his problem. Manabu experiences yet another bully so the voice of an Ayakashi starts egging him to kill them. Yukine observes the students go about interacting and stuffs and he starts feeling envious. Bishamon visits Kofuku to consult the possible openings of other vents. Bishamon hints that she knows of Kofuku’s relationship with Yato. But Kofuku doesn’t care. It’s none of her business. She threatens back if anything happens to Yato, be prepared for a big storm. Manabu confronts one of the bullies and throws him a cutter. As Yato said, if he is going to use one, give his enemy one too. The Ayakashi dares Manabu to cut him and be free but he manages to suppress that feeling. The bully is so scared that he peed in his pants! That should teach him a lesson. Manabu remembered what Yato said. Had he used it, he would be tossing away his humanity and will have nowhere to go. With Manabu’s case solved, Yato starts feeling weaker because Yukine is closer to the dark side. He is envious he cannot join those ‘friends’ and Yato knows he has realized what he wants but cannot cross the line yet. When it reaches boiling point, Yukine starts smashing all the windows with a bat. Yato collapses and Hiyori is terrified to see blight all over him. She realizes he was enduring this all the while. She also gets infected when she touches and carries him. She then ticks off Yukine that each time he does something bad, Yato has to suffer and has been enduring it. She regrets not trying to stop him. Hiyori brings Yato to Kofuku but upon seeing their condition, Daikoku immediately draws a Boundary to block them from getting closer.

Episode 9
Daikoku only lets Hiyori in so Kofuku can cleanse her. The only way left to solve this is via ablution. Yukine must be punished or else. Daikoku leaves to find 2 more Shinki who will help with the ablution. He begs to Tenjin for help and only Mayu comes forward. The other Shinki aren’t so keen because they heard news of its failure, friends that never come back after performing it. Daikoku continues to beg at other shrines for help but nobody is willing to lend a Shinki as they do not know who Yato is. Hiyori can’t sit around and do nothing so she leaves to find the last Shinki. She thought of calling Nora but decided to go for Kazuma. It is no time to be worried about Bishamon connecting her to Yato. Yukine continues to be unrepentant so Daikoku tells him to take off his shirt. To everyone’s horror, there is a big Ayakashi patch stuck on his back. Because Yato will not revoke Yukine’s name and banish him, the Shinki trio start their ablution by forming a Boundary to trap him. It is some sort of beating that goes on till he confesses his sins. Otherwise, he will turn into an Ayakashi. Which is what is happening right now. Yukine continues to feel jealous that the living has got what he has not. The Shinki trio can’t hold out for much longer. Yato feels the need to call Yukine’s name before he turns to the other side or the corruption covering his mark but he is too weak to eke out a sound. This is when Hiyori steps in to convince Yukine that Yato was like a father to him. He endured everything despite what Yukine did. Is he going to betray somebody like him? If so, she is no longer his friend anymore. Yato gets the strength to say that Yukine may not be able to interact with Near Shore people. However he has given him a human name so use it to live like one. This is when Yukine is overcome with guilt and starts apologizing and confessing all his sins with all his heart. It is a tiring experience for everybody and Yato couldn’t be grateful to everybody. Especially for Hiyori. Had she not brought him here, he would have died where he was. Had she brought Nora, he would have used Nora to slay him due to the unbearable pain. Had she not intervened in it, they would not have been saved. Time for emotional group hug!

Episode 10
Yukine is working part time with Daikoku to pay off his debts. But Kofuku’s services don’t come cheap. That will be 5 million Yen per service. And she sought her help twice… So young, so in debt. Hiyori takes it out on Yato. She contracted him and he hasn’t fixed her problem yet but got her into the debt trap. Yato then visits Tenjin to convey his thanks. While the guys argue, Mayu talks to Hiyori and Yukine. They notice one of Tenjin’s Shinki is missing. She explains Hiyori’s corruption was infectious. She stung Tenjin and was immediately banished. Yukine was lucky to have Yato believe in him but take care never to do that again. Yato wants Tenjin’s help to solve Hiyori’s problem. He doesn’t know how and has been putting it off. So that’s why… But Tenjin suggests cutting ties with her. It might fix her condition since his connection grants her too much focus on their world. Hiyori meets up with her friends to make arrangements for the shrine visit. They mention about rumours that if you pray to some God called Rabou, he’ll rid the person you want. Hiyori calls Yato to invite him to visit the shrine on New Year’s Eve. He would love to come. Right after he cleans this dog kernel job he took… Rabou spots Hiyori and wants to slay her for deluding Yato. However Nora wants her alive for now as she has some use. Hiyori thought she spotted Yato and tries to follow him. Actually, he is running late to the shrine since he had to meticulously clean every dirt in the kennel. They’re going to be more late than that since they are ambushed by many scorpion Ayakashi. This is of course a test by Rabou to see his Shinki’s power. Hiyori comes into contact Nora who didn’t like how Hiyori played a big part in Yukine’s ablution since it was a big chance for Yato to revoke his name. She sends her wolf Ayakashi to hunt her down but they disappear once the sun is up. Nora warns a god of calamity known as Rabou has awakened. If someone wishes for it, he can kill anything. Even a God. He has come to kill Yato. She blames Hiyori for weakening Yato and the only way is for her to stop existing. Yato finishes his Ayakashi slaying and makes his way to Hiyori (Rabou looks disappointed). Hope he isn’t too late. The food stalls are still open, right? It better be since he thinks Hiyori is going to treat them. But boy are they surprised that Hiyori doesn’t recognize them. This isn’t a joke, right?

Episode 11
Yato and Rabou are killing people like the wind in the past. Even now, Yato continues his murder spree. Yato on the other hand is annoyed that it is only him that Hiyori doesn’t remember. He tries all sorts of methods to make Hiyori remember. Not working. Then he made the wrong move of being desperate. He thinks coming to bed with her will return her memories! I think she would love to forget about this. Yato bumps into Nora and knows she has a hand in this. She admits she has easily taken Hiyori’s memories easily in this little marble. She tries to tempt him about the fickleness of human feelings but for once Yukine snaps him out. Nora becomes Rabou’s sword to fight Yato and tries to tempt him to remember who he is. Again, Yukine snaps him out. Yato is forced to withdraw as dragging this out might kill Yukine. Rabou is disappointed this is not the Yato he knows. Nora promises to give Hiyori’s memories back if he visits them. As informed, not many know of Rabou now although back then he was famous. He was also the god of calamity alongside Yato. Rabou was once human and probably worked as a spy. At the end of his job, he was killed to be silenced. Those who feared being cursed made him into that god. So those with unjust wish will have it granted through Rabou. Humans, Ayakashi or Gods, Rabou will kill them. Yato seeks Tenjin’s advice but the latter believes this is the best time to cut ties with Hiyori. She gets to live her normal life. Thus Yato decides to give up on her. But Hiyori has this faint feeling she might have known Yato before. Yukine calls to meet Yukine to narrate a picture story (drawn by Yato) about their previous adventures. You know the last page is drawn by Yukine because it sucks. Unfortunately she can’t remember. Nora sees Yato and warns Hiyori’s memories are fading. At this rate she will be an empty vessel. Better make that visit quick. To Yukine’s horror, Hiyori now doesn’t remember him. He is so sad that Yato felt it. It’s decided. They’re going to get back her memories. They go see her one last time to apologize and state their plan. She starts crying but doesn’t know why. When she tries to hug touch them, they disappear.

Episode 12
Hiyori’s soul seems to be transported with them to Rabou’s domain. As the calamity gods fight, Yato gets trapped in a water bubble. Hiyori pulls him out instead of running away. Rabou is not happy this is not the real Yato and wants to know where that god of calamity has gone to. Believing Hiyori is the one responsible for this, he tries to kill her but Yato blocks his sword and takes her to run. Rabou then throws away the marble. As Yato desperately tries to get it, he slashes it, scattering it to bits. Hiyori falls unconscious. She is just an empty shell now. You mad, bro? You hate him now? Good. Because Rabou got cut and a kick that sends him flying metres away! Yato is mad. You’re going to regret this. Yato finally lands a strike on his shoulder. Rabou has been waiting for this moment as he summons the Ayakashi storm and absorbs it into his eye. In the fight to the death that is enough to shatter rocks and change the landscape, falling rocks threaten to crush Hiyori. Yato goes to save her but Rabou intercepts. Hiyori is in some dream-like state. She smells a familiar scent (because Yato is protecting her via hugging). And then she wakes up. She remembers. She’s back! Yato is so happy that he starts rubbing his cheeks against hers! She beats him up for that. Nora is surprised she could break her spell all by herself. No time for happy reunion yet since Rabou takes her hostage. He is mad that Yato will not return to his old self but Yato doesn’t give a damn. He doesn’t care about the past that has no meaning now. Rabou blames Hiyori and is going to kill her. Yato tells Yukine they’ll end this in a strike. Hiyori might get hit but this is where Yukine needs to draw up his Boundary. He can do it. They can do it. That strike works. Hiyori is freed and the Ayakashi inside Rabou is destroyed. Yato lands the final blow. Rabou’s face starts cracking. He reveals that people will always hate and forget gods of calamity. Therefore when he woke up from his slumber, he wanted to be eliminated not by just anybody, but by Yato who knows him. Time to get going. Bye. Nora notes his failure and needs to talk to father. Yato wants Hiyori to cut all ties with him to return to her normal life. But she won’t because she wants to be with him forever. Kofuku interprets this another way and looks forward to it. This calls for a celebration? But with only 5 Yen, he’ll hear her out. Yup, he heard her loud and clear. May their fates intertwine.

OVA 1
Hiyori is making her high school debut and she thought she’s going to have a pretty normal high school life till suddenly a change in image! I didn’t know Hiyori is bold enough to go up to class to make such a cool/embarrassing debut. Actually, it is Yato who has possessed her body and Hiyori’s soul is only left to watch in embarrassment about the things he is about to do. This is the start of hell… Even more disheartening is how Kofuku is Yato’s partner in crime as they go ‘have fun’. It might seem ‘Hiyori’ is flirting around, joining activities and serving others with utmost politeness. This is because it is all part of Yato’s ploy to increase his business potential by handing out his name cards to them. Hope they don’t get the wrong idea. Her friends are freaking shock at this new badass image of hers. Meanwhile, Kofuku is seducing the teachers. They are willing to give all their money or break up with their girlfriend just to be with her! This school is done for! Yukine and Mayu are watching this and don’t like this a bit. They report to Tenjin who is also worried because if the council gets word of it, Yato will be reprimanded. Time to take action. ‘Hiyori’ will confess to the entire football team if they win. Great motivation? Tenjin and Mayu dressed in swanky outfits are about to do their job but several girls start admiring them so they get distracted by their company to show off.

‘Hiyori’ laments the pathetic state of their football team. Supernatural bad luck befalls on the team thanks to Kofuku as Daikoku takes her away. Can’t take this anymore, ‘Hiyori’ joins in and plays football herself to defeat and win the game! 10 goals!!! The goal is almost destroyed by ‘Hiyori’s’ super kicks! Everyone celebrates how cool ‘Hiyori’ is. Including the original one. Then it’s time to take a bath. Oh no you don’t! There is nothing the original one can do to stop the imposter. Unknown to ‘Hiyori’, a pervert has placed a hidden camera and is watching this changing scene from his classroom. Hiyori and Yukine wonder why the former is appearing on the video in real time when the pervert gets startled. More surprising is not how he can see them but rather what he is doing. The pervert destroys the camera to hide evidence. They realize he is being possessed by an Ayakashi. He starts panicking and jumps out to kill himself. Hiyori grabs his hand but how long can she hold on? Stupid Kofuku had to bump into them. The pervert falls but ‘Hiyori’ jumps down to save him. Despite ticking him off like a badass delinquent, everybody finds her so cool! Unfortunately her shoulder is dislocated. Play time is over as Yato is being punished. I’m not sure if they’re going to stick his head into a bucket of cement. Yukine is chiding him like mad especially about the injury that would have been permanent on her. Yato reasons he did all this because he was lonely. That sounds pathetic. Surprisingly, Hiyori forgives him. Next day in school, Hiyori has gained lots of followers and admirers! Everyone loves her! Well, it’s better this way, right?

OVA 2
Yato thought he could enjoy the food and hanami alone with Hiyori and Yukine. Turns out that girl invited everyone else. Including Bishamon! OMG! She is giving them a chance to clear things up? How can a few minutes together clear things up when they’ve been fighting for hundreds of years? Before any fight can begin, Yukine points out his friend who was also once her Shinki, tended to this tree. She can stay to appreciate its beauty but if she is here to fight, please leave. Despite Bishamon staying, it is a pretty awkward situation sitting right next to Yato. It’s like they can explode any second. So we see the rest of the characters (including all of Bishamon’s Shinki in human form) interact with each other. Yukine is shocked to learn that the Shinki enjoy a better life than he is and that is pretty normal! They get to go on trips and vacations! Why is he stuck with a poor god who even stole his hard earned money?! The tension between Yato and Bishamon is rising so Bishamon’s lion decides to play circus and jump through fire hoops. Your mane is on fire… But it’s back to hating each other for the duo as they drown it with bottles of sake. I don’t think that is going to help. It reaches boiling point when they are going to go at each other’s throat. Suddenly Bishamon becomes an emotional wreck. She’s saying that is not his fault that got her Shinki killed and that it was her fault to begin with for the obliteration of some clans. Something about her being saved by him twice too. Guess what? Yato covers her mouth with his hand and kisses over it!!! Everybody is in shock except for Kofuku who must be the only one enjoying the spat from start. It gets worse when drunk Yato insults and badmouths her so Bishamon beats him up like a coin box! Tenjin wanted to diffuse the situation but was told to stay his boring butt out of his. Just great. Three fighting gods… Kofuku may not join in but she got owned by having bowel discomfort from the sake.

Back at Kofuku’s home as Yato recovers, a magazine from heaven drops into Yukine’s hands. It is a magazine that advertises jobs for Shinki and also does survey. Why doesn’t Yukine know about it? Because Yato is hell bent on not letting him know as he rips the magazine to bits!!! After Daikoku have a hard time to restrain him, Yukine goes through the magazine to see lots of tempting offers. There is also an interview with Mayu in which she complained about the poor life with her previous master that shall only be known as Mr Y! So they’re just knitting out in the cold in their spare time? I don’t blame her if putting his hand over her shoulder while boasting about his future shrine to be considered as sexual harassment. This gives Yukine the motivation that he can do anything. All he needs to do know is to fill in the form and throw it back to heaven. Yato will also of course be punished. Sounds good, no? Bishamon is recovering as she goes over the surveys from her Shinki. Kofuku runs over to give Daikoku a big hug because his big simple loving words for her were just enough to warrant that. Yato laments he got his punishment that his golden crown logo has turned into a golden poop logo! But at least something that everybody can smile about because the survey that Yukine filled in to change jobs, he declined it and wants to stay on as he is. That’s good, right?

It’s A Bargain!
I know it is dirt cheap and really worth your money but that is only when the job gets done. So in the case of Hiyori, it all rings a familiar bell in real life of the contractor you hire putting it off many times with lame excuses despite being paid the deposit upfront. And in Hiyori’s case, it gives her a reason to stick around Yato and gang a little more. Overall, this series is not too bad with a decent mix of supernatural, action, drama and comedy. Though the same level of decency can’t be said for its plot and direction of the story because as seen in the biggest non-solving case of Hiyori, it fails to give us that satisfying conclusion for a short one season anime series. But of course you do know now that at this point this anime has been given the green light for another season, right? I theorize that more than enough people have been paying him 5 Yen to warrant enough funds for another sequel. Yeah…

Most of the character development surrounds the trio of Yato, Hiyori and Yukine. It is the interaction between the trio that gives off most of the comical effects and probably one reason why decided to check out this anime despite knowing it is a supernatural theme that is not my usual cup of tea. The lack of understanding between Yato and Hiyori, especially the different worlds that they come from and the frustration of Yato never ever getting her wish done are the source of the many instantaneous funny factors that make you burst into a little grin from time to time. I would say that they put in a good balance in it so as not to turn it into a total slapstick comedy and dilute the worth of what this anime is about: Fighting Ayakashi. Thank goodness the supernatural factor isn’t that scary or else I would have sleepless nights. Though, it does give me the creeps.

So back to our main trio, they are as interesting and amusing as they are. Yato feels like he is deluding himself trying to become the best god ever with the best shrine he will (eventually) make. I don’t know how long that will take since if you do the calculations, it will take years for him to finally build his shrine. Has he ever thought of increasing his price? Accept more donations? Has he factored in inflation? Will the cost of building a shrine go up in the future? Who is going to build his shrine anyway? I suppose humans would since he is collecting 5 Yen. Oh, will he take foreign currency? Is there any other better effective way to advertise his services other than name cards? Ever heard of the internet? Facebook and Twitter? And of course, with his character always wearing a jersey, it makes him look like one whom you shouldn’t take seriously. A weirdo. Heck, his idiotic behaviour is also top notched. Maybe he wants to get away from his bloody past and what better way to do that than to totally change your character to the other end of the pole. But you can’t beat his enthusiasm in taking up jobs. If only people were like that. But it might make him sound desperate to do things for a meagre price. Even odder is how he tends to spend them all on useless charms. I can see why he is never going to get that shrine of his in the near future. He needs to take classes on financial management. Of course Yato isn’t all just a plain idiot. He cares for his Shinki and Hiyori because he is responsible for them. He doesn’t use conventional ways to deal with Yukine when he goes astray and continues to believe in him even when he is close to turning to the dark side. That is why he is perhaps a stray god in this sense.

Hiyori on the other hand, must be the most patient and yet frustrated client in Yato’s clientele base. Because her simple wish of keeping her soul intact is still unresolved. Doesn’t it feel like she’s been cheated out of her 5 Yen? Can she wish for her money back? Well, I don’t remember Yato having this money back guarantee policy. So she gets dragged into all those supernatural stuffs just because Yato prolonged his case in helping her out. I suppose it is his policy to solve it once he takes the case because it is true that he hasn’t founds a solution yet. Besides, he can’t refund her 5 Yen or else he will be 5 Yen short to achieve his dream! Every penny counts! I can speculate that deep down inside Hiyori doesn’t want her soul to get back to her original state. It is more evident at the end of the TV series that she wants to be with him. Did she forget about her original goal then? Well, good or bad thing, she has saved Yato a couple of times but she’ll have to be contend that she’ll have to slip out of her body more often than before. Won’t other people find her habit of suddenly falling asleep in the middle of streets to be just too odd?

Yukine started off as a lost, conflicted and confused young lad. He doesn’t know where he belongs and the more he sees the interaction of living human beings, the more he gets irritated in getting something he could never get. His untimely death made it all worse. Turning into the dark side is easy. It was the case of spare the rod, spoil the child. Yato’s hope that Yukine would come to his senses but he left it too late and till the verge of death (and lots of beating up) before Yukine turned back to the right path. All a good lesson and reminder that all he wanted was just a place to belong and somebody to accept him for who he is. Like a family. It is a good thing that he is given a second chance in life. So don’t go wasting this one. I’m sure he’ll finally appreciate it. All in all, the 3 main characters have bonded and grown so much together that it would be just sad to see them break up or for Hiyori to return to her normal life.

The rest just feels like a side distraction and some disappointing. Basically their past is not delved in very deeply. Just felt like an introduction for this season. Like Kofuku and Daikoku are a funny and amusing pair as they are but they don’t really do anything that really makes a great impact on the overall series. I suppose Kofuku being a cute girl even in her personality, do we let it slide? Or maybe it is her bad luck that spreads to bringing poor character development to others? Tenjin is there mostly for some advice and Mayu helps out a bit perhaps out of nostalgia because Yato was once her master. Most disappointing character development goes to Bishamon. After appearing halfway through the series and letting us know that her goal is to kill Yato (although it is only hinted but not confirmed that Yato killed one of her Shinki), after that first battle that got distracted by an Ayakashi storm, her presence felt redundant. It is like she is around just to remind us she is so, just keeping the city safe with her Shinki, patrolling and watching over it. That hanami event didn’t do much justice either despite revealing a little juicy interesting bit. It’s not like they reconciled and probably worst off than before. And I thought she would be the character, the ‘final boss’ of this season that Yato would face off with.

Turns out the villain of the series is to be that Rabou guy whom I later found out that he is an anime-only character. Many confused him to be one of Bishamon’s Shinki because he certainly looks close to it. I too would have fall into that confusion since I don’t read the manga. So maybe that is why there are mixed feelings from fans for the series because the anime ended by deviating from the original source material by including this Rabou guy. Well, it was mind boggling that all he wants is Yato to become his original bloodthirsty self so that he could just die by his hands. Maybe had he told the truth from the start, Yato wouldn’t have been so eager to do it. So I suppose with the outcome at the end, perhaps it ties things up neatly without deviating too far from the manga. Nora remains the most mysterious character because not much is known about her especially about her past relationship with Yato. Going by her status as a stray with many masters, in our terms, doesn’t that make her a whore?

Action scenes are okay. If you like supernatural stuffs and characters fighting them, I would say that this one would be satisfactory. Although some may find it boring that there aren’t any special moves or power ups (heck, Yato himself is already a god so why does he need to go Super Saiyan for?) because mostly it is just slashing and cutting the Ayakashi to finish it off. However it isn’t just mindless slashing to kill off Ayakashi but in the midst of the action, you’d see how the characters interact and grow especially with Yato and Yukine trying to forge a trust between them. But if you are looking for more exhilarating and gory action (say, Shingeki No Kyojin or even Akame Ga Kill), then you have to look elsewhere.

Art and animation style looks good especially during the fight scenes, they are fluid and laced with special effects that are nicely done. Maybe it is because I was watching the DVD version of this series and that is why there is quality in it. (The reason why this blog is over a year late since the series ended). Ayakashi designs are rather okay but sometimes it may feel a little scary (but not to horror lovers and experts) because personally seeing scary eyeballs pop up from the darkness do send shivers down my spine. Okay, it is not that bad but I’d prefer to see pantsu shots than that. Speaking of fanservice, you only get a handful panty shots in the OVA (the first one only for that matter) that aren’t anything much. Even so, those aren’t really close ups at all. Just from a distance. If you have very bad eyesight, you might not even see it. It just feels like a little reward and thanks for sticking around to watch the OVA.

There are a handful of recognizable seiyuus lending their voice to this anime. For example, Hiroshi Kamiya as Yato feels typical like some of his other ‘idiotic’ characters like Mephisto in Ao No Excorcist and Araragi of the Monogatari series. Then there is the ever omnipresent Yuuki Kaji as Yukine, Aki Toyosaki as Kofuku, Daisuke Ono as Daikoku, Miyuki Sawashiro as Bishamon, Jun Fukuyama as Kazuma and Takahiro Sakurai as Rabou. The most surprising one was Rie Kugimiya as Nora. It never crossed my mind it was her behind that soft voice since after all these years, I am still used to recognizing her trademark tsundere loli voice. Though she did voice characters that aren’t of this trademark, at least there was something familiar that would make me think it was her. It wasn’t in this case. Maybe it wasn’t the fact that she doesn’t appear much but because I wasn’t listening close enough. The rest of the casts are Maaya Uchida as Hiyori (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Asami Imai as Mayu (Noire in Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation) and Toru Ookawa as Tenjin (Saazbaum in Aldnoah.Zero). The opening theme is a rock outfit, Goya No Machiawase by Hello Sleepwalkers. Sounds rather okay but nothing that special. The ending theme is another rock based, Heart Realize by Tia. Also sounds okay and nothing spectacular.

We all know how desperate Yato is to get business, right? Therefore if you have anything in mind, feel free to give him a call and I am sure he’ll do it all for a dirt cheap price that no other human competitors can match with such efficiency, speed and service. Why go through the hassle of praying the traditional way at temples and shrines when there is a better and faster way to fix it? Need somebody to do your homework while you play your video games? Call Yato. Want to break up with your lover but don’t have the guts to say it in his/her face? Call Yato. Want to get more porn material for your fapping desire? Call Yato. This guy gets it done without complaining. Except putting your soul back together he can’t guarantee that. Suddenly I now know what he meant by let our fates intertwined. Me, stuck with this cheap idiotic stray god in a jersey (now with a poop logo)? I’ll give it a pass even if you pay me a million dollars to be with his friend. Some things are not worth the money.

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