ONGOING ANIME: NORAGAMI EPISODES 1-3
Definitely one of the unexpected hits of this season, Noragami is one supernatural anime you won’t forget.
Noragami follows the antics of Yato, a “new and upcoming God” who desires to gain enough popularity and wealth so he can open his own shrine (comedically in the middle of a city crossing, as he imagines it to look). However, at the moment he lacks both of those things and must perform menial labor and odd jobs to get by, as well as dig through trash cans and crash in one of his fellow God’s shrines each night. The mishaps of his poor existence eventually reel in Hiyori Iki, a high schooler who one day sees him charge into the street to capture a cat with a reward on its head, and is nearly hit by a bus. Hiyori rushes to him and pushes Yato out of the way, but sacrifices herself in the process. After waking up in the hospital she meets Yato again and learns that she now wanders the border between the “Far Shore”(afterlife) and the “Near Shore”(reality), but that she can still leave and repossess her body at random intervals. Yato also reveals to her the existence of Regalia- wandering spirits that still wish to live, and can transform into weapons to serve the Gods- and Phantoms- creatures that manifest from the negative emotions of people and will horribly influence humans. With the introduction of Yukine, a teenage boy who mysteriously died long ago, possesses no memory of his previous life and becomes Yato’s new Regalia, the three set off to perform Yato’s ridiculous quests while still searching for a way to restore Hiyori’s body and provide Yukine with a more enjoyable existence.
Not quite sure what it is about this show, but it just seems to nail every note perfectly in terms of what makes a good anime. The story offers a whole world of supernatural possibilities unseen to the naked eye, yet still manages to steer itself away from stories such as Kyoukai no Kanata and Bleach. The comedy is well-timed and always amusing, with plenty of good animation to pull it off (our favorite moments involve Hiyori whenever she accidentally loses her body). And the music- oh, the music. The opening song totally threw us off with a rock and roll vibe instead of the usual slower-paced melodies that would accompany a story like Noragami, and the insert songs are extremely catchy and fast-paced, which are definitely appropriate during action scenes or suspenseful moments. Sometimes its rock, sometimes its electronica. And honestly, the entire A7 Team are fans of both genres.
Maybe its not so much the story, as it is the execution that makes Noragami so special. Studio BONES is producing the show, so we’re not totally surprised that the quality is so damn good, as everything that comes out of that studio is excellent stuff. It’s just so rare these days to see an anime that possesses such well-structured and well-written episodes, and either keeps you laughing or keeps you focused on what’s happening without getting bored or losing attention. Several of the norms we’ve seen so far are hardly original- people turning into weapons, one of the characters being a God, a girl gets in an accident and manifests unique powers- we’ve seen it all before. But Noragami still keeps its characters likeable, and the plot intriguing despite not a whole lot of action occurring in the long run.
Well, that doesn’t matter. Either way, Noragami has surprisingly delighted us, and we’re excited to see just where the next episode is headed. What we’d really like to get out of this show is more development and maybe hidden backstory behind Yato, as there does appear to be an air of mystery about him. Also, Hiyori is just so damn cute with that spirit cat tail of hers- we definitely want to see more of her!
-The A7 Team
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