Noragami: Episode 9

Foul, I call foul.


In a Strike the Blood opening, we undo that last little scene from last episode with Daikoku letting Hiyori inside the barrier to be purified.  But for Yato, the situation is much more grim and saving him will require a complicated ritual of some kind, and he sets off to find two more regalia to help him with the purification.

He even threatens to kill Yukine if he takes a step. Yeah, you show him!

In one of the more pointless bits of fanservice, we see Kofuku filling a tub with her showerhead, which is fed from her sacred spring.  Then the next scene Hiyori is naked and using the showerhead directly because…because she has a great body and spirit clothing is easy to get off. I guess.

Doikoku’s first stop is Tenjin’s shrine, where Mayu offers her help.  She may have despised working for Yato, but she doesn’t want him dead.  But the others are afraid of the fact that a purification is a fatal procedure if done wrong.

Hiyori overhears this on the phone and…where did you find a payphone Daikoku? Sorry that’s just a weird moment…I mean we can’t find a third regalia, but we found a pay phone.  That’s like being able to find a leprechaun’s pot of gold, but not your car keys.

Anyway Hiyori naturally takes matters into her own hands.  Impressively, she doesn’t try to find Nora, knowing she’d probably just kill Yukine.  And Hiyori wants everyone to come through this alive.  A little bit of a parallel to Yato’s gamble with the schoolboy last episode.  It’s all or nothing, happy ending or bust.

Disregarding Kazuma’s warning, she heads for Bishamonten’s shrine, looking for him specifically.

Everyone has been insisting Yukine must be destroyed. And here Kazuma asks one last time for Yato to release Yukine from his bond, which Yato refuses.

Asking Yukine to take off his shirt, our party sees that Yukine’s back is covered in phantom eyes.  While Yukine is busy freaking out like a little bitch, the three regalia surround him and seal him inside a barrier.  Kofuku explains the ritual to us.  Only regalia can judge other regalia of sins (Uhhh…wait rewind to episode 5 for a moment…), and the ritual will either cleanse them, or they will turn completely into a phantom.  More gamble magic.

And mostly, we get that Yukine is jealous of the living.  He feels slighted to find himself dead, most of the same feelings we discussed last week.  I feel slightly deceived as we flashback to Nora’s words from Episode 4, showing us that this is what started it all…somehow.

I will grant them that the timing is good, but it says even less than what I felt about Yukine’s character.  Or just to the cruel status of the life of regalia.  Yukine did not have these thoughts until Nora pointed them out to him. That either shows Yukine was looking for a excuse, or he had not known of his injustices until they were pointed out to him.  Either way this is still more unflattering than even I gave him credit for.  Would Yukine have been blissfully ignorant if Nora hadn’t come along?

Since we are into the original anime story now, it seems the message the show wants us to take away is that Nora has been stalking Yato for some time, but on seeing Yukine, a weak willed regalia, she set certain events into motion to cause Yukine to corrupt, maybe even kill, Yato (her comments at the end of the episode backing this up).

Kazuma tells Daikoku to kill Yukine, he is so close to full phantom they have to get him before its over.  Daikoku says as the regalia of Kofuku he would make it worse rather than better.  Fair point, but how did you expect to carry out your threat from before?

So now Tenjin’s comments about Nora come full circle. Hiyori steps in for Heart Warming Speech TM, comparing Yato to Yukine’s father and how no matter what Yukine does, Yato will never surrender him, and will always be by his side.

Okay, time to call this show on its shit.  Part of the reason that Yukine is in this situation is Yato rushed to scale his powers without consideration for the person underneath.  In effect, if we’re carrying this dad metaphor, Yato expected his child to be a tiny adult.  And regardless of how bad a son Yukine is, Yato is still a bad father, but his love trumps all the negatives.  The show may be letting Yato off the hook for his bad parenting skills, but let’s be sure we don’t do the same.  If we had taken some time to consider Yukine’s sudden surprise at being dead and let him accept that, none of this would be a problem. Or at least not as big a problem as it ended up being.

Well we end on a heartwarmng note as we get a big crying group hug after Yukine repents his sins, the fact Yato wants him to live overriding all his despair.  Which is the only thing I will buy here as Yukine -was- classified as a “pure” soul, so the smallest hope can help him overcome, at least if we’re trying to be consistent.

Oh, did I say heartwarming? I meant creepy note.  Nora is singing in…a shrine graveyard.  Yeah. Probably symbolic of all the gods she’s killed.  And here we are more introduced to Rabo, the unique anime character.  He doesn’t do much but give off some vibes about wanting to challenge the old god of calamity.  Which he will  do as Nora edges him on.  She never has a direct phrase, merely a lot of hints dropped into her “cute” ramblings that lead people to their conclusions.  Even when Rabo asks if Yato is the Calamity god, Nora merely says he should test it for himself.  The next episode is “regarded with hate”, which is almost certainly going to be some backstory on the nora.

On the whole I liked this conclusion, but the one weakness is letting Yato get off free for his bad choices.  Shouldn’t the master’s sins account for something here? Or is it okay because HE is a lovable idiot, while Yukine was just being a dick?


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