Noragami: Episode 12

Why’d it have to be rain?


Opening this week in Rabo’s shrine, a decaying thing in a dreary rain, much like the calamity god’s life.  He also seems to be missing a few screws as he just kind of keeps talking even when Nora tries to get his attention.

Yato, Hiyori, and Yukine arrive, the pair of spirits shocked to see Hiyori tagging along.  But she’s quickly pushed aside and battle commences.

But Yato is outclassed.  It is only the timely intervention by Hiyori that saves him.  Even without her memories she’s still saving your ass, buddy.

I also want to comment that the music here is fantastic.

Rabo continues to beat at Yato. He clearly views Yato as a mentor figure, and seeing a former calamity god trying to “behave” is pissing him off.  He comes to the realization, like Nora, that Hiyori is the source of the problem.  We of course know that’s not true, Yato has his own reasons, it seems weird that BOTH these villains fail to see that.

Outside this…dream world? We see Bishamonten has her hands full trying to protect Humanity from the surge in powerful Phantoms that have appeared.  Tenjin is doing what he does best: staring at clouds.

Yeah there is no contest between this pair.

Rabo takes the direct approach, shattering the marble with Hiyori’s soul.

Oh now you gone and done it.  Yato is quiet, balancing Yukine’s pitiful whining, but it’s not nearly as annoying when it’s over another person rather than crying over himself.  And the way Yato starts picking him apart, you have to wonder if he even needs the Sekki.

Rabo has a trump card. He fuses with a mass of Phantoms.  He’s an even fight now, but in his battle-lust, Yato has lost sight of Hiyori, and Yukine calls to him that she’s in danger. We see Hiyori adrift, but she wakes up in the nick of time, remembering everything.

Well if Rabo can’t kill her with magic magic, the old fashioned way is always a fallback.

Ah, but Yato has his own bullshit-bullshit, and that is falling back on Yukine’s immense powers.  He makes a sweeping arc, but because of Yukine’s strength, he can affect what gets hit and what does not.

Rabo lies dying, and his words are simple. He wanted to die to someone who knew his name. Not to be consumed by neglect and unremark like so many other gods of calamity.  Nora lifts the remnant of his mask, saying he ended up a failure.  She then teases season 2 by saying she will report back to “father”.

FINALLY learning the lesson of the entire damn series, Yato approaches Hiyori directly, telling her he believes that she should cut ties with him.  Hiyori refuses. She states that she will be a part of Yato’s life forever.  Blushing, he offers his hand, saying her wish has been heard.  It’s a lovely note to end the series on, especially remembering that this is now “the first” 5 yen coin Yato will have saved.

This ending arc was…okay. It had great fights, good dialogue, and as I mentioned last time there was really only one true weakness, that of how amnesia-Hiyori was handled.  What upsets me most about it is how our established cast (Tenjin, Bishamonten, Kofuku) was brushed aside for the anime-only Rabo, and Nora was dragged into the spotlight, arguably before the narrative was ready for her.  They try to mix her use of Rabo as “just another Nora scheme!” but her very direct approach here counters that image of the patient chessmaster.  That and seeing her wielded by some random kami just felt…wrong.

It’s a very direct, basic conflict.  I think thematically I kind of dislike it as well because it brings the focus from the far-shore characters onto the near-shore characters…which is to say Hiyori, who has mostly been a peripheral in these conflicts. Not to say her presence had no impact, but there was a bigger world out there rather than “the things that just happen to Iki Hiyori”.  The scope of the series got smaller in the final act, and I think that’s just a weakness of filler in this particular series.

But that is not to say it tarnishes the rest of the series, and it was certainly a positive experience for me.  See you in the recaps.


One thought on “Noragami: Episode 12

  1. Oh – I had no idea Rabo was an anime-only character. I don’t tend to read manga as such, so I typically know little to nothing about the anime source material and just take the stories/characters as they come.
    Well, now that Noragami’s finished, I have to say it was a show I really enjoyed – consistently entertaining, fantastic visuals and music, and overall extremely stylish. It’s obviously not the best anime to come out of the last year or anything like that, but out of its specific season, it still ended up being my second-favourite series, right behind Gin no Saji.

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