Noragami: Episode 1 – “A Housecat, a Stray God, and a Tail”

Noragami is an anime series based on a manga series by Adachitoka. The series is produced by Bones, and is directed by Kotaro Tamura. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American streaming license for Noragami.

The story opens with Yato, a minor god who doesn’t have a single shrine, answering the prayer of a high school girl who is being gossiped about behind her back. Yato, along with his Sacred Treasure named Tomone, attack a large demon that’s surrounding the school. After a little bit, they are able to defeat the demon. However, Yato is dealt a blow afterwards when Tomone announces that she’s quitting as his Sacred Treasure.

So Yato spray paints his cell phone number onto a wall and puts a message that he will help people in exchange for a 5-yen offering. After putting up his message, Yato realizes that while he may be a god, he’s basically unarmed without a Sacred Treasure. He realizes that he’ll need to find a new Sacred Treasure. Suddenly, his cell phone rings, and it appears he has a job to do.

Next, we see a group of three girls named Hiyori, Ami, and Yama. They’re looking at a missing cat poster, and making fun of the fact that the cat is named Milord. Nearby, Yato is calling out for Milord and is looking for the cat. Hiyori and Yato pass by each other, and their eyes seem to meet. However, it turns out Yato has spotted Milord in the middle of the road right behind Hiyori. As Yato goes into the road to get the cat, Hiyori suddenly jumps in and tackles Yato, and we see that a bus is right there.

When Hiyori looks up, she sees Yato and scolds him for suddenly going into the road like that. Yato points out where the bus is, and Hiyori sees herself laying on the ground in front of the bus. She’s taken to her family’s hospital, and her father examines her and says that Hiyori seems to be all right.

That night at the hospital, Hiyori wakes up and hears voices. She discovers that Yato is also there, and he asks if she can hear the voices of the Far Shore. Of course, Hiyori panics when she sees him, but the two manage to have a conversation. However, when Yato explains who he is to Hiyori, she doesn’t believe him.

After Hiyori is released from the hospital, she finds herself suddenly getting drowsy on a frequent basis, and a tail also suddenly appears. Hiyori decides to look for Milord again to see if everything that happened to her around the time of the accident will come back to her. When Hiyori runs into Yato again, she learns some surprising things about what happened to her in regards to the accident.

I have to say that this episode was a strong establishing episode for the series. While the episode introduced the characters and the basic concept of the series, it accomplished this in such a way that I didn’t feel bored and I was legitimately interested in getting answers to the questions I was having. For the most part, I think this episode answered several of the questions that came up.

This episode also had a good mix of drama and humor. The humor wasn’t “over the top,” and it also didn’t draw attention away from the story. And as of right now, the overall concept for the series seems to have a lot of potential, and I hope to see this potential manifest itself with each episode.

When it comes to the animation, the best description I can come up for it is “crisp.” It looks good, and some of the color palette includes shades of colors I normally don’t expect to see in anime. The quality of the animation looked good, and I hope the quality of the animation doesn’t end up going downhill over the course of the series.

After watching the first episode of Noragami, I was impressed with both the storytelling and the animation. By the end of the episode, I was genuinely interested in wanting to watch the next episode in order to see what’s going to happen to both Yato and Hiyori.

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