Noragami: Episode 3 – “Bidden Calamity”

Noragami is about a minor god named Yato, who doesn’t have a single shrine. One day, he spray paints on a wall that he will help people in exchange for a 5-yen offering; he’s trying to save up money in order to build his own shrine. One day, while he’s doing a job, a girl named Hiyori pushes him out of the way of a bus. She is hit by the bus, and now Hiyori is a living Phantom. She’s still alive, but her spirit has a tendency to separate itself from her body at unexpected times. At the end of episode two, Yato gets a new Regalia named Yukine.

At the beginning of episode three, it’s obvious that Yukine hasn’t quite warmed up to Yato yet, and isn’t happy with how they’re having to live: drifting around town, sleeping in the corner of shrines to avoid attention, and picking through garbage for everyday items.

Later, Yato gets Hiyori to treat the two of them to a meal at a restaurant. While they’re there, Hiyori learns from Yato that it isn’t that people can’t see him and Yukine because they’re not human, it’s just that they tend to blend into the background. When they’re noticed, they’re seen as people, but then they’re soon forgotten again.

After they exit the restaurant, Yato receives a call for a job. As Yato and Yukine disappear, Hiyori tries to catch them; her spirit leaves her body right at that moment, so her spirit accompanies them to their destination. They find that they have been summoned by Lord Tenjin, the god of learning. Lord Tenjin has his hands full, with it being exam season, so he asks Yato to help take care of some Phantoms. Yato takes the job, and discovers that his former Regalia, Tomone, is now working for Lord Tenjin under the name of Mayu.

Mayu takes them to where the Phantom problem is, and explains that someone offered an unsettling plaque about wanting to get in college for their two friends who went into heaven. Mayu says she looked into it, and discovered that two people already ended their lives; deeply rooted spirits convince them to kill themselves. Yato says he won’t do anything about it, because there’s no way to save anyone who is already possessed by a Phantom and wanting to commit suicide, and that there’s no way someone who has committed suicide can become a Regalia. This angers Hiyori, and she leaves. The rest of the episode focuses on what happens after Hiyori goes her separate way from Yato and Yukine.

This ended up being another episode that focused a bit more on exposition than on action until near the end. However, the audience needed to see the interactions between Yato and Yukine, as well as needing to be introduced to Lord Tenjin and the situation going on with the Phantoms.

Near the end of the episode, Hiyori makes a realization. She remembers Yato’s comment about people who have committed suicide cannot become Regalia, and then realizes that all of the Regalia she has seen up to this point are so young and innocent. It dawns on her that if suicide isn’t how they died, then Regalia must be people who still want to live. I thought that this was an interesting thing to see, because I have to admit that prior to this scene, it hadn’t entirely hit me that all of the Regalia were young; I had just accepted that these particular characters were Regalia and didn’t even think about their ages.

Admittedly, the episodes are still a little exposition heavy; however, we’re still so early on in the series that it’s kind of expected. But if the episodes are still exposition heavy when it’s around the halfway point, then I’m going to be less forgiving for that.

So far, poor Hiyori still has had no progress made in regards to her predicament, because this new job came in. I have a feeling this may be a theme that lasts for most of the series, where Hiyori asks about getting her job done in order to be put back to normal only to be interrupted by Yato’s phone ringing with a new job.

So far, Noragami still looks promising, and I intend to watch episode four next week to see how the series will progress from here.

Additional posts about Noragami:

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