Noragami: Episode 5 – “Borderline”

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 five, Yato teaches Yukine how to draw a borderline, which serves as a Regalia’s shield and only weapon; it acts as a boundary that phantoms are unable to cross. When Yukine tries it for the first time, Yato is surprised at how strong of a borderline he was able to make on his very first try.

Afterward, Hiyori and Yato get into a fight as to who he should be staying with. Hiyori argues that Yato doesn’t have a place to live or a semblance of a stable life. When the choice is left up to Yukine, he decides to go with Hiyori. Since Hiyori’s parents and their housekeeper don’t notice Yukine, this seems to be an ideal situation. However, Yato manages to get into Hiyori’s house and starts to cause problems for her plan. Yato tells Hiyori that Yukine is afraid of the dark.

That night, when Yukine has trouble sleeping due to the dark, Hiyori invites him to sleep with her in her bed. He freaks out at first, but as he’s getting comfortable, Yato comes in and forcibly drags him out of the room. Yukine has a confrontation with Yato, saying that Yato really doesn’t need him, since he already has Nora, his former familiar.

When Hiyori takes Yukine out shopping, he takes down a skateboard and starts using it, saying that since no one can see him, he can borrow it for a little bit. Hiyori scolds him and says it’s the same as stealing. When she puts the skateboard back, Yukine leaves without saying a word. Yato appears, and the two of them have a conversation where she learns that the concepts of right and wrong don’t apply to gods, and they can do anything they want, including hurting and killing people. After this, Hiyori goes to search for Yukine; however, her spirit leaves her body at just that moment.

It’s starting to get dark out, and Yukine gets scared. As he’s running to find somewhere with light, he hears a little girl sobbing. As he talks to her, he comes to realize that she’s dead but doesn’t seem to realize that she is. This leads to the episode’s climax, where Yukine has to face his fear of the dark and find a way to save the little girl from Phantoms that are tempting her.

There’s also a couple of brief scenes that feature a blond female character I’d seen in the opening credits but had not seen in the series prior to this episode. She takes out Phantoms with a gun, so I’m assuming she’s some kind of god and that the gun is her Regalia. Hopefully we’ll get more information on this character in episode six.

This ended up being another episode that was heavy on the exposition, and the major action really didn’t take place until right near the end of the episode. Some information is revealed early on in the episode that plays a part in the climax’s action, though, so the info dumping was actually important. And the information that Hiyori learned from Yato about the gods ties in with something that Kofuku told her back in episode four. It seems Hiyori is starting to understand that there’s more to Yato than there appears on the surface.

Is it just me, or did the concept of Yato trying to earn money to build his own shrine kind of get lost along the way? When the series first started, it felt like this was going be a driving force. In episode five, he didn’t do any jobs at all. In episode four, there was a job that Yato did, but it was revealed at the beginning of episode four that he spent a bit of money on good luck charms. Hopefully, we’ll see a little more of an emphasis on this aspect of the series again.

According to both and FUNimation, Noragami has 12 episodes, which means that we’re almost halfway through the series. At this point, I have say that Noragami is a decent show, but it’s not quite as strong as I thought back when I saw the first couple of episodes. I’ll keep watching the rest of the series, though, with the hope that maybe the series will recapture the interest I had in it early on.

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