Noragami: Episode 7 – “Uncertainty & Destiny”

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 the episode, we learn through a conversation between Bishamon and Kazuma that the Vent has been opened and that Phantoms are now pouring out of it. Bishamon says taking care of the problem is their priority, since she’s the reason that the Vent opened in the first place.

Meanwhile, Hiyori discovers that Yukine has run away, and Yato tells her that he probably went to Tenjin’s shrine. When she visits with Tenjin, she learns that Yukine had been there and asked to serve as his Regalia. Tenjin turns him down, saying that if he did that, Yukine would become a “Nora.” Both Hiyori and the audience learn that “Nora” is not a name; instead, it refers to a Regalia with many owners, and a Nora is considered to be a disgrace.

Later, while Hiyori is trying to figure out where Yukine is, she sees that Bishamon has appeared where she is. Kazuma suddenly comes up behind her and uses a binding spell to keep her where she is. He also casts another spell, which appears to make it so she isn’t seen by Bishamon, because Bishamon never acknowledges Hiyori’s presence. After Bishamon leaves, Kazuma explains that he protected Hiyori because he owes a great deal to Yato. He also tells her that Yato needs to dispose of Yukine, because his misdeeds are starting to make Yato fall ill; Kazuma says he noticed the blight on Yato during the battle in episode six.

That evening, Yato and Yukine take a late-night shift at a convenience store. Kofuku, Daikoku, and Hiyori arrive while they’re working. Yato suddenly collapses; when he looks up, he sees Yukine and assumes he stole money from the register. As he checks the register, Yukine gets mad about being accused and runs out. As he runs, something falls, and it’s a collection box for a disaster relief charity. Everyone sees it and knows he stole it. Yukine looks embarrassed and runs off.

The remainder of the episode sees Nora making a return, as well as Yato trying to find Yukine in order to take down a Phantom.

This episode really helped to show Yukine’s true colors. Yes, we saw him take the skateboard in episode six and he made an offhand comment about “borrowing” things back in episode five, but Yukine hit a new low by stealing money intended for a charity. He also was showing more of an attitude in this episode; again, while he has some of the attitude in previous episode, he had been trying harder to keep up a “good boy” façade around Hiyori.

And we learn near the end of the episode that things could be worse than simply falling ill for Yato if he continues using Yukine as his Regalia. Hiyori tries to do the favor that Kazuma asked of her and talk to him about it, but he basically blows it off. He claims he knows what’s going on, but still insists on keeping Yukine as his Regalia. It’ll be interesting to see what consequences his decision may have as the series progresses.

By the end of episode seven, I definitely came to dislike Yukine a lot more than I had in earlier episodes. Previous to this episode, I had been willing to try to give him the benefit of the doubt… however, he’s lost that benefit with me at this point.

The strained relationship between Yato and Yukine, as well as the consequences of them staying together, is keeping me interested in Noragami, and I’m looking forward to see how the story will progress in episode eight.

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