Noragami: Episode 8 – “Over the Line”

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.

Yato gets a job to help a boy named Manabu Ogiwaa; he’s being bullied at school. When they meet up with Manabu, Yato makes a comment about Manabu being like Yukine, and Yukine takes offense to it. He tells Yato not to compare him with that loser and then storms off. After Yukine leaves, Yato hands something to Manabu and starts to tell him something, but the audience doesn’t get to hear what it is that was said.

Yukine goes into a classroom that’s empty, and starts wondering if this is what his life would be like if he hadn’t died. When the students start returning to the classroom, Yukine hides and watches the students as they talk with their friends. This is the classroom that Manabu is in, and we see Phantoms trying to tempt him to kill the boys who are bullying him.

Meanwhile, Bishamon pays Kofuku a visit, asking for an augury to determine where more Vents may open. At first, I thought this would show that Kofuku isn’t as ditzy and she’s appeared to be, but as I saw her performing her augury, I noticed in the subtitles that she was doing “Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo” on a map. Yeah, that didn’t exactly inspire much more confidence in her as a character. However, it’s pointed out a little later that Bishamon knows that Kofuku and Yato are acquaintances, and accuses Kofuku of opening Vents on purpose to keep her away from Yato. Of course, Kofuku flatly denies the accusation.

Back at the school, Manabu approaches one of his tormentors. We learn that what Yato had handed him was a pocket knife, and was told that if he uses it, he also has to give one to the tormentor. Manabu throws a pocket knife to his tormentor, and it looks like he’s going to use it as the Phantoms are egging him on. But at the last moment, Manabu remembers something else that Yato had told him: if he does this, he would have to lose his humanity. Manabu throws the knife down. His tormentor, who’s peed his pants in fear, runs off.

Yukine, meanwhile, realizes that what he really wants is friends, and gets upset when he sees that a group of kids don’t notice him and leave him behind. He becomes so enraged that he grabs a nearby baseball bat and starts shattering windows. Yukine’s anger causes Yato’s blight to spread rapidly, and Hiyori goes to see Kofuku for help. However, something unexpected happens when they reach Kofuku’s place…

I appreciated seeing how the bullying storyline was handled in this episode, especially since it was primarily being done as a way to set up Yukine finally realizing what he wants and snapping in anger. Of course, if Yukine had really thought about it, he would have realized that Hiyori was trying to be a friend to him. But for whatever reason, he didn’t see it that way, thus causing him to snap.

Now that the blight on Yato has become obvious, we also learn that it affects Hiyori’s spirit when she leaves her body and touches it. With four episodes remaining, I’m guessing that one of the threads for the overarching story now is trying to find a way to get rid of the blight on Yato. But from what we see at the end of episode eight, Hiyori may have a hard time finding help from the other gods. And if the other gods refuse to help, what will Hiyori be able to do to help Yato? Also, now that we see the blight appearing on Hiyori’s spirit, how will this affect her?

The end of episode eight left me with enough questions that I want to see episode nine in order to find out what’s going to happen.

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