Noragami: Episode 9 – “Name”

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.

Episode nine opens with a slight recap of the end of episode eight, where Hiyori takes Yato and Yukine to see Kofuku and Daikoku in order to get help for Yato’s blight. When they arrive, Daikoku creates a Borderline to keep the three of them from coming any closer. After Hiyori pleads her case, Daikoku allows Hiyori to pass beyond the Borderline. Hiyori is taken to the bathroom to use water that comes directly from the spring in the garden in order to wash off the blight that she got on her skin from carrying Yato.

Hiyori learns that Yukine has to undergo a punishment called ablution, which is a ceremony to expel blight. However, it requires three Regalias and it also has a risk for failure. Daikoku goes out to find two other Regalia to help him with the ceremony. He’s able to get Mayu, Yato’s former Regalia, to agree; unfortunately, he is unable to find a third Regalia that’s willing to help the Regalia of a god they’ve never even heard of. When Hiyori learns he hasn’t been able to find a third Regalia, she takes it upon herself. She has to decide between Nora and Kazuma, and she takes a chance to ask Kazuma to come help.

Hiyori’s gamble pays off, and almost half of the episode is devoted to the ablution ceremony…

I’m glad to see that Daikoku and Kofuku changed their mind about helping Yato. And as I guessed, they did have a hard time getting the help they needed in order to work with Yato. When I saw Hiyori going to contact Kazuma, I nearly wanted to facepalm for not thinking about the fact that he had mentioned in an earlier episode that he owed quite a debt to Yato. I really should have seen that one coming from a mile away.

The actual ablution ceremony had a strong emphasis on Yukine and on his belief that he has done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, if Yukine doesn’t admit to what he’s done and show remorse, then he’s doomed to be devoured by a Phantom. The section of the episode that focuses on the ceremony is very intense, and it really looks as if the tide could turn either way for a while.

Right at the end of the episode, there’s a short scene with Nora, and the audience receives a brief introduction to a character named Rabo. I suspect that Rabo is going to be a major character for the remaining episodes of Noragami. I’m very curious to see if I’m right on that or not.

Additional posts about Noragami:

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