Noragami Episode 1

Noragami Review – Poor God, Rich Adventure (Anime)

Having watched Noragami a year or so ago which prompted me to pick up the manga (which is a favourite), I was excited to rewatch it again but this time with the English Dub!

 

Despite some important scenes from the manga being somewhat glossed over (notably one involving a little girl being attacked by phantom-like enemies), the fact remains that this anime is excellent and more than deserving of a watch. I originally watched it on a whim as I wasn’t particularly excited by the synopsis but the show goes far beyond that and features great storytelling and characters that exceeded my expectations by a large margin. Yato, a God who’s struggling to become well-known, does various jobs in the hopes that one day he’ll become famous enough to have his very own shrine and people worshipping him but to being the God of Calamity, he struggles in finding people who want to worship him.

 

Hiyori, the heroine of our story, pushes Yato out of the way of a bus and gets hit herself, putting her in a state of life and death where she’s able to see spirits and Gods in her daily life, and where she sometimes will collapse as her spirit leaves her body. Yato promises to return her spirit permanently to her body but doesn’t know how too, and so they work together to find a solution. Yato also saves the spirit of young Yukine who can transform into a sword, enabling Yato to defeat enemies and protect himself from certain Gods who dislike him.

 

Noragami review 2

 

The last three episodes of the twelve episode series is anime original, deviating from the manga but it manages to be very good. I assume animating studio Bones didn’t expect to do a second season and so wanted to wrap it up, but a second season is airing later this year and seems to yet again follow the manga which features one of the best arcs yet. If you’re looking for a solid, well-written story alongside fleshed out characters brimming with personality, then you’ll want to check out Noragami as soon as possible!

 

It’s visually spectacular too as is expected of Bones, who’ve also worked on Space Dandy, Blast of Tempest and Fullmetal Alchemist, and so it’s no wonder that Noragami looks as good as it does. There’s plenty of praise for the author and artist of the original manga – Adachitoka – who handles both jobs with such high detail and consistency that it’s hard to believe it’s all the work of one man! There’s strong character and environmental design that’s a pleasure to see and Bones have done well in re-creating it for the anime.

 

There’s more than a few explosive and visceral scenes in the series where Bones has been at the top of their game regarding fluidity, effects and choreographed battles. One particular moment includes a ‘cleansing’ of a character and, of course, battles between Yato and various enemies including one who is trying to get revenge on him for a plot point explained in the anime, and the phantom-like enemies who feed on civilians or threaten Yato’s friends.

 

Noragami review 1

 

I originally watched Noragami in Japanese but there’s an English Dub included with Manga UK’s release so I decided to give that a whirl as someone who tends to prefer English audio, and it doesn’t disappoint – Funimation seem to have a for casting the right people. With both audio options available, you can’t go wrong with either! The OP is one of my all-time favourites and it’s visually as strong but the rocky OP, Goya no Machiawasa by Hello Sleepwalkers, is amazing and I listen to it regularly. The ED is also very good although it doesn’t quite pack the same punch that the OP does, but as a whole the OST is impressive and fits the tone of Noragami to a tee.

 

If you’re still reading then I hope you have a separate window open to order the Blu-Ray or DVD complete collection right now as this series is well worth it, and with an on-going manga and upcoming season two, there’s no better time to get into the series. Noragami handles emotion, action and general development and blends it all together in a way that can only inspire awe and I’m happy to see that Manga UK believed it was worth localising as it well and truly is. Somewhat of an overshadowed gem, Noragami was one of the best airing shows of its year and one of the best home releases this year.

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