Noragami Review

You’d think bumping into a god would be an exciting thing. But to Hiyori, it changes everything. For the worse, it seems. When she accidentally ends up saving the life of a largely forgotten god, Yato, she ends up half of her world and half of his, a mixture of human and phantom. But when she requests for the laidback god-for-hire to cure her of her strange circumstance, she ends up entangled in a bizarre world no other humans seem to know exist.

Because most of the violence in this show is dealt to monsters, there’s not as much violence as in shows like Fullmetal Alchemist, however there are more than a few scary scenes in addition to a few cuts and bloody noses. The gods and those connected to them can become “defiled,” which blackens their skin, causes pain and begins to fuse them to dangerous phantoms. These phantoms usually have creepy voices and are dark, sometimes formless, shapes with eyes all over. Scary stuff that most young viewers would have nightmares over.

The usual for a YA show, you have your classic d-mns and a few b-words during intensive fights and such.

Aside from the usual bath scenes that show nothing and a female side character wearing a super short skirt and belly bearing top, the worst this section gets in this show would be off handed jokes by a few characters. But even those are wonderfully tame compared to some of the stuff in comedies like School Rumble.

Considering a forgotten god and phantoms (spirits of the dead) and whatnot are involved in this show, it should be pretty obvious that this one deals with a lot of supernatural themes. Some main ideas in this show include: phantoms are people or left over emotions of the dead OR extreme negative emotions from humans. Also, gods can lose their power when they are forgotten/not worshipped. Although there’s nothing in this show that teaches how to worship gods or anything, there’s enough traditions and such in this show to make me encourage those that aren’t fond of this kind of thing to seek their kicks elsewhere. It’s too ingrained into this show to ignore.

Personal impression:
I fully admit that I started watching this show due to the sharp visuals reminding me of Durarara, a style I never thought I’d like until that show swung around. And, in that department, I wasn’t disappointed. The art is pretty true to its style throughout and the music matches, with just enough of an odd flavor here and there to match the art.
However, it should be stated that the first part of the show is hard to get through. It’s not because the show is badly done. Actually it’s because the characters are a bit too real and thus, when one keeps being a pain in the butt, it take a heck of a lot to turn him around. Rest assured, however, that this character does get a much needed kick in the pants, so it actually gets resolved. It just takes the better part of the middle of the show to do this.
On the far more positive side, the sweet scenes after the struggles are actually charming, instead of forced, like most shows these days. Also, this show, thankfully, focuses the most on friendship. So although there are undertones of a possible romance, the focus remains on healthy friendships, a theme I always find more attractive than the stereotypical romance clichés plaguing so much anime today.
Even though there’s more than enough hints dropped to allow for a second season, this show is a nice, although not completely unique, title. What it does, it does very well. It has good characters, they actually grow during the season, and it’s a fun ride with a few laughs along the way.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Fantasy, action, comedy
Company: FUNimation
Legal streaming: Hulu
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