First Impressions: Noragami

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Noragami (Stray God) at face value looks to be a typical shonen show.  Featuring action-packed segments and plenty of comedy to keep the slow parts entertaining.  However a few aspects seem to keep it promising and interesting.  Directing is Kotaro Tamura who had a hand in Sword Art Online, Wolf Children, and Baccano.  Writing is being done by Deko Akao who worked for a few episodes of My Little Monster.  With this pairing, things seem promising to bring not only action but other more deep elements into play.

noragami1Yato is not your typical god. Seeking to build his own shrine with unbelievable expectations, he takes any and every job he can find. Be it killing a giant spirit or washing bathroom tile. One day while searching for a lost cat, a girl named Hiyori Iki sees him nearly hit by a bus and saves his life.

Unfortunately for Iki’s sake, gods cannot be hurt by buses and the entire incident left her in the middle between life and death.  At any point, her spirit can slip out of her body involuntarily.  This also allows her to see spirits good or bad that roam the world.  According to Yato, she is also in danger of slipping off into death.

Being a sucker for any bit of yen, Yato offers to help restore Iki to normal for a measly 5 yen.  However he doesn’t actually know how he’s going to pull it off.  Especially since he no longer has a Shinki (Divine Weapon) which is a spirit contracted to be yielded as a weapon.  Unfortunately for Yato, his prior Shinki requested to be let free after becoming fed up with his failure as a god.

The setup so far is an interesting one, without a doubt.  The idea of Iki’s condition leads to quick and funny issues involving her slumbering body, while at the same time the chemistry between her and Yato is comical.  This is mainly due to Yato’s terrible luck as a god mixed with his personality as being something better than he is.

noragami2The character styles are more on the serious side with subtle detail.  On the flip side, the animations are smooth and well done, providing for great action scenes overall.  The feel has a lot of grittiness to it, fitting of Kotaro Tamura’s work with such shows as Baccanno.  While the animation work feels familiar of Bone’s other work like Blast of Tempest, which was great in that department.

The mixture of comedy, dire situations, action, and good characters make for a show with great potential.  As we unravel the spiritual world and the Shinki, the interesting plot points keep coming.  I have high hopes for this show and hope it keeps up the pace as we go through this season.

thumbsup

THUMBS UP!

FIRST IMPRESSION VERDICT:

THUMBS UP!

Goods:

  • Interesting plot foundation
  • Solid characters
  • Interesting weapon idea

Fears:

  • Could become episodic
  • Could lose focus easy

First Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.