I really, really do hope that the anime adaptation isn't messed up for this manga... so far, I have a bad feeling about it... anyway. A big and enthusiastic yes to Noragami. Believe me, I sure am glad that I stumbled across such a gem. It's not an overused or typical story, and it's very interesting. How so?
As said, this manga isn't a typical one. It's the type that keeps you wanting more and more. It presents some small feelings of mystery, and a bit of dread. Kind of like hidden dark parts to the plot. The first chapter was a disappointment to me. With how it was going, I didn't think I'd like Noragami. It was disjointed. However, once you past the first chapter, it feels different. There's a possibility that it was originally a one-shot chapter. Again, as MAL's guidelines say, for summaries, take a look at the synopsis. Continuing on.
The artwork is pretty amazing. It reminds me a bit of Bakuman's later chapters. Not the style, but the quality. Lines are done well, characters are expressive, eyes are drawn well, too. The hairstyles and the way they're drawn are also good. The biggest points are the lines and eyes. Unfortunately, there's fanservice in this. The character opposing our leading male character, Yato, is the sort of alluring (?) female character (I have mixed feelings about her, but moving on). According to MAL, her name's "Bishamon." According to the manga translation I've read, it's K-something; a long European name. Apparently, she has some sort of sickness, where she has to take herbal baths. I feel like this is an attempt to pull in male readers, considering how often those scenes are shown. I mean it -was- revealed that she's really sick, but I still feel that there were too many scenes with that whole shenanigan. It's not to the point where you'd drop Noragami, but it is pretty unneeded since the point was made. All in all, the art's fairly gorgeous, despite flaws. It's not perfect with its style, but still really good anyway.
I really adore most of the characters. The ones I don't particularly like too much don't frustrate you, and aren't characters who seem to have no role.
Our heroine, Hiyori, isn't your typical female character. She isn't a Mary Sue. She wanders based on what she herself wants to do and takes action of her own violation, and has a sense of justice. She's kind and caring, yet when angered, Yato and Yukine are subject to her violence. Basically the typical pretty girl, but she has a strong will and is independent. She's adorable and on the shy and innocent side, but she'll take more than enough action whenever she can.
Yato is a great main character. He's very goofy, but he has the typical tragic past. Even when alone, he's still goofy; he doesn't do that thing some characters do. As in acting easygoing with others, then all angsty when alone. He's a capable fighter, but he is nowhere near overpowered. He's seen as the underdog by most of the cast, but he'll keep trying, even with his self-doubt. You see, he's struggling to get by, but he doesn't give up. A very non-typical type of character, and he isn't of typical high school age, either.
Our third leading character, Yukine, I have a lot of issues with. However, there are reasons to why he was the way he is, even if he took very unreasonable actions and had a really selfish personality. He's pretty much a child in terms of age. More correctly would be a fairly young teen. He has progressed so far, and I am proud of his improvement.
Past the first chapter, it was all a great ride reading this ongoing and wonderful manga. Around the first half of twelve chapters, Noragami gained a place in my heart as one of my favorite manga (that's not exactly an easy feat). I'd recommend this to any manga enthusiast who wants some originality, good art and characters.
This manga is something you have to give a try to around twelve chapters. The series steadily grew in my heart. The story's not something you've seen a lot, the art's great, and so are the characters. I'm anticipating the thirteenth chapter, and I hope the anime aids it by gaining more recognition. Thank you for reading!