Reviews

Dec 25, 2015
Stark700 (All reviews)
When thinking of Noragami, I often imagine the series as some sort of fairy tale. Only of course, it’s a fairy tale in the modern world about a delivery God named Yato. His question to own his personal shrine makes him an unusual character as well. From previously established concepts, Noragami Arargato returns in full force. And I have to say, any fans of the first season and manga will be delighted to see what the sequel has to offer.

The second season takes directly after the first season and we get a full on course of the story from the beginning. Unlike some supernatural or shoujo stories that concentrates on romance and relationships, Noragami Aragato crafts human emotions out of fantasy. The previous season already build a lot about personal conflicts such as Bishamonten’s troubled past. And in this sequel, it greatly expands on that as she takes vengeance against Yato. It’s simple to say really though. This season is more of an emotional roller coaster ride. From the first few episodes, it’s clearly shown that there’s darker background building through its various flashbacks. Demonstrated by the appeal of character trauma and PTSD-like scenarios, each episode builds up to a grand climax of this season. At the center of it, we have Yato who struggles with his own problems. Although luckily, he still has trustworthy friends like Hiyori and Yukine at his side.

A good portion of the season takes a look at characters from a personal approach. A key character and enemy to Yato is Bishamonten. Her troubled past links with Yato as viewers see how regalias (weapons made from the deceased) were killed by him. So in return, she wishes to gain revenge. Sounds plausible right? There’s actually a lot more story to that and thankfully, this season nails revelations through its precise buildups. From the present viewpoint, the storyline also follows Bishamonten’s followers as they are now. Some of her prominent regalias such as Kazuma and Aiha get their own roles with discrete purpose. At the same time, it creates some tension among her own group as tense feelings are expressed. Similarly, Yukine experiences grief as he loses a friend and learns about the destiny of being a shiki. Furthermore, Yato and Hiyori builds more of their relationship with trust that becomes stronger each episode. This can also be applied to Yato and Yukine as the latter even puts his own life at risk in battle. It goes to show how far these three’s friendship has led to their strong loyalty. Unfortunately, there’s also betrayal as viewers will learn the real mastermind who engineers suffering and despair throughout season. That’s just the first half though, there’s even bigger things that awaits those who is patient and eager to see how far the story develops. These include the origins of masked phantoms, how Gods exists, and what awaits for Yato’s future.

As Bishamonten is upgraded to a much more prominent role this season, it’s also important to realize her character. I think it goes beyond her vengeance against Yato as she is also a character with a compassionate nature. She clearly cares about her regalia both past in the present. And furthermore, she often tries to give those who have no place to go a home that they can appreciate. So no wonder, when her regalias were annihilated in the past, Bishamonten would go into a vengeful frenzy. In addition, Bishamonten is a strong willed woman, the type that doesn’t give up easily. Although her reasoning may have flaws, she is merciless towards her enemies and guards her own personal feelings closely. This sometimes leads to backfire as well when she lets those personal feelings get the best of her that leads to reckless decisions. In retrospect though, I think Bishamonten is definitely a character that is important to the core of this season; whether it’s her personality, morals, or actions.

Although there’s a darker nature of the second season, comedy still retains its comedic nature. So yes, there will be plenty of time to laugh such as with Yato’s childish moments. Anyone familiar with the first season will get to see how Yato’s lack of common sense places him in ridiculous positions. While it may be a bit of or hit or miss at times, Noragami always retains its ability to entertain the audience through clever dialogues. It also shows that Gods can be like humans with their behavior and even relatable through what they do.

Similarly the previous season, studio Bones does a terrific job at working with its animation. The character designs looks clear with Yato as he maintains both a humorous and cool side. Bishamon also returns with her battle gear and tough attitude that is translated by her facial expressions. And that’s a fun thing to look at. Noragami often has fun with itself and this season is no different. Almost every comedic moment is demonstrated with effective expression of character reactions. Whether it’s Yato or some other character, it’s very amusing and feels natural. Hiyori, Yukine, and some of the returning cast also looks good as well while the Phantoms are designed with credibility with their malevolence.

And lastly, we can’t forget about the soundtrack. On a personal level, the first season’s OP song has a catchier song with more stylistic choreography. But after examining at the sequel, I can say with confidence that the new OP song works quite well too. It has a similar style with fast paced action sequences and montage of the main and supporting characters. While there’s some foreshadowing too, the show does a great job with its themes. The OST is also quite noticeable between scenes of sadness, anger, and humor. It’s surprising at how the show can maintain it throughout the entire season.

Noragami Aragato is definitely a sequel that can appeal to just about anyone. Whether you’re looking for some drama, action, or comedy, it has a little bit to offer from all angles. Our main characters return and it’s fun to see where they are now. Bishamonten’s personal rivalry with Yato is a pivotal part of this season so a fan of her character will be in for a treat. And even if you’re not a fan of hers, the season is still entertaining with its concrete storytelling. It’s really a show that’s hard to pass by so what are you waiting for?