Noragami - Reviews

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StevenSAKUJO's avatar
Apr 19, 2014

Story: [2/10] 

Anime planet's synopsis:

"Yato may just be a minor god now, but he’s determined to make it big and he’s got a plan. Unfortunately, things just don’t seem to be going his way. He doesn’t have a single shrine dedicated to him, his partner has just quit, and now he’s got to find a new divine weapon."

The synopsis sounds kind of exciting right? A god trying to increase his influence over Japan, have the people errect shrines in his honour and pray to him. A plot that involved world conquest, betrayal, strategy and alliances... who knows what they could unveil, but I would have never guessed it was comedic relief. Yes that's right, Yato runs around doing chores for people like cleaning their bathrooms and that's about the extent of his divine plan. He does slay some pokemon looking creatures that fly around not really doing a whole lot, seems very similar to a certain Puella Magi Madoka Magica girl plot with the storms and the monsters who make people depressed and whatever. Let us see if the second part of the synopsis gives us a better indicator as to what this anime is actually about.

Part 2:

"Just when things look bleak, he (Yato) meets a girl named Hiyori and changes her life forever."

Now this sounds a little more like what the anime is actually about but what exactly does that mean? I watched the anime and I still don't really know, it's not that the synopsis isn't doing the anime justice either. It's more like the anime doesn't really have a plot and Yato's "plan" doesn't actually exist. Yato is supposed to help Hiyori get rid of her "tail", this leads to them becoming friends. That's it. There really isn't much else to say. Yato needs a weapon to kill these inconsequential pokemon creatures, so he needs a weapon and he finds Yukine. Yukine is a pretty good weapon so Yato does everything he can to make sure that he gets to keep him. Why? To slay pokemon obviously, it's not like hes doing anything else. 

However the main storyline is actually about Yato's dark past coming back to haunt him, I've seen this trend in The Devil is a Part-Timer where a generous, kind, gentle and all-around harmless bloke is portrayed as the god of evil as well. It's fairly concerning that the divine manifestation of evil is such a pleasant guy, feels like the balance of the world is in danger. Yukine has some issues too, I missed the episode where we are told exactly what they are, did hear a lot of whining from an immortal, eternally young kid about how he wasn't alive anymore but the rest must be for season 2 or something. 

A story about nothing, with characters who exist for no reason and it's barely coherent despite that. All jokes aside, 2/10 is a reasonable score.

Animation: [3/10]

Pointlessly cute characters, an unimaginative world with clear inspirations from other anime like FMA and Madoka (not style, just content). Gods had completely demeaning appearences that reinforced the idea that gods are really just humans playing dress up and they might (or might not) have a magical power or two. Boshomon looks like a hooker, the god of povery is literally a 17 year old girl with pink hair and no one really exceeds this sort of expectatons. The creatures are unimaginative and unimpressive, almost every character has their situation in some way undermined by their appearance (Boshomon's ferocity, Yato's cruelty, Yukine's depression and so on). Nothing redeeming about it.

Sound: [6/10]

How do I review the music to a plot that doesn't really plot? I don't know, but there were certaintly some respectable scores and the voice acting wasn't less than average. I didn't really appreciate many of the the main themes though, but I suppose thats a personal taste thing and autotune isnt my thing.

Characters: [3/10]

Every character was fairly one dimensional, the relationships were also extremely one dimensional and lacked the depth necessary for me to become emotionally invested in them. Gods live like humans, eat like humans, bleed like humans and make friends with humans, in other words they are not gods. Yato as the god of calamity did not ever show any sign of him being a "bad" or "immoral" person, he even dislikes Yukine doing "immoral" things because it stings him, what kind of god of calamity struggles with that? I can't even comment on Yukine because his story wasn't even told to us which is pathetic, and Hiyori is easily the most air-headed character in the series. 

Overall: [4.5/10]

Noragami boast some impressive scenes but how they got there was most unimpressive, with no strong backbone to the story it really felt more like a magical slice of life with some awful drama elements. I think if you are the type of person who doesn't expect much from their anime and is content with some kawaii characters, some decent action and emotional scenes and some slice of life then you will enjoy this anime. However in terms of technical execution, storyboarding, character design and world setting, there is much left to be desire. I would not recommend this anime to anyone over the age of 18 and I would not recommend this anime to people who appreciate the artistic side to animation.

2/10 story
3/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
YuiYui's avatar
Apr 25, 2014

Warning this review may contain spoilers-

Ok so now another one of my reviews for all of you to enjoy, hopefully! This time it is the Winter 2014 anime 'Noragami'. This action filled fantasy anime is quite recent (at the time I wrote this review). Now lets get started, first off the story is very detailed and cleverly put together however even in the best anime there are problems. First problem is that they left quite a few things open, there are many unanswered questions which hopefully if they make another series they would answer. The other thing is that they left the ending open, at this point I am not sure if they are going to make a second series or not however if they just leave it like that there will be many disappointed fans (including me).

The animation was just about perfect and I haven't got anything to complain about here. Also the opening animation really fit the theme of the anime and went well with the song. The music all matched up with the genres. However the ED music didn't captivate me as much as I expected. The insert songs played at the right moments...so there wasn't really much to complain about at all.

The characters were really undeveloped and again there were many unanswered questions which is really annoying being just about all the anime was amazing. I also liked how the characters personalities ranged and how they all grow along with the series. Overall this anime was near perfect however this anime had small problems. If you like a fantasy/action anime you should like Noragami!

~AngelBeatsYui~

 


 

 

7/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
kidkonseptual's avatar
Apr 10, 2014

This was originally a blog post on my website here.

Noragami (Lit. Stray God)
Noragami (Lit. Stray God)

I started to write about how I began to enjoy Noragami around the eight episode mark, but I couldn’t continue. I didn’t regret watching this smaller scale ghost hunter anime from the folks at the Bones studios. But I can’t say I greatly enjoyed it either. A quick recap, with some thoughts and impressions inside.

The manga that Noragami is adapted from, began its run late in 2010 and is still ongoing. The 12 episode anime ran in the winter 2014 season, running from January to March. Enough of that. Ok, so what’s this anime about? Let’s sum it up.

Girl tries to save god, girl becomes (semi) ghost, they become friends. God gets sword boy and we see him fight few (full) ghosts and sometimes other gods. That’s pretty much it.  If you need more of a recap, feel free to read on. Otherwise, feel free to skip to my final thoughts & impressions section below.

Yato is a down on his luck deity, spending his days taking odd jobs for little money in the hopes of building a shrine for himself. Hiyori Iki is a kind, well-spoken high school girl, who, in an attempt to save Yato from a traffic accident, becomes a half-phantom. With a cute tail. Because that’s what anime does. So, yeah.

Noragami Hiyori Ika
Hiyori Ika, half phantom and meddler of the gods.

Throughout the series, we’re not actually told a whole lot about how the phantom world works. Living people are affected negatively by phantoms. Check. The several gods we meet over the course of the anime are tasked with fulfilling people’s wishes, but are also tasked with phantom population control. Check.

In one of the more actually compelling plot points, Yato is a god of calamity. The whole reason he’s down on his luck, is because he’s turned away from being a ‘evil-ish’ god and is being forgotten. Thankfully the show doesn’t over burden us with actually interesting plot. So, Yato and Hiyori hook up, with Yato promising he’ll help her go full human again. It’s a short-lived duo however, as Yato summons a third wheel, a new Shinki by the name of Yukine.

Shinki are dead people who died against their will, or something like that, and are summoned by the deities in the show as divine weapons. Dead people turn into weapons. Of a specific note for this particular section of the story, is that the god and his shinki are linked on an emotional level.

A good bulk of the series is about Yukine and his struggle to come to terms with, well, the fact that he’s dead. Oh yeah, and generally being a big asshole. Or course, Hiyori is the glue that holds the trio of main characters together — because she’s a cute high school student — and we follow the three as they deal with their own shit, while getting introduced to a good handful of secondary characters.

Without any spoilers, there is a villain that shows up very late in the series, and Yato has to come to grips with his calamitous past. Only he doesn’t really have to, because he’s got a high schooler with him. Ok, I think that’s enough recap.

I have a small tolerance for certain anime settings/genres at this point, including anime set in high school clubs, angst ridden teens in giant robots and, as seen in Noragami, gods, immortal and/or special people who kill ghosts, or at the very least, resolve problems with them. But that’s me.

Noragami however, starts with a theme we’ve seen before, but keeps its scope small. Compared to something like Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundry), it’s much more of a character driven story. I enjoyed Kyoukai no Kanata and its main characters, but would have liked it even more without the support players. Not secondary even, but tertiary characters, which to me, felt force-fed. You might also notice Kyoukai no Kanata sort of combines the ghost hunter and after school club room themes into one, and I still enjoyed it. I like to think I can put aside personal bias to a degree. Although I think I enjoyed it because it’s so damned cute.

I like the focus on the small group of characters in Noragami and I like the quick 12 episode run as well. I haven’t read the ongoing manga (not a manga fan), but the fact that it’s been ongoing for 4 years would suggest a much larger group of characters exist in the world.  It would also suggest that secondary characters in this season, have much more fleshed out (not a Bishamonten pun), personalities and stories of their own.

Lastly, the long, and ongoing manga series, would suggest that if the anime is successful, there could be additional seasons. I’d kind of be ok with that. If they keep each adapted season short and sweet, and focus each season on a particular story with a small group of main characters — I’d probably watch it.

Noragami is fairly standard in terms of production values. I’m not a huge Openings/Endings watcher, so I usually base my opinions by the following code: do I watch them all the time, sometimes, or never. I watched the opening sometimes and the ending never. The show looks ok. The actual combat is animated fairly well, especially the fight in the last episode. There’s not much combat in the show though.

Scarves.
A tale of two Scarves.

The character designs are again, pretty standard fare. in three years, I doubt I could pick Yato, and especially Hiyori, out of a line-up of similar looking characters.  The voice-acting though, is actually pretty good stuff. Yato is especially great to listen to, shifting from the heavily dramatic god of calamity, to the whacky Yato, doing household chores for cash.

Ultimately, how I felt about the show, and how I rated the show, reflects the fundamental issue I had with the whole idea of the God, Shinki, and phantom universe the anime is set in. It’s boring. I mean, Noragami does it decently, but not good enough to make the show stand out, especially in an over-saturated genre.

Yato has a pocket high-schooler.
Empty vessel is empty. Reminded me of the opening of Ghost in the Shell.

And even though I preferred the series’ short length, I would have liked more back story on Yato. The show seemed to sparingly and deliberately introduce certain plot points, and reveal back story in, what I felt was a pretty unsatisfactory fashion. I wished I could have known more about Hiyori. She’s pretty much a completely empty character, and used mainly as a vessel to keep the main trio together throughout the series. So, she’s caring, pretty, stubborn, and well that’s it. Horribly written, or most likely (one would hope), just horribly adapted to this anime.

Nora sums up my feelings for the show.
Nora sums up my feelings for the show.

It’s an ok series with likable enough characters, but it felt like they didn’t give me a chance to get too invested into those characters. And, unfortunately for me, it’s going to be another middle of road amnesia-anime. Literally one of those series, a couple years from now, I’ll have to look on my ‘watched’ list to even remember I watched it. Again, it had its moments and definitely had/has potential. Perhaps with multiple seasons and more character depth, I’ll actually give more of a shit. Or two.

On my old anime blog, I didn’t give a traditional rating to shows, instead using a “Would I recommend this anime to someone?” system. I do however give ratings on my Anime-Planet page, so I might as well start here as well. It’s a fresh start after all. On a one through five rating scale, I’d give Noragami an easy 2 1/2 stars, or  2.5 kitsunes on the Kitsune Scale based on my new logo.

As always, I’m open to feedback, criticisms, comments, etc. You’re also welcome to look me up on Anime-Planet. I have some old reviews on there, as well as a full list of anime I’ve seen. Thanks and see you around.

4/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
5/10 overall
ffcfran's avatar
Oct 14, 2014

Normally I only watch anime that's been translated to English, I was very anti subtitle for a while (please don’t judge) but this was one of the new anime coming out that made me get over my prejudice and watch…subtitles be darned. It was a wise decision and also spurred my newfound obsession with subtitled anime…my free time has been limited since.

Yato, the god amusing as it is to say that after watching this, reminds me a lot of Kenshin. I know some people will hate me for this but it had the same type of feel for me. Their personalities weren't exactly the same; no one can be Kenshin but him, but their troubles, their pasts, their trying to be something better seemed similar to me and it made me all the more obsessed.  

Hiyori was the perfect counter to Yato. She was weird, not your typical high school girl for sure, and that's why I loved her. She was pretty to the point and but kind with a need to save everyone. I was pretty sure she would die at least a million times forcing Yato to be a hero no matter how often he professed not to be. She held her own for the most part and even helped him out a couple of times though making her not the usual damsel in distress, I hate damsels in distress.

The art was beautiful, I think so anyway though I tend to be easier to impress as I have no artistic ability myself and are in awe of those that do.

The music was good, not fantastic but not horrible either.

The story was great and I eagerly await a season 2 to answer all the questions season ones ending left me with. Or I shall read the manga as it comes out and enjoy the continuation of a story I love.

All in all, it was worth the watch. I highly recommend it to anyone with good taste. (yes I know that shall likely start some things if people disagree but for now, I don’t care.)

10/10 story
10/10 animation
7/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
andrejbeca's avatar
Jul 12, 2015

Kay,so it's time for my first review here.I hope you will find it useful c:

The series is set in a world divided into "The Near Shore" which is pretty much the world as we know it and "The Far Shore" from where creatures like gods and phantoms originate.Although the creatures of both "Shores" live in the same space,"The Near Shore" beings usually cannot see gods or phantoms,however people are heavily influenced by them.The plot revolves around Yato,a god who lacks a shrine and worshipers...and the money to get the previous two.But being an ambitious person,Yato is sure that the future is bright as he does various jobs varying from killing phantoms to searching for lost pets and repairing the plumbing for the pay of 5 yen.On one of these jobs he incounters Hiyori,a final year student.Hiyori now becomes a half phantom able to see the "Far Shore" creatures.Ever since their incounter,Hiyori's soul ever so often slips out of her body.The third main character is Yukine,a deceased boy,whose pure soul now serves as Yato's weapon.Hiyori becomes good friends with them and then the story unfolds... c:

The story and setting are interesting,detailed and well put together.However they are some unanswered questions that I'm sure trouble the fans,but they will hopefully be resolved in the second season which has been announced.It is well paced and it didn't seem to drag at any moment.It also touches Japanese tradition and rituals which add to the great atmosphere.Noragami offers a healthy mixture of action,drama and comedy,so I'm sure that anyone who read the synopsys and said:"This seems worth watching",will like.

The animation was really good and I have no complaints about it.The fights don't drag and are fun to watch while being adequately animated.There were just a few scenes in which it seemed like the animation is lacking but it doesn't affect the overall impression.The opening animation is different but good too.

The soundrack is very good aswell.The oppening theme is on point and the ending felt like it was very adequate.Background music fits really well into the scenes and it is very satisfactional.Although there is nothing that really stands out like there is in some other series.

I liked the characters c:

The main characters get a fair amount of development and the relations between the characters is really well depicted.The side characters are really on point as well and they all really fit in with each-other.Although there aren't many characters they are likeable and all are unique and only one of them annoyed me,which is rare :p The antagonists however didn't really get me interested much and that's a downside for me because I'm a fant of the antagonists.

All in all,Noragami is a short and entertaining anime,definitely worth watching.Hopefully the second season will be just as good if not better c:

8/10 story
9.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
7.9/10 overall