Noragami: Stray God

Alt title: Noragami

Vol: 26+; Ch: 108+
2010 - ?
4.307 out of 5 from 3,180 votes
Rank #325
Noragami: Stray God

Yato is a homeless god. He doesn’t even have a shrine, not to mention worshippers! So to achieve his ambitious goals, he’s set up a service to help those in need (for a small fee), hoping he’ll eventually raise enough money to build himself the lavish temple of his dreams. Of course, he can’t afford to be picky, so Yato accepts all kinds of jobs, from finding lost kittens to helping a student overcome bullies at school.

Source: Kodansha

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This manga is criminally underrated but it's soooo good. I love so many things about it: the way everything seems to have been planned out from the start but is revealed little by little, the perfect mix of slapstick gags and serious moments, the multidimensional characters, the brilliant wordplays and the amazing art. Every time I reread this manga, I find something new to love about it. At first glance, the characters and the story may seem cliche: Yato is the underdog, the bad boy with a sad backstory and a heart of gold. Hiyori is the plain looking female protagonist who, despite being completely underpowered in a world of gods, somehow through her winning personality always ends up saving the day. Bishamon is the tits, Kofuku is the ditzy waifu material, Kazuma is the glasses. But that's not it at all. All of the characters are layered and complex and have deeper stories and feelings and intentions than it appears at first. Even though I'm 25 volumes in, the story has not gone stale yet and nothing has felt like a filler. In fact, the storyline that's been building since chapter 1 is only now about to come to a head. But the long buildup hasn't been boring because the story has been revealed little by little and there have been multiple smaller arcs building up to this big one. I could talk about this manga forever but I do want to mention one very important thing before I wrap up this review: the art, man. It's so incredible. The fight scenes are detailed, the characters have distinct faces, the garments are intricate, even the backgrounds are amazing. It's a shame that the anime was so short and didn't stick to the source material because this manga deserves so much more love. 

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