Noragami Ep. 2: “It’s dangerous out there! Take this Regalia!”

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I think the comparison of Yato to those “Youths Who Refuse to Work” is definitely an apt one. Last week, I likened him to a wannabe rock star, because in my mind, the analogy seemed to fit: the brashness, the arrogance, the vagrancy, the dreams of grandeur, etc. Most importantly, it’s his lack of work ethic. In a way, “normal” people in Japan, i.e. those with a nine-to-five job, would probably see wannabe rockstars as one of those “Youths Who Refuse to Work.” Yato does, however, vandalize structures all across town with his number, so you might be tempted to say he wants to work. He’s just not lucky enough to find good work. Hm, as a person in my twenties, that sure does sound familiar, doesn’t it? What I want to point out is that it’s likely Yato only wants to work on his own terms. I mean, I don’t know what a nine-to-five job for a Japanese god would be, but whatever it is — if it even exists — it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that Yato would sign himself up for.

So although Yato dreams big, he’s definitely lazy. Yato has no clear plans to achieve his Superstar Jesus-dom whatsoever, and scribbling his number all across town seems to me like an act. We’ve all done it, I’m sure. We’ve all acted as though we’re busy when we’re not actually doing anything of note or substance. Instead, we’re really just procrastinating, putting off the real work ’til God only knows when. Yato tells Hiyori he can’t do a thing until he gets a Regalia, but what step has he actually taken towards getting a new one? And if he can’t do a thing until he gets a Regalia, why is he even offering to help people? As we can see from the previous episode, the only damn thing he can do without a weapon is silly stuff like finding a lost cat. That’s probably not real work for a full-fledged god, and I doubt Yato’s dumb or oblivious enough to think that it is. So the more I think about it, the more Yato just fits the image of a wannabe rock star… the lazy sort, anyway. They dream big, but they don’t actually do anything to achieve those dreams.

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I guess it’s only natural that Hiyori resolves herself to drag Yato kicking and screaming to “work,” so to speak, as she swears that she’ll find him a Regalia herself. After all, she’s only just learned what a Regalia is. How would she even know how to recognize one or even get the spirit to agree to serving and obeying someone like Yato? But there’s a difference between our hero and our heroine: she has determination. Yato’s just cocky.

Episode summary: Hiyori hasn’t had much luck getting Yato to return her back to normal. This is problematic because she can’t just keep falling asleep randomly throughout the day. Plus, there’s the whole nasty business about how her mere existence attracts ayakashi from far away. Unfortunately, Yato can’t actually help her until, he claims, he gets a fitting weapon. When Hiyori tries to find Yato a weapon herself, she only runs into trouble. Somehow, Yato spots an uncorrupted spirit to serve as his next weapon, and uses it to save both Hiyori and himself from a rampaging ayakashi. Much to his dismay, however, Yato’s new Regalia is a bit of a brat.

(Just as a small aside, I’m looking to return to my old format of blogging.)

Notes:

• Fanservice.

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• I wonder if there’s any important reason Hiyori’s a cat. Or is she just a cat because Japanese culture loves that antisocial animal?

• More fanservice than I would’ve liked.

• I dunno, even cats don’t act like this. Hiyori’s problem is more like narcolepsy. I assure you cats don’t just randomly fall asleep. Those bastards’ actions are quite deliberate.

• Yato tells us that the ayakashi are devoid of life. This would seem like a redundant thing to say if it’s to merely highlight the fact that they are phantoms, i.e. supernatural manifestations of negative human emotions. Does he mean thus mean that they are devoid of life in a different sense then?

• Supposedly, only young children and animals can see the ayakashi.

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At what point do we lose our abilities to sense the supernatural though? And why? Seems like it would be a handy thing to hold onto. Maybe it’s that cliche where as we get older, we are less inclined to “believe.” As a result, stuff like gods and phantoms can no longer be seen.

• Not sure what’s so pleasurable about a living hell.

• I suppose it’s one of those things that you just can’t think too deeply about, but how might a god go about buying a shrine in real life?

• Last week, it was translated as “Sacred Treasure.” This week, it’s “Regalia.” While that might be more official sounding, I think it actually loses some meaning as a result. But anyway, we learn that all(?) Regalia are spirits of former living people. I’m not quite sure why, however, this revelation made Hiyori take pause.

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• Hiyori goes around town asking random ayakashi to serve as Yato’s Regalia, which is a task she’s finding harder than she initially expected. After all, Tokyo is not exactly replete with caves filled with strange, old men offering swords to random passersby. In any case, I was under the impression that a Regalia would be more like a person’s spirit — something akin to Hiyori’s current existence except without the whole living body –, not a phantom born from human despair like ayakashi. Maybe I’m mistaken. Nevertheless, I don’t think a goldfish would make a very intimidating weapon.

• So of all things to do, Yato is cleaning a guy’s bathroom for five yen. That doesn’t seem like a job befitting a god, does it? Nor a wannabe rock star. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not trying to disparage janitorial work; that shit is definitely hard. But again, it just feels like Yato’s procrastinating, putting things off because he’s too “busy.” He’s definitely capable of more, and even he himself can’t understand why a god of war is busy “replacin’ rubber seals and cleaning out mold for chump change.” It isn’t because he can’t find the work he wants; he’s just avoiding the actual steps he needs to take to get the work he thinks a being of his stature deserves.

• I’m sure it looks as though I’m being overly harsh on the guy, but the following scene says a lot about Yato’s mentality: “Well, it’s not so bad! At least I got a drink out of it!”

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• Hm, if Yato can warp to Hiyori, why can’t he warp away?

• So I was right: spirits are distinct from ayakashi, and the latter can’t serve as Regalia. Nevertheless, Hiyori claims this is what she thought at first too, only changing her mind because she didn’t… want to judge ayakashi by how they look?

• It would seem even gods can be cursed from time to time and require exorcism.

• Yato spies this thing —

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— out of nowhere, and decides to turn it into a Regalia. Well, it’s not really a “thing,” but the wayward spirit of a teenage boy. Of course, I wonder why we would look like that as uncorrupted spirits. Anyway, an interesting thing to note is that Yato absorbs the memories of the Regalia he wields. Apparently, his new Regalia has had a very difficult life. Hopefully, the idea of transferring one’s memories will be used to a greater effect later on in the story instead of just being a side note.

• Anime always overdo these scenes:

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• For a god, Yato can’t seem to garner anyone’s respect. But of course, what has he actually done to deserve any….

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9 thoughts on “Noragami Ep. 2: “It’s dangerous out there! Take this Regalia!”

  1. higgsbosoff

    Ahwww, “fanservice”? And here I was so happy at how tasteful episode 1 had been, not even taking the occasion for a panty shot they got on a silver platter when the girl roundhouse kicked that monster. Not that it’s going to be the ultimate fun killer… it’s just depressing to see nearly everything eventually go back into the happy mediocrity of the medium.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Eh, your mileage may vary. I jot down any instance of fanservice I spot. You might not personally think the fanservice is too egregious in Noregami.

      Reply
  2. otakudaydreams

    “Hm, if Yato can warp to Hiyori, why can’t he warp away?” Interesting point. Perhaps he can warp away, but he can’t take Hiyori with him that way so he has no choice but to run.

    Reply
  3. falciel

    I remember that in the manga, Yukine actually took Yato’s shirt to step on it and put on Hiyori’s coat. Too bad they left it out, it was pretty funny.

    Reply
  4. Rae (@CSrae)

    Mixed feelings about the sudden name change from “Sacred Treasure” to “Regalia” I wish they’d keep it consistent between episodes. I agree Yato doesn’t seem to live up to his full potential but later on we meet other Gods and he seems slightly more average than usual I guess, since he doesn’t have much money or followers.

    BTW: The hero finding a cool weapon is one of the keynotes of all shounen anime orz.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      BTW: The hero finding a cool weapon is one of the keynotes of all shounen anime orz.

      That’s not really what was on my mind. It’s more like… does the blade always have to be in my face?

      Reply

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