Noragami Ep. 8: Quarantine

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Always use protection, kids.

Episode summary: Yato shows up at Hiyori’s school because his latest client is a bullying victim. He then gives the kid a pair of box cutters in case the latter wants to confront his bully. In the end, the kid tries to, but realizes that it would be a mistake to kill anyone (I’ll say!). Meanwhile, Yukine lashes out in anger even more when he sees how happy kids are in school, and how he wishes he could’ve been like them. This results in Yato’s condition worsening, but when Hiyori drags our god to Kofuku and Daikoku, the Regalia erects a Borderline to keep our heroes out.

Thoughts:

• Here’s a reminder that if Yato doesn’t do something about Yukine, he will die. So of course, Hiyori mutters to herself, “It’ll be okay… right?” Not sure where you got that impression, girl.

• So anyway, Hiyori’s in the school restroom washing her hands when Yato shows up outta nowhere. To us, it’s obvious that he got summoned for a job, but in typical anime fashion, the girl character freaks out and physically abuses the male character. What gets me about the scene is how Hiyori flashes her panties anyway. It’s just such a stupid scene that contributes absolutely nothing to the anime whatsoever ‘cept “Hey, we haven’t seen her panties in a while! So have a look!”

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• Yato’s latest client is a victim of schoolyard bullying. Or at least, that’s what he claims. I’m not calling him a liar. I just wish Hiyori’s transition from uber-mad to wistful empathy would be a little more gradual. Instead, as soon as the kid said the word ‘bully,’ it’s like a switch has been flipped. Make Hiyori’s change in demeanor more gradual and thus more organic. I’m not saying Hiyori should call the kid a liar, but nobody’s emotions shift that quickly on nothing but a personal testimony.

• Yukine, on the other hand, feels no pity for the kid. Man, Yukine really needs a therapist, but where do you go about finding one in the spirit world?

• Watching Yukine put on the school uniform, acting out what it would be like to greet a teacher, and doing someone else’s schoolwork just confirms the idea that the kid needs structure. He craves discipline, but not just any discipline. He needs discipline from a proper leader, which neither Yato nor Hiyori can provide. Yato’s too much of a free spirit; our god exists to live in the moment. Meanwhile, Hiyori’s just a child. She’s barely any older than Yukine, and considering her background, I don’t think she’s ever had to face a single day of hardship in her life. To make matters worse, Hiyori only sees Yukine as a friend, but that’s no fault of hers, though — don’t get me wrong. Friendship is awesome… or something. But it’s clear that Yukine needs a big sister type more than he needs a friend.

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It’s not just about listening to Yukine’s feelings like Hiyori suggested to Yato last week. He’s young and thus restless. Kids need someone to instill a purpose in them until they can learn to find their own purpose in life. He’s alienated from everyone around him because he’s got nothing to shoot for. He doesn’t go to school, he can’t necessarily set goals for himself, Yato does most of the work during their jobs, etc. On the other hand, Yato obviously has his goal in “life:” become a popular god. And Hiyori has the luxury of having a normal childhood until she can figure out what she wants to be. Yukine missed the boat on that one.

• “Let their bodies hit the floor,” says the Phantom. Then it roars.

• Ah, if only the Phantoms were scary and not fuzzy, lil’ balls that you just wanna snuggle to death:

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• It seems like every time Bishamon’s Regalias manifest into their human selves, Bishamon is back in her snazzy outfit instead of that weird get-up she’s normally in. So you’re telling me her clothes disappear when they become her weapons?

• Things getting serious between Kofuku and Bishamon whenever Yato comes up in the conversation. I kinda wish we could learn more about the other gods and what they think of this bad blood between Yato and Bishamon. Kofuku’s words would suggest that something really bad will come about if her two colleagues keep clashing with one another, but aside from her and Lord Tenjin, Noragami‘s pantheon seems utterly bare. Where are the rest of them? Speaking of which, we haven’t seen really seen Kofuku and her Regalia in combat, have we? I wonder what’s the extent of the pink-haired god’s powers…

• Please anime shoujos… please stop hitting people at the drop of a hat.

• Man, anime loves box cutters. Apparently, Yato gave Manabu, our bullying victim… uh, a pair of box cutters so that Manabu could challenge his bully to a duel. Well, not really. It’s supposed to be a test of the bullying victim’s character or something. As in, “Yeah, your life sucks, but it would suck even more if you commit homicide.” Oh well, they do say god(s) work(s) in mysterious ways. What a dangerous gambit though. I mean, what if the bully was like, “Yo, I ain’t nobody’s bitch!” and then proceeded to stab Manabu when the latter dropped his box cutter? I guess the assumpton is that Yato would’ve intervened in time to prevent this from happening, but you never know what could happen. Seems a little too risky too me. I know the old adage is “Heh, all bullies are really just wusses underneath,” but you wouldn’t really wanna bet on that, would you? Well apparently, Yato would. Ultimately, I just think it’s naivete to think every bully’s just going to piss his or her pants at the first sign of confrontation.

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• “But I guess people are gonna go back to ignoring me now,” says Manabu. Yeah, I don’t think rumors of threatening a classmate with a box cutter is going to pay off for you, buddy.

• Yato’s solution? “You just need one friend!” But good luck finding even a single friend with all the rumors swirling about. Again, it just seems like another short-sighted solution from Yato here. Who’s to say the bullying won’t get even worse? The bully could just make sure he has people with him next time so that they can overpower Manabu. Who’s to say the school won’t get involved? Yato goes, “The other kid peed his pants. I doubt he’ll tell anyone what happened.” Uh, the bully could just lie about that and just say he was threatened by Manabu outta nowhere. What if Manabu gets expelled? Ah, whatever. Believe whatever you want, Yato.

• Hiyori wonders if Manabu will really be alright, but c’mon girl, can’t you hear the hopeful piano track playing in the background? It means everything’s going to be A-OK!

• Meanwhile, the situation with Yukine is getting worse…

• Daikoku putting up a barrier at the first sight of the blighted Yato must mean someone’s going to lose control of themselves as result of the corruption. I guess next week’s episode will be exciting.

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4 thoughts on “Noragami Ep. 8: Quarantine

  1. higgsbosoff

    So is it just me feeling a bit disturbed by the impression that Noragami is establishing a trend of victim blaming here? Suicidal people needs to appreciate the value of life. Bullying victims simply haven’t realized that they simply need to make friends. Also that committing violence makes you non human! Even when it’s in self-defence. They need to learn that. Instead of, y’know, those idiots who gang up on a single person weaker than them just to unleash their frustrations. Consider how both suicide and bullying seem to be big issues for Japanese youth, this anime increasingly looks to me like a really extended, really contrived and quite reactionary social advertisement campaign.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Yeah, you could see signs of this weeks ago. I think the anime just hasn’t thought these things through.

      Reply
    2. jjpavo

      “Also that committing violence makes you non human! Even when it’s in self-defence.”

      When does the anime address self-defense? In this situation Manabu would be the aggressor. He isn’t defending himself at all. Now, if the bully was attacking him and threatening his safety then it would be self-defense. In this case, however, Manabu has no danger to his self (other than the danger he caused by giving the bully a weapon) and thus is not defending himself.

      Reply
  2. Ax_v

    Little late on this, but whatever.
    The second the phantom said, “Let their bodies hit the floor,” I thought of Puddle of Mudd lol

    Reply

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