If Inuyasha and Fruits Basket had a baby, it would be Noragami. Evidently, if you’re a fan of both (or either), you’ll easily fall in love with the quirky and sometimes eerie Yato god. The show has a short run of 12 episodes in which the main plot line is successfully resolved. What does that mean for you as the viewer? That you will be eager to pick up the manga without simultaneously feeling like you have to murder somebody for the cliff hanger.
Many moons have passed since Yato’s glory days. In present time, he makes a living by offering wish-granting delivery services. For the modest price of ¥5, Yato will slay phantoms, clean your house, or tend to your shop after hours. Of course, petty work at ¥5 a piece haven’t really made Yato a wealthy war god. For this reason, he can’t keep a regalia (deceased humans who serve as weapons for gods) for more than a few weeks. To be fair, the guy doesn’t even have a shrine of his own where they can sleep.
One day, while Yato is running around in search of Milord the cat (one of his many odd jobs), a girl named Hiyori Iki “saves” him from getting hit by a bus. Her near-death experience causes her spirit to separate from her body, turning her into a half-phantom. From there on out, things become complicated as Hiyori and Yato try to figure out how to return her back to normal.
Why You Should Watch It
Noragami manages to fuse sword-fighting, shounen, and the undead in magnificent ways. The dynamic with the different shrine gods and their regalias is similar to Bleach‘s — power structure. Yato could also be considered a sword-wielding reaper of sorts, and the use of human regalias is a nod to Soul Eater‘s master and weapon dichotomy. However, what the show will truly remind you of is that soft familiarity between human girl and supernatural beings from Fruits Basket. That, and the relationship between an other-worldly being and a human with extraordinary abilities reminiscent of InuYasha.
I don’t mean to say that Noragami is just a rip-off of a bunch of popular things. It’s not. It has a lot to bring to the table all on its own, but it does incorporate many fan-favorite elements without overwhelming the viewer. In just twelve episodes, Yato’s character and story develop enormously. The best news is that if you want more, there’s a second season. Titled Noragami Aragoto, the 13-episode sequel follows the unfinished feud between Yato and god of combat Bishamon.