Noragami Aragoto Review

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A bond between friends of any amount can be strong when you have shared all of your interests, strengths and weaknesses to each other to help understand one another. Similar to how friendship is portrayed in story, a convincing friendship involving people that try to fight off whatever conflicts they must face can be an emotional roller coaster of an experience. Sometimes this can be accomplished by simply adding enough time for us to take in the fact that they have grown together as friends before the inevitable climax. At first I was loving this friendship that Noragami presented in its first season, now I’ve gravitated towards them in the sequel.

My love for Noragami has always been for the characters. I’ve always loved their charisma, high energy shenanigans, and great chemistry that they create from their dialogue and actions. Not only did the writing serve a part in making this a reality, but also the talented voice cast that honed their voices for their roles to make each character distinctive and memorable. Now with Aragoto, things have started to change dramatically, to say the least. There is less comedy and more dramatic story arcs than in the previous season which was, for the most part, pretty light-hearted; mostly due to the jokey protagonist, Yato. Which is probably my only big issue with this season being as I wasn’t a big fan of the serious plot elements of the 1st season as much as the comedy bits. I wished there was a bit more of it in this one than just serving it mostly on the first three episodes.

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Despite my complaint, I actually did find myself enthralled by how they did justice to the serious undertones of the series. My favorite main story arc, in particular, was the first one involving Bishamon and her regalia. The reason why is the fact that the story arc actually brings something new to the series that shifts a character into being three-dimensional rather than one that is one-note. I know the reason why she has a place with the story involving Yato because of her dark past, so her being a part of the story makes sense at adds a layer of depth to her that was desperately needed. Heading off after that arc is the biggest one in the season involving Yato confronting the demon’s of his past. I felt as though this wasn’t nearly as strong as I hoped it to be. There were parts that felt really rushed that didn’t feel like a natural progression of Yato being a killing machine after being taken away from his friends. Not a bad arc to go through, but it could have been better paced with a few more episodes.

Noragami has proven itself worthy of being a solid action anime with its spectacular artwork and animation. I’ve always loved the type of color palettes the studio used to create a visual atmosphere of different kinds. Whether it is bright and colorful when the series is generally comedic and goofy or dark and cryptic whenever there is a dark and sinister moment to help gravitate the viewer into a distinctive mood. Of course this mood is also helped by the talented voice cast who do their job splendidly well, with Hiroshi Kamiya as Yato doing one of the best roles in his entire career. In fact, the voice cast is one of the other big reasons why Yukine, Hiyori, and Yato’s chemistry works because the actors all play off each other naturally.

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As multiple sequels keeping trudging along these past seasons, Noragami Aragoto has done the series a favor of improving previous problems I had with the story by adding in one that felt like it had some depth to it. There are still some minor issues that keep it from being the magnificence of what many might have hoped for. That all comes down to what they will do next. Hopefully one with more laughs and less dreariness.

Grade: A-

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