MANGA MONDAY: Noragami Vol 1!
Noragami was made by Adachitoka and published through Kodansha Comics. It debuted in 2010 and did not come stateside until 2014.
Plot: Noragami tells the story of Yato, the shrine-less god, on the hunt to gain fame, and Iki’s struggle as a half human, half ayakashi. Something I noticed was that each of the three chapters seemed to have a new main character. Chapter 1 centers around Mutsumi. Chapter 2 centers around Yato. and Chapter 3 centers around Iki. The whole premise of the manga is that Yato is on the bottom of the food chain as far as gods go. He also has no people skills(Which could say a lot about why he has no followers). His Shinki, or divine weapon of the gods, leaves him due to his lack of compassion. The rest of Vol 1 is about his hunt for a new shinki. Iki wants Yato to fix her problem(See characters for more details). They end up fighting an ayakashi, creatures living on the middle shore. The shores are basically this story’s version of the human realm and the afterlife. Naturally, the middle shore is out of sight of humans and the creatures are not quite as strong as gods and such. In chapter 3, we meet Yuki, so I have reason to believe he will be the subject of chapter 4 in the next volume.
Characters: For now, I will only talk about the two main characters. Yato and Iki
Yato- People Skills? Nope. Compassion? Nope. Southern Charm? Nope. Shinki? Maybe. He does not have that much going for him. Even as a god he mentions an ayakashi would not even acknowledge him as a superior without his shinki. He is not the most flawed character ever, but he definitely has a ton of room to grow. That does make it interesting to see what he will end up like.
Iki- She does make the manga more interesting. She was hit by a bus. No no, this does not take an awesome Yu Yu Hakusho turn. Instead, she comes back alive without having to save her body. She is now a form of ayakashi. Randomly, she will pass out and go into a spirit form. Her spirit form has a tail. No no, this does not take an even more awesomer Dragon Ball turn. Instead, if her tail is cut, she will no longer be able to return to her human form. Essentially, this makes her a liability in combat.
Cannot wait to see these two grow.
World: Okay. So, if you are into spirits, afterlife, gods and demons, you’ll probably like this world. I am really not sure if other gods will come in or what(I do not look up spoilers or any information. Most of my reads are blind reads of books that catch my eye). But there is definitely one god floating around, Yato. Ayakashis are here too. They do not do too much from what I’ve gathered. In chapter 1, the negative stress of all the students creates a huge ayakashi that encourages the kids to bully Mutsumi. In chapter 3, one challenges Yato and they fight. The themes do incorporate supernatural mythology. I am into it.
Recap: A good story that does not try to confide itself to one genre like action or romance, but blends a lot of genres into a supernatural world.
Action: Used sparingly.
Romance: No romance or love plot lines jumped out to me so far.
Plot: Very solid. Is a good telling of gods, demons, and other supernatural matters.
Characters: Yato does not stick out to me as much as other main characters, but he is still enjoyable to say the least
The World: Standard human world with supernatural elements thrown in.
Humor: Nowhere near the funniest of mangas I’ve ever read. With that said, it still has hilarious parts thrown in. So yeah, it is good for a few laughs, for sure.
Verdict: You can recommend this book to a lot of people. There is action, but it doesnt lean on it, there is comedy and most of it is clean if I remember right. It is a solid read.
Score: 7.5 out 10. Even with all the good things I’ve said. This is volume 1 and you can tell this is just the beginning. It is a positive read with a lot of strong points, and it sets up the world right. It explains to the audience what the demons are like, what the gods are like, so on and so forth. I expect volume 2 to be even better.
Buy it here: Buy Noragami Vol 1