“What Must Be Done”
Fridays at 1:05 pm EST on Funimation
This episode could have been like ten minutes!
No joke, that is all i could think about as we got to the end here. Even ten minutes might have been giving it too much credit. While I appreciate that it’s still giving us some dynamic action, it’s a little disappointing that there is absolutely zero tension in it, as both Yato and Bishamon take out the nigh identical Phantoms and barely break a sweat. I’m getting a little worried about this show, as the pacing is getting to an absolutely glacial level. This might be acceptable in your average shounen title, but I thought Noragami was better than this. I almost feel like they knew they had two distinct arcs to plot out, and didn’t feel confident in one overshadowing the other, so in exchange we got this slow crawl to the finish of Bishamon’s arc so that the next one can be properly paced.
You could feel it in the fights, but almost more so was how painfully long it took to finally show Kugeha the door. I suppose it wouldn’t be a shounen show without its villain getting his say before getting shown the door, but it seemed pretty friggin clear why he did what he did after all the exposition he said in private let alone out in the open. In fact, he has absolutely zero reason to reveal this plan to Bishamon, only needing to wait until she is in worse condition so she can die. Exposing himself and his plan is basically the absolute last thing he should be doing, and yet just because Yato is like “WELP now that we’ve clarified that I am not evil, now to give the villain his monologue.” It’s quite the anticlimax after all the damage he’s done so far that he’s unceremoniously dropped onto Tokyo. I can only imagine this is just so he can be set him up as the henchman for some other god down the line.
Among all the unnerving things about this episode, the thing I found the strangest is the show’s decision to justify Bishamon’s bad decision making in the last few centuries by just saying “Whatever, we do what we want.” I suppose it’s just a very Japanese concept that your gods can be absolute pricks with no reason or recompense, but man it just left a bad taste in my mouth that Yato’s motivation to Bishamon as she strikes down a Phantom tainted with the souls of her former loved ones is “Just keep keeping on.” I know in the end Bishamon does show that she is willing to change, but if that’s the case, why not let something along those lines be her motivation? Why not motivate her to make up for her mistakes by taking care of those she still has? With her out of the way, it will be interesting to see how Noragami keeps up its drama. Nora is obviously still a factor, so it’s not that the story has nowhere to go, but you’d think if anyone had a beef with him the way Bishamon did that we would have heard about them by now.