Noragami Episode 9: Saved
It was certainly a heart-wrenching episode for our beloved trio. While Yato was at the verge of death, Yukine also was facing the consequences of heading his way to the other side. Daikoku was required to search for two more shinki to borrow in order to perform the ablution ceremony. The ritual provides the opportunity for the Shinki that is at the verge or is in process of transforming into a Phantom (aka crossing the line) to reveal all of their sinful actions. Despite his condition, Yukine had continued to be extremely stubborn and allowed Nora to get under his skin. It wasn’t until Hiyori stepped in and tried talking through to him, telling him that Yato’s words are like a father’s, which was the keyword to direct Yukine to the light. It was a crucial moment because that very moment, it gave Yato the chance to call out Yukine’s name and tells him to live.
If you hadn’t guessed already, the very fact that when Hiyori brought up that Yato had been like a father to Yukine is a major hint regarding his past. We were never given any explicit details, but we know that Yato has seen Yukine’s memories. He knows what the boy needs and what he lacked when he was alive. That said, Yato being a “father” to him is incredibly important. He gave him who was a wandering spirit, a name of a person. Yato granted him the opportunity to ‘live’ again as a person. Yukine unfortunately never understood, but now that he understands, he is grateful for what Yato had done for him, and the fact that not once- even when he was at the brink of death- gave up on him. Instead he fought for him in order to save him. Friendship also played a big factor because Yukine felt so alone and isolated because he was dead.
But in the end, it was actually Hiyori who saved them both. It troubled her when she thought, “Who does help Gods and Shinki?” and immediately took the matter into her own hands. She played it smart too, knowing that Nora was not an option to turn to and immediately went out to search for Kazuma, and even went directly to Bishamon’s Shrine (where she very well could have been killed on the spot). Had she not gotten Kazuma, Kofuku or some other God probably would have been forced to slay Yukine on the spot. Had she not attempted to reach out to Yukine, he probably would have completely transformed into a Phantom. That is why Yato is grateful and acknowledges that had Hiyori not looked out for both of them, they would have been goners.
As having read the manga, I completely understand why BONES inserted recycled scenes from last week’s episode amidst the drama unfolding. I suppose had they not added any extra recycled bits in between, this event would probably have been wrapped up in maybe ten/fifteen minutes. But that’s a no can do- after all if they make it too short it would probably throw everything out of whack for their plans regarding the Original Character (Rabo). But to be quite honest, because it had to be dragged on, I felt that they didn’t deliver the emotional aspect of the whole situation as well as the manga had. I think one of the main points is that there were some noticeably long delays. I am not going to lie, I was seriously growing concerned about whether BONES was about to cut Hiyori’s part where she reaches out for Yukine because it was taking so freaking long.
That said, they still did a pretty darn good job. They did at least get an emotional response out of me as I was tearing up several times, so I will give them that at least. I did like how they made subtle changes, being sure to insert Rado without changing the key situation. I found that it served more as a reminder of, “Hey don’t forget about this guy.” I especially liked the extended clip after the ED where they had Nora singing some song in a creepy tone (and I LOVED IT), and revealed that she had sought out Rabo. Speaking of the Original Character, often times I am not excited about these guys, but I am very intrigued since we will be seeing what Yato could have been.
Next week looks exciting, but I will be approaching it with cautious expectations. I see that Hiyori will be attending a festival, so I am curious whether or not they will be inserting that interesting part that was supposed to happen in Episode 7. Either that or they will switch it up a bit to adapt to the changes.