Flashback: Noragami

nora1Noragami was a good series, but it felt like the series didn’t use its full potential to highlight its theme.

I had high hopes for Noragami when I saw the first episode. A girl lost her life saving a god and she had to deal with the fact she was drifting between the afterlife and death. The only person that could help her was the god himself.

Memories from Angel Beats started to arise, a series in which I was fascinated with the fact of afterlife and coping with love and loss. Angel Beats mixed heavy psychological trauma with comic relief to take a bit of the tension off. It used a very good soundtrack at key moments and story wise it dealt with questions such as the meaning of life and religion.

Noragami had a similar format, but instead of letting the drifting of the soul take place in a purgatory, it used super natural entities and real life to tell its story. Perhaps the usage of a real world made the death of the main character less credible.

Noragami also suffered from what I like to call Red Data Girl syndrome, where the story in essence was decent to good, but the subject matter is better set for the domestic audience. The folklore entities in Noragami are best understood when being familiar with them. I had a hard time comprehending all subtle details of folklore and the subject matter.

While the show did a good job, I wished it took more time to explore the psychological impact of losing one’s life and being stuck in a limbo between life and death. Noragami took a more comedic approach in which it in my opinion trivialized the subject it started with, namely the social and psychological impact.


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