Welcome everyone, to our next review! Today we present the long awaited Noragami Aragoto review, after delaying it from last week. Apologies again about that. Nonetheless, we are back, and as always, beware of minor SPOILERS! Further note that much of the review will be drawing comparisons between the first and second season
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: The struggling god Yato, his Regalia Yukine, and his devotee Hiyori return in this series of Noragami. The history behind Bishamon’s grudge against Yato is revealed, while a brewing plot within her cadre of Regalia surfaces. Yato also has a brush with the god of fortune Ebisu, and he finds himself returning to his dark, destructive past. -Anime News Network
Noragami Aragoto, as an expansion of the first season, was honestly much better done. There were only two arcs in total of the second season, which significantly helped the flow of the series feel more natural. While the disconnect between the first and second arc is still there, it was still much better than flow between arcs in the first season. The flashback reliance/poor use of flashbacks and over explaining present in the first season were further down played, to the anime’s advantage. However, it is not without its own issues. There are some considerable “deus ex machina” moments in the series that make the plot just convenient, and the ends of the arcs do drag out quite a bit. The show also ends on a cliffhanger, with little done to advance most of the overarching conflicts. Nonetheless, Aragoto makes considerable advances on the plot from season one.
Finally, Yato properly fills the archetype of hero (mostly in the second half of the anime). With this in place, many of the characters, minor or major, fit much better into the plot and are fleshed out. The characters were also much more true to their personalities. The show remains primarily character driven, but also implies a lot. The true villain is never truly revealed, but his existence is most just implied. A lot of characters’ pasts are also left open ended, adding to the annoying cliffhanger the series ends on. Additionally, Hirori and Yukine, two supposed main characters, take a back seat at times to other characters at some times, making them feel more static than they should be.
The animation was just as attractive this time around as in the first season of Noragami. The action scenes were potentially even better, crafted and choreographed in ways that greatly engage the viewer.
There is some notable improvements in the soundtrack as well. The tracks were diversified more than the first season, while still retaining the good tracks from the first season. While the vocal pieces are still present and a little distracting, they are much more toned down.
Most themes present in season one return in season two, though they are explored in greater depth or through different lenses than the first season. For example, the ethics questions raised in the first season are further explored in what the gods do, and what is consider good or bad for them. Identity is the front and center theme, explored through Yato, both as it explores who he is as a god and a person. This is in contrast to the identity crisis faced by Yukine in season one.
Final Score: 8.8/10
Final Grade: B
Noragami Aragato was one of the few anime that was better than its first season. The anime had a really good plot that kept it interesting the entire time. It also kept you guessing on who was really the villain at hand. This also led to the characters being really good and deep characters. Not too many new characters were added, but the ones that were are really well put together. It also expands on relationships that were built in season one and build on the character themselves too, especially Yato. It had the general feel of the first season and made it even better. I truly loved this series. I would give this anime a 9 out of 10. If you watched the first season and liked it you should defiantly check this one out. – B-Ro
While I would say I liked Noragami season 1, I can’t say I was too excited for season 2. However, I was beyond pleasantly surprised with Noragami Aragato. It felt like the show retained a lot of the really cool/interesting parts of season 1, and added to that template. With introductions already set from season 1, and some of the more awkward/not as good plot lines and character interactions taken care of, it felt like season 2 was able to jump right into some really interesting stuff. I really love the expansions to the concept presented in season 1. Aragato shows much more of how that universe works, as well as some backstory stuff that was initially hinted at that actually turned out really cool in my eyes. Since season 1 also made me slowly learn to like Yato and Yukine despite some annoying quirks, I actually really liked their characters in Aragato. With the still awesome Hiyori, the trio had some great chemistry going on, which led to some really awesome interactions. I also liked the supporting cast much more this time around, and the Ayakashi are still awesome (especially with the masks)! Can I just say that I really loved Lady Bishamon’s character this season? They did an amazing job at expanding her character. Her arc specifically was extremely tense, serious, and had some amazing action and story developments. There were actually a lot of jaw drop moments when I was watching it. However, I can’t say I was as interested in the second arc (that’s not to say it was bad or anything, the first arc was just really good). The soundtrack is superb this time around. It felt like they kept the best tracks in the first season, and then added more awesome songs. It’s much more diverse than I remember the first season being, and it also made me remember how many awesome tracks the first season had as well. I even found myself really liking the tracks with the autotuned vocals that I somewhat made fun of the first time around. I guess it just took me a bit to get into them. The opening grew on me a lot with its upbeat catchiness, and the closer is pretty good with its cool visuals. Overall, I would say that if you liked Noragami season 1, or even just saw some potential in it, definitely give Aragato a shot. I’m now happy to call myself a full-fledged fan of the Noragami universe.
Final Comments: Noragami Aragoto does something very few series can do in presenting a better second season than first, with great improvements in plot and soundtrack. However, it does slack with leaving a lot of details out, resulting in a heavily open ending.
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed the review, and if you are interested in our first Noragami review, you can find it here. Be sure to check us out on Twitter and Facebook and give us a follow! All your support is greatly appreciated. Our next review will be the anime Seitokai Yakuindomo.