Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Noragami, Vol. 4

Noragami, Vol. 4

Noragami, Vol. 4Noragami, Vol. 4
by Adachitoka
Kodansha Comics, 200 pgs
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

While Yato struggles with a possible cure for Hiyori’s half ayakashi problem, something’s rotten in the house of Bishamon. Adachitoka turns their eye to what being a shinki entails, the problems that can arise with them, and their relationships with the gods in Noragami, Vol. 4!

Noragami’s been something of a surprise. I didn’t think I’d like it, but over the course of the first three volumes it’s started to grow on me. There are still things about the series which rub me the wrong way and this volume highlights one of those things. A story focusing on the problems plaguing Bishamon and her house full of shinki is kicked off and it actually seems pretty intriguing and engaging. It’s nice to see Bishamon’s character and motives being explored more deeply, changing her from a stern, warrior God to a more caring figure who’s empathy and heart may ultimately prove to be her undoing, as it’s revealed that she has far more shinki in her service than previously shown. In fact, she has dozens. This leads to neglect, which leads to hurt feelings, bitterness and more, which ultimately cause her to be stung and develop wounds. Her refusal to upset or possibly cause her shinki any distress leads her to carrying this pain and suffering on in private, turning to drugs to help her manage it. Of course, this attitude is mirrored by her shinki, who refuse to talk to her about their problems, instead keeping them inside until they cause her problems and it just becomes a vicious self sustaining cycle. Factionalism occurs and beneath the perfect and placid surface of her house, there are plots and counter plots to remove other shinki from their positions, elevate others and to remove Bishamon from the picture altogether. While the core concept of this particular plot thread has a solid core, it’s also wrapped up in the myriad of rules that govern shinki/God relationships. Ablutions, blights, stings and more are all vital to the plot, but they also feel vaguely unnecessary. The mechanics end up feeling a little clunky and almost detract from the emotional underpinnings at times, rather than reinforcing them like they should.

Page from Noragami, Vol. 4

OH GOD KILL IT!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!

Adachotika are quite the art team and this volume’s as solid as the other three. Something about the visuals and the emotional content of the series always leads me to think that the story is taking place in a perpetual twilight, despite things like school scenes and daytime events that would suggest otherwise. The artwork and the subject matter blend together nicely, but the mood can be almost oppressively sad at times. There are a few shots and sequences in this volume which really drive this concept home, like the haunting shot of a lonely cherry tree, or the large and empty hallways of Bishamon’s mansion. While Noragami, Vol. 4 is a little light on the action, when it comes it’s usually fast, intense and slick. Adachotika also does a nice job reinforcing the more horrific aspects of the story as well, with a suitably creepy teddy bear creature and a rather disturbing depiction of a spirit which become infected by an ayakashi.

It’s not my favorite series, but Noragami, Vol. 4 continues the series’ streak of be a surprisingly enjoyable one. The emotional issues it tackles and deals with feels real and unforced, even if the mechanics of the world often feel a bit forced at times.

Noragami, Vol. 4 are available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: