Yato is pissed.
Who wouldn’t be in his situation? From his standpoint, Hiyori was done in by the underhanded tactics of Bishamon. Determined to destroy her through any means necessary, Yato rushes in a frenzied rage to confront her and finally settle things.
Meanwhile, Kazuma and Hiyori are captured by Kuguha, who has executed his plan to create a feud between the former god of calamity and the god of war with unceasing proficiency. The whole conflict between Bishamon and Yato was most certainly the biggest elephant in the room when it came to Noragami, but to see the emotional tension rise so high and stakes to surpass even that is jarring.
I won’t bother recapping everything that happened in these episodes (as I’ve made it clear since my captain earth blog post that I’m not interested in recaps anymore) since so many things happened. The way that Kazuma and Bishamon’s trial of trust played out was satisfying and lacking of ass-pulls, which was pleasing. It is clear by Bishamon’s answer to Kazuma’s seemingly earnest intentions that she has faith in her servants who seek to due the correct thing, even if it is not the same correct thing she might have been anticipating.
As powerful as the entire stage was leading up to and including the rage induced, nothing left to lose fight between Bishamon and Yato, perhaps the most powerful moments came from her picking herself up after the death of half of her family, reconciling with Yato over a long misunderstanding, and leading the rest of her family to victory against invaders despite her beaten, wearied state. This took true resolution and finally added some much needed characterization to her personality.
Kuguha’s story is certainly interesting. The only reason I can see why he’d bother belittling Bishamon after everything he did is because I believe he is actually quite selfish deep down. The show tries to make it seem as though “his intentions were good” but to be honest, he’s quite twisted and did everything for his own selfish whims – to see his idealized Bishamon. The ends do not justify the means.
Yato, Kazuma, and Bishamon can finally put this ordeal which was satisfyingly wrapped up behind them, with the most growth coming from Bishamon herself. I was duly impressed by the execution of this arc and I can say with certainty that this was the best arc in the show. The next 6 are entertaining enough but suffer from some strange pacing issues towards the end. More on that later!