I like to watch anime, but it is rare that I find an anime series that I feel is worth recommending to others. It has to be different somehow.  It has to more than entertain, but make me think.

Noragami is an anime series that follows the exploits of the god Yato. Yato is a bit foolish, threadbare and overall not a very impressive god.  He is performing odd jobs for anyone who is willing to toss him a coin, and his great dream is to have a proper shrine of his own.  He lives on the streets and can’t seem to get ahead.  This is the viewer’s first impression of Yato.

It is what Yato is hiding under this unimpressive persona that makes the anime. As the anime progresses, we get to see more of Yato’s past and true nature through the eyes of Hiyori, a typical middle school girl who is hit by a bus trying to save Yato.  Of course, at the time she didn’t know he was a god.  She survives but is transformed by the event.

With the whole middle-school girl befriending a god storyline, I figured this was going to be one of those silly school girl animes, but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out otherwise. There are dark undertones to this anime, but it builds slowly to a nice climax where Yato’s true nature is revealed.  It makes you think about the relationship that a god has with his followers and whether a god’s nature can be changed with the proper belief.  So, just as Hiyori is changed by her initial encounter with Yato, Yato is changed by his relationship with Hiyori.  Or maybe Hiyori is just an observer to the change that Yato has undergone on his own.  Watch and decide for yourself.

For me, it was a good mix of comedy and tragedy and worth watching.