Adachitoka’s Noragami Volume 6 collects issues 20 to 23 of the adventures of the stray god Yato. The manga was first published in 2013; the English translation dates from 2015. Included are:
20. “Prayerful Oath” (神祝き、呪きき “Kamuhosaki, Hosakiki”)
21. “Don’t Go — Stay with Me” (消えないで、傍にいて “Kienai de, Soba ni Ite”)
22. “What Must Be Done” (為すべきこと “Nasubeki Koto”)
23. “Guiding Light” (道標 “Michishirube”)
The last volume ended on something of a cliffhanger, as Yato’s shinki (ghost servant able to manifest as a weapon) Yukine was shattered by Bishamonten. Perhaps it’s significant that Yato is god of nothing in particular, whereas Bishamonten is a god of war. Poor Yukine; no doubt that was the end for him.
Or not, as the dead boy manages to reform himself as two swords, each one mightier than his earlier sword form. Which is probably for the best, because Yato is determined to rescue his human pal Hiyori from Bishamonten. Bishamonten for her part is determined to slice and dice Yato, the godling she holds responsible for massacring her original retinue centuries earlier.
It turns out that Bishamonten has not kidnapped Hiyori; this was done by Bishamonten’s physician, Kugaha. He hopes to orchestrate Bishamonten’s death and take her place as a god. Confident his plan cannot fail, Kugaha has proceeded to the vainglorious boasting phase of his plan. And why not? He has already weakened his patient. She seems destined to succumb to Yato’s attack.
The only thing that could possibly go wrong with Kugaha’s plan is for Hiyori and fellow prisoner Kazuma to escape the cell in which they are imprisoned and explain to Bishamonten and Yato what is really going on. What are the odds of that happening?
As usual Adachitoka’s art is beautiful.
This pantheon desperately needs a God of Relationship Counselling.
In this case, poor communication is part of the problem; Yato was actually helping Bishamonten by killing off the excessive retinue that was draining her. Somehow this was never explained.
Excessive communication also hurts. Do not gloat about your inevitable victory until you have actually won. Do not explain to your gullible underlings how pitifully gullible they were until it is actually too late for them to do anything. Heed the example of Adrian Veidt.
Like the volume before it, this ends on something of a cliffhanger. Yato has been assisted by another god, whose price was that Yato would finally cut all ties to Hiyori. Fat chance. I’d be amazed if one of the central characters in this manga were to be quietly ushered off stage. It seems certain Yato and Hiyori’s fates are entangled. How will Yato’s promise be evaded? I have no idea. No doubt I will find out.