Noragami Book 3 collects issues 8 to 11 of Adachitoka’s on-going series. Although just how long it will be on-going is open to question in these issues.
While on an outing with minor god Noragami, schoolgirl Hiyori encounters a former member of Noragami’s retinue, a shinki (ghost in service to gods). Noragami dismisses it as “the stray.” Hiyori doesn’t learn much about the stray, not even (for good reason) the stray’s name. What Hiyori does discover makes it clear that the stray is extremely dangerous. She also learns that the world of gods and shinki is even more hierarchical than she knew.
The god has been strangely reticent in explaining all the rules pertaining to shinki and those they serve. He has also shown himself quite reluctant to discipline his current shinki, Yukine. This must be hurting him, because each time a shinki sins, it hurts their master. Yukine is an extremely bitter young man and he transgresses incessantly.
Noragami can only hint at what’s going on when the decline in his condition becomes too much for Hiyori to ignore. By that time, the god is on the verge of death. What is needed to save him? Yukine’s damnation.
All this could have been avoided if only shinki were provided with a proper handbook. Or if at any point Noragami had clearly explained the repercussions of Yukine’s behavior to him. It’s not as if Noragami didn’t know. It’s almost as thought the gods themselves are as much amateurs at the game of being gods as adult are at playing adults.
I can see no way in which creating a population of discarded and mistreated shinki (as has apparently happened with the Stray) could possibly come back to haunt the gods and their more favoured shinki. Just how much trouble could one embittered living weapon cause, anyway?
The art in this is still entrancing.
However, I’m not loving the degree to which the plot is driven by needlessly poor communication. Such as withholding from Yukine the cost of bad behavior or misleading Hiyori about the nature of Kofuku’s divine domain1. This has resulted in unintended, unfortunate, major consequences. I’m hoping that future issues will rely on other plot devices.
- Well, it is an embarrassing domain. But had Hiyori had any idea she was calling on a god of misfortune, she likely would have made different choices. Or at least started running away a little earlier.