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Alethea & Athena
Noragami volume 10 
20th-Feb-2016 04:49 pm
Well, today is the last day of our very special week of Review Rednesday. Next week, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled brief posts about our constant lack of free time. But for now, enjoy our Review Rednesday Grand Finale, Noragami 10!

Today we are writing reviews because we're still in denial about the work we need to get done. Also, because the work we should be doing has been preventing us from writing reviews in a timely manner, and how can we NOT review Noragami 10!? Are you kidding me!?

So anyway, Noragami 10. Our first thoughts are, "Oh my gosh, that hoodie Yukine is wearing on the cover is adorable. I want one!" I will admit that my desire for such a hoodie is enhanced by the fact that Capyper is the Noragami world version of Mickey Mouse.

Our second major thoughts are, "Aha! We KNEW it! We totally called it!" in regards to what Yato's dad looks like now. I knew it wasn't an accident in volume eight when the chapter title "Like Parent, Like Child" was right on top of Koto's face. I really wanted to translate that as, "Like Father, Like Son," but since the only official relationship mentioned was Ebisu and Izanami, we couldn't get away with it.

For a second we were like, "But oh no, if Koto is possessed by Yato's father, poor real Koto!" And then we remembered that volume seven told us that a god can't possess a human unless they already have some kind of connection. So of course that makes us wonder what kind of connection they have.

Our current theory about Yato's father's true identity is that he's Izanagi, which would make you think that Izanami would have recognized him, but not if he was possessing a different human's body. Here's the thing: Edachi calls him Father just like the stray (Hiiro; I guess we have a lot of strays going around now) does. Izanami is the mother of the gods, so it makes sense that Izanagi would be the father of...the gods. Wait. But if he's Yato's father and Hiiro's father and Edachi's father...

That gets to be weird, but they DO all call him dad. So I was thinking about it and wondering if maybe the word the strays use means something else. (Fortunately, it does use the kanji for father, or I would be really annoyed about how we've been translating it wrong this whole time.) Anyway, thanks to Kamigami no Asobi, we know that Toto-sama (the strays' word for father) could also be Thoth-sama, a reference to the Egyptian god of...knowledge, I think? Here's the really fun thing! According to Kamigami no Asobi, Thoth is a creator god, which would sort of put him on the same level as Izanagi and Izanami, but after we brought that up in our discussion, Athena thought, "Yeah, but they're more of Adam and Eve figures," and I thought, "Yeah, but according to Grandpa's book, Thoth is more of an Adam figure..." and suddenly it all connects again!

Anyway, I don't know if Noragami is going to go so far as to bring Egyptian mythology into everything, but the point is it's really neat how all the world mythologies have so many similarities. It's like they all sprang from the same root or something.

Moving on, there's the mysterious person who told Kofuku how to save Yato. We weren't even sure if it was a boy or a girl, but our guess was girl because of the eyebrows. Usually those kinds of eyebrows are associated with Heian princesses. Anyway, we're hoping she's Tsukuyomi, the moon god(ess), because we really liked Tsukuyomi in Kamigami no Asobi. And they kept showing the moon, so it makes sense...unless that was supposed to be the sun, in which case the girl would be Amaterasu. But the sky was dark, and Izanami said it was dinner time, so. [Note: This character did not show up in the anime, so that didn't give us any extra context clues.]

Then there's Yato's real name! Not that it's anything very impressive in and of itself. We tried Googling Yaboku as soon as we knew what the real name was, but we mostly only got links to sites talking about Noragami. We didn't search too hard for fear of spoilers. Nevertheless, the name is impressive, because it's more proof that Adachitoka really does have this whole series planned out.

A long time ago, we read a review of volume one where the reviewer kept talking about what happened and how, for example, now Hiyori shows up to be good cop to Yato's bad cop, and we would be like, "Uh...that's not how it looked when I read it..." And then he summed up by saying the story clearly had no idea where it was going, and we were angry because we were like, "Just because the story doesn't go where you arbitrarily predicted it would go doesn't mean it doesn't know where it's going! It just means you're a bad predictor!" And now we have more evidence against his assessment.

But here's what really impressed us about the whole thing. Hiiro mentioned Yato's real name for the first time, and we wanted to check our notes for volume one to make sure we were translating the same term in Japanese to the same term in English. So we checked our notes, and that's how we were reminded that mana (the word Hiiro used for true name) is another word for kanji. Hiiro also specifically mentions borrowed named, using the word karina, which could also be pronounced kana, which is the writing system that allows that second character in Yato's name to be pronounced "to" instead of "boku". And I'm pretty sure we mentioned all that in the note about the name Yaboku, but it was just so cool to see how it all tied together. And we're really glad we checked our volume one notes. And that lys decided not to translate Yato's name on the shrine, because oh my goodness that would have been awkward.

Of course we can't review this volume without talking about little Ebisu. It's sad that Ebisu died, but young Ebisu is seriously the cutest little thing in the whole wide world. Just look at the picture on page 112 (of the Japanese version, anyway), where he's holding the doorknob and asking, "How did you know it was me?" So. stinkin'. CUTE! So if the other Ebisu had to die, at least his replacement is super adorable.

And Yato stealing Kazuma's phone! How did Bishamon even get that shirt? [Note: I was flipping through volume 10 the other day for flashback reference and I came across that picture again, and I asked the exact same question.]

Hiiro looked so sad whenever Yato's dad was with her again. I almost feel sorry for her. Actually, I do feel sorry for her, but with restraint, because I'm not sure what all is going on in her head. And Yato just left her there without changing her back into human form! (We had to look at that page for a minute to figure out exactly what was going on. In case anybody else missed it like we did, when Hiyori called Yato back, his shinki came, too, just like with Bishamon, but we didn't see her until the scene later when Yato's dad came to get her. She was a blade on the ground, then Yato's dad called her name and she was human again.)

And of course I have to mention Yukine. His violent outburst was pretty scary. "I'll pick up your pieces!" Whether that was out of fear of or sympathy with Yukine, we'll never know.

Anyway, we're glad that gang's all together again, because the banter between Yukine and Yato is the best. And the comic about Daikoku setting out shaved ice was also the best. What was not the best was translating little Ebisu learning how to read. That was, I'd say, approximately the opposite of the best. But still adorable, because little Ebisu is the adorablest.

Speaking of adorable little Ebisu, when Yato asked him about getting a kid's meal, that was totally the best! "No!? But it comes with a flag!" What makes it the best best is that Yato ordered a kid's meal for himself! This is why we love Yato. (Also, "Why was that man wearing Capyper's skin!?") One time, we were reading a friend's work-in-progress, and this kid was leaving home for some training program or something because of his special powers, and the guy who was his supervisor offered him some candy, and he was like, "What, like I'm a little kid? No way, man." And the guy who offered it was like, "Suit yourself," and he didn't take any of the candy to eat it himself, and we were massively disappointed. We were like, "You seriously bought that candy just to taunt that kid? Ugh." But Yato would have eaten the candy (and probably not shared...), and that's why we like him better even though he, too, is a major jerkface.

Speaking of Yato's being a jerkface, he was afraid to tell Yukine and Hiyori about his past because he didn't want them to hate him, and we were like, "Dude, that ship has sailed." If they don't hate you already (and you know they do! (See: Stray Stories Episode 2)), there ain't nothing you can do to make them hate you more. It's funny because it's such a human thing to do. We don't want people to hate us, so we put on an act to cover up the thing we're trying to hide, and that act is worse and way more annoying. The best thing to do is just be yourself! On the other hand, it does kind of seem like Yato was taking advice from one of our Japanese professors. It was specifically dating advice, but it kind of applies, I think? Anyway, it was this: always show your date the worst side of you, because then the only surprises will be happy ones.

Oh man, I love that series. So much the best.

Today I'm thankful for getting to read this great review, finishing our Devil Survivor translation (Athena just point out that we've been back from Japan for four weeks and we've already translated seven books), getting to take the rest of the weekend off, mint extract, and that great episode of Castle with the super fun Russian guy.
21st-Feb-2016 02:24 am (UTC)
You saved the best review for last!! :D

Ooh, the extra info and speculation on other gods and mythologies is cool!! I'm too much of a coward to make my own guesses, but that did seem like a clear display of the moon behind the mysterious-little-god(dess).

Yeah, good thing I decided (for my own convenience largely) not to reletter his shrine :D (but I do think it's only right to keep the Japanese writing for that sort of thing.)

Mini-Ebi. Yeah, he is pretty great consolation. I love the panel with his legs dangling in the high seat at Olive House :D And the splat in the hallway. And his little running. Everything he does is precious and all his sfx are precious too♥

Maybe Bishamon hasn't taken the time to learn English...? I dunno, she's had a lot of time at her disposal. But she might have other priorities, and if one of her shinki with a weird sense of taste gifted the shirt to her, she might wear it for their sake. ...This one's hard to make up a believable story for.

This was such a nice volume. It really is best when the trio is together. My favourite Atrocious Manga strip this volume was the "Yup, that happens with cats" one. (second was the yurufuwa one? i thought you handled the mini-Ebi-reading ones really well too though!)

Sooorta related: I was at B&N yesterday and decided to buy My Monster Secret and Livingstone 1!! It was a Twin Translation Festival!! I'm bringing it up here because I don't think you'll see if I comment on the Livingstone post. (I don't have as much to say about Secret, but I enjoyed it and plan to keep reading!) You'd compared Amano to Yukine and I could see that too as I was reading... but man, Amano's such a pain. I had to remind myself Yukine was too once! Good thing he got better: I can't tell if Amano will or not, and I was thinking, their duo is a brat and a responsible guy (a natural pairing of un-like types), while Noragami had a brat and a creepy loser, so Yukine basically HAD to take on the responsible role or they'd never get anything done. I love them :)
21st-Feb-2016 04:34 am (UTC)
We did! I was worried about that at first, because sometimes I think people don't read our posts as much on Saturdays, but then we thought maybe it would be a good incentive. Plus, it kind of worked out in the progression: monster-->devil-->shinigami-->Noragami.

I know, it's so hard to guess about Yato's father! I'm going to just blame it on the fact that we haven't really studied Japanese mythology at all outside of its relation to Noragami. I have reason to believe now that he's actually somebody else entirely, but anyway it still is neat to see how all the world mythologies tie together. I look forward to maybe seeing more of the mysterious little god(dess) in the future!

I have nothing to add to your comment about relettering the shrine that would improve it in any way, so I just wanted to take this space to say XD

Cutest thing ever! He's so adorable!

The "gift from a shinki" theory seems plausible--they have indicated that her shinki will go out and buy gifts, after all. And even if Bishamon did know English, I think she might be willing to wear that shirt if it was a gift from someone. Maybe it was from Kugaha...although he had different ideas of what type of moe fits her. Ooh! Athena just suggested that maybe Kazuma got it from Yato! That actually makes a lot of sense, if Yato were selling t-shirts at some point.

Yes! The cats gag was so nice! We had to check if the yurufuwa was the one we were thinking of, because that one feels so recent that it couldn't have been all the way back in volume ten...only it was. But it was so great, too! We also have a special fondness for the doormat one, because sometimes we feel like we're being treated like doormats (the Japanese term is only slightly more appropriate, which is "tsugou no ii onna" or "convenient woman") when our work schedule is interrupted for ill-advised trips to Disneyland. We felt this was especially true based on the Japanese websites we'd looked at describing a tsugou no ii onna, and telling women how not to be one.

Yay, a festival! We're glad you enjoyed My Monster Secret! Yeah, Amano is a punk. Your comment about how Yukine had to take the responsible role had us laughing out loud. Hopefully Amano won't take too much advantage of Sakurai being the responsible one...
22nd-Feb-2016 11:31 pm (UTC)
You're right, it is so cool how the world mythologies tie together! I was reading something or other CS Lewis wrote kind of about that (it was in a book of essays so it may come up a few times), how they're all pointing to the one true "myth" (whether they come before or after) and I love thinking about it that way.

Hahahahaha at Yato selling (inappropriate) tshirts at some point. Way likely.

Ohh, the extra info on the doormat comic makes it extra funny!! But I'm sorry for its relatability.

...and I was so happy to read that I made you laugh!!! :D I'm glad it was amusing to others besides myself!
23rd-Feb-2016 02:44 am (UTC)
CS Lewis is a pretty smart guy. We got some of his books from iBooks to read during our flight to Japan, but we ended up watching movies instead. This is the state of society: I have these nice books to r--ooh, TV! (Actually it was more because they made us stash our carry-on under the seats in front of us, and we wanted to move as little as possible for fear of disturbing people around us.)

We know how you feel--it's always nice to see someone understands your sense of humor.
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