Random Thoughts about Noragami Shipping

vlcsnap-2015-06-03-23h09m07s134I recently watched Noragami.

It’s a fun show, filled with likable characters. None of the plot threads really came together, though, since the first season was mostly dedicated to character introductions and setup. But that doesn’t really matter when the characters are so much fun to watch. At any rate, the anime is getting a second season soon, so now’s as good a time as any to hype it up, I suppose.

The only problem was deciding what to write about: an ambitious thematic essay about Shintoism and new religions in Japan, or shipping? Which is more important to me as an intellectual? I spent over a day agonising over this soul-crushing dilemma. Then finally, it hit me… why not both?

First on the agenda – shipping.

It is very pertinent to talk about Noragami shipping. (It is pertinent to talk about shipping anywhere, of course.) Yato, you see, is a man of many love affairs.

Source: tumblr
Source: tumblr















Most of these are joke ships, of course. As usual, joke shipping is way better than serious shipping.

As I write this, I realise I don’t ship any of the main trio. I much prefer them all as friends. Yato x Hiyori is a fan favourite, but they don’t really do it for me. The age gap is a bit much – isn’t Yato, like, five hundred years old? Same thing goes for Yato x Yukine.

In fact, Yukine x Hiyori is actually the most plausible pairing, since they’re only one year apart or so. Yukine did have a crush on Hiyori in the early episodes, after all. But then he got cured of puberty at the end of episode 9, so that was the end of that.

(Perhaps the reason I don’t ship the main characters is because their interactions are much too multi-layered and complex to reduce to a question of whether they make a good couple. It’s like shipping people IRL. Other people ship IRL people, but I don’t. It just feels weird. Does anyone else get that feeling?)

Anyway, here are some random side pairings which get the Froggy Stamp of Approval, in order of shippability:

Blondie x That glasses dude who looks like the guy from Ao no Exorcist

vlcsnap-2015-06-06-00h24m42s217You don’t really see much of them in the anime, but it’s easy to tell that glasses dude is really loyal to Blondie. There’s this scene not long after they’re introduced where Blondie is naked while glasses dude talks to her quite normally. It seems like they have an aura of unspoken trust and honest communication which is rare for anime people, to be honest. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in season 2.

(N.B. For some reason, I like the glasses dude from Noragami more than Yukio from Ao no Exorcist. After some deep thought, I have concluded that it must be because the Noragami dude has no moles on his face.)

Nora x Yukine


Nora wants Yukine dead because she’s yandere over Yato, she’s clearly flirting with him in this scene. She tells him he has pretty eyes and he blushes in response. Sure, she follows that up by insulting him in the most psychologically damaging way possible, but seems as legit as any shojo romance.

The Old Priest Dude x His Harem

screen-shot-2014-01-19-at-4-58-59-pmWhat can I say? If idiot teenage boys deserve harems, then so do old priest dudes.

Plus, Tenjin is a good Kami who knows how to treat his subjects well, so I’m sure his harem respects him well enough. Yato only wishes he could be as popular as Tenjin. Heck, wish I were as popular as Tenjin :'(

Pink x Yakuza dude

I don’t really have much to say about these two, but this is a cute gif:















All in all, Noragami has some really colourful characters with interesting dynamics, all of which leads to good shipping potential. People talk a lot about the main trio (especially Yukine, who received the most character development through his arc), but the side characters are pretty great in this show, imo. The only thing that prevents Noragami from reaching the upper echelons of shonen manga at this stage is its lack of homolust, but I trust that can develop with time.

The two characters I’m keeping the closest eye on are Glasses and Blondie, because judging from the manga scans I stumbled upon, those two will have some great moments later on. I also hear that the next arc will be awesome in general. So yeah, I’m pretty damn hyped.

As for my next post, I’ll talk more about the themes and setting of Noragami and discuss how we should understand spirituality in the context of Japan’s modern political climate. As you can imagine, there won’t be much shipping talk. Alas…




  1. As usual Frog-kun, you have excellent shipping taste.

    Kazuma x Bishamonten is my favorite canon pairing as well. I get what you mean by uncomfortably shipping the main three. They’re just so comfortable as friends, it’s hard to see them paired off with each other (unless you consider a threesome?) :P

  2. My friends and I had a conversation about Bishamonten and how all of her shinki is attached to her body all the time because she’s always calling them out and they always show up from what she’s currently wearing. Or something. I haven’t revisited Noragami in a while so I’m not clear on details.

    I don’t ship anyone in Noragami but I am in for the squishy. They’re squishy.

      • Not… ALL of them manifest as clothes you see, some are weapons, I remb she runs around with a lion and that’s one of them? I dont know. Can’t remember.

  3. > That glasses dude who looks like the guy from Ao no Exorcist

    Ahahaha! I couldn’t unsee Yukio in Kazuma; they look strikingly similar! (Hence, they chose FukuJun to voice Kazuma, too!?) The only difference that I see is the lack of moles on Kazuma’s face!

    > I have concluded that it must be because the Noragami dude has no moles on his face.

    Now you’ve said it!

    Maybe because I’m reading (“was” reading) the manga, I see a lot of potential in the Yatori ship. The mangaka are, I think, in favor of it, too. They actually dedicated some scenes in some chapters to explore the dynamic between the two, although as far as I’ve seen there wasn’t a big leap in romantic development to speak of. Basically, it was more of ship-teasing the readers.

    Yes, I assure you the next arc, which is iirc about the past unresolved conflict between Yato and Bishamonten, is really really awesome.

    I didn’t think I’d see the light of the day with season 2, so my soul is very delighted.

    • Ship teasing in a shonen manga? You know it’s never gonna go anywhere :P

      Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the next arc. I don’t wanna read the manga yet since S2 will be coming out in… Fall, I think? Should be good!

      • Hiyori’s age is what hinders the chance for Yatori shipping. It’s not like Lawrence, a self-made man, loving a vulnerable yet experienced deity (Holo)*, but a immature god (Yato) loving a high-school girl.

        The interactions between Binbougami and her shinki are much more intimate and honest. You should sail your ship here in this ocean.

        * Lawrence and Holo from Spice & Wolf.

  4. Dude, noragami is some serious shit. I even made fanmixes for the fucking thing: me, taking part in fandom stuff??? wOW. Yeah. Serious shit.

    I actually read the manga because the arcs are well done, tbh. They’re fulfilling, exciting, and comes up with character development everyone’s interested in. Who’s not to love? And they’re actually straightforward enough for me to understand, unlike, ahem. tg.

  5. Yato x Shrine and Yato x 5 yen coin are CANON, BABY! The lack of Yato!Shrine fantasies in the back half is part of what kept the show below the likes of Ouran, for me. Not enough greatness like they had in ep 4. (And it would be entirely too easy to set said fantasies to “Great Big Stuff” from the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels musical. “I want some reallllly classy shit! Like…a mink tracksuit!”)

    • Yato x 5 yen coin reminds me of the equally shippable pairing of Rinne x 5 yen coin from Kyoukai no Rinne.

      Yeah, I liked the silliness of the early episodes a lot too. I thought the comedic portions contained some really funny commentary about how traditional deities adapt to the modern world.

      • Still waiting for the 5 yen coin harem anime.

        In many ways, the comedy in Noragami was more thematically relevant than the drama. Missed opportunity to parallel the disconnect Yukine felt with how Yato must have felt when his original godly purpose went away. And then all this visually represented in Hiyori’s literal disconnect from her body. The elements are all there, but the show doesn’t seem to point them out, so I can’t give it to them.

  6. Blasphemy! Nora x Yato are the perfect couple. There is a story there especially since Yato seems to be almost forcefully holding himself back from Nora. Meaning they were probably very close once for a reason. I want to know more about that history. We did not see this before in Season 1 but I want to uncover those details with the continuation.

    Nora x Yato!

    • It does look like Nora and Yato have an interesting history. My guess is that Yato made some big mistake that ended up causing Nora to end up with many masters. Or maybe she was like that when he found her. It’s a mystery~

  7. As much as I want hiyori and yato to happen it probably cannot since yato is a God he doesn’t age but hiyori does I don’t want yato to watch hiyori leave him because old age. Hiyori could become a God or a shinchi but to become a shinchi you must be fully dead and a shinchi won’t remember anything of their past life thus breaking hiyoris promise. I doubt she would become a god, but anything could happen

  8. This post cracks me up :D

    I totally agree with Blondie x Glasses Guy and Pink x Yakuza (I’ve forgotten their names too!) But I do think Yukine is more suitable for a yaoi pairing, probably with Yato or even Yakuza dude :P

    By the way, I’ve nominated you for a Sunshine Award over at my blog if you’d like to participate (:

  9. I think Yukine x Hiyori should be canon. It’s the only ship that makes sense and its pretty cute. In fact, their ages are really in the same range; Yato is hella old, like 300 years old. And I don’t think there should be Yaoi because this isn’t the type of anime for a Yaoi.

    • no because i lowkey think so too!! i can see sparks flying between the both of them 🙏🏼🙏🏼 but im thinking like what if yukine doesnt age or anything at all and hiyori does and then by the time shes 35 or so , yukine still looks the same and stuff just as yato will 😭 idk man but yukine and hiyori def have potential of the sort 🤔🧐

  10. I know I respond late but I found your blog and I want to say that you should read the manga. The anime is good but the manga is thousand times better and the relationships between the characters are different too.
    Yatori (Yato x Hiyori) is almost canon. They have been paired up by Kofuku on the matching festival and now they are officially soulmates. I would never pair Hiyori up with Yukine. She is like a mother for him. Not a lover. I don’t know why the Bones decided to make Yukine interested of Hiyori in romantic way, while in the manga he has never had any lovey-dovey feelings. I’m not very fond of Yatori because it feels bland to me – typical Shonen couple, but I respect mangaka’s decision and fanbase’s love towards this ship.
    I also have other favorite couple – TenjinxTsuyu. Everyone forget about them, because Tenjin is old and – this way – unattractive for young fans, but I found their love being really lovely.
    As for Nora x Yato – no. She’s like a little sister to him.

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