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Noragami Anime Deserves a Reboot More Faithful to the Manga

The Noragami anime has been the talk of the town since the manga by Adachitoka officially came to an end at the beginning of January this year. And now, with what fans are considering an unofficial “Noragami Day” coming up on April 2, the return of the anime has become a topic of discussion again.

When we take a look at the Noragami anime that released a total of two seasons, with the final episode airing on December 26, 2015, we see at face value that the anime wasn’t even remotely close to adapting the entire manga, nor could it—the manga was far from over.

However, with the manga officially wrapped up now, in a beautiful way as well, and the series recently hitting over 8 million copies in circulation, it’s time we discuss the elephant in the room—should Noragami receive a full anime reboot or a continuation from where the second season left off? When we take a look at everything from a wide view, the answer that seems most reasonable to me is a full reboot. Read on for my reasoning.

“Why” Noragami Should Receive a Reboot

I think the simple question of “why” Noragami deserves a reboot can be answered in different ways, both subjective and objective. To clarify, this isn’t an article to discuss why I think the series should receive a reboot over other series out there. Rather, it’s one to discuss why I think a series I enjoy, and millions of others, deserves rightful treatment with a reboot after almost a decade since the last episode aired.

Recently, we’ve heard news of how a mangaka fell into depression due to the anime adaptation of their work being a disaster. And it made me think that Noragami deserves better as well—Adachitoka deserves better. For two creators who pushed through the series’ hiatuses and a slip in manga sales after the original anime ended, they deserve an adaptation that stays faithful to the story that they wrote.

While the anime is indeed enjoyable, it leaves much more to be desired. The seeds that Adachitoka plants at the beginning of the series that later sprout into something wonderful, all the while both heartbreaking and heartwarming, is a story that needs a proper adaptation with a reboot. Nobody is asking for an overhaul visually, because, truthfully, studio Bones did a rather solid job on that front almost a decade ago. The anime garnered millions of fans alone despite its flaws, so imagine what a modern reboot that puts out a perfect adaptation could do with how many new anime fans are bursting onto the scene.

With a dedicated fandom that wants to see their favorite series succeed, and is itching at the thought of a reboot happening, why not give it to them? The series is receiving new Nendoroid figures, which is fantastic. Fans are constantly talking about the series every day. And now that the manga is over, a full reboot could potentially help boost its sales which Noragami: Aragato (Season 2) failed to do, but that also played in part to the long hiatus that followed shortly after. With the manga hitting a new circulation milestone, a reboot could be a perfect chance to help boost those numbers.

But this isn’t just based on the manga sales. Official Noragami merchandise that isn’t fan-made is rather outdated, rare, and expensive. Introducing new figures, apparel, plushies (imagine a puffkine plushy!), Blu-rays, etc., all thanks to a reboot, could bring in more revenue from fans who love the series and are waiting with cash in hand to buy new Noragami merch. A reboot could possibly have everything to gain for both fans and production with little to nothing to lose.

Even a main cast member of the series wants the anime to come back despite almost a decade passing. The series is still relatively popular and all the source material is there to adapt with no need to deviate away from it. The artwork is clearly manageable to animate as the original anime run showed us, especially with advancements in the field (I’d personally say it can go much further in the best ways with a reboot). If the voice of Yato himself, Yuki Kaji, is excited for the anime to continue, what more could you ask for?

So in the sense why the series specifically should receive a reboot are because: it hasn’t lost its popularity, there is plenty of opportunity in terms of money to made and merch to be obtained, Adachitoka would receive more love and notoriety along with the manga itself, and even a member of the main cast of the series also wants to see it come back.

It’s also worth noting that with Mob Psycho 100 over, and Bungo Stray Dogs and The Case Study of Vanitas both being a long way away from ever returning, Bones doesn’t have many big projects on their hands outside of My Hero Academia and Sk8 Season 2. Besides that, the studio’s only other announced projects are Time Patrol Bon, which airs during the Spring 2024 season, and the upcoming anime The Magical Girl and the Evil Lieutenant Used to Be Archenemies, which will air in the Summer 2024 season.

Reboot Makes More Sense Than Season 3

Some could argue that a reboot of an anime may be a possible waste of resources, time, and money. However, with the trend currently going on with full reboots that aim at bettering the original adaptations, it’s hard to not think about Noragami getting one for multiple reasons.

Recent anime that received full-blown reboots for reasons such as a more faithful adaptation of the source material, like Urusei Yatsura (2022), or for pacing reasons such as Rurouni Kenshin (2023), have ended up receiving mostly positive remarks, as they should. Those are just two reasons to fully reboot Noragami seeing as how it left countless things out of the original run of the anime or even changed things entirely.

Even Noragami holds an advantage over those two and that’s the series is more recent and came out at a time when anime was becoming more popular. Not many anime fans will watch a reboot of a series that was originally released 20 or 40 years ago like Kenshin and Urusei Yatsura. The popularity around Noragami is still full and large.

If the anime adapted the entirety of the manga (which was impossible at the time), then I could understand the argument against fully rebooting the anime in the first place, even if it left out or re-did some things here and there as the original Spice and Wolf anime adaptation did. But by December of this year, it will mark nine years since the second season came to an end, which ended on chapter 39, even though chapter 41 was adapted in the fourth and final OVA in 2016 (see how little that makes sense?).

Now, why not just continue from where the anime left off almost nine years ago in the way that Kimi ni Todoke is doing with its new season? Well, as much as I enjoyed the Noragami anime, that’s because it wasn’t a perfect adaptation of its source material like Kimi ni Todoke was. Kimi ni Todoke didn’t leave out important details of the manga, or make anime-only arcs, that are crucial to the story and understanding specific moments and places later down the line. Noragami did.

Here is a quick list of some examples of what the Noragami anime switched up or left out:

  • In the manga, Bishamon is the one who has Ebisu in her arms when he dies, unlike in the anime
  • Yato’s encounter with Ebisu’s reincarnation in the manga and anime are completely different
  • Much of Ebisu’s death is flashbacks through Yato’s memories, which isn’t what happened in the manga
  • In the manga, Yato meets with Nora secretly while Yukine and Hiyori watch. In the anime, he brings Yukine with him
  • Ebisu dies from an explosion in the manga rather abruptly, but in the anime, it’s from the Pacification Ring
  • The anime left out the scene where Father congratulates Nora on a job well done
  • The conflict between Yukine and Kugaha ends with Tenjin giving Kugaha a new name (manga), Tenjin does not name Kugaha in the anime and it ends with Yukine and Hiyori just leaving after his defeat
  • Amaterasu doesn’t make an appearance in the anime like she should have
  • Anime skipped a lot in Season 2, such as Yato and Nora’s second job to kill a mother’s son and the introduction of Touma, who is special to Kazuma
  • In the first season, Hiyori first left her body while in the bathroom, not lying in her bed like in the manga
  • The anime left out the moment Hiyori returns to her body and hugs her parents in distress after almost being killed
  • Kofuku, Daikoku, and Nora appear very early in the anime as compared to the manga
  • In the manga, Yukine learns about Yato’s dark past early on when Kofuku tells Hiyori. In the anime, he’s not in the room listening
  • OVAs are a mix of main storyline events and side-story events

That’s just a general list. Then you have a boatload of other little instances as well. So not only did the anime switch up the timeline of some events and mix up important moments like the entire situation with Hiyori forgetting Yato and Yukine that have a direct impact on the story at the moment in time and what would occur later down the line, the anime had anime-only arcs such as the Rabou arc that aren’t in the manga at all. So in short, the anime was good, but the adaptation was rather rough.

There are simply too many holes, mistakes, or wrongful adaptations. If a new season is announced as a continuation of the second season, then the production staff would have to find a way to re-do everything correctly somehow in a small timeframe. If they don’t, the incredible story that Adachitoka gave us may be botched entirely and that’s the worst-case scenario by far for everyone.

So in that argument, it’s just better to reboot the entire series and do right by the original work now that it’s complete. Otherwise, you’ll have to watch things in a complicated chronological order, and even then it’s rough in its adaptation.

Final Words

Noragami isn’t losing its popularity, it’s losing the opportunities to gain more of it now that the manga is over. The core fanbase is as dedicated to the series as it comes. The final chapters even trended on X. It convinced those who hadn’t read the manga to start it and those who did read it to pick it back up.

The story of Noragami isn’t like any others out there. It’s special down to the little details in the smallest panels of the manga. It’s a series where if you miss certain things in the beginning, you won’t pick up on them later down the line. Its ability to completely immerse you in a supernatural experience between the human world and the realm of gods and goddesses is unlike anything else out there, new and old.

It’s truly a magnificent piece of art and storytelling that only a correct anime adaptation can uplift to something potentially even greater than it already is. Producing a Noragami anime reboot is doing right by the series, the fans, and Adachitoka.

Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©Adachitoka/Kodansha/Noragami Production Committee

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