Noragami 01

Noragami Vol. 1 - Adachi Toka This work is dedicated to Kawashima Tadashi-sensei in heaven.
--Adachi Toka

TITLE: Noragami (ノラガミ) literally Stray Gods

SYNOPSIS [from MyAnimeList]:
Yato, a minor god, dreams to become the most revered deity in the world with big shrine and all. However, being a penniless god that he is, he has a long way to go and his shinki leaving him doesn't help matter. Later, when he does his job, a high school girl named Hiyori Iki pushes him out of the way of a speeding bus; unaware of his status as deity.

Things get complicated when this incident triggers abnormality in Hiyori's soul, causing her to make an Astral Projection whenever she falls unconscious. To turn herself back to normal, Hiyori must help Yato becoming a better god who can fix the problem, along with Yato's new shinki, Yukine.

"Even if things are painful and tough. People should appreciate what it means to be alive at all."

4.5 Stars.

Adachi Toka is female mangaka duo that worked with Tadashi Kawashima on the series ALIVE: The Final Evolution until Kawashima-sensei's death in July 15, 2010. Yes, Kawashima worked on the series on his deathbed. It was saddening to read the last chapters of ALIVE as I knew about this fact. Regardless I was drawn to the beautiful and distinct art style of Adachi Toka, and was delighted to see a series emerged from them. While I loved the story of ALIVE and miss it, Noragami reminds me of what I loved the most about that series: the art style combined with the characters and story.

The story follows Hiyori when she meet Yato and eventually his new shinki, Yukine, and truly delves into what it means to be alive. Just from the few pages or rather the first volume, I can tell that there is a deeper meaning and message that will unfold over the course of the series. I've always loved these kinds of stories. Even with the usage of Japanese Mythology as a base--deities and whatnot--it truly amazes me what emerges out of Japanese culture to inspire these kinds of stories. So don't be fooled by the fact it is a shounen and a typical guy fights demons trope, I'm sure you may be surprised.