Did you just finish Noragami and wrapped up the second season? If you aren’t aware the first season of Noragami came out in 2014 and in 2015 the second season followed…
It’s now 2020 so where is season 3 of Noragami at? How much longer do we have to wait and what’s the situation with the hiatus?
Noragami’s History and Story
Let’s go back a minute to refresh your mind if it’s been a while since you last watched Noragami. Noragami (meaning “Stray god”) is a manga series that was first serialized in 2011.
In the world of Noragami, gods are powered and strengthened by the prayers and worship of their followers. Yato, our raven-haired protagonist, is an unknown god who dreams of becoming world-famous and to one day have a shrine built in his honor.
To that end, Yato works as a vagabond god, aiding people in need of his celestial powers in exchange for a five Yen donation toward the construction of his shrine. He is accompanied by Yukine, the tragic lost soul of a young boy who transforms into a great sword at Yato’s command, and Hiyori, a schoolgirl prone to out-of-body experiences who once saved Yato from an incoming bus.
The Anime Adaptation of Noragami
In 2014, the Japanese studio Bones produced an anime adaptation of the manga series. The first season was 12 episodes long and introduced viewers to our three main protagonists.
It opens with the tale of the fateful day Hiyori saved Yato from being hit by a runaway bus. The experience inflicts her with the bothersome tendency of drifting back and forth between the two realms of reality – Near Shore, where humans live, and Far Shore, where the spirits dwell.
After learning of Yato’s true nature as a minor deity, she asks him to cure her of her condition. And so the two, with Yukine in tow, set off on a laughter-filled quest to fulfill Hiyori’s wish.
The second season, Noragami Aragoto, aired the following year in 2015 and centered on Yato’s quest to accumulate one million followers. In this second season we also learned more about the other gods that hold power in the realm of humans, focusing specifically on the grudge between the god of war, Bishamonten, and Yato.
The season ends with a major cliffhanger; Hiyori makes a prayer for Yato to become a God of Fortune and we learn that Fujisaki is Yato’s and Nora’s “Father” and the holder of Ebisu, the locution brush.
Why is Noragami Season 3 Taking So Long?
It’s now going on five years since the last Noragami Aragoto episode aired, ending the series abruptly and with no real conclusion. Naturally, this lack of a concrete resolution has fans burning with questions about the fate of Yato and friends.
It’s speculated that one of the major reasons that the anime didn’t immediately continue production following the end of season 2, despite good ratings and a dedicated fanbase both in Japan and abroad, was the decision by Adachitoka, the manga’s creators, to take an extended break.
This extended break lasted for about a year and half, during which publication of the Noragami manga was on indefinite hiatus until their return. Luckily, the duo has since dusted off their pens and paper, picking up the manga’s tale from where they last left off. Of course, this has sparked new hopes of a potential third season of the anime adaptation.
Could the anime producers simply have been waiting for the manga’s creators to come back from their long break before restarting production?
Noragami Season 3 is Still Coming – Right?
Bones, the team that produced the anime, has neither confirmed nor denied a third season. Whether this means a third season is never going to happen or they want to keep hush-hush about negotiations with Adachitoka, no one can really say.
Considering there’s been no official statement from the manga creators or the anime producers for nearly five years, it seems rather unlikely that we’ll see anything new on that front. Of course, the lack of plans for a third season in the near future doesn’t rule out the possibility of the team resuming production some years down the line.
This wouldn’t be the first time there’s been a significant break between anime seasons. Mushishi’s first season aired in 2006 and it would take another eight years before its second season released in 2014 and Hajime no Ippo is notorious for the massive gaps between its seasons.
So even if news on a third season of Noragami doesn’t materialize in the next year or two, there’s no telling what the future holds for the anime adaptation.
What to Expect from a Season 3
Just a quick note: none of this is confirmed by official parties. The following is pure speculation from what fans are hoping to see and a logical deduction of potential plot points based on the events in the manga.
If you haven’t read the manga past what’s happened in Noragami Aragoto, you should skip forward to the next section. In the Noragami manga, the story following the events of Noragami Aragoto is decidedly darker than in previous volumes. Focus is turned inward to Yato’s mysterious history and his troubled relationship with the being he calls his Father.
The Characters We’ll Meet in Season 3
The cliffhanger for season 2 may have left us yearning for more, but it did leave us with some valuable clues about who we’re likely to see more of if a third season goes to production. Hiyori’s final wish to see Yato be made into the God of Fortune, as well as the reveal that Nora and Yato share a creator in “Father”.
Fujisaki Kouto is a likeable young student at Hiyori’s school who is possessed by the being known as “Father”, a mysterious spirit who harbors an unrelenting hatred toward the gods.
In the final episode of Noragami Aragoto, we learn that Father was the creator of Nora and Yato and holds two legendary brushes that can conjure phantoms, his own and the brush of Ebisu. Expect to see much more of Father as his acquiring Ebisu’s brush has effectively doubled his potential to cause havoc in the Near Shore.
Nora is something of a sister figure to Yato, having once spent an extended period of time with him as his shinki. Over the centuries, she has served as shinki to several notable figures in the Noragami universe, including Takemizakuchi, Ebisu, and Father himself.
She has since been revealed to be a “child” of Father’s, as is Yato, further deepening the link between the two. Her relationship with Rabō, a God of Calamity, is particularly interesting, and we expect to see more about the two as they work to bring Yato back to his past violence.
This God of Calamity is going to be making many more appearances in the future. Her relationship with Nora, in particular, will be a key plot point, with the two conspiring to force Yato to revert to his violent ways.
Clearly, the bubbly God of Poverty is going to be part of Season 3. It’s hard to tell to what extent she’ll be involved in the main plot – anime often skip past supplementary material in favor of clarity and pacing – but there’s no way they’d leave out this fan favorite.
The beautiful Bishamon, a God of Fortune, had a long-standing grudge with Yato who centuries before, slaughtered several of Bishamon’s shinki clan and she swore to avenge their deaths.
Later she learns that it was Kazumo’s request to kill her shinki clan because they were corrupt and infecting her with Blight. She lets go of her vengeance against Yato and even wants to go the underworld to save him. Yato sees here as his drinking buddy now.
For Those Who Can’t Wait for Season 3…
The good news is that Noragami the manga is still getting a lot of love and support from the people involved in its creation.
If you’re dying to know what happened to our trio of protagonists following the end of Noragami Aragoto, you can always start reading the manga series! It’s still going strong – its 21st volume just released in October of 2019 – and official English translations are available for both the manga and the anime.
Will there be a third season of Noragami? The honest answer: who knows?
Neither the manga’s creators nor the anime producers have made a statement confirming or denying a season three. With the manga back in full production after a long break, the potential for an anime adaptation is always there.
Five years is quite a long time, but it’s not the longest gap between seasons we’ve seen in anime; Mushishi and Hajime no Ippo had much longer breaks between their seasons, and the latter continues to have new seasons released, if at an inconsistent rate.
There’s plenty of material if Bones wants to begin production on a season three and the series’ ravenous fanbase will surely eat it up on release. Until then, we’ll all just have to be patient.