5 Reasons Why Yato and Hiyori Should Just Get Married Already
In the supernatural anime Noragami and its sequal Noragami Aragoto, we watch Iki Hiyori grow from a junior high school student to a high school student, but Hiyori isn’t your average high school girl. Due to spiritual sensitivity and a near-fatal accident, Hiyori’s soul “slips out” and brings the wandering god Yato into her life. From then on, we see Yato and Hiyori’s relationship grow leaps and bounds despite Yato’s perennial immaturity, so here are five reasons why Yatori is a couple that should be together forever.
1. They’re two stray cats looking for their forever home.
The anime’s title Noragami means “stray god” in Japanese, as noraneko means “stray cat.” It comes no surprise that Yato himself is very much like the lost cat that first brings his and Hiyori’s fates together. Yato is a god with no followers, so he is always fulfilling small wishes of random people, hoping to gain some loyal followers in the process. Formerly known as a “god of calamity,” Yato seriously wants to shed his violent past and finally have a shrine of his own to call home.
Not only is he animated with cat eyes during comic relief, but he also has a disdain for the phantom dogs that are controlled by his former shinki (Regalia) Nora, who Yato named Hiiro in the past. Sometimes Yato is a lazy cat, avoiding doing chores for Daikoku. Sometimes he’s a sneaky cat, stalking Hiyori and slipping into her home to drink beer and spy on her or Yukine. Sometimes he’s a hungry cat, begging Hiyori for freebies. Even his wishy-washy attitude towards loving Hiyori and trying to push her away is at the heart of his cat nature.
Yato isn’t the only one animated with cat features. Hiyori’s spirit has the tail of a cat. When she slips out of her body, Hiyori will wander around town and can track down Yato by smell alone. She can walk along power lines with nimbleness only a cat could master. Beyond being light on her feet, Hiyori is also trying to find her place in the world. She’s a teenager after all, and she’s looking for where she belongs. Unlike Yato’s former shinki, the Nora Hiiro, Yato and Hiyori aren’t satisfied with living on the streets with nowhere in particular to call home. Following the adage, “Home is where the heart is,” we all know that the home of Yato and Hiyori is together with Yukine.
2. Hiyori is always thinking about Yato.
It’s easy to see where Hiyori’s heart lies, even though she may not be aware of it herself. She is always thinking of Yato. At school or at home, walking to school or taking a bath, Hiyori will mindlessly wonder about Yato. When she’s visiting the convenience store, she remembers and actually buys what Yato wants. Even when she’s at the amusement park, she considers buying souvenirs for her Far Shore friends.
Hiyori eventually meets more gods, many who are much more capable than Yato. She could probably pray to a more powerful and well-known god for help with her soul slipping condition, but she doesn’t. She sticks with Yato and Yukine. It may seem that this is just Hiyori’s kindhearted nature to want to take care of the noragami. After all, Yukine is just so cute, and Yato has moments of laying his affection on thick. Still, even as a classmate Fujisaki Kouto starts making the moves on Hiyori, we see that Hiyori isn’t one to just fall for anyone giving her the time of day. Her feelings for Yato are pure and real, and we can’t help but root for her.
This overwhelming curiosity of all things Yato leads Hiyori to eventually become Yato’s lifeline. In the last arc of Aragoto, Yato is trapped in the underworld with Hiiro. Bishamon has already been called back from the underworld by having her name called by a living person, but “Yato” isn’t actually the noragami’s real name. No matter how many times Hiyori calls for Yato, she can’t bring him back. Yato never told his new friends his real name or his past, but in his absence, Hiyori had been doing research on Yato and the folklore of gods. Using this knowledge, she is able to call Yato’s real name: “Yaboku.” Yato returns to the land of the living and doesn’t suffer the fate of being forgotten.
3. Yato needs Hiyori to exist, literally.
In Noragami Aragoto, we learn a lot more about this world of gods and phantoms. Most noteably, the most important rule we learn is that gods are immortal and can be reborn when they die; however, gods who are forgotten can die and disappear from existence. Unlike Bishamon and Ebisu, Yato is an unknown god with essentially one follower. In Aragoto Episode 2, Yato emotionally answers Kuguha’s taunts that he won’t disappear as long as one person remembers him, and Hiyori flashes in his mind.
Hiyori connects Yato to the Near Shore, the land of the living. As if she could get any better, Hiyori even makes a mini-shrine for Yato. Yato treasures the small shrine and can even use it to enter Takamagahara, the residence of gods with shrines. Yato and Yukine’s power increases with Hiyori’s dedication. As Hiyori’s friends question if she got herself a boyfriend, Yato easily sees Hiyori has his first bonafide long-term follower and picks up the act of the clingy boyfriend.
Yato well understands Hiyori’s importance to his life. This is one of the reasons Yato is always following Hiyori around. Hiyori, in turn, understands Yato’s worries and even promises in the third episode of Aragoto, “I will not forget you.” This dedication leads Hiyori to check in with Yato everyday to ease his mind; but when Yato disappears to finish some jobs for the Nora Hiiro, memories of those from the Far Shore prove to as fragile as Kuguha had warned.
4. Hiyori overcomes forgetting Yato twice.
The longer Yato is away from Hiyori and Yukine, the more Hiyori’s memories of Yato fade. By Aragoto Episode 9, she is spending more time with her friends from school and even ends up going on a group date to Capypa Land, an amusement park that Yato loves. Her memory is all but lost, and she only has a feeling of remembrance that she wanted to go there with “someone” but can’t pull up his name. She even wants to buy souvenirs for Yato and Yukine, but before she can buy them, she can’t seem to remember whom she was thinking of and bursts into tears.
While Hiyori tries to work through these feelings of loss, Fujisaki holds Hiyori’s hand and kisses her during the Capypa Land parade. Hiyori’s emotions are thrown into a tailspin. Her heart is conflicted with feelings of regret and loss. As long as Yato is absent, he can’t be around to help jog Hiyori’s memory. Still, by running into Yukine in Aragoto Episode 10, Hiyori’s memories come flooding back to her in an emotional reunion with the young shinki. Hiyori is filled with regret for breaking her promise, and her resolve to never forget Yato is strengthened.
Although considered spin-off filler to manga fans, this isn’t the first time Hiyori overcame forgotten memories in the anime. In the first season of Noragami, a violent god of calamity Rabo and the Nora Hiiro conspire to take Hiyori’s memories. As Yato fights to save Hiyori, her memories are destroyed by Rabo. Just as we all fear that this will tear Hiyori and Yato apart, Hiyori’s memories are awakened by Yato’s scent as Yato holds her close. At the end of the first season, Hiyori first expresses her wish to never be separated from Yato and Yukine.
5. “I am going to make Hiyori the happiest girl in the world.”
Yato isn’t a god that simply takes the adoration from his best follower for granted. Instead, he devotes himself to improving Hiyori’s life. In the eighth episode of Aragoto, Yato, although inebriated, proclaims to Daikoku, “I am going to make Hiyori the happiest girl in the world.” For the non-drunken version, after seeing Ebisu’s dedication to make people happy, Yato also takes on a similar vision. Yato decides, “I want to be someone that people respect, someone that’ll make her happy.” We all know that “her” is Hiyori.
Although he’s not so good at it, Yato is ready to spend all his time with Hiyori, suggesting all the things they should do together. Even when the Nora Hiiro takes Yato away from his new family to fulfill their father’s wishes, Yato is constantly thinking about Hiyori. He worries that Hiyori has forgotten him, but as we covered earlier, she most definitely has not!
As if we needed more evidence of how much this sounds like marriage talk, in the second episode of Aragoto, Yukine thinks about how Hiyori will continue to age and continue a life without him. Images of Hiyori’s future are flashed on the screen: her graduation and her wedding. In such an image, we only see Yukine clapping to congratulate the new couple. Where is Yato? Is he the husband? Could it be, he’s in the audience to make a dramatic objection to the wedding? Either way, we are sure that Yato is involved and isn’t just a bystander.
Yatori is THE couple of Noragami. Of course, there’s Veena and Kazuma, and then there’s Kofuku and Daikoku, but why can’t we just love them all? Throughout two seasons of Noragami, we can’t help but root for Yato and Hiyori to have the relationship that should last for an eternity. Manga fans can continue to watch over this could-be couple in the continuing manga, but anime fans are still on the hook if there will be a third season or not. Oh the joy, if there’s a season 3!