The Parallels between Yukine, Yato, and Mizuchi/Nora
(A Noragami Meta)
Rereading Noragami, I am constantly awed by Adachitoka’s masterful crafting of the character relationships. It reminds me of the early days of Bleach. You see the relationships contains layers upon layers of parallels and foils. The primary one I want to talk about, being this one here:
In the above, you have a trio of a human, a god and a shinki. Below, you have a trio of a shinki, a human and a god.
It’s so interesting to see the contrast between Baby!Yato’s relationship with his father figure and sister figure and that of Yukine with his relationship with Yato and Hiyori.
Both did questionable acts at the time of their ‘birth’, but while Yato never learned right and wrong from his ‘Father” who also often showered him with praises, Yato tried his best to teach Yukine about morality, even as he called him childish insults (but ultimately he also refrained from punishing Yukine, not because he wanted to enable his bad habits like Father did to him, but because he sympathized so much with him)
It’s pretty clear, the differences between their parenting styles. @echodrops illustrates the dichotomy beautifully in their essay.
It’s easy to forget, but Mizuchi is actually Yato’s older sister, and Yukine sees Hiyori as an older sister figure.
Mizuchi enabled Yato’s bad behavior (but then again this is also because she didn’t develop a proper moral framework), and to an extent Hiyori did too in regards to Yukine by failing to reprimand him early on. But as Yukine put it, if Hiyori didn’t scold him (and if Yato didn’t find him), which she did later, he wouldn’t have become the person he was today. Yes, just like:
The parallels between Sakura and Hiyori are so interesting ok? Especially with respect to their relationship with Baby!Yato and Yukine.
Ok, I kid. There are serious parallels too, like how both Sakura and Hiyori tried to stop Baby!Yato and Yukine from stealing, and how both boys ended up betraying them (Yato in using Sakura to kill people, Yukine in stealing from Hiyori). Also Sakura acted as both a mother-figure and sister-figure to Yato in the same way Hiyori is sometimes motherly towards Yukine.
And then you can also compare the family Yukine’s found now with Yato and Hiyori to that of his family from when he was alive. I mean the manga has already shown us hints of this:
Yukine has overlapped his sister (presumably) with Hiyori before and now his dad with Yato.
It comes full-circle as his former life also parallels with Yato’s former life (father issues, abuse etc.). But here’s the thing, while Yato and Yukine were in similar situations (likely to face physical abuse), someone else was more appropriate to act as the foil to Yukine.
Mizuchi was the sibling left behind to an abusive father while Yato, through Sakura’s influence, gained more independence (in the same way, Yukine’s mother took his sister away; admittedly this is speculation since we don’t know how canon the anime-only scene above is).
I REPEAT, MIZUCHI/NORA, LIKE YUKINE, WAS THE SIBLING LEFT BEHIND.
So, if you pity Yato and you pity Yukine (if you belong to the Noragami fandom, the answer to that would be a resounding yes), then you should pity Mizuchi as well. Don’t be fooled by her smug smiles and creepy-ass dark panels. Underneath all that, she’s a tragic character.
Yukine may think he’s become more like Nora, and Nora already thinks they’re a lot alike, but the both of them don’t really know how deeply the similarities run.