Liberation and Yukine’s Future
So, it seems AdachiToka’s got a lot of pain planned. We all know Yukine won’t be dying (again) due to his Protag Powers™. So, here are some thoughts about what the future holds for his liberation process.
First, a quick overview of what liberation is. When a spirit is named, all of their memories are given to the god. (Yato is shown having memories of Sakura as a young girl as well as the moment of her death). When getting memories, the god also learns the spirit’s true name, which is the Gods’ Greatest Secret (GGS). As far as a shinki knows, memories of their past are gone forever. Perhaps because of that, or because of the ~magic~ that happens when a spirit is named, shinki don’t question their pasts. Yukine, who was angry because he didn’t have memories, never even thought about where they went or how he died. Nora had to bring the issue to Sakura’s attention. It’s said if a shinki learns of the GGS, they’ll become obsessed with their past and how they died until it destroys them.
We know five people who have been touched by liberation: Tsuguha, Sakura, Nana, Mizuchi/Nora (according to Father), and Yukine.
Tsuguha’s was a long process, so let’s start with her. She was struck by chiki, and over a period of time she began remembering her past. She also became lethargic and started sleeping most of the time, though she had her good moments. The memories leading up to her death become clearer as time progressed, until:
She heard her name. That was when she became an ayakashi.
Sakura didn’t have the progression like Tsuguha and wasn’t touched by chiki. She only learned her name after hearing about the GGS and asking Yato to tell her. Instantly, she recovered all her memories and became an ayakashi.
Nana was struck by chiki in the battle between Father and Bishamon. She began to remember her past and see the moment of her death, but Bishamon called out to her before she could hear her name, and she survived.
Nora, according to father, knows her final moments. How could this happen? Could he have told her the GGS outright or is it a result of a spell? Here’s a thought: she didn’t have a name when she died. When Yato receives her memories, all we’re shown is darkness and thumping noises
Since the name is what triggers karma, it’s possible that learning of her death didn’t affect her. There are other possibilities as well, but for now let’s skip on to Yukine.
Yukine got a crack in his name during the hospital debacle. A little one, but a crack. At the moment, nothing happened. It took The Box to trigger a flashback. When he finally got out (60 days of @boxkine later) he was pretty traumatized, but didn’t have any symptoms like Tsuguha. He wasn’t even aware he was calling out to his father. If Yukine can recover from the psychological trauma, he might be fine. But we all know that’s not gonna happen. So, how will he survive? As implied by Yato, he could be released and (assumingly) renamed by someone else. However, I have another thought. What if he experiences liberation like Nana?
In my explanation, the name is the true trigger for karma. If Yukine is able to remember his past without learning his true name, he could theoretically survive. But would that be enough? Nana was able to move on from her death in only a couple frames. She’s a stronger character than Yukine. At that point, she had already accepted death.
It’s possible that with support from Yato and Hiyori, Yukine could withstand liberation without learning the GGS. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.
A final note: A comparison between the state of Tsuguha’s name when it broke and Yukine’s name as we saw it last. Also Nana’s name, which appears to be intact after her battle with Father.