The first half of the episode was a slow one, but the second half was a different tone altogether. Yato tried to muster up his courage to finally let go of Hiiro, aka Nora. But he doesn’t even get the chance to continue when he gets attacked by Phantoms, ordered by Nora herself. She doesn’t materialize when he calls her name, deliberately so because she had no intentions of helping him to begin with. She was there for one purpose only, to bring Yato to their father- and if he tries to resist, he will be punished. And so without a regalia or any scrap to make into a weapon, Yato is taken down by the Phantoms and is abducted to god knows where. There he finds himself confined, and forced to fulfills bloody wishes which involve killing a number of targets- mainly consisting of those who committed a grave crime, such as murder.
The saddest part of all, is witness Yato being literally dragged back into this hellhole. It wasn’t until he saw the flowers he snapped out of it, realizing he has been gone for far too long- possibly as long as a month. The first thing that comes to mind is Hiyori, and he is frantic to get out and return to her, fearing she may have forgotten him. And Yato just snaps when Hiiro tries to restrain him. But he froze like ice the minute Father showed up, his hands trembling. There have been a couple of dark hints about the social environment Yato has grown up in. The biggest one thus far, was his remark about when he was a kid, he was told to forget about his wish for a shrine. And if you haven’t guessed already, the man who Hiiro and Yato call Father, is the one who ‘raised’ them. Just based on how Yato reacted to Father’s presence and Hiiro’s methods, makes it very clear: Yato was raised in a very toxic and abusive environment.
This is particularly heart-wrenching because you can start connecting the dots to Yato’s history of mysterious disappearances. The reason why Kofuku and Daikoku weren’t worried about Yato being gone for over a week was because he had done it many times in the past before. But the minute they mention how his former regalia would ask around about his whereabouts, you can start connecting the past to the present. Whenever Yato disappeared off the map, it means he has been ordered or essentially kidnapped by Hiiro and his Father.
And the saddest part of all, Hiyori is the only one who is worried about him. I am sure Yukine is too, but he was right on the money when he said, “He is probably with Nora.” It was a gut instinct from insecurity of his position. He doesn’t let it faze him too much and focuses on training with Kazuma, whom he had asked him to mentor him so he could become stronger and more far more reliable and valuable than Hiiro.
With all of that laid out on the table, now we can understand why Yato being a stalker and acting so over the top. He pledges to make Hiyori the happiest girl in the world because she gave him the one thing he was told he could never have. The shrine. With the shrine came a number of promotions. He is now officially registered as a God, he now has access to enter and live in Takamagahara (where Bishamon and the other Gods live), he can now attend the Colloquies (God Meetings) and he even has his own land where he and Yukine can now live- if they desire to. But the most important part of all, having a shrine is also a sense of security for the no-names Gods. Because Gods are born from wishes, once forgotten, they don’t reincarnate, they vanish from existence, for good.
This revelation however begged the question of how Yato, who has been a no-name god for many centuries, has been able to survive. That is, of course because of Father- the entity that no one presently knows even exists.
Now Father tells Yato he will be permitted to be free once he fulfills a mission: rescue a conjurer who traveled to the underworld. At the same time we learn Ebisu has been notified of the location of the Locution Brush he has been looking for.
Ebisu’s actions must be puzzling a lot of the anime-only viewers, but rest assure everything will be explained. The interesting factors revolving around him are more precisely his actions. Gods who are close to Ebisu don’t understand why he reincarnates so often- and blames it on his regalia, claiming they aren’t doing their job right. But Ebisu is clearly trying to do something that other gods wouldn’t do. He is experimenting with the Phantoms, trying to give them names- but he only gets blighted by them by result. He thinks it’s because he is not compatible with them. It just shows Ebisu has a very interesting way of thinking, and even though it means jeopardizing his health, if he is set on a task, he will do everything he can to carry it out. And now apparently, the Locution Brush is something he needs.
Next week, the underworld- it’s clear already that the one Yato needs to protect is Ebisu- I look forward to their interactions, as well as Hiyori going to a theme park… I know exactly what is going to happen- and I can’t say I am looking forward to it because of a number reasons… *HISS~*