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"You wanna dig out my tush-crystal, Yukine?!"
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The Stray ( () () , Nora) is a former shinki of Yato and Rabo. She has multiple other names and owners, notably Ebisu and Takemikazuchi, although she is most often seen working for Yato and Father.

Appearance

The Stray appears to be a very petite young woman with straight chin-length black hair and has deep purple eyes. She also wears a "forehead covering" ( (ひたい) (かくし) , hitaikakushi) typical of Japanese ghosts and pale-colored lipstick.

She is most commonly seen wearing a white kimono (着物 (きもの) ) with a red and gold kimono belt ( (おび) , obi). The robe is worn similarly to a burial gown ( () 装束 (しょぞく) , shinishozoku) - pure white, crossed right over left - indicating that she's not a living person. She wears sandals on her feet along with white split-toed socks (足袋 (たび) , tabi). Additionally, her person is adorned with the kanji representing the names given to her by her many masters.

Her ayakashi form is that of a small child with a distended belly, with a scaly, fish-like tail protruding from where the umbilical cord would have been.

Personality

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The Stray, at first comes off as very gentle and kind. She seems to care deeply for Yato, and continually prompts him to use her, because she was once a human and all she wanted was to have a family that cared about her. That however did make her greedy enough that she turned to violence.[citation needed]

Later, it is revealed how manipulating and cruel she is. She tries to kill Yukine as well as taunts him, due to the fact that he was impure, but also because she wants Yato to use her instead of him. She also tries to kill Hiyori due to how close she has gotten to Yato and believing she has softened him. She is depicted to show interest in anything with beauty, as shown when she commented on Yukine's eyes.[citation needed] She, like Yato, is influenced and controlled by the actions and demands of "Father," whom we later find out is Kouto Fujisaki. Although she is initially seen as a villain, she is another puppet in the grand scheme of their father.

As a child who died before she was born, she knows neither good nor evil.

Alternate Names

As a Stray, the Stray has multiple owners and thus, multiple names. She also takes on different forms when different masters summon her.

  • As Father|Father's shinki, her name is Mizuchi ( (みずち) , a mythological aquatic monster which resembles a hornless dragon).[3] Her weapon name is Chiki (螭器 (ちき) ). Her weapon form is a shakujō.
  • As Yato's shinki (former), her name was Hiiro ( (ひいろ) , meaning "scarlet") and her weapon name was Hiki (緋器 (ひき) ). She used to become a water-transforming chokutō with the wooden hilt. Yato only called her Hiiro when they were working together, and called her Nora when they weren't. Rabō also called her Hiiro once at the end of Episode 7 of the anime.
  • As Ebisu's shinki, her name is Tsutsu ( (つつ) , meaning "gun barrel"), her human name is Tsutsumi (筒弥 (つつみ) ) and her weapon name is Touki (筒器 (とうき) ). She becomes a pistol. This name only appears in the manga.[1]
  • As Takemikazuchi's shinki, her name is Eyami ( (えやみ) , meaning "plague"). Any further information regarding this form of Nora's is yet to be revealed.[2]
  • As Rabō's shinki, her name is Furu ( (ふる) , meaning "zero"), her human name is Furuhime (零姫 (ふるひめ) ) and her weapon name is Reiki (零器 (れいき) ). Her weapon form is a samurai sword with decorative red hilt and sheath. This name only appears in the anime.
  • Other than the above names, kanji characters that can be recognized (or close to those shown in the manga) are 臣 (omi/shin, meaning "retainer"), 規 (nori/ki, meaning "standard"), 介 (yuki/kai, meaning "shellfish"), 合 (an/gou, meaning "join"), and 杞 (yagi/kou, meaning "willow").

Abilities and Skills

As a shinki, the Stray is known to have various skills and special abilities:

  • Water-transforming (manga) / Water-based attacks (anime): This is a special ability only attainable as Yato’s weapon Hiki. She is able to transform her blade into the water to become Yato’s shield or impact absorber or splashes some on Yato’s face when needed. This ability is shown in the manga many times during a mission to save Ebisu in the underworld. In the anime, however, this ability is also used by Rabō’s weapon Furuhime/Reiki, and changed from water-transforming blade to water-based attacks. The common cue to her appearance is the sound of a water drop.
  • Shape-shifting: The Stray is able to change directly from one vessel form to another, as demonstrated during Yato's fight with Ebisu.[1] Theoretically, all shinki are inherently capable of this ability, but only strays are able to utilize it as they have multiple names.
  • Phantom Transformation: As a shinki named through the Word, Nora has a second, true form similar to that of a phantom. This "true" form resembles an aquatic, serpentine creature with the face of a fetus.[4] Yato explains that is related to how she retains her human form and sanity after learning the God's Greatest Secret.[citation needed]
  • Borderline: This is the basic skill of a shinki. Yato implies that Nora can use this skill, although her borderlines are not as strong as Yukine’s.[5]
  • Bind: In the manga, the Stray is yet to use this skill. In the anime, she uses it to stop Kinki from biting Yato.[6]
  • Phantom Manipulation: She is one of the few entities that are able to control masked phantoms. She performs this skill in her human form. She used wolf-like masked phantoms to attack Hiyori.[7] [8] She later used these masked phantoms to kidnap Yato.[9] She has also manipulated masked phantoms to attack Yukine using a song.[10]
  • Rend: This ability is only attainable as Yato’s weapon Hiki. When Yato uses Zan, she is able to cut anything and everything. This skill is only used in the manga and is shown in the anime as flashbacks, albeit never named. In the anime, it is known that she can also do the same as Rabō’s weapon Reiki, although the skill was never named. It is however unknown whether she is able to perform Yato’s other skill, Zetsu / Sunder.
  • Memory Fragmentation: The Stray is seen to have the ability to take people's memories and morph it into the form of a small jewel-like fragment. She uses this ability in her human form. It is an anime-only ability used to take Hiyori's memories of Yato and Yukine.[11]

Trivia

  • It is once assumed that the title Noragami referred to her status as a Stray; although it actually referred to Yato and his stray-like life as a lesser-known god.
  • The Stray is something of a sister to Yato.
  • Due to being a stra y— a shinki which is considered dishonorable for a god to have — the Stray's "owners" do not give her a compound given name to include her in their respective "shinki clans".
    • An exception to this is Ebisu, who includes the Stray in his "-mi" (弥) clan as Tsutsumi, most probably due to the fact that he sees the use of strays as an acceptable practice and keeps quite a few of them.[12][13]
  • As Tsutsumi, she can transform into a pistol,[1] which looks similar to a Luger, which saw extensive use during the WWI and WWII by the German forces.
  • The character for the name Eyami (疫) — the Stray's name as Takemikazuchi's shinki — can be seen on her left forearm as early as her first appearance in the series.
  • The Stray calls herself a “Mizuko” (水子 (みずこ) ) which is a catch-all term for a baby that dies either before or shortly after birth for any reason, whether it be miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, or birth defect.[14]
  • The Stray is usually seen wearing her kimono crossed right over left, the way it is seen on corpses. Kimono are always crossed left over right otherwise.
  • The Stray's human name as Rabō's shinki, Furuhime, is extremely unconventional, as the character used, 零 does not have 'Furu' as one of its readings. However, although the character normally has the meaning of 'zero' or 'spill/overflow', it had a meaning of 'small rainfall' in Middle Chinese, and the character still contains the radical for rain (雨), which does have 'Furu' (meaning 'fall' in the context of falling rain) as a nanori (name) reading. This may be a play on words referencing the Stray's connection to water. Dragons are also associated with rainfall, and the Stray's true form and Mizuchi name are both dragonlike.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Chapter 32: She Who Invites (Vol 9)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chapter 57: Where Loyalties Lie (Vol 15)
  3. Wikipedia: Mizuchi
  4. Chapter 85: Whom I Wish To See (Vol 22)
  5. Episode 5: Borderline
  6. Episode 6: Scary Person
  7. Chapter 9: Abominable Creature (Vol 3)
  8. Episode 10: Regarded With Hate
  9. Chapter 27: Do and Due (Vol 7)
  10. Chapter 44: Cut + Ties (Vol 12)
  11. Episode 10: Regarded With Hate
  12. Chapter 31: Like Parent, Like Child (Vol 8)
  13. Chapter 73: If You Hear A Scream (Vol 19)
  14. Chapter 94-2: Hope - fast-moon translation notes.
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