Posted by psgels on 23 January 2012 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

Oh my god, Natsume. Are you really delivering another brilliant episode? Seriously, even the previous seasons had episodes that slightly disappointed or didn’t work out as well as the others. This season has delivered one amazing story after the other.

Interestingly, this wasn’t necessarily about Natsume’s development. Instead, we’ve got a story entirely dedicated to a youkai here. In this episode it still was apparent how much Natsume has grown over the past seasons, but it really was about this quirky youkai that runs into him, along with a story of what happened in the youkai’s past.

For one, the Youkai was delightful to watch. He really nailed being funny, while also not getting lost in his own quirk. This guy is funny, but also surprisingly complex for a youkai. All in all it was a really interesting twist on the usual “youkai versus human romance”. It masterfully stayed away from cheese, despite an arranged marriage being used, along with “we can’t meet because we’re different!”. The ending in particular was delightfully light-hearted, yet incredibly charming. For the girl, it probably was a very nice experience, after which she went on and lived the rest of her life doing who knows what. All we see here is the side of the story of a youkai who is full of guilt for what he did.

I also realize now that the third season had surprisingly little of the book of friends. Because of this it’s also been quite a while since we last saw Reiko. With these opening episodes, you’d think that this season would be more about Matoba and Reiko, but with this series you’ll never know what the next story will focus on.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

11 Responses

  1. kero says:

    cute episode as always!
    I liked the yokai in this one, he looks old but acts young, and I like to think he went on found the place in her dreams.

    I would like to see more of Reiko

  2. Tuuli says:

    *sighhhh* Nothing really can’t beat Natsume. I’m so glad we can watch this show and read the stories too in a manga. Hm? The next episode…oh wow. It’s that story…yippee! Can’t really wait for the next episode! :3

  3. Puran says:

    Damn, I remember in the first episodes of the first season, that I was feeling like this was sort of Mushishi-Lite. Like a more mainstream and simpler version of Mushishi. And while some of that is still kinda true, it really has a evolved into a wonderful series.

    Also, the backgrounds really got upgraded this season. The colors have more depth and there are more interesting angles. I’m guessing Brains Base is putting a bigger budget behind it.

  4. rufe says:

    I really awesome arc from the manga. I personally feel that the more they stick to the source material the better with this series.

    And yea, it’s cute how the youkai are as innocent of the human world as the humans are of the youkai one (in general). It really makes it seem like it’s about understanding not incomparability (except you get the crazy youkai. Of course there are crazy people too)

  5. rufe says:

    Incidentally, I’m so happy that they kept the silence when Natsume was reading the letter. (I was afraid that they’d have him actually read it!)

    It is a remarkably powerful technique that is pretty common in Anime, but never seems overused. Gave me chills in the manga and gave me chills in the anime.

  6. kurini says:

    I just love Natsume too much!
    Every story is soo simple, and yet I’m so touched that my eyes are teary!!

  7. headachebaby says:

    I totally agreed that the background looks better than usual. You can tell that the season is fall due to the heater that Natsume has been using in his room and the dull green color of the forest.

    The forest that Natsume and the youkai entered was very detailed and it actually looks different. After the previous 3 seasons of Natsume, all the various forests seem almost the same to me. It’s this episode that the forest struck its individuality.

    Since this 4th season, all the stories kind of feels more mature — which I’m loving it.

  8. Hogart says:

    That sure was lovely. A return to form for the episodic stuff, really. Seeing Reiko was just the cherry on top. I especially liked how well the usual staple material worked to reinforce everything, including Madara’s role in the ep.

    I truly wonder how they make it seem so effortless. It would be easy to make such a basic episode both boring and emotionally flat, but it somehow worked out perfectly. It didn’t even have to melodramatize beyond the use of some emotional music.

    This was the perfect way to de-stress after a brutal day at work. I can’t wait to buy the Blurays.

  9. tktym says:

    the reiko stuff most likely will not get resolved in this season, or even mentioned, as the author is just now getting to the stuff about reiko in the manga, and she’s taking her sweet time about it too. so yeah, if I were to take a conservative estimate, Id say the answers about reiko wont come until the fifth (next)season, as well as the conclusion to the whole matoba thread since it seems from what the anime showed, that there is some connection. in any case though, the source material is really great.

  10. Salichan says:

    Is is t just me or did Natsume look much more mature in this episode? The animation was very good too :)

  11. jzar says:

    I wasn’t too into this one at first but it’s really gotten good.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:40 AM)
    There is a hipster movement of contrarianism, that they just like to hate on whatever’s popular and deemed kinda mainstream. I get defensive when they shit on classics like Akira, Berserk and Ghost in The Shell. I see that wasn’t the case here. Anybody can sincerely dislike Anything; that’s fine.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 AM)
    I see your point too. We can certainly take the stance of judging a thing by its own merit, unobstructed by social influences and constrains of time. Yet even at that Evangelion is a fairly slick piece of science fiction, and an interesting watch. At worst it’s boring and contrived, but that’s harmless. Never really fair to call it shit.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:20 AM)
    @Aidan: looking back soberly I did come back a little too heated. That’s uncalled for and I’m sorry for that. I usually don’t lash out of unrelated daily stress, but there are mistakes here and there.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:22 AM)
    @Aidan hahaha can’t wait for the episode reviews for Orange. It’s gonna really test you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:58 AM)
    Look I knew how this would end before it began. We have done this already and neither of us are changing our stance. K-Off laid out things perfectly with his response so I see no reason to elaborate. Only reason I jumped in was because you brought Fate into it and if that was the bait then congrats, you won. I see no reason to continue the farce with no compromise in sight.
    In other words, need sleep. Goodnight.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:53 AM)
    @Bam,”I never said the problems it has gets erased by its early release or cultural significance”
    Neither did I. I said you are hand waving it’s problems by stating so, which you are.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:32 AM)
    …And orange is still top of the poll…ugh. Seems like this is going to be torture for me. Kiznaiver was already trying my patience with those speeches but if Orange is even worse…oh boy…
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:35 AM)
    Anyways I’m sure an emotionally manipulating soundtrack will make the anime a bit better :)
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:34 AM)
    @Aidan, it got to the point where I had to take 15 minute breaks because it was so physically cringing lmao. I started sending screenshots of pages to my friend because we were cackling at how embarrassing it was. Like I shouldn’t be laughing at such serious topics but the execution is just terrible.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:32 AM)
    eh I thing my post just died when I hit send. Must’ve hit the character limit

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