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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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 04:44 PM)
    @Firechick, Sure ya didn’t. And Bam just decided to comment ten minuts after you despite the fact that he doesn’t use exclamation marks and most certainly does not watch precure. It was either you or Aries and considering how inactive the shoutbox is lately, you are a prime suspect.
  • Firechick
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 03:00 PM)
    Uhhh…I wasn’t impersonating Bam. I don’t even know who he or she is.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 10:48 AM)
    This is a fairly minor complaint but in some older anime I always noticed “flashing light syndrome” and “Epilepsy visuals” , “Animes equivalent to flash photography”, it can sometimes bother me alot/hurt my eyes watching old shows, then again I am susceptible to epilepsy…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 09:14 AM)
    @Bam: Emotional involvement and rewatch value are very important to me in a film, which is my preference for synecdoche over birdman.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 04:05 AM)
    “Firechick, answer: Hell no. And don’t impersonate Bam. You suck at it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 03:05 AM)
    Yeah guys! Why aren’t you reviewing Go! Princess Precure?
  • Firechick
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 02:51 AM)
    Is anyone gonna review Go! Princess Precure? I hear it just aired.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.

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