Posted 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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  • JaK
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:30 PM)
    haha yea xD i tend to read stuff with serious to semi serious theme’s anyway Afterschool was even more effed up then himegoto in terms of its ultra weird plot i was quite not sure that what happened in the end
  • JaK
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:28 PM)
    himigoto is the most adult of all these xD hourou musuko for the most parts remains in puppy love territory and not enough BNH chapters for me to deduce where its going
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:26 PM)
    @Jak: …we do tend to go for the same things.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:25 PM)
    @Jak: So I wasn’t just I and wicked on here who read those two.
    I think as far as genderbending manga goes ones like IS, Himegoto Juukyuusai, afterschool nightmare,bokura no hentai and hourou musuko should be in the majority. Its the dark or dramatic edge that adds to these stories.
  • JaK
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:24 PM)
    ohhh and nice light novel recom aidan didnt know about this one wil start this one soon
  • JaK
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:22 PM)
    monster musume is just weird i dropped it after 2 chapters
  • JaK
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:21 PM)
    Himegoto – Juukyuusai no Seifuku this is one effed up manga its like a adult version of bokura no hentai but far more well done
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:18 PM)
    I am reading Monster Musume. Honestly can’t say why I am reading it though. I ain’t even into monster girls.
    But yeah after this I think I will be dropping RE:Monster.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 07:09 PM)
    @Aidan Oh. I know what you’re talking about now. I’d much rather read Monster Musume. Shiniest of two turds.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Jul 22. 2014 06:59 PM)
    @K-off, Obviously not. RE:Monster is a novel about a guy who’s reborn as a goblin in a RPG setting. It’s all about him gaining power and likely becoming a Demon king.

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