Posted by psgels on 15 February 2012 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

This arc was just wonderful. Here once again, Natsume’s character gets pushed forward. Before, he kept worrying and worrying about involving his friends in the youkai world, which is why he kept trying to distance himself. This time though, Tanuma actually gets hurt because of this, and actually would have gotten killed if it wasn’t for Natori. With this, I now also get why this season needed to put in episode 44, about the younger classmate that Natsume met: she was supposed to be the lead-in to this story, showing how the people around Natsume have gotten closer to him. That’s slightly different from the third season, which really was all about Natsume.

I loved how this episode placed parallels between Takashi, Reiko and Natori: Natsume is actually walking a path that the other two couldn’t. Natori actually gave up on it, while Reiko actually failed to do it? Is that why she was so involved with Youkai and kept stealing their names? Indeed, in the flashbacks we’ve seen her in, she always was with youkai. We’ve never seen her before with other people.

This episode also had some very expressive animation. There really were a lot of different youkai in this episode, and there were some scenes in which the characters looked really dynamic. It’s interesting how Brains Base have gotten better and better at animating this series here.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

8 Responses

  1. rufe says:

    So…isn’t next week a filler?

  2. meow says:

    I did find this particular arc especially chilling though. EPISODE SPOILERS: I don’t remember any episode of Natsume Yuujinchou ever getting this violent. I’m very uncomfortable about those two subordinates of the sealed monster getting away. If they’re willing to go that far against their own kind, I’m worried about what they might do to Natsume or Tanuma in revenge. When Natsume came back to an empty house, I kind of had a bad feeling that they might find a bloody mess there as well – something terribly out of place in this story, considering this series’ usual warm tone.

    We’ve never seen her before with other people.

    Yeah, but we also always seem to see her during her schooling period. She eventually gets married and has at least one child and a grandson (Natsume), although it seems her spiritual powers have so far only passed down to Natsume. I’m very curious to know how that happens too. Eg. Could Natsume have youkai blood in him or something? Is that possible in this story?

    • yy says:

      I’ve definitely never seen more blood in this show prior to this episode. It was kind of shocking.

      About Reiko (slight manga spoilers?):
      Reiko was never married. It’s been confirmed she had a child out of wedlock. It was really painful to see Natsume ask his former guardian about his grandmother, only to be met by insensitivity and indifference.

      • meow says:

        Wow. The possibility of Natsume having youkai blood just jumped through the roof. I can’t remember now but have any details appeared about Natsume’s parents, particularly Reiko’s child? Haha. I wonder what the chances are that Madara is actually Natsume’s grandfather. XD

        …..hm, maybe not. Madara’s Natsume form came off as remarkably callous to me. Even his true form felt warmer. A truly stark contrast to Natsume himself. Particularly how he treated Tanuma. I don’t see much of Madara in Natsume.

        • yy says:

          MANGA SPOILERS

          Not much, unfortunately. Midorikawa Yuki is still skirting around the topic. But the latest chapter, 59, and other previous chapters, establish that:

          1. Reiko had a child out of wedlock. Many people called her… derogatory things.
          2. No one knows who the father was, not even Natsume’s mother.
          3. Natsume’s mother didn’t have any memories of Reiko, either.
          4. Neither of Natsume’s parents had close relatives. Natsume’s former guardians are distantly related to his father.
          5. Natsume’s former guardians don’t know much about Natsume’s mom or her past. They obviously knew she was born out of wedlock, though.
          6. Natsume’s mother/Reiko’s child also died young. He doesn’t really remember her. He only has memories of his father.
          7. Natsume resembles his mother.

          Also, Natsume has been told (when he was young) that Reiko died under a tree. It may not be true, however.

          There’s just so much mystery surrounding Natsume’s family. The more I examine it, the more intrigued I become. It’s incredible how we pretty much have a good handle on Reiko’s personality, yet not know anything about her life or motives.

          About Madara… I kind of think he was egging Tanuma on. I don’t think he was being callous – just scheming. That’s just my opinion, though. xD But yeah, I actually don’t see Madara in Natsume either. But the youkai theory is just fascinating and semi-plausible. Reiko is never seen in the company of humans besides Shigeru (and she disappeared after wrecking his house – Zoku ep 10).

  3. Hogart says:

    A decent episode, and I agree with you about the animation. But honestly, it felt a bit too contrived to spend two episodes to merely put Natsume’s friend in danger for some drama. When all’s said and done, if it wasn’t for the comedy I’d probably be bored.. I’m at the point now where I want more than redundant little baby steps from Natsume Yuujinchou.

  4. pgal says:

    I loved this episode. Tanuma used to wish that he was more useful to Natsume and could see and interact with youkai, but now that he has, he realizes that he could likely only burden Natsume.

    Sure the episode didn’t have a challenging youkai, and had a simple solution.I thought the focus was the characters of Natori, Natsume and Tanuma. Natsume for the first time learned how it felt to have one of his close friends in trouble because they were just trying to save him. Tanuma learned that the youkai world has an ugly side, and being a friend occasionally will required him to not get involved in dangerous events. And Natori is trying to prevent Natsume from becoming like him or Reiko, and take the hard path of having both youkai and human relations.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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