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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  • 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.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.

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