Posted by psgels on 20 February 2012 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

I think that this was one of the least charming episode of the fourth season so far, but that’s like going to a four-star restaurant and ordering the cheapest dish: it’s still delicious!

Right from out of nowhere did we get a background episode on that old lady who kept accompanying Matoba. With this, we finally get to know her and who she is, by telling a story about her past. And screw this episode for teasing so much with Reiko! The start of this episode really made it seem like the two actually met each other, but instead Reiko stole the name of a youkai who happened to have left a large impression on the woman.

And again, this show used the past and present wonderfully to fold out, and the start of the episode was once again hilarious. I’m not sure why it didn’t hit me as much as the other episodes, but that probably is due to the calculating nature of the woman: It’s hard to explain, but at the very least she turned into a much more interesting character in this episode.

Also, the animators. They were very clearly inspired by Ghibli this episode. That one youkai’s animation: that was really good, even for this series’ standards.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

13 Responses

  1. kurini says:

    Haha, Psgels, I like your analogy about the restaurant!
    Really, I expected to see Reiko in this episode!! Too bad

    But I like this episode (well, there is no way I would not like a Natsume episode because I’m crazy about it)! It added some depth about this side character and I hope she will have more screentime in the future to make this anime more interesting!

  2. Hogart says:

    Somehow this one felt more sincere to me than the last two. It also felt like it did more in one episode than the previous two. I guess that just shows how bored I’m getting with Natsume’s arc? Maybe not.. maybe I’m just getting impatient with that stuff.

  3. twirble says:

    Since I found out Brain’s Base worked on “Ponyo” I have been looking for Ghibli influences. I don’t know if it is influenced by a Japanese trope or not but Matoba’s servants remind me of the god that was eating everyone in “Spirited Away”

    I guess maybe I liked this more than you did because I was expecting not to like it…it was much more intriguing than I thought it would be. I kept finding myself wondering about why we never see Reiko as an adult.

  4. youn says:

    that’s because you dont sympathise that much with the women, or better, that’s for me^^;;
    but i liked this episode too. although i did not sympathise with her, it was wonderful to see the past and the warmth the women actually had in front of the youkai.
    what i dont like is, that nyanko-sensei seems to become more and more なさけない, how do you say it in english xD poor?
    i dont know how to explain that, but it was also in the 3rd arc, nyanko-sensei wasn’t there when natsume really needed him, and appeared after everything was finished (just like a typical action movie, where the police always appear in the last scene).
    perhaps you know what i mean.
    yes, if he was always there, then it’d be boring for the lookers, but this can be made a bit better…perhaps.
    when i think of the first two arcs, the relationship between natsume and youjinbou was better, and better built up, arrgh i dont know how to explain it in english on the point xDD

  5. kero says:

    I thought this episode of was beautifully animated with gorgeous colours for the scenery.

    I was all pysched for seeing Reiko, and wanted the two girls to meet, so it’s a shame that didn’t happen. However the story itself was rather charming, and I thought it was funny how the mistook Mikage for Reiko. It makes me wonder what humans looks like through the eyes of youkai.

    The youkai characters are always interesting in their designs.

    Nothing to dislike about this episode, but oh I do hope we get a proper episode about Reiko at some point! We’re on the fourth season already and she’s still such a mystery!

  6. jzar says:

    A very good episode. The least charming….hmm can’t say that I’d agree. I thought it was a great look into the world and its people .

  7. rufe says:

    I was a little disappointed in this episode. It was filler and the story didn’t flow well at all (“shall I tell you a story from long ago to pass the time….wait have we ever spoken at all before?”)

  8. Machi says:

    @Kero: Current Natsume arc in manga is leading to that so you’ll probably want to wait for scanlation on that. Looks like even as an adult she had a rough time.

  9. Gunslinger says:

    Didnt like the episode much … especially when i was expecting info on reiko… plus how did natsume give his name back without knowing his form ?

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  • K-Off
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 11:03 PM)
    Damn Tokyo Mirage is expensive. Costs more than a Fire Emblem game and Persona 4 combined so this better be worth it.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 10:57 PM)
    Always difficult to talk about slice of lifes. Usually its always “This week our characters went to the park. The end.”
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.

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