Posted by psgels on 8 March 2012 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

This show is such a troll. First it promises a Reiko episode, only to be about something completely different. And now it turns out that the hints for Matoba being involved again also are false and instead some random exorcist was the one who sealed off Houdzuki. I can understand why this is done though: the fourth season is really dedicated to expanding the world of Natsume Yuujin-chou. It’s episodes like this that show that this series isn’t just about the main characters and that they live in a very expansive world.

In this episode, Natsume really pushed himself to his limits. Physically, at least, to the point of exhaustion. Where the third season focused more on his growth as a character, in the fourth season he seems much more scared of something bad happening and puts in much more effort to prevent that from happening. I also loved Nyanko-sensei in this episode Where I previously complained that he was a bit repetitively getting removed from the plot, here he was an active part of it. I especially loved how a the end of the episode, he got back at Natsume for abusing him so much in his rush to solve things.

Now, I also am going to have to be a bit negative, though. The fourth season had the best opening episodes of all four Natsume seasons, but after that things changed a bit. In particular, there has not been a stand-out episode like the Hotaru episode or the episode where Natsume meets Touko. ?The past episodes were still really good and among the best of the season, but for Natsume Yuujin-chou’s standards, they were missing something. That little edge in storytelling that makes you leave episodes with a heart-warming feeling.

The third season would have been a great point to actually end the series. The manga was incomplete, but that incredibly heart-warming ending was awesome and well built up. The fourth season though, is building up for something that still needs to arrive. It’s fleshing out the world of Natsume Yuujin-chou for awesome stuff, but with these kinds of things it’s always a matter of hoping that the producers will green-light a fifth season, a treatment that only the most popular series or shounen fighting shows manage to acquire. The thing is also: the more episodes that this show takes, the harder it becomes to recommend it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

11 Responses

  1. Tuuli says:

    I have a feeling we might get the stand out episode for this season next episode that you are missing in your post.

    I would really like to see Natsume continue as many seasons as there is going to be of the manga if they can continue out like this with just a quality.

  2. kazukifafner says:

    One touch that I really liked was how they displayed Fudzuki’s power. We’ve seen youkai that we’re told have incredible power, but this is the first time (I think) that we’ve really seen something like that. With just a movement of his finger, Natsume was completely exposed; and his presence alone had Madara shaken (though he remained resolute, which I loved). I thought that was particularly interesting.

  3. Kim says:

    The Natsume anime will definitely get a 5th season. It’s one of Brains Base top selling series (and it most likely doesn’t have high production costs). Plus the manga sells really well.

    Trust me we didn’t get 4 seasons out of the goodness of their heart.

  4. ShyBlue says:

    About your complaint about an episode not standing out, I don’t know how much of a spoiler this is, but judging by the preview, I think the next episode/arc will be particularly memorable if they’re gonna go by the manga.

  5. yy says:

    Definitely going to agree Tuuli and ShyBlue here: the next episode, possibly the next two episodes, will probably be the stand-out episode(s) of the season. That arc was one of the most emotionally wrenching in the manga, so if its adaption follows it faithfully, expect something fantastic. Natsume’s past always make for some excellent, excellent material.

    And we’ve seen this pattern of amazing opening episodes, lukewarm but still good episodes, and then punch-to-the-gut episodes near the finale of a season before. Just look at San!

    @Kim – I really, really do hope for a fifth season. I honestly can’t stand most of the shows currently airing. Natsume Yuujinchou is incredibly refreshing compared to all the cringe-inducing, cliche-conforming drivel that people seem to eat up.

    I hear Natsume is massively popular in Japan, but that doesn’t stop me from dreading the series’ end. I have this irrational fear that all good things (in this case, truly good things) come to an end when I least expect it.

  6. pgal says:

    Wasn’t the Touko episode the second to last episode of the third season.

    I enjoyed the episode, but I guess that I am not looking for anything specific, just something hard warming and enjoyable. I watch this episode on a bad day and it helped a lot.

  7. Kaisa says:

    Jumping in to agree that if we’re going by the preview, it just might be that the next two, or even three, episodes come together as an amazing ending. That arc tore some of my heartstrings in the manga.

    I am also hoping for a fifth season, but it seems they could run out of the material [they can always do stand-alone youkai stories, but we need good arcs too] Then again, I could wait for another two years. The wait between the first two season [just like the latter two] was only a few months, but the wait between the second and the third was two years. I can wait that long for an amazing series to come together.

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  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:58 PM)
    Yeah, you could even easily do a spin of series in the berserk universe, it’s that well thought out unique and huge. I dreamt myself continously into that world – mostly because of it’s bright, shimmering side, which aren’t mentioned that often because of it’s ultra dark counterpart.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:47 PM)
    I never understood how a franchise like Berserk with huge sales and avid fan base struggles so much to get anything made. The PS2 videogame was never released outside of Japan, and it took 20 years for the anime to get a follow-up. And after all of that we get a slim-budgeted series from an unknown studio, all the while D.Grey Man gets a full-blown slick looking second series that nobody asked for. Quite baffling.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:42 PM)
    @Badesh: well the creator of the Souls series Hidetaka Miyazaki is an outspoken Berserk fan. The games are replete with Berserk references.
    Cheers to you too m8.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:38 PM)
    @Aidan: for some reason I thought you were talking about the iOS game Berserk: Raging Wave of Mercenaries. Looks like the Musou game is getting a North American release, which is good news. But the weird part is that it’s a Sony exclusive, for whatever reason.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:37 PM)
    Dear God, a DarkSouls/Berserk mashup would be too god to be true. It stikes me just now, how similar these franchises are in tone. Somehow the never ending suffering doesn’t affect me that much. Could be because of my slow paced, depressive livestyle for most of my past life – no pun intended.
    Nice to hear some well thought thoughts on that topic, cheers ;)
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:29 PM)
    @Bam, you know I mentioned that game in the berserk episode 2 review.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:45 AM)
    WHAT?! This is tremendous news. Many thanks @Badesh for sharing.
    But Koei Tecmo out of all people? I guess we’re getting the Dynasty/Hyrule Warriors treatment. Where is the FromSoftware developed Hidetaka Miyazaki directed Berserk that was rumored? I guess better than nothing- which has been the mantra of us Berserk fans for a while now. Being a Berserk fan, is being Guts -> which is suffering.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:34 AM)
    https://youtu.be/9TPBx5Dq-Jk
    new one. the first teaser didn’t contain any gameplay just the first bit with cascar being snuggled by tentacles. it was how they introduced the new game to me. maybe i should feel raped as well…
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:04 AM)
    @Badesh: which one? Cuz I played thru both the Dreamcast and the PS2 version. The Dreamcast one was a stand-alone story, but it was both a good one written by Miura, and it was set between Vol22 and Vol23, so it didn’t interfere with the manga’s story. The PS2 one was almost a chapter-by-chapter adaptation of the Holy Demon War section, and it featured the de-facto Berserk theme ‘Sign’ by Hirasawa himself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdpqV7RPnTE
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:50 AM)
    They did the same thing to promote the video game! Srsly?
    Besides, i really enjoy the new series as a long time fan.. can’t exactly point out why. I like the action and for every shitty shot, we get an awesome one.

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