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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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:26 AM)
    And I found the monogatari franchise to be a massive letdown/waste of potential after showing some genuine promise with two of its earlier arcs, only for it to get so caught up in itself quickly and then losing me.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:21 AM)
    I do believe that a nonsensical narrative can increase enjoyment and creativity of something and I dislike being spoonfed information but it won’t automatically make me enjoy every show/film/etc that uses that approach.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:08 AM)
    In both attempts that I tried to get through darker than black I felt that it could have been so much more were it not so episodic and that it could have gone into more depth, as it stands the show never really worked for me beyond the ovas, some of the action scenes and Yins background.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 12:03 AM)
    I agree that there are loose threads in Evangelion that were probably never fully developed by the committee, and a lot of symbolism (primarily Christian) that were only there for flare and edginess. But everything I say is backed up by the information available in the material or straight from the infodumps. If you see the Eva proposal to TXN (Tokyo TV) you can see that everything, and so much more actually, was planned from the beginning; albeit some stuff did change when Anno lost his mind.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:58 PM)
    The alpha strike was to infiltrate Central Dogma and take command and eliminate everyone inside. Seele is not really a sentimental type, if you hadn’t notice, so a ouple of hundred casualties before everyone turns to goop is pretty inconsequential.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    @Aidan: Gendo is one of the few at NERV (if not the only one) who knows about the scrolls and the truth behind the Evas, and keep in mind Shinji is primarily piloting 01 just to get his acceptance; so he was certainly needed. Plus in the original series you need an intermediate vessel to connect thru an entry plug (Shinji and Asukas, moms) so not any kid will do. This is before the dummy plug and Toji mind you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:50 PM)
    There is being obtuse and indirect. And then there’s just being plain nonsensical. I don’t want to spell out everything but I hate to see people tie thin threads together and act like it was some great master-plan when it could just as well have been a guy just throwing any random shit together that he could think of. Ikuhara for one got away with that bullshit far too often.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:45 PM)
    @Bam, And why was alpha strike necessary? If the goal is to destroy the evas and such then why not do as I suggested. Remove Gendo. Then it would be a piece of cake. And killing everyone just seems excessive and really unnecessary.
    Pretty sure anyone in Shinji’s class was suitable to be an evangelion pilot. And alright, shinji’s connection to the Eva is a reason to keep him in. But Gendo…not so much. He doesn’t influence it in any real way personally.

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