Posted 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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  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:34 AM)
    *Skies. But it sucks, so I don’t feel like getting it’s name right
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:32 AM)
    Bridge to the Starry Stars, Myself Yourself, Hyakka Ryōran, and Yozakuru Quartet.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:32 AM)
    @Enka: Figured out what your watching for that excursion as of yet?
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:30 AM)
    Going to have a “shitty anime marathon” tonight.
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:49 AM)
    Played Fallout New Vegas again. After Metro Last Light, the game is horribly drab and lacking style, but I do always love me some surface world post apocalyptic exploration.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:39 AM)
    @Emma: I haven’t, though I found out about after the first ep of the US version. Surprisingly the US remake is extremely good (very few US remakes are) so I’m watching this first.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:16 AM)
    @Wyatt: Had a go of Martyrs because someone said it was more traumatizing than Serbian film. Sat stone faced through the whole thing. Pretty depressing, gritty,bitter, bleak though, actually had a plot also.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:56 AM)
    Hmm, an American do-over, watching the British show the prisoner, I caught glances at and heard about a US remake that was done, I don’t think something like that should be remade.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:54 AM)
    And that reminds me, though I’ve only seen it in part I think the British version of tinker tailor soldier spy, while challenging/exhausting is alot better than the film remake, Alec Guiness really brought out that character in a more threatening/effective way than Gary Oldman and the story had more room to breath in the original.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:51 AM)
    @Raggers: Have you seen the original house of cards Raggers? The new ones a remake/reboot/adaptation of a British series.

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