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
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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