Posted by psgels on 12 March 2012 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

Okay. Best episode of the fourth season yet. I was wrong.

This episode started out like your average episode: trolling about Reiko, only to go into a completely different direction. That direction was Natsume’s parents. Nowadays I rarely cry in front of an anime anymore. But this one did it. Halleluja, this show just got even better.

It’s also amazing with how little this episode ended up as a heart-wrenching story. The emotions in it were incredibly subtle, and Natsume was hiding his feelings the entire time, but this was so well portrayed that it worked wonderfully. Parts where he says that as a child, he tried to not look at the picture of his parents may seem light-hearted, but it says so much of the cold environment he grew up with. Dead parents are a cliche, but when it’s developed so well I just can’t get annoyed about it at all.

The scene that really hit home was when Natsume lost the picture of his parents. Being shy myself, I could really relate to him there and how he tried to hide all of his problems out of fear of getting too much in their way. Heck, I’ll just say it: this was the best episode of the entire season. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

19 Responses

  1. yy says:

    This episode was so heartbreaking. Natsume’s carefully constructed denial (and its subsequent breaking down) brought me to tears, especially the sequence where he was remembering his father in the forest. In 25 minutes, I managed to laugh, cry, and smile like a loon. It was a veritable emotional roller-coaster.

    Also, the animation in this episode was stunning and beautiful and just what I wanted. The direction as well – I can’t get over the cuts between Natsume wanting to forget and the memory of his father. That’s pretty much the part where I lost it.

    Oh lordy, wait until you see next episode. I don’t want to jump the gun by saying that the second half will be even better, but… Really, since this episode was so good, there’s no reason to expect a drop in quality and emotion next week.

    • kurini says:

      emotional roller-coaster! This is exactly the right word for this series! I’m so moved by Natsume! :'(
      Next week, Natsume is going back to his hometown, I’m expecting a tear-jerking flashback…
      anyway, I’m really happy that they finally us something about his parents, and they really chose the best moment to show the picture (I was worried that I don’t get it see though xD)

      • meow says:

        It’s kinda weird. Natsume and Reiko really resemble one another, along with his Dad. I thought Reiko’s child was the daughter/mother?

        This episode didn’t make me cry but maybe it’s cos I read Psgels post before I got to watch and already had my guard up a little. Touching episode but I felt happy and relieved rather than sad. The last show I remember that made me cry was Ano Hana, just a little, and I’m pretty sure I used up quite a bit of tissue on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, especially at the end. The only other tearjerker I can really remember right now is Fushigi Yuugi, although I have the distinct impression I’ve forgotten some memorable ones somewhere.

  2. Dop says:

    Oh god yes, I was blubbing by the end of this one.
    Uncovering another small amount of his family history, and just so well played it was beautiful.

  3. signorRossi says:

    I agree, this episode was excellent, I spoiled this for myself by peeking in the manga recently. ;)

  4. Loz says:

    1 of the best episodes of natsume ive seen so far.

    And essentially nothing really happened other than the ‘boys adventure’, but the interactions were so good in this ep, and felt so genuine.

    This is why I love this show.

  5. Alec says:

    I kinda got semi-spoiled, so I was waiting for the awesome moments, which totally took the fun factor away.

    I almost got teary eyed in the end though.

  6. mj says:

    OMG, this episode! T___T
    I can’t even begin to describe all my feelings while watching it. But honestly, only this show manages to make tears run over my cheeks and yet at the same time leave me with a heartfelt smile on my lips at the end of the episode.
    Wonderful wonderful episode!

  7. rufe says:

    The manga keeps getting better too…

  8. Machi says:

    Well manga right now seems to be on Reiko’s history a bit. But yeah this is the lovely key arc~

  9. Kim says:

    I read the manga for this story arc (which I usually don’t) and the anime did a fantastic job capturing this story. I also teared up a little.

    And don’t worry there is more to the story. The next ep is good but the final ep is going to be another one like this. Really the anime picked a perfect story arc to end the 4th season on.

  10. rufe says:

    BTW…am I the only one who would be weirded out if I found a bunch of pictures of myself (amongst others admittedly) pasted up on the wall inside a friend’s….closet?

    A little weird……..

  11. Stars says:

    I was expecting a heartwarming episode of Natsume’s parents after last week’s preview and instead found myself crying for half of it because Natsume wouldn’t.

    I thought the interactions between his friends was wonderful – Natsume who for the first time in his life is finding people he can treasure with the hope of staying with them for a long time was just beautiful to watch.

    I don’t want it to end so soon when it just got THIS amazing >_<

  12. Litho says:

    Always preferred episodes like these. Episodes that concentrate on Natsume alone, without the annoying lizard-face actor guy or eye-patched “omnyouji” antagonists.

    Tbh, this fourth season hasn’t really had a standout episode yet in my point of view. Nothing like the one from last season about that spirit that sat on a tree who longed to see Natsume for years.

    • Kim says:

      You don’t consider this a stand out episode? I certainly do.

      I have to admit I also really loved the one where the youkai was mimicking the voice of the guy the girl loved. That ep was separate from Natsume but it gave me the feel of earlier bitter sweet youkai eps like the Hotatu one.

      I also loved the first part of Natsume in a bottle ep just because Sensei was hilarious (2nd half was disappointing though)

      So for me at least this season has a strong start & finish but an average middle.

  13. Esmeralda31 says:

    Yeah! This is really the best episode ever!!! Natsume had finally acted with his real emotions, thanks to Tanuma and his suggestions.
    Natsume, throughout four series, has changed, slowly but surely opening up to others. This episode marked a decisive step towards the definitive emancipation from his painful past, by accepting the help and the rebuke of his friend and decided to face with the ghosts of his mind and his native place.
    I hope that the adventures of our small and tender Natsume won’t end with this fourth series, because really there’s still much to discover.

  14. Hana says:

    …This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for

    Weren’t we all?! Beautiful and, as you point out, beautifully ‘shot’.

    Dem Feelings, eh?! ^___^

  15. KaZuHiRo says:

    OH GOD WHY…

  16. kero says:

    I cried even before it got to the sad scenes.

    The whole episode was so subtle and I think it’s as Stars says, I cried because Natsume wouldn’t, he was trying so hard to pretend that everything was okay, but he hadn’t truly let go of the past.

    That bit when he starts remembering his father, that’s when the tears started rolling for serious, and even then he was still trying to clamp down on his emotions.

    Thank God for Tanuma, for forcing Natsume to stop lying to himself and others.

    And then that scene of him as a kid crying over the picture of his dead parents.

    But even amidst all these tearjerking scenes it had so many fun scenes.

    I loved the banter between them as friends and the boy’s adventure. And then the closet with the photos, it was very symbolic, his friends find a way into his heart where he keeps his treasures (his friendship).

    I guess I’ll have to get ready for more of this next week!

    <3 <3 <3

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 08:18 AM)
    *looks back over drop list*
    sees akagi and Kaiji on it…
    Theres another set of series I really wanted to enjoy but only got half way through each =<
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 12:51 AM)
    Crayons was pretty much a joke. Basically any show of kindness and he’s in the bag.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 12:39 AM)
    Aidanak47, you know crayons wouldn’t work. Just place some Seele members disguised as classmates and befriend Shinji (which isnt hard to do, the loner) and then bend him to your will.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 12:13 AM)
    And why the hell wouldn’t you try to get the pilots on your side? Hell all you would need to do is give Shinji some crayons and he would be your loyal servant for life.
    And Propaganda people! You guys suck at this!
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 12:12 AM)
    There was also the issue in end of eva where Seele decided to mount an all out attack on nerve. It was ridiculously unnecessary. There’s only enemy was Gendo. All they needed to do was remove him from his position of power. Instead they decide to kill everyone. Even though it’s pretty damn certain that nobody(With the exception of Gendo’s Smithers) was loyal enough to him to protect him.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 11:54 PM)
    I agree with aidanak47, lol. The Seele guys were literally making a self fulfilling prophecy by causing everything themselves for the scrolls, which isnt even a prophecy by that point.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 11:47 PM)
    The Dead Sea Scrolls are really ‘the prophecy’ trope, but they are quite vague about what they really are. Anno and gang probably never decided on what was actually on them. It’s also very unclear who and how much they know about the scrolls. I assume Gendo must’ve seen it, but even that is uncertain.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 11:44 PM)
    They supposedly had excavated an S2 engine off of Adam’s corpse, and by EoE they managed to mass-produce it somehow; so they set probably not worried. I also agree on Gendo being too shifty of a character to trust- I certainly wouldn’t have done it, but Seele seems pretty cocky about everything for some reason.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 11:41 PM)
    @Bam, 1: The S2 engine was pretty much got by pure luck and Seeles efforts only made getting it harder. There’s suicidal and then just plain stupid.
    2: A normal Seele member would have just as much motivation and 0% chance of screwing them over. Which Gendo did try to do.
    These guys were putting a shit ton of faith in those dead sea scrolls. And how bloody detailed were those things anyway?
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 11:29 PM)
    *as far as the series canon

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