Love is something unexplainable. Can happen anytime, anyplace and with anybody.
Now that the other priority stuff for Metanorn is half done, time to get down with Natsume and Nyanko-sensei to explore another heartwarming story. Of course, I’ve been off twitter at the release time to be saved from spoilers but I saw some people crying about. I don’t like sob stories but knowing Natsume, it might just be one of those touching ones. If you just dropped on this review, I suggest you go over the first impressions and brief background that I presented of this series. It’s enough to get you down pat even if you don’t want to watch the previous seasons.
Bring me CAKEYYY or you DIE!
We begin at the Fuijiwara household, where Touko informs Natsume that its Shigeru’s birthday and he should be brining strawberry shortcakes on his way back home and of course Nyanko-sensei wants a piece too, disregarding his fat belly. Natsume though is unable to follow on Sasada’s recommended bakery as it’s too girly, while he hangs his face to his two friends (Nishimura and Kitamoto), he’s intercepted by Shibata who knows him from his primary school.
Childhood trauma is never good >.<”
Murasaki: “Ara~ What are you guys doing in the bushes?” Shibata: “Nothin’ homolusty, I swear. Teehee~”
Gimme New York cheeses shortcakes now!
The grainy flashbacks open Natsume’s wounds of being called a liar when he was a kid because he couldn’t explain the existence of youkai to people around him. Shibata remember this specific trait about him and literally blackmails him to tag along to a place far from his school. His mission? Finding out if the girl he likes is really human or youkai. Way to go bro, first you call Natsume a liar, blackmail him to come with you and then ask such a giant favour? You should be glad that Natsume’s quite nice to disregard the threats and help him out. The girl named Murasaki seems normal to Natsume though he’s pretty much distracted by the fact that he would run late back home and he had to even buy the birthday shortcakes. With Shibata help, Natsume quickly buys the shortcakes and runs home to have a homely dinner with his family (Fujiwaras + obligatory Nyanko-sensei).
Megumi, GET OFF TOHRU NAO! Oh wait, wrong anime.
When the time comes, Nyanko-sensei can pounce royally too~
Though, things do not remain peachy, as he dreams about Murasaki eating Shibata—nothing gross sadly just some shadows. Natsume does get premonitions and visions when he comes in contact with youkai so he becomes certain that Murasaki is not human. His confronting the youkai in park, where she’s usually found confirms this fact and he even warns Shibata about the truth but he doesn’t want to believe it because he has fallen deeply in love with Murasaki.
When time calls, Madara doesn’t leave any punches
Truth is bitter. Truth is sad. Truth is a lot of things mixed into one.
Seeing no way out, Natsume decides to confront and even fight Murasaki if need be to save his friend. That is when he finds out that she’s a yamafuji tree youkai and her minutes are even numbered because the tree has almost become lifeless. She took human form to lure a human so that she could eat them for survival; however, she met Shibata with whom time spent like seconds and she almost forgot about eating him because time stood still whenever they were together. It was as if Shibata knew all along that she was not human, yet was attracted towards her and wanted to be close to her heart.
After all the revelation, Natsume helps Shibata meet Murasaki one last time before she completely fades from existence. For the last time, she held hands with Shibata and happily disappeared towards the sky, knowing full well that there was someone who would always remember her and keep her in his heart.
The many HNNGG faces of Natsume
Stalker fangirl: I want yo’ babies!
Oooh, working the bath tub there, Natsume, nyaa~
OH FUUUUUUUU— CREEPER ALERT!
Fact: Hair drying is not good for cats
Oh this episode… made me quite emotional. This is the perfect example of why I love Natsume Yuujinchou so much. Even with fantasy characters, it’s able to pull up a heart touching story, the feeling of love and longing so rife that you have no other choice but to feel it and heartwarmingly so too. The beautiful goodbye was simply brilliant. Not to mention, Natsume gained another friend, something that he always yearned while growing up.
Some flashback really helped because you get see how Natsume has been helpless with his ability, not knowing when to speak or show his emotions because everyone called him a liar. Being unique is a curse but for Natsume, he has coped well with the whole situation and even better than Reiko because her stance was more of I-hate-humans rather than let-me-understand-humans as Natsume does. Actually, he has the same policy for youkai too because one way or the other, he keeps on helping them pass on as well.
The concept of love in this episode is quite unique and rarely found because it’s remnant of something close to unconditional. Contacting Natsume was the confirmation that Shibata searched for after getting to know Murasaki. In his heart of hearts, he knew that there was something off about the girl he liked. But, seeing the openness and the calm he brought to her with his presence; he never had the courage to confront her. That is when his past beckoned to him and he looked for Natsume and finally found out the truth about her. Even till the last minute, he remained strong and brought a smile on Murasaki’s face. This was a short relationship in terms of time but really touching—with a signature feel of the Natsume series.
Hosoya did a brilliant job with Shibata (pro tip, go watch No.6 or Katanagatari to listen more to this guy), as I instantly connected with playfulness yet seriousness of this character. A short role but well played. Also, didn’t I tell you Natsume is kind? He really does go out of his way to help out people but that is his best trait. If it weren’t for Nyanko-sensei, I would have been quite depressed after seeing this episode but good to see the sake-shout in the end. Keep at it, nyaa~
Another flashback story of Natsume? A youkai that he remembered even after growing up. This is one of my favourite chapters from the manga so expect a review of this very soon! Ja ne~