My Big Fat
Greek Youkai Wedding
|Phew, I’m back at tagging with Jrow for Natsume! Doing episodics about Natsume always gives me headache, but I still love doing it anyway. And i-it’s not like I miss Jrow or anything!|
|wb anaaga! *pats head*
It looks as though we have our third 2-episode arc this season.
After spotting another youkai in the house, Natsume and Nyanko-sensei go for a walk outside. With the attention span of a frog, Nyanko chases… a frog. As Natsume takes this rare moment of blissful peace in, a hoard of youkai in white robes chases after Natsume-sama, needing to ask him something.
Natori does his acting thing and woos his fellow co-star, and then notices a familiarly-shaped seal in the girl’s hair and meets up with his boss. The assignment is to go to the Moon-Splitting Festival. Natori is briefed on how every 10 years the festival is held and two gods, Houdzuki of white & Fudzuki in black, do combat with harvesting on the line. Should Houdzuki lose, Mt. Misumi dries up for 1o years. Houdzuki has been sealed away (by Matoba, it appears), so it is his assignment to find Houdzuki before the festival ends.
Ao no Exorcist
“This is good stuff bro”
Short on clues, Natori and his servants split up, though Hiiragi follows. They here chanting and drumming, and hide behind bushes as Fudzuki is being carried up. A couple moments later, Houdzuki arrives… or is that really him? Natori notices Natsume and also Nyanko and does a double-take. As Natori tries to makes sense of what just happened, he comes across a white mountain youkai. Before business can take place, some black robes intervene and are forcing them back, wondering if Houdzuki is even around. Natsume interjects from atop a tree.
That moment when you see your guy marrying someone else
“DON’T TOUCH MY HAREM!”
Turns out that Natsume is acting as Houdzuki since nobody knows where he’s at. The two clarify there position in the matter, and as Natori starts talking with one of the white youkai, Hiiragi believes Natsume’s gotten soft and ponders if Natori will ever end up like that.
What is it that Houdzuki & Fudzuki actually do? A divination decides that hunting is the name of the game, and the first person to catch the monster wins. Natsume and co. aren’t having any luck and he eventually meets up with Natori again in a building. The monster appears, and the hunted becomes the hunter. Madara is reduced to neko form, Natori is held down and Natsume falls over the gate as Hiiragi tries to grab him, but ends up going down with him.
No fall is too far for Natsume. He usually prefers a tree-padded landing, but whatevs, he’s alive. The two draw a mark on each other’s arm that is good for one youkai bite repellent and they run to continue the search and meetup with Natori and Nyanko again. Hiiragi believes that the real main purpose of Natori’s mission was to seal Fudzuki instead of finding Houdzuki.
BFF necklace got nothing on BFF TATTOO
Hiiragi activates a trap and a bunch of logs fall on the two. Both knocked out, the black robes realize that Houdzuki was involved, but then question his identity after smelling “a child of man.” To be continued…
Sparkles are so convenient
This is where Natsume will have his honeymoon with Fudzuki
WHOA… IT’S A POT!
“Please pet me!”
Obligatory Natori fanservice
Courtesy of anaaga
Really? Another 2-parter? Have other seasons done 3 of these before? Maybe Zoku did, though I remember that more for its great single episodes. That coupled with reading anaaga’s first paragraph makes me revisit what I said about the playlist theory, and it’s a part of what’s made Natsume Yuujinchou an enjoyable series through the many single episodes and 2-episode arcs and why Shi has been as enjoyable as it has for me. I don’t think they could do 2-episode arcs back to back, though separated by a mere single episode might not be most ideal since there’s still room left in Shi. Natori can’t be around long enough to feel like a regular of the series as he’s only been in 2 episodes this season (technically 3 if you count him wearing the paper bag from ep. 6). Every time I see Tanuma, Taki, even Matoba or whoever… it’s always a delight. It is interesting to see her say that the arc could’ve been summed up in 1-episode
Hiiragi wishing that Natori would soften up is really interesting and speaks to how Natsume’s kindness might be starting to rub off on him. Natori never seemed like a really bad guy the same way Matoba was, it’s just that Natori was willing to do his job as an exorcist without questions. It makes me think much higher of her as a servant than I might have before; there’s a camraderie that I hadn’t noticed before. What Natori does in this route could be pretty defining of his character. If he seals Fudzuki and all goes according to his master’s plan, he’s pretty much same ‘ole Natori, but if he refuses to seal him in hopes of finding the original Houdzuki, he’ll start leaning more towards Camp Natsume (the opposite obviously being Camp Matoba).
Natsume looks pretty cool dressed as a god-like figure, and played it cool in separating the White Hats and Black Robes, though why does Houdzuki wear purple? It’s probably just as anaaga says. You could see the reveal between he & Natori coming a mile away, even from the preview last week, but adding the ellipses and the mouths agape to that moment was hilarious. And with Natsume knocked out from falling logs, let’s see which of his friends is able to save him. I’d bet on someone who hasn’t appeared in the arc yet.
Finally FINALLY they’re showing Houdzuki’s arc. I’ve been waiting forever for this because this, like Kyo, is one of my favorite arcs of Natsume. It was definitely surprising though that they decided give the arc two episodes, considering that they could’ve squished this in one episode. What’s more surprising is the fact that I enjoyed the anime adaption more than the manga. There are many factors for my enjoyment, but the highlight is definitely the time when the anime crew decided to use this arc. Before, I would ask myself, “When will they use Houdzuki’s arc?” since it’s waayy back before Tanuma’s arc. Remember Tanuma’s arc, where Natori said he threw some “important things” that Natsume should not let go? After two weeks, viola! The audience is given an arc that’s partially focused on Natori and his conflicted ideologies about youkai. Well played, Brains Base, well played.
I did mention that there are many reasons why I like the anime more than the manga. Kind of. Ok, not really. This episode was eyegasmic, that’s all. First, HOLY CRAP NATSUME LOOKING ALL PRETTY LIKE AN UKE IN HIS WEDDING. That’s a rare treat all fujoshi have been praying for. Seriously, DAT DRESS, I love it. It’s old-fashioned, but the head ornaments that Natsume uses are perfect matches for the dress. From the designs and the colors used for the head ornaments (including the mask), they’re so awesome with the plain purple robe. Is Houdzuki a fashionista or something? That dude has a fabulous sense of fashion. Speaking of Houdzuki, my tingling spidey sense tells me that he’s a bishie. Why? Because Fudzuki looks like a bishie too. His face can’t be seen, but the shape of his chin is perfection. Fudzuki (seme) and Houdzuki (uke) is my new minor OTP in here. I find their ten years meeting to be romantic. My god, I can actually make a fanfic about the two of them!… Ehm, the temple on the waterfall was eyegasmic too. Somehow it looked really beautiful. Must be the colors.
By the way, these are the things I like from this episode only. I do have common sense and proper reasons why I love this arc as a whole. It’s just that the heavy stuff hasn’t been mentioned yet, so I figure I’ll save mine for next week. Either way, this episode was entertaining and is definitely better than the manga (so far). I’m actually not complaining about the art for once. If they follow the manga properly, I expect a FABULOUS episode next week.
Episode 10 Preview: Fudzuki found out about Natsume, and the festival is ruined because of that. Will they be able to find Houdzuki?