Manly tears are allowed
|Yay I didn’t miss a Natsume episodic for last week! Jrow is kind enough to wait until I’m back home… Or maybe he was just too lazy last week but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m pretty anxious right now since this is probably the most depressing Natsume arc there will be.|
|I was willing to wait for you anaaga! Though I did get busy… but anyways, apparently I’m supposed to have the tissue box nearby for this arc that’ll wrap up Shi.|
After coming home and talking to Fujiwara and Tohko, Natsume goes to his room to find his youkai pals hanging out in there. They brought a fellow youkai with them that wants their name back from the Book of Friends. He gives the name back, takes a nap, and thinks about Reiko as the others are talking about her.
The next day, he pulls out a book about insects and a photo of his parents slips out of it. His school buddies have stopped by to tell him about a soda water spring Kitamoto claims to have found; Nyanko-sensei seems excited about it. While they are chit-chatting, Tohko answers a phone call that is for Natsume. Tachibana tells Natsume that he is close to selling the old house that he lived in with his parents and checks with Natsume if it is alright to go through with the sale. Nishimura arrives a little later, and when he and Natsume go up to his room, Kitamoto and Nyanko are hiding in his closet and burst out to scare them. Kitamoto noticed something in his closet, and after some squirming around, Nishimura notices some photos that Natsume has saved of them together and other stuff at school.
That moment when you found pictures of yourself instead of Narnia in the closet
Later in the evening, Natsume talks to Nyanko-sensei about his parents. He didn’t really get an opportunity to know his mom, and he only spent a few years with his dad though he vaguely remembers the time spent with him. Even later when he is sleeping, he has a dream about him as a young boy who is lost and can’t find his home.
Natsume and the boys go looking for that soda spring the next day. Talking with Tanuma some about the phone call from yesterday and reflecting more on his dad, Natsume is grabbed by a hungry youkai and rolls down the hill. Nyanko-sensei notices and easily saves Natsume. Somewhere along the way, the photo of his parents falls out of his pocket and he can’t find it. He originally was gonna let it be without explaining anything to his buds, but after Nyanko spills the info to Tanuma, he forces Natsume to ask them to help look for it. Nishimura is the hero of the day, finding the photo by a bush.
The boys walk in town and spot Sasada and Taki (who had just met) coming out of a record store. Boys will be boys, and Taki will huggle Nyanko-sensei the moment she seems him. The ending scene of the episode has Natsume telling Tohko and Fujiwara that he wants to see his old home one more time before it’s sold.
How Natsume doesn’t notice the added weight to his bag is something. This anime takes place before the invention of the smartphone and GPS systems, so Natsume is using the old-fashioned foldout map to find his way. As he goes to visit Tachibana to ask for the key, he sees a vision of a younger him walking and also notices a youkai is lurking around. He asks Nyanko to stay out while he goes to get the key; meanwhile, Miyoko (the daughter) and her friend are coming home and notice Natsume at the door.
Even the other characters know how Natsume is such a bishie
Natsume notices a youkai inside the house and tries to ignore it to not stir up trouble, but when Tachibana talks about the house as he presents Natsume the key, it’s tough not to notice the youkai under the table. Pretending as though he’s feeling a dump coming up, he goes to the bathroom and overhears Miyoko and her mom talking about his weirdness as a child. The youkai follows him around and asks for a mouth to be drawn. This makes Natsume visibly scare and Miyoko walks into the hallway to notice this.
While Tachibana asks about his foster parents, the youkai continues to pester him. Nyanko senses the danger in the house and scratches Natsume to disrupt things. The youkai is a mushikui that sucks the life force out of insects, and when it gets too big, it craves humans. I was surprised to hear Natsume say it was OK to leave it, which Nyanko warns him in a couple of years it will eat the people in the house. Miyoko finds them and complains to Natsume about how her parents cared for him. He spots the youkai on the roof, talks to it, and then runs a 26.2 Mile marathon to lure it away from the house.
Definitely the best slap ever
Nyanko eventually transforms into his youkai form and shoos it away. They thought they were in the clear, but in the late afternoon, the youkai goes right inside Natsume from his back which throws Natsume down the hill in a possessed state as episode 12 concludes.
NNGGHHH Chibi Natsume
┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ﾉ︵ ┻━┻
Shi really is the season of arcs, and moreso than ever the season of strong messages about the characters and their developments, just about exclusively on the human side of things. Natsume has shared the spotlight with Tanuma and Natori earlier this season, but this final segment of Shi is putting all the focus on him and will be another key moment for him progressing forward.
Episode 11: A sensational setup episode for the arc that we’re in right now. The photo being the object to set things in motion, it’s nice to see his biological parents being addressed. Natsume is pretty much always holding back for both the safety of himself and more importantly his parents & friends, but I really like how he’s going through with visiting the house one more time. His parents will forever live in his memories and the house to a minor extent, but just going one more time will hopefully help Natsume flush out all his feelings and be able to move on in life; his lament about not being part of the photo is so very telling of his emotions. I also like in just a quick exchange how Tanuma and Nyanko have come to get along with each other. The two have been acknowledging each other for some time, but Tanuma definitely feels more comfortable asking the fat cat what’s going on after all that he’s been through.
I liked the small touch of the photo being conveniently placed in what looks like an insect book considering the youkai that is involved in episode 12. I worry that this youkai figures much deeper into Natsume’s past. This could be the creepiest youkai yet since it has such a boogeyman-like presence around the house. Sounds like an ideal youkai to have around protecting the house from bugs, but you have to change them out every couple years or else they get hungry and eat humans. And speaking of photos, it was kind of cute to see how Natsume put his photos in the closet and reminded me of some of the moments he wished he had more of: time with friends.
(I as a midwestern-born child that has been very used to calling Pepsi and Coke stuff “pop” my whole life, I was kind of happy to see the subtitling choice of Natsume saying, “like pop?” Again, merely a subtitle choice, but one I support!)
Episode 12: Two things surprised me about Natsume. First, that he didn’t know Nyanko-sensei was with him. Is his travel bag always that heavy, and also why would he really go anywhere without his bodyguard with him? And secondly, after leaving the house because of the youkai and eventually a “stray cat” coming in, the idea that Natsume was like, “ok, it’ll be fine for a while.” That choice kind of threw me off since I think of Natsume as someone that just wouldn’t leave things be, though Nyanko quickly told him that this Mushikui is real bad news and they were able to lead him away.
Miyoko may not have been the nicest girl, though it’s actually tough to think of her as being to blame from the viewer perspective. An only daughter who suddenly has to share her parents with another boy who has this “weird habit” of being scared, I think her frustration was at the very least properly placed. She wasn’t selfish about her parents giving attention to Natsume, but rather Natsume’s response to said attention. I don’t know if she’ll factor into next week’s finale, but I wouldn’t mind her being a part of things. On the flipside, not cool of Tachibana to basically speak ill of Fujiwara and Tohko about them not feeding Natsume properly.
I’m really looking forward to this finale. It’s already sad enough when you hear/see Natsume say, “I wish I were in the photo with them”, so I’m hoping for (and kinda expecting) a really uplifting conclusion to this arc, though there may be some sad feelings along the way.
I cried. I know I’ve said these two words for gazillion times, but this is probably the worst I ever got. Flashbacks of Natsume’s past with Natsume’s conflicted feelings have got to be the most depressing combo that ever existed.
This is probably the hardest time for me to think of what to write in the End Thoughts. I roll, eat, roll, drink, roll, and sleep, but I still don’t know exactly how I feel after I watched these two episodes. Everything is so… Mixed up. Let’s start from the bad to good. I’m angry at Natsume’s girl relative. How can she do that to him? She was not being supportive, despite knowing the fact that Natsume is a special case. But then I realized, wasn’t Natsume miserable since people treated him as a “special case”? He knew he was different since people treated him different, and he didn’t have a happy childhood because of that. For a while, it crossed my mind… Is it better if Natsume doesn’t have his special ability? Will that make his life happy? Of course, I shake that idea out of my head because there would be no Natsume Yuujinchou without that ability of his. My anger didn’t last long too since I realized that Natsume’s cousin (that’s the term right?) was just a kid, like what she said. And so was Natsume.
Sudden realization. These two episodes got me. I was never angry before in an anime to the point where I overlooked simple facts, such as that they were only KIDS. The developments of these two episodes were that great to the point where I was swept along with it. I did become emotional at some Natsume episodes, but not this emotional, let alone angry. Angry in a Natsume episode!? Shame on me. I became a mindless fangirl with snot all over my face. Well, not that gross, but you get the point. The sentiments of each character were brought perfectly. It was just great. Now all I need to do now is to prepare myself to repeat this cycle of emotional explosion for the last episode, which is next week T_________________T
Episode 13 Preview: More on Natsume’s past as he’s being possessed by the mouthless youkai. Let’s hope Nyanko-sensei can rescue him so that Natsume can cope with his feelings next week. Last episode! *sob*