Natsume Yuujinchou Go – 02

natsume yuujinchou go 2003

I like a girl who knows what she wants

It really feels like Fall is here now…especially since the colder weather has already weakened my immune system enough to get me sick. Sigh. Still, it was nice to keep cozy (despite sniffles) watching a this week’s episode featuring a heart-warming youkai tale about a little girl trying to do a good deed.

Natsume just can’t help himself when a stray youkai comes a-knocking at his door, asking for a favour. It was actually funny seeing him try and refuse an offer from the towel youkai, because we all just knew he would cave in. It’s inevitable; the whole show revolves around Natsume going to great lengths for youkai he’s only just met. Part of why his emotional burden is so heavy is because he gets attached to every single youkai he meets, and sometimes he doesn’t know what to do with the (sometimes painful) bonds he forms.

natsume yuujinchou go 2001

When you step out the shower after washing your hair and you can’t find your towel

The story begins with a childish youkai who simply wants to return a towel she was given by a human who happened to see her one day. Unfortunately, he can no longer see her, so that made returning it exceedingly difficult since she wanted him to acknowledge her one last time. Now that she realizes how quickly the life of a human is extinguished in comparison to the decades-long lifespan of youkai, she’s currently settling on returning it without ever speaking with him again.

It’s a bittersweet story. Although she remains cheerful throughout the episode, even at the crushing moment when Sougo can’t see or remember her, Natsume is very outwardly disturbed. It’s not uncommon for him to wonder what’s the point of forming bonds with youkai, and so he does it yet again this episode in response to this one-sided friendship. It’s just sad that youkai can become so deeply attached to people who can’t even see them, and will die in what feels like the blink of an eye for a youkai. It’s too depressing. This seems especially sad in the case at hand, where the demon is so darn adorable that it’s a shame all her efforts aren’t being noticed. She waited for him at the bus stop for 50 years and now she has to just be satisfied by giving her towel back to a guy who doesn’t even remember her. No final goodbye, no last conversation, no closure…just…the end of a relationship.

natsume yuujinchou go 2004natsume yuujinchou go 2006

That towel probably smells REALLY BAD after 50 years

Natsume tries to make it right by making him give her another towel as a sort of “yes, I received your gift” sort of confirmation, but that feels a little forced. Yes, it makes her happy, but it doesn’t really grant her wish. It’s the best she could get in that situation, and she has no choice but to be consoled with such a small trinket.

Although it’s saddening to think of how Sougo didn’t remember her, it’s not one of those “if only we hadn’t met” sort of situations. She’s still glad that she was able to encounter such a kind human, even for the briefest of moments. That’s partially why, I think, she can remain so positive throughout all this. It’s endings like these that remind Natsume that good things can come out of humans and youkai becoming friends.

natsume yuujinchou go 2005

On a side note, I must say that I’ve always liked how Natsume Yuujinchou doesn’t just shove everyone else to the side while Natsume does his thing. They’re still part of the story. Natsume still talks with his friends, takes interest in their problems, and communicates properly with his “parents” (in fact, he gets scolded by them when he just runs off). A lot of shows about youkai tend to just ignore all the classmates who don’t have that power. However, they’re an integral part of Natsume’s growth, as before he would only talk to youkai. I liked that Satoru’s story kind of mirrored Natsume’s youkai dilemma, adding that human component to the mix.

This was a very touching episode, filled to the brim with bittersweet moments. I simultaneously love and hate the scene where Sougo perks up when the cute youkai child speaks…but it turns out he was only attending to the sound of the rain. Sigh. So close. Still, it’s better for it to end this way. Natsume doesn’t take his special ability to view youkai for granted since he knows it’s so unique. Since he’s one of the very few who can help these guys, he takes it upon himself to go above and beyond what any normal person would do for a stranger. It’s incredibly sweet. I forgot how nice Natsume is…and how not-nice Nyanko-sensei is. Mochi monster, indeed!

natsume yuujinchou go 2000


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

2 Responses to “Natsume Yuujinchou Go – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    This one had a certain memetic quality to it. It was about a small act of kindness that wasn’t forgotten by one of them, but was by the other.

    I mean, on one side we have the story of the slaughtered village and it’s sole survivor. The survivor fights and struggles every day for years to pursue the evil thing that ordered his world’s destruction. But, Lord Evil Dark, upon being confronted with his crimes, dismisses it “Oh, for me, that was Tuesday”

    On the complete opposite side of the narrative we have Sougou. For him, the day he gave his towel away to a wet little girl was just a Tuesday. But that doesn’t diminish the small act of kindness one bit. And yes, it’s bittersweet…

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, it has a similar feel. Their worlds just have different scales, so of course they remember different things. Still, it was really nice of him. I’m sure he cared for her in the moment. It’s a shame he forgot afterwards.

Leave a Reply