Natsume Yuujinchou Go – 04

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This isn’t the kind of party he wanted to get invited to

Okay, okay, maybe I didn’t need to complain about Matoba so much last week since this was less of an arc and more of a 2-episode diversion.

Natsume, always the do-gooder, agrees to help Matoba since it will help prevent exorcists from getting attacked. He always picks the option that will help the largest amount of people, even if it inconveniences him. In this case, it’s a rather extreme inconvenience since he has to obey the orders of a guy he can barely stand the thought of. He also has to dress like a shiki and go around awkwardly touching people’s faces, all while running after a dangerous mask youkai. Yeah…this isn’t one of his best ideas, but it’s just something Natsume naturally does if it means giving at least one other person an easier time in the long run.

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He’s sweet, but I feel sorry for him. Matoba is clearly taking advantage of Natsume’s kindness, and he’s practically dragged there. It’s also sad to see how poorly he’s treated throughout the whole ordeal. Natsume is one of the rare few who acts polite towards youkai, but this was a sharp reminder of just how brutal everyone else is in comparison. I mean, it wouldn’t be so bad if they were just indifferent, but these exorcists are downright nasty. Natsume is panhandled by curious exorcists who want to see him perform a trick, and violently tackled to the ground when he’s suspected of acting out of line (when he’s actually trying to save everyone). According to these guys, youkai don’t have any rights whatsoever, and should be treated as slaves.

Matoba (and by extension, his whole clan) pretty much share this view of youkai. In other words, they have no respect. Natsume overhears some exorcists gossiping about how the Matoba clan are notorious for breaking contracts with youkai. One of those contracts that went sour resulted in a whole fiasco where youkai everywhere try to pluck out the right eye of anyone from the Matoba lineage for revenge. With this in mind, it’s likely they’re not as loyal to humans as well as youkai. It would be sad if they had a bad rep and were actually decent people, but no, Matoba is a big jerk through and through.

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Oddly enough, if you just look at the words Matoba says to Natsume in this episode, he doesn’t sound like such a bad guy. He offers to protect Natsume, gives him a special talisman, and frequently praises his skills. However, the way he says all this is a lot more revealing of his true nature. His sly grin permeate this oiliness that makes his entire speech offsetting, like he’s slowly luring you into a trap you can’t quite see yet. It seems more like he’s flattering Natsume to try and trick him. Furthermore, we’ve seen from previous seasons that he has no qualms about killing youkai, and that he’s a megalomaniac desperate to form a binding contract with a powerful youkai. He makes a brief comment about how Natsume must have been strong to have formed a contract with Nyanko-sensei, but the truth of the matter is that it’s just regular old friendship (Nyanko-sensei claims it’s to stick to a promise, but we all know he stays because he likes Natsume~). There are no physical/magical ties forcing Nyanko-sensei to stay…he does out of respect. Someone like Matoba can only understand a master-slave relationship.

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So sensual

Throughout all this, Natori appears to be watching in the shadows. I’m unsure what to make of this, since he’s been somewhat of a good guy so far. It’s just weird that he would watch Natsume so closely, and purposely rip up whatever letter Matoba sent him. That’s wayyy too suspicious for a nice dude. Maybe it was for his own good, but Matoba was very cryptic about that letter, so it must have been something less obvious than a party invitation. From what I remember, Natori was always on Natsume’s side, although they sometimes clashed in ideologies since Natori’s whole job was to exorcise youkai, not befriend them. He’s not cruel to his youkai partner, but he’s also not really nice…especially considering how fond she is of him. He’s like an odd middle ground between Matoba’s ruthlessness and Natsume’s kindness. I wonder if he’s a little more devious than I previously thought…and if we’ll ever really know what that gecko youkai is up to crawling around his body like that.

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Now we’ll never know if it was a love letter or not


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.
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4 Responses to “Natsume Yuujinchou Go – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    This was a great departure from what I’m used to seeing in the series. I’ve enjoyed the more “pastoral”, one-shot one (or two)-youkai, stories to be sure, but this one looks like it’s going to put some “meat on the bones” for a larger story arc. Or, since I’m new to the show, is has this been cooking up for a while?

    But yeah, Matoba does like to bait the trap with exactly what he thinks you want…greasy if you ask me.

    • Kyokai says:

      See, we told you to go check out previous seasons. Not in a marathon but very slowly.

      Natori and Matoba had previous arcs and of course introductions around Natsume. Both have slightly different agendas but it’s always fun to watch them interact with Natsume.

  2. Kyokai says:

    Junichi Suwabe as Matoba was a great choice. Hnnng, he knows how to wear a character’s skin and perfectly portrays a sly/smexy exorcist with an agenda. His intentions are definitely not good. He just wants Natsume’s power as a tool to protect himself and his clan.

    Now about Natori, I always see him as what Natsume would grow up to be if he started misusing his powers. I don’t think Natori is a bad guy like Matoba, just a guy in a complicated situation because of his family history. I think he shredded the letter for Natsume’s own good but he should have come clean to him rather than eavesdropping on him, even if to protect him. Aah well, you know how it is, small clues left behind for a fuller story later.

    • Overcooled says:

      He knows how to be seductive in all sorts of different ways haha. But no matter how nice his voice is, yeah, he’s definitely up to no good.

      I can see Natsume potentially becoming like him if he grew up in a similar situation. Natori means no harm, but he’s not nearly as kind towards youkai as Natsume is. I don’t think he’d ever hurt Natsume, so hopefully the letter thing was with good intentions.

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