Natsume Yuujinchou Go – 06

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“I’m immigrating to Canada”

Instead of just diving into this post, I just want to wish America good luck. Stay safe, everyone. Be strong. …And now I will provide you with a moderate distraction from all this election talk.

I’m starting to remember my experience watching the past Natsume Yuujinchou seasons. It’s one of those series that tends to be very unassuming and humble in presentation. Some scenes just drift by, and then all of a sudden you become captured in a moment so powerful that you want to break down and cry. It’s a show that hits you with “the feels” at the most unexpected moments. I found myself not particularly intrigued by the proceedings of the episode until Natsume had to give back a youkai’s name. For some reason, seeing the memory that this little owl babushka clutched onto so dearly made me immensely sad. It seemed like both Reiko and Hidaka had such a grand old time playing this made-up, stone hopscotch game. This poor creature waited all this time for Reiko, and now that she’s dead, it has to float off into the sunset with a dinky little parcel containing all of its possessions.

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*party streamer noise*

I don’t know why, but I completely forgot that Natsume giving back names was a thing. He does it pretty much every single episode of the earlier seasons. I’m actually surprised he hasn’t been at it as much this time around. What I like about Natsume giving back names is that he learns really interesting things about Reiko: how she was strong, stubborn, kind towards youkai, and a bit lonely inside. It would be clunky if they just had this as random flashbacks, or if a youkai was verbally explaining this all to Natsume every time. This method is a much more convenient way of giving Natsume the clues he needs to discovering what kind of person Reiko was.

Another bonus of the whole ceremony is that it shows Natsume’s selflessness. He could just throw the book away and let someone else deal with the youkai. He muses about such a thing this episode, saying that it technically would make his life a lot easier and safer. Furthermore, it would protect his foster family and friends from danger. Natsume is just too nice of a person for giving up, though. He knows that if the book ever fell into the wrong hands, that person would have an entire army of youkai at their beck and call. On a smaller scale, Natsume also keeps the book so he can help out youkai who want their name given back for whatever reason. It makes them happy, and only suckers like Natsume are willing to do this for every single small fry who comes knocking at his window (which is usually the case). Anyone else would ignore them and probably set up a barrier (which is exactly what Taki’s grandfather did).

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He worries a lot

So although Natsume sometimes questions his decision, he never gives up his self-appointed job as the holder of the book of friends. The only selfish thing about it is that it’s his one possession connecting him to Reiko. That’s a bit of a stretch to call it selfish though, since he has to go through such lengths just to retrieve snippets of memories.

It was the small, good deeds such as these that I loved to see. For example, Natsume’s “mom” made him a cloth necklace of onions to help his throat, which naturally smelled like ASS. But Natsume, being as pure as a golden retriever, didn’t remove the smelly fashion accessory because it represented the kindness of his family. Come on, isn’t that adorable? I also liked the cute interactions with Hidaka, such as the way they went for a walk and Natsume had to stop this giant owl baby from staring at a pretty flower for too long. He spent the whole afternoon humouring it out of pity (and, well, because he couldn’t argue otherwise either). It’s nice to see such a good-natured show, although perhaps I was especially affected since I watched Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku immediately beforehand…

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Something I felt could have been cut was the whole thing about “ohhh a bunch of youkai are here to steal Natsume’s voice!”. The story would have been exactly the same if Natsume really had lost it to a cold, and he ended up just bumping into Hidaka (who would probably kidnap him just for looking like Reiko, never mind saving him from getting his neck snapped). There would have been plenty of other chances in the future to bring back Hinoe and the underling youkai duo…especially since they really didn’t do much this time around except make fun of Nyanko-sensei for being a drunk.

Other than the furballs, it was a good episode that I really liked once we got to the resolution. I’ve been refraining from looking at the previews now, but I hope next week is another cute lil tale like this.

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Natsume’s Book of Drunkards


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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2 Responses to “Natsume Yuujinchou Go – 06”

  1. skylion says:

    I don’t know if he humoured Hidaka out of pity; it’s possible, but I think the boy has just developed such a large pool of patience, it’s almost superhuman in many respects.

    • Overcooled says:

      Pity was a poor choice of word on my part. Natsume’s too kind to really look down on youkai. He’ll always be as patient as it takes.

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