Your average awkward gamer and otaku. Book girl. Tsundere. Freelancer. Struggling to become an author.
Hello everyone! We can finally say that autumn has arrived! Here in Japan the days keep getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and the trees are changing their colours. In other words, this is the perfect weather for watching anime such as Natsume Yujincho!
I’ll give a short recap for those of you who don’t remember what happened in the last episode: Natsume finds out that there is an exorcist who keeps attacking other exorcists for unknown reasons. He even witnesses Natori being attacked. Eventually, Natsume is asked to help the Matoba clan find this exorcist and get rid of him, or at least the youkai that might be possessing him.
Natsume is not exactly fond of the Matoba clan, but he has no other choice than to agree, since the leader of the clan is threatening to ruin his peaceful daily life with the Fujiwaras. Natsume ends up going to one of the villas of the Matoba clan where a lot of exorcists are going to gather for a meeting.
The plot is simple, and there is not really much to add to it if you remember the previous episode. Natsume ends up following Matoba, even though he is not happy with the ways Matoba used to convince him. The villa of the Matoba clan which is used for the meeting has strong barriers against the youkai which makes both Natsume and Nyanko-sensei feel nauseous and weak.
Nonetheless, Natsume manages to see through a youkai which possess people in the form of a mask. I don’t know how to stress this enough, but Natsume, even though he can’t perform any special tricks or chant spells, possesses a great deal of power. Take for example the leader of the Matoba clan. He is probably one of the strongest exorcists out there. However, he is unable to see the youkai in the way Natsume sees them.
Long story short, Natsume ends up being of huge help for the Matoba. He finds out more about what happens with the clans that stop getting heirs that can see and feel the youkai. He also overhears some other exorcists talking about their attitude towards the Matoba, which, well to be honest, isn’t that positive. As for the rest of the episode, go watch it right away!
I want to talk about one particular thing that caught my attention in this episode. At the very end, Matoba asks Natsume how he managed to form a contract with such a powerful youkai as Madara (that is Nyanko-sensei), to which Natsume answers in a manner extremely typical to himself: he says that he did not form a contract, but a promise. I think this phrase itself reveals too much of Natsume’s character: it shows his kindness and it also shows how much he cares for other people and for the youkai. Unlike many other exorcists who see the youkai only as a tool to be used for their own purposes, or as creatures that should not be thought of equals, Natsume is able to make friends with the youkai, understand their feelings, and connect with them on an emotional level, which I bet is not even conceivable for somebody like Matoba. This is his strength and most probably his weakness.
Another thing that I found quite interesting is that the Matoba clan is hated not only by humans but also by the youkai. A long time ago one member of the Matoba clan made a promise to a youkai and didn’t keep it. Hense, the leaders of Matoba clan have been targeted by the youkai for generations. I think that making a promise to a youkai is not something that is very common, or even acceptable in the world of the exorcists, and that’s why the Matoba clan is being attacked for such a long time. On the other hand this also shows the depth of the relationship that Natsume and Nyanko-sensei have.
And with this episode, a tiny arc has been concluded. Natsume Yujincho has always been one of my favourite anime, and it has always managed to touch me on a very emotional level. The way it relaxes and sooths your soul is very unique. But I feel like this season, which most probably will be the very last one for Natsume Yujincho, will show us a different side of the anime. It will reveal some secrets about the youkai, about the exorcists such as Matoba and Natori, and of course about Natsume Reiko, Takashi’s grandmother.
Don’t hesitate to tell us your opinion here on Manga.Tokyo! What do you think of the season so far? See you in the next episode!