Your average awkward gamer and otaku. Book girl. Tsundere. Freelancer. Struggling to become an author.
Greetings everyone! I hope you all had a nice week! The weather is changing, the trees that were coloured in beautiful autumn colours are gradually losing their leaves and the nature seems to fall into a deep slumber. And Natsume Yujincho is perfectly fitting into the mood that the weather is taking. The anime has also entered autumn. You can see the momiji, the fallen leaves, and even an autumn festival!
And of course, youkai! Because what is Natsume Yujincho without the youkai?! We get to meet new youkai, but the difference of this episode is that it’s happening in a different city, far away from Natsume’s home. Naturally, Nyanko-sensei is together with Natsume, but the scenery is different, the people around are different, and who knows, maybe the youkai themselves are different too?
Let’s not dwell on this questions, and instead try to see what happened in the episode! Enjoy the read~
Japanese Title: 遠い祭り火
Natsume together with some of his friends are invited to an onsen by Tanuma, the son of the monk who can sense the youkai more or less. You could also say he is Natsume’s first friend, the first friend he could possibly talk to about the youkai and not be regarded as a nutjob.
The four boys that are going to the trip, as well as Nyanko-sensei, are all looking forward to getting to the onsen, going to the matsuri, and enjoying these couple of days in a different atmosphere!
The first day goes by nicely, they meet up with people that have been around Tanuma since the latter’s childhood, and they get to know a nice lady, called Ito, who seems to care a lot about Tanuma. The boys help up Tanuma’s aunt in the onsen, take care of the custumers’ needs, and have a fun evening talking to each other, reading horror books, playing games, and finally falling asleep.
But as you may have guessed, things couldn’t go as smoothly as one would think, with Natsume around. And, of course, a youkai appears…
The story of this episode revolves around the matsuri, the festival of the nearby jinja, a Shinto shrine. However, a malicious youkai ends up stealing the precious mask of the festival, and with it a chance to hold the power over the festival and the surrounding areas.
It turns out that Ito-san is the protector of the matsuri! A youkai, basically. Of course, Natsume manages to find about this and ends up in a messed-up situation. Well, I won’t tell you how they tried to retrieve the mask, so have fun watching the episode and finding out for yourself!
It is hard to pinpoint what exactly was the main theme of this particular episode. But I like to think that it was Tanuma’s development. He originally was a person who didn’t quite like the youkai, who was afraid of them, and even said that he’d feel pretty sad if a person he knew for a long time ended up to be a youkai. However, after everything is over, he talks to Natsume about his thoughts towards Ito-san. Tanuma does say that he has thought before that she might be a youkai, because she had a different feel about her, a bit intimidating, I guess? However, it didn’t get in the way of developing a nice relationship, one you’d have with your grandmother, I guess. Natsume wanted to hide the fact that she actually is a youkai from Tanuma, because of what he said before. But Tanuma’s last words were these:
So now that I have a friend like you, I came here because I wanted to show her my friend. Thank you, Natsume…
I think this is a very sweet thing to say. It shows the deep connection Tanuma has with Ito-san, it shows that even though he thinks she might be a youkai he cherishes and treasures both her as a person and their relationship. I found it quite adorable, and I hope you did too! 🙂
With this the review ends! I hope you enjoyed it! I personally think that this episode was not quite as bittersweet as a couple of others we had this season. It even had quite a bright side to it, which filled your soul with warm light… If that’s the case, or even if you think otherwise, don’t hold back and let us know what your thoughts and opinions are in the comments, here on Manga.Tokyo! We will be waiting to hear from you!
Don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews!
NEXT TIME: A world without distortion (歪みなき世界)