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Natsume Yuujin-chou San – 05

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「蔵にひそむもの」 (Kura ni Hisomu Mono)
“That Which Hides in the Storehouse”

As wonderful as they’ve been, things have been slanted very much towards the heartwarming side of the scale for Natsume Yuujinchou in this “San” season. Though they’re adapting out of order, I figured Omori-sensei was overdue to jump into a chapter with a little more darkness and threat, and a lot more Madara. And so he did – adapting one of the newer chapters for this story. It’s the first time this season the series has been scary, and the first time we’ve run across a youkai who’s both out and out evil and a real threat.

An old friend returns in the form of Taki (the legendary Satou Rina), who first appeared with her magic circle last season. Whenever Taki is around Natsume seems to be in danger of great bodily harm, but that hasn’t stopped many fans from trying to ship the two of them if this were that sort of series (it isn’t). This time around Natsume and Tanuma stumble across her old house seeking shelter from the rain. Much to their surprise, Nyanko-sensei is already inside – having wandered too close to moe-taku Taki’s lair. This is an interesting dynamic, because we get something we rarely see – Natsume paired off with humans from whom he doesn’t have to keep secrets. Tanuma and Taki can’t see youkai as Natsume can, but among his peers they’re the closest he has to true occupants of both worlds.

This being Natsume Yuujinchou there has to be some melancholy and heart, and it comes in the form of Taki’s late Grandfather Shin’ichiro. He was a sort of anti-Natsume – a boy who couldn’t see youkai but longed to all his life. He was close to Taki, who was desolate when he passed, and his old house is full of youkai memorabilia and nick-knacks – and spirit energy too, as Shin’ichiro was quite a draw with the bored local ayakashi. More of an enthusiast than a true expert, the old man has left scores of half-correct seals and spells behind – though he did manage to seal a nasty kimono demon with an upside-down kappa drawing. Roped into helping clean the old house along with Tanuma, Natsume inadvertently breaks the seal by righting the picture, and the youkai is off in search of his miscellaneous body parts.

Always a story that straddles the past and present, the best elements of this episode were the small youkai that were drawn to the old man, and the memories of his life at the house. As is so often the case a bond of attachment formed, though Shin’ichiro could never see the youkai who were all around him. The brevity of human lives being such a mystery to them, they at first mistake Taki for her Grandfather just as Natsume is so often taken for Reiko. But in the end, it’s these seemingly powerless youkai who make the difference in saving Natsume from the kimono demon, as a sort of gesture of thanks for the man whose house this was. Whether they’ll stick around to play with Taki is anyone’s guess given the fickle nature of youkai, but the most playful of them (Fuchizaki Yuriko) does appear in her magic circle long enough to offer her good wishes.

Next week brings the return of one of the most talked-about and divisive characters in the Natsume universe, Natori Shuichi. Whenever he appears, things get a little serious, so look for the episode to tackle some weightier human-youkai issues. Looks like we can probably look forward to the first anime appearance of a much-loved manga character, too…

 

Preview

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August 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm
20 comments »
  • August 1, 2011 at 11:47 pmTan-Tan

    It’s…HIM!

    • August 2, 2011 at 12:38 amZ_P

      “I’m sorry for being so fabulous.”

      • August 2, 2011 at 8:21 amKayDat

        Looks like storyline is starting up next week.

  • August 1, 2011 at 11:50 pmCorn

    Natsume Yuujinchou is filled with so many heart-warming stories its really a masterpiece :)

  • August 1, 2011 at 11:59 pmmomogoldfish

    The old lady youkai was pretty cute~ And much as I enjoy heartwarming stories I actually enjoy slightly darker/uncanny parts of Natsume a lot more.

    So Junichi Suwabe’s character finally makes an appearance next episode…

  • August 2, 2011 at 12:04 amGuardian Enzo

    Spoiler above!

  • August 2, 2011 at 5:50 amZaku Fan

    The links made by Taki’s grandfather passes down to her giving a deep feeling of the cycle of life. The blob youkai could be called a tsundere i guess lol.

    I like the calm feeling of this anime

  • August 2, 2011 at 6:13 amKarmafan

    I would not say Taki and Natsume are a couple. Nothing like that has happened. They do seem to enjoy each others company very much and they do have feelings for each other. Perhaps not romantic at this time, its more like friendship then anything else. But of any character in this series that could be a potential future mate for Natsume it would be Taki. Lets just say the possibility is there.

  • August 2, 2011 at 7:12 amwandering-dreamer

    I totally ship Taki and Natsume since they seem to get along really well and are starting to understand each other but I’m also not expecting it to happen in the series, it’s going to be a while before Natsume is comfortable enough to have that kind of relationship.
    Anyway, yay for an episode with the trio and I really liked Tanuma’s line in the second half of the episode, something along the lines of “I’m glad you’re not telling us to go away or to sit it out while you get hurt.”

    • August 2, 2011 at 8:22 amKayDat

      I’m totaly for NatsumexTaki too; I remember back in second season I was so excited, since her story line was the first one to span more than a single episode.

    • August 2, 2011 at 12:21 pmsynkronized

      I initially thought that when Taki appeared it would spark the beginning of a relationship with Natsume. In all honesty a budding romance would be a pretty effective device to drive the series forward. Yuujinchou still has very nice and compelling stories of the week, but seeing additional progress like a significant other for Natsume would be really cool. And yeah they look like they’d make a nice pair.

    • August 8, 2011 at 1:42 pmDana

      Taki and Tanuma seem like more of a natural couple to me. But then I am biased as I see Natsume with someone else.

  • August 2, 2011 at 6:39 pmannamoss

    Disagrees with any pairings. It’s nice to jokingly pair them up, but Natsume Yujinchou isn’t a romance series. Not all mangas/animes have to have romance in them. …It just takes away from the story.

    And yes! Can’t wait for the appearance…for a fairly strong character…X3 And it’s nice that the anime is adapting the manga chapters out of order. XD Since this ep’s corresponding chapter hasn’t been translated yet.

    • August 2, 2011 at 7:58 pmKarmafan

      You manga site must be behind. I read it a month or so ago (episode 42). Was surprised when I saw it animated and thought I was watching an episode from last season’s by accident until I realized it seems so familiar because it was just in the manga.

      • August 4, 2011 at 6:09 pmBishie

        The latest chapter is chapter 54 (it’s another Matoba arc/3rd Matoba arc. Natsume is forced to be Matoba’s wife!!!!!!……
        Jk jk. *cough*)
        The scanlations is much behind, but the raws and translations are up to date. You can check Yuujinchou.livejournal.com for the raw scans and the translations.

  • August 2, 2011 at 8:12 pmCorn

    I prefer no serious romance in this anime. I think that’s what keeps this anime special and different from other anime so if he gets involved with taki or anyone it’s kind of a let-down for me (not saying I want Natsume to stay single or anything but if he dates anyone of course people are going to start focusing more on the romance aspect of the story which would be tragic cause Natsume Yuujin Chou is so much more than that.)

    Plus so many times, it is emphasized Natsume earns and thinks more about his family than anyone else in the series. So I will be one of those people who don’t want any romance seen in this anime cause that’s just Natsume’s character.

    • August 3, 2011 at 12:43 pmMyna

      Agreed.

  • August 4, 2011 at 3:56 amNhelraios

    Another beautiful episode. I nearly teared up at the scene where the youkais gathered trying to wake up Shin’ichiro. I dunno who’s this new character thats going to show up but its getting me really hyped too.

  • August 7, 2011 at 4:00 pmBlah

    Natsume is so cute! :)

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