Natsume Yuujinchou San – 07 Review
Episode 07 (33)
Awwww… this was a good episode of Natsume. Probably my favourite episode this season so far and this season has been good. This is the second time this season that I actually feel like I want more episodes of Natsume now! Usually the show just wraps itself in a nice wholesome package leaving a deep sense of peace, but this episode got me excited.
This episode completes the Matoba arc which started last episode and is filled with intense and sad moments as oppose to the usual heartwarming scenes of bonding.
Natori and Nyanko-sensei returns to the room only to find out that Natsume is missing. The both of them immediately start to search for Natsume.
Meanwhile, Natsume is held hostage by the Matoba Clan head and is being given a speech on how he would like to use the strong Yokai that is in the forest to help people even if sacrifices are needed, he also enlightened Natsume on the past of the Matoba Clan and the secret behind his eye. Just as the Matoba head was about to show Natsume his eye, he gets called away and Natsume takes the chance to jump out the window and escape.
The search for Natsume continues and there is an on-going joke about how pets are not allowed in the inn. After asking the Inn-Keeper, they are informed that the Matoba group has checked out of the inn and are no longer around.
The scene changes to Natsume being chased through the forest by the servants of the Matoba head and Natsume decides to head towards the area where the strong Yokai is currently sealed to make sure that the Matoba clan would no longer have to kill innocent Yokais just to break the seal and free that Yokai in the forest. Just then, a hand comes from underground and pulls Natsume down.
The witch who had once worked for the Matoba Clan attacks Natsume wanting to use his blood to awaken the demon. But before she could harm Natsume, Natori and Nyanko Sensei appear to rescue Natsume. The witch deploys shikis and the Matoba head appears and shoots an arrow to kill the shikis but also hits Natsume and Nyanko sensei in the process causing Nyanko sensei to bleed. Due to Nyanko sensei’s power, his blood activates the ritual and awakens the Yokai.
The group runs away and the Matoba head decides to leave saying that he is unable to use that Yokai. Natsume and Natori turns back after getting the witch and Nyanko Sensei to safety to seal the Yokai. The Matoba head reappears and kills the Yokai just as things got rough.
The episode ends with Natsume questioning himself as to whether he is similar to the Matoba Clan but in the ends realizes that he is not due to the people that surround him.
I really like the way the episode went, perhaps it was not as “butt-kicking” as I would have liked it to be but it was still a good episode which introduced a deeper subplot that which looks like it continue through the series for a long time to come.
I absolutely hate the Matoba Clan, but they were created to be hated. Perhaps many will find this arc to be very unNatsume-like with all the intense and action filled moments instead of the relaxing pace that we are normally used to, but I actually love this break from the usual almost tranquil-like atmosphere and would like to see more of it. I would like the Matoba plot to progress more and for the Book of Friends to finally be made public, but it does not seem like it will happen soon.
Judging from the way the last couple of seasons played out, there is usually one long story spanning over more than one episode each season and this might be the long story for the season. Sadly, I appreciate these longer storyline more than the episodic stories as it creates a contrast which allows us to appreciate everything that happens in the series even more. After all, one cannot possibly feel happiness without understanding what sadness is. I am not saying that a show should have a few bad episodes just so we will appreciate the good ones, but rather how this arc allows us to appreciate and experience different atmospheres while still sticking true to the style of the series.
I also love the way this episode reinforced the bond between Natsume and Nyanko Sensei as well as Natori and his Shikigami and contrasted it against that of the Matoba Clan and their beliefs. It just shows that despite the differences that this arc had as compared to the rest of the series, the main point of showing the viewer the interaction and relationship between humans and spirits through Natsume has not changed.
My favorite scene this episode would have to be the adorable moment when Nyanko Sensei tried to lick his back and could not reach his wound and the saddest moment for me was probably hearing Nyanko sensei whining when he was hurt, it was pretty soft but you can hear him if you listen carefully. T^T
The comedy this episode was nicely integrated into the whole plot uplifting the moments that would usually be tense. It reminded me that I was watching Natsume and that this is not meant to be an agitating show.
Bad thing about this episode? The lack of realism. For instance, when Natsume jumped out the window to escape the Matoba head, he ended up unscathed. I understand that this is done to push the plot forward but at least let Natsume suffer some cuts and bruises. Also, when he fell down the hole into the cave all he said was “it hurt”. =_=” I understand that this show is not meant to be dramatic enough to put people on the edge of their seats or to leave people worried, and this arc has created more drama than we have ever seen on Natsume thus far, but how about giving it just a bit more realism? I am probably nitpicking at things but Natsume did fall from great heights twice this episode and I am starting to feel like he might be immune to falling or have a butt made of steel. =p
Another thing that did not make sense would be, did the witch stalk Natsume and wait for him to be under the hole whilst hanging onto the top of the wall of the hole just so she could pull him in? Is it even possible for her to scale that wall?
One more thing that did not make sense was the fact that the injured Yokai who Hiragi is looking after mentioned something about the “eye” awakening and devouring the group. I don’t remember seeing the eye nor it being explained in this episode. Perhaps I missed something? Could someone explain if they know?
Judging from the previews, we will be seeing the fox spirit in the next episode! Yay! More old characters! My only issue is that we are already more than halfway through the season and it is about to end and I don’t want it to.
Episode Rating: 8/10