Natsume Yuujinchou San – 11 Review
I never knew I looked so ugly
Episode 11 (37)
I was contemplating putting this review off until tomorrow due to my current uninspired mood, but…need I say more?
My lack of motivation is all due to combination of life + Kousuke Atari (singer of Natsume’s ED song) songs. He has a way with his voice that gets me in such a nostalgic mood that I lose the motivation do anything. Although this episode did have some of the Natsume nostalgia in it, it was erratic and kept dropping in and out of the episode.
Oh, by the way, if you folks are waiting for a review by M0rg0th, he won’t be able to post anything until Thursday. I hope you will be patient and wait for an influx of late reviews by him. =) Meanwhile, I shall carry on my merry way with this review…
Due to my current mood, I shall just write a short episode summary. I don’t think anyone would be missing a longer summary anyway… or am I wrong?
I like the “evil” yokai with the hammer. I think his character has a certain creepiness to it that helps with making the episode more exciting, as with all the other formless “evil” yokais.
So the episode continues with Natsume staying over at Tanuma’s place to look after him. That night, Natsume dreams of the past of the yokai that is possesing Tanuma. He learns that she needs the mirror to help heal her friend who is ill. During the night, the yokai with the hammer breaks into Tanuma’s house and attacks them. Tanuma asks for the yokai’s help to see what Natsume sees and the yokai agrees to it. The spirit with the hammer gets chased off by the yokai possesing Tanuma. (What is that girl’s name?)
I realised whilst taking screen shots that there were so many weird Tanuma shots that made him look like an idiot when taken out of context. lol
For instance, (bottom left) he looks like he is searching for his reflection.
The next day at school the group heads off to search for more mirrors and with the help of Nyanko sensei they manage to gather all the pieces. The hammer yokai once again tries to attack the group for the mirror and Natsume jumps infront of the female yokai to protect her. The episode ends with the female yokai leaving Natsume with some parting words of wisdom about communication being important to understanding one another
I really did not like the swimming pool scene. It felt quite stupid and unimportant.
Moral of this story: Communication is important if you want to understand one another
The episode felt really clumsy and heavy-handed when it came to handling the season’s theme of Friendship this week. For instance, the scene with when the gang were searching the school for the mirror felt unnecessary long and too lighthearted for the mood of the show. Another instance was towards the end of the episode where the female yokai left Natsume with a warning about how he should treat the people who are close to him – it was pretty much her repeating the message that was already pretty obvious throughout the episode.
I did like the treatment of the theme during the part where Tanuma asks for the female yokai’s help to give him the ability to see yokais. I also like the small scene where Taki gives Natsume and Tanuma a charm. In my opinon, these little scenes were good enough to establish the message of the changing friendship within the group where each of them are out to help one another or connect with one another in some way.
The better parts of the show was when it settled back into the usual Natsume momentum with the story of the Yokai and her friend. Those were the moments where I went “ahh…” *a moment of internal calm*. The story about the yokai’s sick friend was sweet and the relation between Natsume and the female yokai’s current situation was a nice touch. It made the story more impactful but at the same time made the other pointless splashing around in water friendship scenes more obviously painful.
One other development that I liked in this episode was Tanuma seeing the world through Natsume’s eyes. I would really like to see how Tanuma reacts to this new found experience and if this changes anything in the long run. As far as we know for now, Tanuma has gained new found respect and understanding of Natsume and of Yokais as well.
One thing that I remain curious and confused about is how the mirror ends up getting to the places that they end up finding it in?
The conclusion to this story also felt rushed with Nyanko-sensei appearing and doing all the work for the team. It is obvious that the main focus of the episode leaned towards the season’s on-going theme as oppose to the “yokai of the week” plot, but I would be repeating myself if I went on about how I would rather it leaned towards the yokai story as it did well enough in pushing the development of the theme forward on its own.
Episode Rating: 7.5/10
Overall it was still a decent episode (although not one of the better 2 episode stories) but I am starting to miss the stronger and more powerful Natsume. As usual, Nyanko sensei brings us our usual lighthearted comedy with his egocentric personality. Sadly (or not too sadly), Natsume is no long my favourite anime of the season but rather another Brains Base anime has won my heart – Mawaru Penguindrum.
Do you guys like the multiple-episode long storytelling style or have a preference of the episodic storytelling style instead?