Natsume Yuujinchou San – 12 Review
“You know you want to eat it Natsume. Look how nice and green it is.”
Sadly, this would be the second last episode of this season and that means that after next week, we won’t be seeing Natsume on our screens until Brains Base decides to produce a season 4.
Just like the other episodes of this series, this episode focuses on Natsume’s relationships with the people around him. However, instead of focusing on his friends this episode focuses on his relation with the Fujiwara couple that he lives with.
I am feeling a tad sleepy so please excuse my lack of clarity. I hope you enjoy the review though.
Natsume returns home from school one day to realise that Nyanko sensei is not home. Whilst at the window, he sees a yokai that is trying to enter the house whilst calling out his name. Nyanko-sensei comes to the rescue but Natsume falls ill with a fever.
That night, Natsume dreams about his past. He starts to have frantic dreams about his family being eaten by this yokai and realises that he has met him before. He wakes up in cold sweat and then falls back asleep dreaming about the whole encounter.
At the previous family that Natsume was at, they had treated him as an outcast and that even carried across into his school life. (This is not new information but rather than just hearing characters talk about it we are actually seeing it)
After a bad day at school and at home, Natsume decides to go out for jog where he meets Mrs. Fujiwara who is overly excited about bumping into him.
The next day, Fujiwara-san then gives Natsume a proposition of being able to live with her and her husband in their house in the country.
Natsume decides to ponder upon the situation and is greeted by the yokai who has taken a liking to the sadness in his heart and wishes for Natsume to join him.
Natsume is scared by this and it shows in his actions.
Natsume having decided that he wished to take the Fujiwara’s up on their offer, after realising that they were sincere, about it goes off to plan how to seal the yokai.
Natsume successfully seals the yokai and gets injured in the process.
When he wakes up he sees the Fujiwara’s beside him and cries whilst telling them that he would gladly live with them.
The flashback ends and we see the yokai in the present time getting defeated by Nyanko-sensei.
This was another decent episode of Natsume but for a moment during the show I was worried that this was going to turn into anther double episode. However, I am glad that this was not the case.
The main story is told in a single flashback and this is different from the usual way Natsume stories’ play out. I liked the fact that the story is told in mostly one chuck and we do not jump back and forth between the past and present like the way we did with one of the other episodes this season.
Another interesting thing that I felt was the different was in which the yokai was used in this episode. Usually Natsume has to “defeat” or work his way around the yokai but instead his interaction with the yokai in the present time is kept to a minimal. Instead, the yokai in this episode was used as a way to contrast Natsume’s past with his present (with the slight help of Nyanko-sensei making it obvious at the end of the episode) and I really like how this was executed.
I have to say that I am thankful that the story did not go down the usual path of what happens when Natsume falls ill due to a yokai, instead it decided to make the illness relatively unrelated to the yoka. Let me explain what I meant when I said “the usual path”; usually what happens when Natsume meets a yokai and falls ill is that his life is in some way, shape or form in danger and time is ticking down for him thus resulting in him actively starting a search and destroy mission. This time however, he goes to sleep, dreams of the past and wakes up back to normal and with the yokai dead thus never really engaging with the yokai and his life was never in any real danger nor was his illness explicitly stated that it was related to the yokai.
I did however feel that the flashback story about Natsume’s past was a tad weird. I did like knowing about Natsume’s past and how he finally ended up with the Fujiwara’s but the way in which the Fujiwara’s adopted him was a bit creepy. =_=” They seemed more like stalkers waiting to adopt a pet rather than parents wanting to adopt a child, besides, they appear so out of the blue that even the family looking after Natsume got suspicious. Also, the whole “you have a choice thing” does not really work when at the end they told him that he had to stay with them. (Sure they gave him a choice to leave if he did not like it, but still… =P)
There were a few funny scenes in this episode that I enjoyed as well. Like during the montage scene with Natsume running away and is cautious of the spirit that has taken a liking to him. The part where he was hiding from the monster was funny and it made him seem like a stalker, I did feel that Natsume did seem out of character during that scene as I would not expect him to act in such a “childish/cute” manner. I also liked the part where he made a make-shift leaf mask and found that funny too.
Unlike the other episodes of the season where Natsume’s relationship with the people around him develop as the story is told, this episode is mainly introducing us to the back story behind an already existing and established relationship which is a nice change since some people were getting tired of the stagnant style in which the story unfolds in each episode.
Nyanko-sensei looks so cuddly and Natsume looks so comfy in his bed… I would like to sleep too… *yawn*
Episode Rating: 8/10
Overall, although this was not the most heartwarming of stories nor the most interesting one but it was still enjoyable to watch. The plot was nice, the animation was good, everything about it had the typical Natsume standard stamped on it and so there is not going to be too much of surprise when you watch this episode.
My only real issue with this episode was the fact that the yokai had little relevance to Natsume’s character in the “present” time.
P.S: I forgot to mention that this is the second time this season where we see Natsume openly weep like a girl, but at least this time it seem more justified and relevant.