Natsume Yuujinchou Shi – 02 Review
Episode 02 (41) – The Eastern Forest
And so this episode follows the trend of two-episodes-only arc. I wonder if there will ever come a time where the series manages to stretch pass covering more than two episodes in an arc.
This was a nice and sweet ending to an exciting start and we were able to catch a glimpse of the typical Natsume heartwarming aftereffect glow towards the end of the episode.
I just love the way this series makes me feel after each episode. This warm and fuzzy feeling, that lingers even after the ending song is long gone, really makes me smile like an idiot. =) I know that I was uncertain about the choice of the ending theme song, but this episode had proved that it works and I like it.
This arc is no where near perfect, but I think that every each double-episode long arcs just seem better than the previous. The excitement through the first half of the show had me shaking in anticipation, and honestly, this is not what a series like Natsume is meant to be doing to me. What I should be like, is in a daze whilst lying in bed after the end of each episode, and definitely not excited. =P
The ending was rather abrupt and somewhat anti-climatic, and although I wished that we would were given the chance to see Natsume depending on his own strength to protect himself, this episode proves that Natsume’s strength lies with his personality. Some ass kicking on Natsume’s part would have been a nice thing to see, but the confidence that Natsume has in the Yokai’s and in himself, was more than enough to make up for it. Instead of being worried about what others would think of him when they see him talking to himself, he is instead immersing himself in the company of Yokais whom he calls friends.
As I had said, the ending was sudden and this whole arc had really amounted to nothing much. Every time that I had thought something big is going to happen, I am instead left feeling like I’ve just been teased. I know I shouldn’t be surprised since this show is not about being flashy nor about accomplishing something big, but I can’t seem to help wanting more. There were also a few slightly “cliche”-feeling moments in this episode with Natsume having won over enemies etc., but I guess cliche is cliche because it works. 😉
One thing that I had noticed in this arc was the fact that this was the first time Natsume’s yokais had actively gone to his rescue and had sought to help him out without having been asked. Where last season was focused on Natsume’s treatment of the people and yokai surrounding him, this episode had touched on the yokai’s acceptance of Natsume into their circle and their views of him, and with the help of Matoba’s detective-like skills, Natsume is then left wondering where his place is meant to be in the world. I think that it would be safe to assume that the on-going focus of this season would be on Natsume finding his place in the world as he tries to coexist with both Yokais and Humans.
Another thing that I love about this series is the way the line between Yokai’s and humans are constantly left blurred due to how similar both of them are to one another. Both are susceptible to corruption and both possess a strong sense of survival and are merely going about ways to fulfill their needs. The only difference between them is their state of existence. It is always enjoyable to watch the both sides fight to deny the other’s existence.
Overall, this was a sweet end to an unusually exciting arc of Natsume, where everyone (useless or not) have decided to come to Natsume’s rescue in order to protect him. =) It is hard to find yourself unable to appreciate the loveliness of this simple and heartwarming show, even those small comedic moments that are scattered throughout the episode are filled with warmth.
Although I had really enjoyed this arc, I can’t wait to get back into the mellow mood and episodic style of Natsume as Natsume wouldn’t be Natsume otherwise.
Episode Rating: 7.5/10
(Feeling like I’m coming down with something… TT^TT and right before my trip to Singapore. Dammit. Argh.)