Natsume meets Aokuchinashi, a youkai that looks like an old lady and needs rescuing after being attacked by a different youkai.
Hey! I’m back to do some more blogging. This time I get the honour of covering the third season to a series I’ve enjoyed over the years.
It’s really good to have Natsume back. If there was one series that I was really looking forward to this summer it was this one. The first two seasons of Natsume rank right up there as some of my favourite series. It’s not a show you’d initially think would be hugely interesting. Almost a slice of life series about a boy that can see youkai. But really the first two seasons just had a lot of episodes that made you care and focused on important feelings like loneliness and trying to understand another.
The first episode gives good indication that the series will continue to deliver great moments. While it was mostly an episode to remind people about the key points in the series it still told a good story. One of the most interesting characters in the series is Natsume’s grandmother Reiko. What’s unusual is that she’s been dead since before the series even began, but the flashbacks given of her still make her such a key character. I really felt bad for her when she realized the old woman wasn’t human after all. It was one of the rare times where someone she thought was human opened up and showed care for her. The disappointment and hurt she must have felt at that moment was probably hard on her. While she clearly realized that there wasn’t any ill intent (due to her helping with the tree) it was still hard on Reiko to deal with the woman later.
Reiko’s decision to take the names of youkai like the old lady does make you think. Maybe she took those names since it was at least a way to keep her relationships with youkai defined. They have to follow her and do what she asks. Though she rarely called on the youkai she took the names of she at least knew where she stood. With people she was hated and thought of as strange. The youkai on some levels respected her and some feared her. But it was the ability to see them at all that caused her to be cut apart from society in the first place. Hopefully we get to see more of Reiko in this season since really there are a lot of questions surrounding her still. A simple one is why did she die so young? It could be completely unrelated or it could be very important to the plot.
Natsume really got lucky this time around. If the teacup youkai hadn’t sacrificed itself for him then it would have been a bad situation. If Touko was worried normally then we can just imagine how she’d react if Natsume showed up with a broken shoulder. Nyanko-Sensei really needs to step up his game as a bodyguard. The teacup youkai’s sacrifice actually has pretty good symbolic meaning as well. Natsume often tries to protect the household because he doesn’t want harm to come to Touko or Shigure who took him in. But I think he still doesn’t realize that he is also part of the household. If he wants no harm to come to the household then he has to start keeping himself safe.
This story was a pretty good representation for some of the other stories that the first two seasons have told. There are quite a few cases of humans and youkai interacting, but understanding is pretty difficult. It can tie nicely with just regular human interactions since we can easily misunderstand each other. Reiko misunderstood what Aokuchinashi was and the opposite was the same. Whether human or youkai it is easy to make those mistakes.
This was a good way to get back into things. I’m looking forward to what kinds of youkai Natsume will run into and how he will continue to develop as a character.
Posted by FlareKnight
Posted on July 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm
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