Tanuma’s house is visited by a youkai leaking miasma and Natsume receives an offer to go to a youkai village.
Well this episode re-introduces Tanuma to the series. A pretty good guy and one of the few humans that know about Natsume’s ability to see youkai. He’s similar to Natsume since he can sense and see shadows of youkai at times, but his ability isn’t nearly so far along that he can see them clearly like Natsume. Now chatting with Nyanko is a different matter since that form allows him to interact with people.
It was nice to have the episode show how similar Natsume and Tanuma are. Both guys were uncertain about talking freely with the other about their thoughts and concerns since they don’t want to inconvenience or drag the other into things. Even though they know about each others abilities it still isn’t easy to be open. Of course that’s understandable since both guys can’t just talk about this sort of thing to many people. Most would think they are crazy or lying and thus reject them. They can’t just switch off that aura of lying or avoidance just because the other is involved. Luckily nothing bad happened other than the miasma from Kanawa causing Tanuma to feel ill. It’s good in the end they had a chat and that being open from the start can save a lot of trouble.
Another positive was seeing more of Reiko and getting into her head. Most of the times we saw her defeat youkai through force, but this time it was a comical game of rock/paper/scissors. Really she was a good person in using that match to try and keep Kanawa trying to get home. Just giving up and wasting away would be too sad of an ending to his existence. I do wonder what she thought about the offer to go with him to that village. Certainly there seemed to be some reluctance on her face, but who knows how she might have responded. Can say she had issues with both youkai and people so just going to a youkai village might not solve much for her. Plus hard to say what kinds of bonds she might have had with a few humans. Either way I think it’s possible she might have gone. At least it would eliminate being stuck between two groups.
Kanawa turned out to be a pretty good guy. Obvious the miasma that he leaks out made him pretty hard for others to approach which created an isolated existence. There’s also the guilt that if he hadn’t been lured by the festival dance his sister wouldn’t have passed away. Hopefully he found some piece going back to the village at long last.
Hard to really read the youkai that attacked Kanawa at the end of the episode. Assuming it’s been a very long time since banishment could understand attacking in such a brutal fashion. Natsume was in danger quite a few times since getting the book of friends would have given it power over Kanawa and made it easier to get home. Could have just been an evil youkai from the start, but sounds like the crime was pretty minimal for banishment. Guess we will never know.
This was a good episode for just showing how Natsume has grown. He has bonds in that world that kept him from really considering Kanawa’s offer. Also he has a friend like Tanuma who can understand more of Natsume’s position. I’m looking forward to the next episode and the story that will be told in it.
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