This was definitely a nice episode to finish things off with. I think after all the focus this series has had on Natsume’s relationships with other humans, an episode that had this much focus on the youkai was good. Of course we weren’t lacking his interactions with people here since a good deal of the conversations were about the future and change. I’m sure Natsume never has had the luxury to think much about what he wants to do with his life. Really his greatest goal when he was a kid was just to be able to live on his own so he didn’t have to deal with cold people anymore. Now he has the support and friendships necessary to think about what he’d like to do. I’m not surprised his first thoughts turned to Natori since he’s a good example of living in the human world and having a youkai profession. Of course there is a dark side to that kind of work which doesn’t make it instantly appealing.
I thought it was interesting to see Taki practicing on her circles and talking about her own plans. Good of her to want to keep alive the research and knowledge that her grandfather gained. There is another motivation obviously in being able to help Natsume more when he is involved with youkai. Might be reading too much into things, but thought part of that motivation was staying closely involve with Natsume in the future XD. Nothing wrong with speculating after all and besides it’d give her more chances to smother Nyanko-Sensei with hugs XD.
The game of tag with the youkai was fun to watch. Ironic that his interactions as a kid kept him from playing those kinds of games and now here he is. He’s made some strong bonds with many youkai which can be easy to forget when they aren’t the focus of an episode. But Hinoe made a good point that they protect him not because they have to. Instead they are protecting him because they like him. That’s the kind of bonds he’s made with youkai and part of the reason why they matter to him. I was glad to hear the line about both humans and youkai being irreplaceable to him. It can be easy to get pulled in one direction, but for Natsume it’s not a matter of choosing which he cares about most. If one is in trouble he’ll go and do what he can. Still this game showed how dangerous it can be when youkai play something like that. Hilarious moment at the end when Natsume admitted he didn’t know how to end the game since he only watched others play.
One of the most important bonds though is the one between Natsume and Madara. You have the funny moments like them facing off during the game and the more touching ones like Natsume getting helped out of that hole. That friendship is going to endure for quite some time. Though of course Madara will outlive Natsume and have only memories in the end. Still its moments like these that show how important those times are. If their lifespans are really different all they can do is live to the fullest. Though of course neither would ever admit they care at all about what happens to the other.
Here we are at the end of another good series from Natsume. Really it was full of good moments and more emotional stories. Perhaps the best news though was at the end of the episode regarding seeing more from the series soon. Which sounds pretty much like announcing a fourth season. In my mind the more episodes we can get from Natsume the better. Of course it does mean waiting some months, but with some good series coming up I don’t think it will be that hard to endure.
I’ll save my overall series thoughts for a full review that I’ll start working on. Will say though that as always this was a great series to watch.
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