Another season of Natsume has ended and I have to say the last episode didn’t disappoint me at all. It retained the same level of quality as the whole series has had and really drew me in. If there was a downside to this episode is that it made me feel even worse that the series is done for now. I’m glad in this last episode we got to dive into Natsume’s past one more time.

An important thing that this episode reminded me is that kids are jerks. So easy to go around insulting and bothering people. No doubt the kind of taunting we saw here is part of the reason why Miyoko acted like she did towards Natsume. I get that the kids had no idea that Natsume could actually see youkai, but the last thing a kid under that much stress needed was people around him treating him like that. I know Natsume would be different but I wouldn’t go out of my way to help guys like that if we ran into them down the road and they were going to become youkai food.

Unfortunately we saw the result of that taunting in how things ended during that flashback. In the end a lot of things came together when it came to Miyoko’s behavior. The jealousy of an older child when someone new comes in and starts stealing attention. Normally that’d just be a younger sibling, but in this case it was an ‘outsider’ so that didn’t help things. Then you have likely taunting at school since Natsume and anyone connected to him is a prime target for bullying. Then finally her parents having to apologize for Natsume needing a search party sent out. Now rationally you wouldn’t blame any of it on Natsume since it isn’t really his fault. Kids are going to get terrified trying to get home in a terrible storm like that. But young kids really aren’t rational. Can assume the girl snapped and the parents just decided it might be better to let Natsume stay somewhere else. I don’t like how Miyoko behaved, but I can see where it was coming from. Different from those bullies who picked on both Natsume and Miyoko for laughs.

Just another episode that made me feel bad for Natsume. As a kid he truly had a painful childhood that I’m just glad is now in the past. It just sucks to see him having to deal with all that normal pain and loneliness and then have all the youkai stuff thrown on top of it. It really is no wonder he learned to lie to everyone and shut out the world more or less. He really does deserve all the friendships and happiness that he currently has. Things aren’t always easy for Natsume, but I’m just glad he has people who care for him and understand him.

Everything was riding on Natsume’s ability to force that youkai out of him. When it got inside it really was too dangerous for Madara to step in. Just having Nyanko calling out and knowing that Tohko and Shigeru were waiting for him was enough for Natsume to break free. For trying that stunt Madara made sure to bring that youkai down for good. The friendship between these two has always been a highlight of the series. They won’t actually say anything openly, but it’s clear how much they care. If Nyanko hadn’t been calling out to Natsume he might not have been able to break free. The bond that exists right now will be one that Madara will carry on for all his life which will be a very long time.

I’m glad Natsume had enough time to visit his house and just take it in. Of course it is sad to see that so many memories have been lost over time. I just feel bad for Natsume since he had good reason to try and forget for so long and now he can’t get those memories back. You just see him on the floor crying and the emotions just hit you. He’ll never get those days with his father back and will never get to remember everything he would like about him. Still it was a worthwhile trip to make. The drawing he saw on the floor and Nyanko found in the closet just shows how happy Natsume must have been back then and what a good guy his father was to leave them. There’s no way he could have known back then how much it would mean to Natsume now.

It was a rare last episode for the series where we didn’t have every single character pop up. I mean we’ve seen a huge amount show up in the first 3 seasons, but I’m alright with how they handled this. We saw the small appearance of youkai that have really mattered to Natsume over the course of the series so that was fine. I’m glad Taki made another appearance since she really showed up too little this season.

Just the symbolism with the picture taken with the Fujiwara family at the end really made me like this episode. The picture of Natsume’s parents will always be one that has mixed feelings for him. He’ll of course feel the love he has for his parents, but also the sadness that he has so few memories of his father and none of his mother. This picture at the end will be one that can make him smile without regret. Also like that he picked up Nyanko and added him to the picture. Truly Nyanko is part of Natsume’s family and someone that without him Natsume wouldn’t be the person he is today.

Final Thoughts
My god another season of Natsume is over….It feels like we just got started and now the fourth season is over. It really is a bittersweet feeling kind of like many of the episodes in the series. Like the previous seasons almost every episode was great and made you care about what was going on. This is just a show that will touch people if they care to watch. I’m already starting to miss Natsume and I just watched the episode. If there is any comfort it is that after 4 amazing seasons of Natsume I can’t see it being over for too long. As long as the series has material we should have great episodes.

I think this was a more balanced season compared to the third one. We had plenty of focus on the youkai and also people. The extra focus on Natori in this season made that easy to combine since he really is as much involved with both worlds as Natsume is. We really just delved into how Natsume relates to his friends like Natori and Tanuma and just how difficult it can be for him when they get involved.

We had some great stories once again that just stuck in my mind. I liked the story about the two gods on the mountain and how Natori and Natsume had to work together to keep the situation from going bad. I liked seeing how much Natori has changed thanks to Natsume. Or the story about Yuriko and Natsume. That episode was just fun since it showed how differently two people can view the same events. Besides I thought it was a nice contrast between Miyoko (who really didn’t like Natsume) and Yuriko who really grew to care about him. The story of the little fur-balls youkai was one of the classics that really focused on the youkai themselves. This series just really hit you with a lot of different things and each episode had its good points.

I will always recommend Natsume to anyone that cares to listen. It really is overall one of my favorite series period. I think the stories are great and just seeing the development of Natsume throughout the series is amazing. You don’t see a lot of characters who develop like this. Not to mention we have four seasons full of great episodes. If people want a ton of action this may not have it, but if they like character driven episodes this is the series to watch. Shi follows along with the series and doesn’t disappoint at all. I just hope there is yet another season down the road since you just don’t want to have the story end.
Score: A+

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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