Natsume Yuujinchou 2: Halfway Bridges


Meeting is by chance, but making the connection is by will.

If each person is an island and each relationship we build is a bridge, then the whole world is probably filled with halfway bridges. Sometimes, some of these bridges are meant to connect the same two islands, but somehow they would always fail to connect at the right spot.

In the episode, Hana had for most of her life brought a peach to a shrine and prayed to the god there. On one fateful day, she caught a gleams of him and heard a voice commenting about the weather. However, worried that a god would disappeared as soon as a human notices them, she pretended not to have noticed him.

In the same episode, Tsuyukami had for most of his life sat at a shrine as a pretend god soaking up the worship of the faithfuls there. Almost every single day, he would receive a local girl who brought him a peach every time. However, every time he would just passively sit there and listen but did nothing else.

And before they both realized it, their entire lives had passed away just like that. They had missed each other’s attempt to connect.


A gross but intimate moment

Failing to connect is the theme in Natsume Yuujinchou 2. Everyday, we all have chance encounters of fleeting moments with numerous people—on the street, in the subway, even at the workplace—but for one excuse or another—I’m in a hurry, I don’t know him, I just don’t care—we would mostly shun away from them and fail to connect.

In the episode, we saw how Natsume regretted how little he was able to say to Hana even though she had tried very hard in her poor health to speak to him. We also saw how the other spirit Susugi ran away from Tsuyukami who had spent days seeking for him. Fortunately in both of these cases, second chances rectified the situation for a happy ending. On the other hand, there is nothing left for Hana and Tsuyukami but a heartbreaking what-if scene at the shrine where after Tsuyukami had asked, “isn’t it a fine weather today?” Hana hypothetically responded, “yea, it is, isn’t it?”

The episode, however, did end on a good note. Natsumi started to worship at some random shrine not knowing rather a spirit was there or not. When Nyanko-sensei asked him why, he responded,

Even if there’s nothing here today, there might be something here tomorrow.

Ah. Natsume has grown to lay down halfway bridges hoping someday a few would connect.


Making bridges…

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4 Responses to Natsume Yuujinchou 2: Halfway Bridges

  1. issa-sa says:

    I really liked this episode, though I’m now wondering what Madara is really hanging around Natsume for since if he really wanted the book, he could just kill the guy immediately and take it while it still has names in it -_-” I guess it’s the free food…

  2. bakaneko says:

    It might have something to do with some mystery of Natsume’s grandmother Reiko that he wanted to understand. Seeing some of that quality in Natsume probably made him wanted to stick around to study him.

    Seeing how Nyanko-sensei had constantly reminded Natsume how fragile their relationship can be feels like a sore thumb sticking out. It is as if the writers of the show is constantly trying to point this out to us like teachers trying to hint at an observation to their students. We’ll have to stick around to find out.

  3. MisterEd says:

    I think that bakaneko is right in that Madara is responding to some quality in Natsume that he shares with Reiko. He’s probably also intrigued by the fact that given this powerful book, all the boy wants to do is return the names.

    And Madara himself has been lonely for a long time, too.

  4. bakaneko says:

    Yes. How could I’ve forgotten the loneliness part. Every youkai so far work alone.

    However, for someone having been deprived of companionship, Nyanko-sensei (Madara) do seem rather quick to fit right in with a human from the start.

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