Basically the same plot as the previous episodes, you have an ayakashi having some self-deprecating issue that prevented himself from connecting with another being—another girl again, why do the pretty ones always fall for the weirdos?—which reflected somewhat a similar trait in our hero Natsume who then went out of his way, in the name of even if they treat me like shit I’ll still play nice with them, to rectify the situation by an yet inexplicable mean of giving the ayakashi back his name, which, in this episode’s case, the ayakashi didn’t even want back.
Not to mention that the whole name whiffing process feels a lot like a fatality move to end the youkai’s existence by overloading it with emotional epiphanies. So, was Natsume trying to help the ayakashi Shigure or to get rid of him?
Nyanko-sensei continues to baffle us on his true intention. Just like in prior episodes, he seems to always know what trouble Natsume is about to get into and promptly shows up to rescue him from, in this case, the big youkai that he had hoped would show up which Natsume could not handle. So much for wanting Natsume dead or eaten.
One huge possible plot twist—that I’ve first read from memento—is when Nyanko-sensei showed up as a girl dressed up as (yet another) one-eye youkai to scare Natsume. You can tell it was Nyanko-sensei because that one-eye girl had the same hair as Reiko, whom he would transformed into soon after. This mischievous act, as well as the mannerism which Nyanko-sensei displayed as Reiko, were so strikingly similar to Reiko herself that it makes you wonder if Nyanko-sensei’s true existence was, if not entirely of, at least partially spawned from Reiko’s own spirit. This would explain why he has been such a protector and nurturer over Natsume.
Awww moment of the week
Lastly, I should say a few words on the payoff scene of the week. What did it for me was when the ayakashi Shigure’s ugly mop mask slowly melted away into beautiful hair and revealed the even more beautiful face behind it. I understood it as that a person’s stubbornness into negative thoughts can transmute even the person’s most beautiful aspects into an ugliness.
I was also touched by the reciprocated thank-you that the girl Sasada had finally received for her own stubbornness, but in this case different from Shigure’s, into believing Shigure’s existence and wanting to thank him face-to-face.
One stubbornness separates, the other unites. It’s good to see the uniting one triumphs.