Natsume Yuujinchou 4: Still an enigma

Trippy

Trippy

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, you sure know how to pull a practical joke.

Nyanko-sensei, you sure know how to pull a practical joke.

Nyanko-sensei’s identity

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.

Materialize!  Oops, wrong show.

Materialize! Oops, wrong show.

Behind the mop mask lied a face of beauty

Behind the broomstick hat lied a face of beauty

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.

Touched by an ayakashi

Touched by an angel ayakashi

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4 Responses to Natsume Yuujinchou 4: Still an enigma

  1. MisterEd says:

    I’m going to stick with the crazy idea I came up with a few days ago since it seems to mesh with other things: Nyanko/Madara is Natsume’s grandfather (and Reiko’s consort). It would explain Nyanko’s rather intimate knowledge of Reiko, and his critical/protective attitude toward Natsume. That doesn’t mean we’ll see this revealed, since it’s a Brains Base no-sequels, major-resolution-not-in-the-ongoing-manga (see Kurenai) show. But I haven’t seen anything yet that would rule it out.

    I hope we see a lot more of Sasada. She seems to be the one that can reconcile Natsume to human relationships. She gave Natsume such a sweet, indulgent smile at the end of the episode, it melted the little bit of my heart that hadn’t been turned to mush by Shigure’s departure.

  2. omisyth says:

    Like the Cheshire’ Cat’s grin.

  3. bakaneko says:

    Well, come to think of it, Nyanko-sensei didn’t seem too thrill when he first saw Natsumi back in episode one. You would think he should’ve been more thrill if he were related to Reiko. So, maybe his identity is nowhere as trivial as we’ve thought it out to be, which is a good thing, in terms of the plot.

  4. Ez says:

    Great episode as always. It’s true, Madara’s true identity continues to baffle me although I doubt he’s an extension of Reiko’s spirit though. I recall some of the other Ayakashi that have been around since Reiko’s time recognizing him, which probably means that he was around before that.

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