Natsume Yuujinchou 8: unequally yoked

So close yet so far away

So close yet so far away

The title of the post is from a biblical reference where christians are warned not to marry non-christians, based on the assumption that two unlike beings cannot possibly find a good ending together. Strangely enough though, a book supposedly about the highest form of love could not embrace such relationships where, often, the brightest moment of true love shines, such as in most memorable love stories and in particular NatsuYuu 8.

Like previous episode, all the relationships have mostly been one-sided or unrequited; however, unlike in previous episodes, this one has gotten so close that they have tasted happiness, but yet fate, just as cruelly, snatches it away. They say that it is better to have loved than not at all. Bullshit. To have knitted two hearts together with blood and veins just then to rawly tear them apart, only serves to cause more irreparable harms than had the two hearts never known warmth.

And to make it poignantly painful, the thing that breaks them up was the very thing that Natsume thinks would liberate him and people like him from their loneliness. It really makes you think sometimes if the shit that you think is ruining your life is not really some wonderful gift in disguise that you have failed to recognize.

Pretty sure that's trigonometry.  sin A = a/c.

Pretty sure that's trigonometry. sin A = a/c.

NatsuYuu has become quite a piece of deeply woven storytelling. There are, in this episode alone, many parallel threads of unequally yoked relationships, such as between the god and the human girl, the firefly Hotaru and the guy at the lake, and even Natsume and Nyanko-sensei; where the mismatches are length of lifespans, race (in anime sense), and even social status (master and pet). Yet all of them flow naturally into each other, strengthening each threads into a greater whole.

Moreover, NatsuYuu does not allow the viewers to take shallow and predictable stance. Innocence are never always innocent, just as the lake monster’s looking large does not make him dangerous, yet at the same time, his never harming humans does not also make him harmless.

In this way, Natsume has been one deep show. I feel completely shameful now having said so much ignoranance that spewed out of my mouth in prior posts, complaining the minutest of things and blinded myself on its multilevel theme and heartfelt message.

Finally, I like to say a few words on Hotaru’s decision to see him in her flesh. She does so in no way to satisfy her own need since she is able to see and hear him, but rather to release him from his doubts and to send him off with her blessing toward his new life.

And to do so by exchanging of her immortality with the brief and fragile life of a firefly, a cost which he will never know. Surely, her brief, tiny light, which she shone so ever brightly, brightens up his future path with his fiancé the way her ancestors had brightened that of the god and his human wife long ago. Such untold sacrifice. I am moved to tears.

The last time I felt this deeply moved both emotionally and intellectually was with Mushishi. If NatsuYuu continues to hold up like this episode, it will no doubt stand up to such tall measure if not even eclipse it.

I will not forget you.

I will not forget you.

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3 Responses to Natsume Yuujinchou 8: unequally yoked

  1. tj han says:

    But the bible is just Harry Potter written 2000 years ago…

  2. Jutlanders says:

    The tsubame (swallow) episode was a tear-jerker, this one made me cry

  3. bakaneko says:

    @tj han, pshh… Harry Potter has nothing on the sex and violence found in the bible.

    @Jutlanders, I held mine on the tsubame episode but lost it on this one.

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