This is the first time I’ve seen a series ends with a review episode. It has a bit of everything in which we have been so fond of this show: things like Nyanko’s ranting of being abandoned, Sasada’s obsession with Natsume and thereafter Tanuma’s way of distracting her, the bullying of the little fox-boy, even Natsume’s classmates’ airhead goofiness. Every major character also makes a short appearance, rather or not they have a part in the story of the episode or not. It’s like they’re trying to tell us everyone will go on to live happily ever after.
In terms of tone, it is drastically different from prior episodes in that the characters have no trouble connecting with each other, which makes the setting of the Matsuri Festival fitting since so many past anime romances and friendships are formed there. Natsume and Tanuma finally completely cast aside their ice surface and open up to each other, telling each other the things that they do and do not see. It almost seems like these two characters have travelled long in their lonely roads of life, finally found each other, and slowly thawed each other’s cold hearts with each sincere truth they tell. Man, I sense some serious yaoi fanfics coming between these two. 🙂
It’s also nice to see the return of the little fox boy—my brain is still having trouble telling my eyes that he is not a she—and
Hiisagi’s Hiiragi’s new life now serving others as a blessing rather than as a curse. Nyanko-sensei BDSM is as hilarious as Sasada’s attempt to trap Natsume. And the quiet discussion between Natsume’s guardians reminds us to relax a little and just enjoy this light-hearted episode.
Strangely enough, the Book of Friends does not make an appearance. In fact, i don’t recall seeing much of it in the past few episodes. The thing about the book is that it has always seemed like a weapon to me—the connotation of having your names enslaved to it, the way it is cast, and the effect it has in making the youkai disappear afterward. It does not seem like a good thing. Perhaps, this is why it has no place in such feel good episode. On the other hand, to not show the very object that this show is named for in an review episode seems odd too.
Thirteen episodes just do not do enough justice for this show. Let’s hope there’re thirteen more to come.