Natsume Yuujinchou San

You know, I was a bit surprised that there weren’t more people reviewing Natsume Yuujinchou San. Exactly like its preceding two seasons, it follows Natsume Takashi as he juggles between building a family with the Fujiwaras, the few but cherished friendships he’s made, and discovering more about his grandmother Reiko through his involvement with youkai. Also like the first two seasons is the feeling and atmosphere carried by the show: very light, pastel animation; very easy on the eyes even if it is lacking in detail. For the most part (and I say this vaguely because I’m terrible at paying attention to these things) the music is well selected and fits the calming, soothing theme, picking up when the action starts.

But most importantly, is the the heart of Natsume Yuujinchou which, of course, is Nyanko Sensei.

I. Love. That. Cat!

If I think about it, perhaps the reason why there isn’t much out there on the third season of Natusme (save for a few first impressions here and there) is because after two seasons, there isn’t much left to say. And I’m not surprised since the third season isn’t very different from the first two seasons: Natsume gets involved with a youkai – sometimes good, sometimes bad; sometimes they seem bad but turns out they’re just misunderstood – does something brash, gets saved by someone (Nyanko Sensei)… there’s usually some sort of reflection either regarding Reiko or Natsume’s childhood and how things have changed since he was just a boy, and then the story ends contently with the youkai. Most of the youkai we meet are still one-episode-characters – which is kind of sad because I always tend to get attached to the youkai or at least some of them, like that snow rabbit in season two, or that girlish fox boy from season one.

I think the main difference with this here third season – if there’s any difference at all – is that Natsume’s ties to the humans around him are stronger, and perhaps, as a direct result of this, he doesn’t resent youkai as much anymore. (Although I personally don’t think he resented youkai except when he was little because it made him different.) The episode with the tree spirit who used to tease Natsume on his way home from school made me feel that Natsume was maturing, that he was calming down and letting his level-headedness settle in more. But then the more recent episodes involving the Matoba Clan made me realize that Natsume is just as reckless as ever, haha, but I suppose, in certain situations, you don’t have time to think or go for help, and that when Natsume rushes head first into dangerous situations, it’s because he cares.

The writers of Natsume Yuujinchou have always been good at story telling. A lot of times you get really invested in not just the recurring characters, but the one off characters too, like many of the youkai. There’s progression and depth to the development of characters even if they’re only used once, and it’s easy to make an emotional connection to them even if it’s through Natsume himself. And while many of the stories of Natsume Yuujinchou are of the heart-warming kind, sometimes you get one that really… scares you. Okay maybe it just scares me. But it was only one episode! The one with the hostile, dismembered doll youkai. I don’t know if it’s because it was a doll or if it’s because it was dismembered but boy did that make my muscles go tense. Most of the youkai are kind of goofy (if not downright cute) looking – even that really malicious one in episode seven that was supposed to be super strong and super dangerous, but this doll youkai – that never got fully assembled, mind you (plus it was headless which just possibly makes it worse rather than better) – terrifies me even now.

Thankfully Nyanko Sensei saved the day and the very image of him calms me down, haha. Phew. Fat cats really are the best, aren’t they?

And did anyone notice this attention to detail? Nyanko Sensei’s ears are turned back because he got injured which is very accurate to cats when they’re unhappy or uncomfortable. I only noticed it because I have cats of my own (one who’s also a fatty) and their ears are often turned back when I disturb them from their naps or pick them up and swing them from side to side… affectionately.

So if you’ve never watched Natsume Yuujinchou before, I highly recommend it if you enjoy a good story with interesting characters and a touch of comedy. I won’t be reviewing it (nor will anyone else at Bokutachi) but I’ll certainly be watching and who knows, another random post might go up if anything exciting happens.

(Oh and for those of you wondering, that last image isn’t from Natsume Yuujinchou, it’s a recycled screen shot from Nyan Koi that I found very suitable to illustrate how much I like cats, haha.)

3 Responses to “Natsume Yuujinchou San”

  1. 19 August 2011 at 10:23 am

    The main new thing in Natsume Yuujinchou we can find this season is pretty much a REAL antagonist (Matoba).

    • 2 blindability
      22 August 2011 at 11:05 pm

      for now, yes. I wonder if the Matoba clan will be highlighted more this season with the revelation that they have no regard or respect for youkai.

  2. 19 August 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Nyanko is such an awesome cat/pig/demon thing he always brings me back up after a depressing emotional episode, there are a few on season one that leave you quite sad and then Nyanko pops up and makes me laugh.

    So far the series now is slow and steady much like the first one, that isn’t a bad thing! I do enjoy the pace and demon encounters 😛

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