Natsume Yuujin-chou San – 02

Categories: Natsume Yuujin-chou San | July 27th, 2011 | No Comment

Man, I really should stop to judge a book by its cover and an episode by its first minutes. During the first half I feared that Natsume Yuujin-chou might slip a little with its exceptional quality because the story little bit chaotic especially when Natsume suddenly walks over the bridge with the Arakashi in the middle.

Thankfully my fears were absolutely wrong because the second half way more than enough makes up for that and also connects everything that happened in the first half in a splendid way.

It’s still amazing how many touching stories Natsume can squeeze out of the Arakashi of the week formula. This week deals with Kanawa, a rusted, monstrous looking Arakashi who is trapped in our world after he and his sister mistakenly went through a portal.

What I found especially touching this time is how we found out the way Reiko (yeah, she’s back) fights all the Ayakashi. It’s nothing fancy or dangerous but a short game of Janken. As far as I remember there was a hint to that in the very first episode in the first season but this time it’s been made clear that Reiko doesn’t rely on violence at all. And my guess is that she (almost) never has to because Reiko and many Ayakashi are lonely existences, desperately seeking connections, even if it’s in a master-servant relationship. Kanawa is another one of those lonely existences, trapped in a world he doesn’t belong to and with no one near he could talk to after his sister died.

One thing I’m wondering about, though, is how Natsume could ever have the impression that Reiko hates Ayakashi. You just have to look at the flashback to see that this is not the case at all. When Kanawa talks to Reiko you can see that there’s no hate in her eyes. More importantly she adds his name to her book after she listened to his story and found out that he gave up and only wants to die somewhere. And after the “initiation” is complete she gives him the “order” to inform her when he found the way back to his village. Those aren’t the actions of a girl who hates Ayakashi but of a girl who was really concerned about them and their fates.

The same can be said about Natsume, so in that regard he’s really close to her. But at the same time we also see more and more how he grows distant to Reiko because Natsume found friends and relationships. I loved how this was further established by showing him and Tanuka sharing a friendly gesture and how Tanuka was really concerned about Natsume.

As usual there’s not much action or big drama involved but this makes this series so much better. This week was no exception to that. Can’t wait for the next episode which seems to be a favorite among the manga readers. So it must be of amazing quality.

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