There’s something very cyclical about the nature of Natsume Yuujinchou. Events have a way of repeating and characters who have long disappeared from the narrative return at the most unexpected of times. Admittedly, Shibata wasn’t from that long ago, but he had a decidedly single episode air about him so his return this season is something of a surprise though perhaps shouldn’t be when this season has so far been about connections. Shibata knew Natsume back when everyone still thought he was a liar and only called on him for help when he was in trouble. Unlike Tanuma and the others who now know Natsume’s secret, Natsume regards Shibata with a great deal of suspicion and it is hard to take his overtures of friendship as anything other than being driven by guilt of past wrongs.
As a result, I quite enjoyed this episode as it brought Tanuma and Shibata face to face and made the contrast between them clear, even while it has moved Shibata closer to becoming an actual friend.
Natsume Yuujinchou remains a sweet and pleasurable viewing experience and I have no complaints about how this season is going so far.
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