Natsume Yuujinchou Season 6 Episode 11

Review – Some spoilers:

Can we get a season 7 announcement, please?

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This episode resumes the hunt for the study and as usual Natsume’s keen eyes and a deeper understanding of yokai and those who can clearly see yokai find the necessary clues that eventually lead the group to the study door. That said, Natori does have a moment of doubt about whether he should hear what Natsume has to say regarding the Book of Friends later in the episode.

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So as much as Natori continues to play the understanding guy they are leaving his character and his relationship to Natsume ambiguous right to the end. I find it fascinating how this show didn’t resolve this point but still made this feel satisfying. We did take another step in this relationship with Natsume ultimately explaining the situation with Reiko to Natori and we heard Natori’s response. First the one he said clearly to Natsume:

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And then the one he made sure Natsume didn’t hear:

It isn’t exactly a declaration that Natori is going to try to take the book or destroy it, but it kind of indicates Natori isn’t just going to say, ‘cool, you’re grandmother left you a really dangerous book’. It will be interesting to see how this progresses, assuming of course we get more of this show.

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The other point that has to be mentioned is that for the first time a yokai has suggested knowing a male relative of Natsume. We kind of knew he had to have family other than Reiko and his dead parents but they’ve never been mentioned. And as Natsume wonders later, what connection did a former relative of his have with the exorcists? It is obvious that Nanase of the Matoba clan had some sort of relationship with Reiko other than the one childhood encounter we’ve seen, but is Natsume more closely tied to the exorcists than he realises?

So this season is done and I’m really happy with how it has gone but will do a full review soon. That said, this is a show I always want more of.


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Natsume Yuujinchou Season 6 Episode 10

Review:

Is there really only one more episode of this? Really? And the next season is…?

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For a second last episode of the season, episode 10 of Natsume Yuujinchou pulled out all the punches. We are dealing with exorcists again and Natori most definitely did not forget about the Book of Friends.

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That said, this episode seems to be positioning us to see him as an actual friend and given he’s been covered in shades of grey as to where his true motives lie for a fair while it would be nice to think that is true. Though there’s always the chance of another twist in the tale.

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But in case exorcists searching a mansion for a study full of spells while Natori gently probes Natsume for hints about what he has via Hiiragi is not enough to keep you entertained in what is normally a much more relaxing story, lets throw in some Reiko stuff just to bring everything together. About the only part of Natsume’s life that gets left out here is his normal school life and normal human friends but that probably would have been pushing it to incorporate that as well.

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That said, though, this is another two parter story so we’ll just have to wait until next week to see how this all plays out but I couldn’t be happier with how this season seems to be finishing up. My only complaint is that it is finishing.


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Natsume Yuujinchou Roku Episode 6

Review:

I can honestly say that of all the recurring characters in Natsume, Nishimura and Kitamoto were probably the two I gave the least amount of thought too. So here comes an episode that puts these generic classmate and normal human friends of Natsume in the spot light by flashing back to Natsume transferring into the class.

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Normally this is a sequence you would see way back as a very first episode or at least a flash back in the first season. Anime loves the transfer student introduction scene and Natsume had never done it (although we had seen Natsume start at another school in a flashback if I remember correctly).

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Anyway, while I’d never given these two characters much thought, I’d always kind of liked them, and now, in true Natsume fashion, I completely love them. Nishimura’s insight into Natsume’s fake smiles and Kitamoto’s stoic nature as he deals with his own problems but still manages to know what is going on around him were just kind of perfect. They fit with what we already knew about these two characters and made them feel incredibly real.

Great episode.


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Natsume Yuujincho Roku Episode 5

Review:

I love this show. I always have and this episode really hit every reason why I love this show. The relationship between Natori and Natsume has always felt real and quite complicated this so much left unsaid between them (though the same could be said of every relationship between major characters in this show).

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There’s no doubt Natori actually has some genuine worries for Natsume’s safety but he is, first and foremost, an exorcist and one who does not trust the yokai. It has been a point of contention between the two from the beginning in how to deal with certain situations and last week Natori overheard that Natsume has something (apparently he doesn’t know what it is but he kind of knows it has to be powerful). So, his final line this week is kind of concerning in terms of where this relationship will go in the future (but at the same time kind of brilliant in terms of what it could do for the story).

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However, if that is too much drama in the Slice of Life, cavity inducing cuteness that is Natsume, focus instead of Nyanko and how adorable and compliant he was being this episode.

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Can I have one?

Natsume Yuujincho is available on Crunchyroll.


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Natsume Yuujinchou Season 6 Episode 4

Review:

I really do love the episodes where Natori or the other exorcists are involved. The added conflict Natsume faces not just between yokai and human but the different ways humans approach yokai really does give this series a little bit of drama and usually it comes with some a bit more tension and danger than the other episodes of this mostly sweet show.

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Once again, Natsume has stuck his nose into Natori’s business and there’s a good chance Natori has overheard a yokai stating that Natsume has the Book of Friends, one of the few secrets Natsume has kept from Natori because of his torn emotions when thinking about how Natori might react. It will be interesting to see next episode (it was TBC) whether they choose to finally get into this given its been a continuous point of contention for Natsume in regards to his friendship with Natori or whether they decide to put that conflict on the shelf for yet another season given both the characters seem happy enough not to address it.

Looking forward to the next part of this particular story (which actually concerns some ex-exorcist’s house and his daughter, but to be honest I’m finding the relationship between Natori and Natsume more interesting than the current monster of the week).

Natsume Yuujinchou is available on Crunchyroll.


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Natsume Yuujinchou Roku Episode 3

Review:

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.

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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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Natsume Yuujinchou Season 6 Episode 2

Review:

I don’t even know why Natsume reiterates the point that getting involved with unknown yokai is a bad idea. After 6 seasons we know he’s going to get involved so he may as well just accept that fact. Still, after last week really only mentioning past characters in passing, this week Natsume’s school friends, Touka, and the mid-level yokai all play a role as Natsume helps locate a missing stonewasher.

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While the hunt for a missing yokai is standard enough, this episode continues to look at Natsume and the fact that he doesn’t just blindly help whoever. Once again, Natsume relates to the yokai way too well as he thinks about his own loneliness and how happy he was at finding a home. It is that emotion which drives him to help find the lost yokai.

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Throw in another Natori reference and the fact that the yokai only got lost because of an exorcist and I’m still hopeful we’ll get more of the exorcists in general later in this season. Really enjoyed this episode.


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Natsume Yuujinchou 6 Episode 1

Overview:

Okay, if you haven’t watched the previous 5 seasons, there’s very little reason to care about season 6. However for everyone else, Natsume is back and he still sees Yokai and he is still stuck with Nyanko-Sensei. Let’s see what they get up to this season.

Review:

Episode 1 is as true to the formula of Natsume as you would expect. Natsume and Nyanko are out running an errand (yep, the cat ate the snacks again) and they run into a yokai. Natsume being Natsume helps him out and then gets turned into a much younger kid (too adorable).

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We then get one of the better recaps of the main characters of a series I’ve seen as Nyanko-Sensei mentally runs through the options when seeking help before Taki and Tanuma show up (part of me wishes he’d gone to Natori because that would have been hilarious).

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I’m sure I’ve said this before, but Natsume needs smarter friends. Their hearts are in the right place but sometimes they are a little thick. Despite that, things get resolved and we end on a happy note with Natsume and Nyanko having a nap side by side.

Anyway, this is a sweet and fun as it has always been so a great start to another season provided you are up for more of the same.


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Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 11

Review:

As far as season ends go, this one is pretty average. Natsume get’s sick due to the mid-level Yokai dragging him out to see some flowers and then both yokai and human friends spend the episode worrying about him and feeling helpless. Meanwhile Natsume reflects on a few things before having a dream that features Reiko that essentially tells him not to attach himself to anyone because then he won’t need to protect them. On recovering, Natsume rejects this idea and regrets that he can’t tell Reiko. As an episode it does what it needs to but it just doesn’t quite have enough charm to pull off these ideas. I’m glad we have another season announced for next year because I’m still in love with this show but this episode was strangely disappointing after last week.

 

Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 9

Review:

It’s been awhile since we’ve started an episode of Natsume with Natsume running frantically away from a yokai and even longer since he’s had a nightmare about whether or not he can stay with his current family. This was a very pleasant return to form with a yokai of the week appearing and Natsume generally getting caught up in things he probably would have been better off walking away from. I like these episodes because they work on their own with only limited knowledge of the story needed to follow the events and while the final message of the episode is predictable the story still brings itself to a satisfying enough conclusion. What is more important is that Natsume continues to internalize these encounters to fuel his own growth.

That said, I love how Nyanko-Sensei can just switch off and go into full cat mode when the occasion calls for it.

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