Seriously this week has been scaring the crap outta me, first Mirai Nikki (blood), then Another (more blood) and now the cliffhanger of the latest Natsume episode. Where was this kind of stuff in October?
By far, this has been one of the best arcs of Natsume Yuujinchou. What’s even more amazing is that this is going to be a three part one, as next week’s final episode will focus on Natsume’s trip to his real home. I think for me, this has been the best season so far of this series, as a lot of loose threads with regards to Natsume’s background have been clearing up very fast. It’s good to see the family that raised him still doesn’t view him as weird or hostile, except for the father’s disgusting remark that the Fujiwaras don’t feed him and question their motives for raising him. Besides that little snafu, I have to say that this kind of multi-episode arc works really well when it’s less about the youkai and more on the human aspect of the pain and suffering.
It’s good to see another person’s perspective on the current Natsume, as Yuriko provided back in episode 5. Miyako (who resembles Yuriko quite a bit) doesn’t show the signs of jealousy and misguided anger that her as a child unleashed on poor Natsume, but rather a confused young adult trying to understand Natsume’s issues. I’m glad that she’s grown out of being a demoralizing figure, but like everyone else: she doesn’t understand the real Natsume, and I wonder if any of them will ever know the truth. That’s something that really piques my interest besides knowing more about Reiko, and I think that the manga will end with a degree of uncertainty in Natsume to confide in his friends (assuming he hasn’t told them, I haven’t seen the manga).
I had a feeling the current arc would take up three episodes, but it’s extremely rare to see a three-episode arc in this series. What’s more is that there’s been alot of changes in this season from previous: Natsume’s been confiding in his friends much more often, less of a focus on the youkai and episodes like these. I fear this may be a sign that the show will end next episode, but there’s reason to assume that there will be (at least) one final season to wrap everything up, because if the end is really in sight then I honestly don’t see how it can end well unless another season is announced.