Episode 2: Melting into Spring
Wow…if last week was an impressive start, then this week’s episode just blows me away on an emotional level. I was actually sobbing towards the end. This is one of the most heartwarming and bittersweet tale yet.
Indeed, it is a beautifully woven story about a forest guardian spirit named Gen who is searching for Sui, another guardian spirit who was sealed away by humans after she turned evil. It speaks of human nature and how easy it is for human beings to be so fickle minded. When things go well, we beamed and shout our joy from the mountain top. But when things aren’t well, we have a tendency to look for things or persons to blame our failures on. And almost always, we are blind sided by our raging despair that we ignore the harmful or hurtful consequences we bring to others because of our short sighted actions.
Sui happens to be on the receiving end of such a spiteful human behaviour; so much so she became disillusioned with the very humans whom she once loved and try so hard to protect. Hatred consumed her and she became a dark spirit. Gen who feels Sui’s hatred, sorrow and loneliness for far too long, wishes to bring an end to his own sufferings by sacrificing himself because he feels powerless to help Sui and can’t even protect the forest anymore. In the midst of it all, Natsume tries to instill hope and sought to reunite Gen with Sui.
Once again, Natsume spoke about his inability to handle short meetings and farewells. He spoke of things that he wants to protect and the need to cherish each wonderful moments he experienced. I wonder if this is a hint of something major that’s going to happen to Natsume. If this episode is any indication, we’ll probably see a lot more darker undertones in upcoming episodes even as Winter is transitioning to Spring.
On another note, the animation quality is fab. The winter backdrop sceneries were very pretty. I love the way the wonderful background music was used to evoke the different nuances and mood changes the animation sequence tries to portrays. It works beautifully. The melancholy piece towards the end was particular touching. I guess that means I’ll be looking forward to the OST for season 2 then. And yes, tons of screenshots this week. I must be crazy. With the lot, it’s almost as good as watching the show itself…no?!
Episode 2 Picture Gallery
Natsume had a horrid dream of a childhood girlfriend in class again (lol). His friends noticed his apparent tiredness and thought he may be up to something pervy late at night (lol).
Nyanko-sensei is up to his favourite neko past time…tormenting a neighbourhood dog and ends up hurting his hip when he fell from the roof, haha. Blaming Natsume for his fall, he brought him along to search for medicinal herbs for his errr…broken hip.
Natsume noticed that he’s never been to this part of the woods before. Neko-sensei explained that the place is known as Shiba-no-Hara where two guardian deities used to watch over the forest. But now, only one of them remained. Natsume remarked how lovely the place is, undisturbed and without messy footprints. Upon hearing that, Neko-sensei proceeds to place his paw prints all over the snow, annoying Natsume who threw a snowball at him. Wheee!!! Snowball fight ensues (lol).
While Neko-sensei rushed off to search for his herbs, Natsume sat besides the guardian deity and fashioned a snow bunny out of the snow. Dark shadow appears…it’s the spirit that resides within the deity. He wants to possess Natsume…but our boy is too quick on his feet. Spirit ends up in snow bunny instead…which caused Neko to snigger lol. Spirit is called Gen and seeks Natsume’s help to find an evil spirit that has escaped from a demon sealing tree. Gen wants to seal the evil spirit before it causes more harm. Natsume dreamt of Sui, Gen’s partner who he thought was broken into pieces by the evil spirit and resolve to help Gen.
Snow bunny Gen reveals his true form to Natsume and help sweep the yard to show his gratitude to him. Nyanko appears and wants Natsume to feed him the orange he brought back. Gen remarked what good friends both Natsume and Nyanko are to each other, surprising the both of them. Gen says he can tell because of the orange and the snowball fight which he had seen earlier…causing Nyanko to feel embarrass and humiliated because he’s a noble being who does not resort to such silly antics…ya right…lol. But this sadly reminded Gen of the times he used to share with his beloved Sui. Natsume tells him that had learned the location of the demon sealing tree and brings Gen along to find it.
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