I watch this episode several times over just for Natori…ok, I’m kidding…well, maybe not (lol). I love Natori when he appeared in NYC’s Season 1 and was happy to see his character back again. His interactions with Natsume is always interesting to watch. To Natsume, Natori is the first person whom he met that could see spirits/demons. However, the fact that Natori is an exorcist and has express his strong dislike for spirits/demons makes Natsume feels uneasy. Why? I guess it’s because Natsume has grown to have compassion in dealing with them. He sort of shy away from getting close to Natori and his initial reluctance to Natori’s invitation showed in this episode. Although Natori seems to have a growing brotherly fondness for Natsume, he too appears to be hiding secrets from him. Despite being a famous actor, one do sense that Natori is a lonely figure because of his ability. I suppose that’s why he feels somewhat protective of Natsume as he feels that they experienced the same thing. What I like about this episode is how they are both eventually shown to have taken a step forward in opening up to each other.
The pervading theme of loneliness is more apparent in this episode, especially how it affects Natsume. After being closed up for so long, one can see that it is hard for him to free himself from the bind that’s holding him back from getting close to other people. One can also sense that he is afraid of telling the truth for fear of being rejected. More so now because of the strong bond he already has with the Fujiwaras and the friendships he is beginning to form with his mates at school as well as others like Natori. But his self reflection shows that he is slowly but surely loosening up. Aside from that, a good soak in a hot spring does wonders to while away one’s weariness and fears. Wish I could be at one right now.
Natori certainly has a crude but interesting method of trying to get hold of someone and offering an invitation. The man is such a smooth talker and charmer too. Natsume blushed. Toko-san is impressed and shows Natsume some love. Even Neko is persuaded. Natori wins and onsen beckons.
What you don’t want to hear is some strange knocking coming from the closet when you get to your room and you certainly don’t want to be by yourself when that happens, no?! Best to pretend you hear nothing. And when the opportunity arise, you would clobber that person who conveniently forget to tell you that the resort he invites you to is haunted…grrr!!!…that’ll be how I’d react if it was moi 😛
Perhaps the onsen is just too relaxing it makes you see ‘things’ afterwards and you don’t want to see ‘weird things’…do you?! What’s more, you hate it if your friend pretend like he isn’t aware of ‘strange’ stories.
Neko’s right. Food is more important than creepy old jar in the closet. But still, one wonders what the heck is the creepy old jar doing in the closet, don’t they?! I certainly do. You wish that it is a jar of cured veggies…but that ‘other’ thing keeps overriding your thoughts.
Yes it is better to have friend and pet with you when you hear sounds coming from the closet in the middle of the night so that you can prove that you’re not being weird and hearing things. Creepy jar with open lid can’t be a good thing especially when it was sealed before. Best find out what’s going on. And that’s exactly what Natsume and Nyanko-sensei did.
I think it’s the first time Natsume fell for a trick by a really strong and evil ayakashi who turns on him after getting its name back. His penchant for showing compassion and being too trusting this time nearly gets him eaten. It’s also the first time Natori came across Natsume returning a spirit’s name using the Book of Friends. Knowing Natsume has his secret perhaps prompted him to reveal the truth about the whole onsen trip. But I wonder if he ever heard about the BoF before this.
As the saying goes, one good turn deserves another. The grateful youkai who Natsume has inadvertently helped earlier on, appears right before both Natori and him are about to be attacked by the powerful evil spirit. The three-eyed youkai help save the day by subduing the evil spirit and tells Natsume that he will purify her, before disappearing in a bright ball of flame. All is well again. It seems that both Natsume and Natori have experienced an onsen trip that they will long remember. Perhaps this trip has even made them grew closer as friends.