Zoku Natsume Yuujin-chou Episode 10


Episode 10: 仮家 Temporary Home

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But every house where Love abides,
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home-sweet-home:
For there the heart can rest.

~Excerpt from A Home Song by Henry Van Dyke~

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While out picking wild oranges, something or someone decides to play catch the axe…o_O

Impressions:
Golly, I’m initially drained of words but…. *spark*

So then, Shigeru’s past is sort of linked to Reiko. More like his fateful meeting all those years ago has quite a bearing on why Takashi came to be living with him…even if he didn’t realized how it came to be this way. And Shigeru is sincerely grateful and happy that Takashi is now a part of his little household. Him gently reminding Takashi that he is entitle to call this place his home and not be afraid to share his feelings with them (the Fujiwaras) is all the more poignant. It drives home the point that Takashi don’t have to fear them not accepting him and that Shigeru and Toko really loved him. It was the final scene that truly breaks down the walls. Shigeru’s fatherly smile goes to show how much he cares for him. He gave Takashi what Reiko herself had longed for. One gets the impression that Takashi reminded him a lot of her…he was after all, the boy that became her human friend, who wasn’t afraid of her even if he did find her actions to be a little odd and finally, he was the boy that Reiko liked. It’s like everything has finally come full circle with Reiko’s grandson coming to live under his care. So sweet.

Images and words:
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On the way back from school with his classmates, Natsume ran into Shigeru-san and decides to walk home with him. Along the way, he saw strange looking foot-prints with too many toes. Just as they reached the entrance of their home, both Shigeru-san and Natsume saw a peculiar drawing on the ground. Shigeru remarked that the drawing looked familiar, much to Natsume’s surprise. He wondered if Shigeru could see the footprints and if it’s the work of a youkai.

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Natsume told Nyanko-sensei about the drawing and footprints he saw. They went out to investigate but the evidence has disappeared. Nyanko remarked that it could be a youkai’s marking…as Natsume pondered the meaning, Toko-san’s scream rendered the air. Natsume ran to see what happened to her. Toko-san pointed to her garden where her vegetables had been trampled on. Natsume spotted neko paw prints on the ground and grab Nyanko, asking him if he caused all the mess. Nyanko denies vehemently saying he’d never touch the veggies and that there was another set of footprints on the earth. Natsume thought it’s the same footprints he saw earlier and wondered if something has come to the house.

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That night, Natsume was disturbed by a strange voice and a creepy face looking at him in his sleep. He woke up with a scream and saw a bendy shadow running past his room. He decided to give chase as he feared that the *thing* might harm the Fujiwaras. As he pursue the shadow downstairs, he ran into Shigeru-san, who himself was woken by the noise of footsteps.  He asked if it was Natsume running around upstairs…Natsume stammers that he didn’t.  Shigeru thought the footsteps were lighter and wonder if it was Nyanko to which Natsume quickly affirmed that it was and apologized for the cat’s noisy nuisance…which in turn infuriates Nyanko because he lied…lol at neko for trying to scratch Natsume.  Shigeru then tells Natsume that something similar happened in this house a long time ago. It gotten so bad that his family thought the house was haunted.  However, the strange disturbance stopped right after an odd but beautiful girl who lived around the neighbourhood visited the house.  After hearing this, Natsume wondered if the girl was Reiko and that perhaps she used to live in the area.

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Curiosity got the better of Natsume. He decides to approach Shigeru and find out more about the odd girl he talked about. This pleasantly surprised Shigeru because he thought it rare for Natsume to approach them (the Fujiwaras) like this. Shigeru asked if Natsume shies away from involving himself in their lives because they gave him a place to live. Natsume said that it’s not the case. Shigeru then tells Natsume he doesn’t have to think that way because this is his home now. Although, he says he can’t recall much about the girl he met all those years ago, it certainly doesn’t seemed that way as Shigeru recounts his story to Natsume.

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The tale of how Shigeru met and befriended Reiko way back in his elementary school years. Shigeru noticed that Reiko was always alone and whenever they meet, he’d try to talk to her. They shared some nice moments together.

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Reiko learned of the strange and terrible occurrences at Shigeru’s home. That was when Shigeru first saw the weird drawing in front of his house. Reiko asked if she could visit Shigeru sometime soon. So Shigeru invited her round while his parents were away.  It was then that he witnessed something unexpectedly extraordinary on that day. He never got a chance to find out what she actually did but all the weird disturbances stopped right after that incident. Shigeru hardly saw Reiko since then as she seems to be avoiding him. But she apparently left a good impression on Shigeru because he thinks of her as a kind hearted person. He remembered at the time of her visit, Reiko had remarked that his home was warm and inviting and that she’d love to live in such a home.  Natsume quietly understood what Reiko did at the time. She got rid of the youkai that’s causing the troubles, from Shigeru’s home.

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The spongebob look-a-like youkai decides to make his appearance with every intention to cause trouble.  It was the same youkai that Reiko exorcised all those years ago.  It sought revenge against Natsume whom it thought was Reiko.  Meanwhile, Toko-san falls sick.  Natsume tries to stop spongebob youkai but ends up getting gobbled up.  As he struggles to free himself, the youkai’s memories flow into him.  He heard what Reiko said and saw what happened on that day.  Nyanko then flew and grab Natsume from spongebob youkai’s clutches. Nyanko is so amusing here. I love the part where Natsume lovingly strokes his head. Sooo cute.

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The Exorcism:
Spongebob youkai has a name. It’s called Karime and it brings misfortune to the inhabitants of a house it wants to occupy. Natsume says enough is enough. He’s determine to protect his guardians and home. It’s his turn to get rid of spongebob Karime. I must say Reiko’s powers were terrifyingly awesome. Natsume certainly picks up fast by seeing just how she performed the exorcism from the youkai’s memories. Good riddance to spongebob youkai. The exorcism is a success. Is there any wonder why this new ability will lead us to Natori in the next episode? Talented boy is a talent. But anyway, as can be seen from the aftermath, the effects of the exorcism ceremony can be quite devastating. Natsume managed to destroy his room…lol.

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Uh-oh…what the heck just happen here? Did a tornado went through your room?
Natsume finds himself in a tight spot with Shigeru and this time, he’s speechless…unable to explain what had happened…not even lie. At that very instance, he feels what Reiko must have felt and why she avoided Shigeru-san, all those years ago. He wondered if he too will need to leave this place which he called home. Shigeru although appalled at the messy sight, recalled something similar that he saw and I think at that moment, he probably understood what Natsume tried to do. His smile and action after that spoke volumes.
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Afterthoughts:
You know,  I watched this episode 3 times before bringing myself to post my impressions here.  Alas, I found myself unconsciously tearing up at the end, each time I re-watch. It’s not because it is sad or there’s a sense of loss…like Clannad~After Story~ where the sweet character you like end up suffering and died. And it’s certainly not because of joy/happiness…as in your favourite character reuniting with a long lost loved one or finding something you thought you lost forever…nothing like that at all.  It’s just the way the writers are able to bring out unexpected emotions in the most mundane manner and made the story endearing without having an obvious plot device…if you get what I mean…and that really got to me.  It is in the human element and theme that the series is consistently projecting from the very 1st episode in Season 1 right up to the current episode of Season 2.

This is why I enjoy watching each and every episode of Natsume Yuujin-chou.  The story-telling  may be episodic in nature  and in some instance, simplistic.  But each one of them are of critical relevance in the development of the lead character.  It’s done in such a subtle but meaningful manner that when it reaches its climax, everything which builds up to that momentous point is worth savouring…the heart warming emotional impact seemingly resonates and envelopes you, whether you are conscious of it or not.  It is then you come to a quiet understanding and appreciation of how the individual stories necessitates the main character’s growth which consequentially brings him to where he is at present.

I thought it couldn’t get any better than this but I was off my track.  Well done to the writers and to Hiroshi Kamiya who I think did a brilliant job in portraying our Takashi-kun. Three more episodes before the end and already, it feels like I’m about to see a close friend leave.  For once, I was lost for words to say any more in the beginning than just to sit back and reflect instead on the fragility of our human emotions. Geez, how the heck did I get myself into these jumble up thoughts…sleep, sleep…go to sleep, Ayumikat.😛

End note: Never has the ED theme ‘Aishiteru’ be more strikingly meaningful as it did when the episode ends. Simply beautiful.

Edit: Wot, no pictures? Ah…coming soon… I’d wanted to post my thoughts first before I lose it all…😛 As usual, images plus some words are up, finally.

Next Episode Preview:
Yes! Bishie Natori appears again.
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6 thoughts on “Zoku Natsume Yuujin-chou Episode 10

    • The animation was slightly different especially during the first half of the episode. It looks like two different teams are working on the animation. The slight change made the drawings closer to the art in the manga edition which I thought was cute. It’s very fluid as well. It was a nice change and not a bad one at all. Also, it looks hand drawn and not so CG looking.

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  1. I agree wholeheartedly with what you’ve written here. I think that this episode, is the best episode of the second season so far. No, the whole series. This series needed a kind of episode like this, and I only hope, with 3 episodes left in this season, that it only gets better.

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    • Ya, this episode is my favourite among all. It’s ok by me if the remaining episodes do not match this one. They will still be good in my mind.😀

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