Episode 11: 呪術師の会 Assembly of Conjurers
While out accompanying Toko-san with her shopping, both Natsume and Nyanko sensed trouble up in the skies.
I call this a setback episode. I disliked seeing Natsume suffered a setback. Just when we thought he’s making some teeny weeny progress towards being more open to people…wham bam! It seems like he’s closing up again with all the negative feelings and doubts that are swirling in his mind. He’s so emotionally fragile. And it’s all because he witnessed the cruel and manipulative actions coming from a person of the same ‘kind’ as he. Having said that, Natsume isn’t exposed to the bigger world out there, being closed up as he is. He has to learn that not every one he meets will have the same thoughts and views of spirits as him, particularly those with similar abilities. They don’t necessarily share the same pains and sufferings or experiences that he went through in the past. However, it will still be of benefit for his future to find others like himself.
In fact, majority of seers or conjurers are likely to have the opposite views when it comes to treatment of youkai. Nanase-san said it herself. Spirits are evil. You can never allow them into your heart. It’s the same way most youkai view humans. Humans are weak and foolish that are meant to be devoured. There are good and ugly sides to humans as there are to many things in the world. The key is to be cautious in dealing with these people and not to totally shut himself out. Then, there are also people like Natori who try to make the best of the situations they are in. Therefore, Natsume should pick up from this…only then can he move on and find out where he can fit in with the awesome spiritual gift that he possessed.
The one thing that’s being affirmed again in this episode is how incredibly strong Reiko’s powers were. She never mixed with those of her ‘kind’ and that’s evident here. Even the conjurers and seers only heard of her through the spirits that they meet or come across. She distrust them just as much as she distrust youkai. Natsume seems to inherit her natural portent powers with his ability to learn rituals and spells quickly without difficulty. Like I said before, he is as spunky as Reiko was. He should try and learn more of Reiko’s past. Perhaps that will help him better understand his spiritual powers. It isn’t just about protecting the ones he loved with it because he can’t really do that completely until he knows his own capabilities. It’s like what Natori said to Natsume, humans don’t get stronger by force, you need to know yourself first.
The ending of this episode leads to the next and Taki is back. By the way, the new OST is out as well. Hurray! Some of the series best music is on the OST. Will post my favourites on here soon.
More images and words:
Bird youkai appears hurt. But it’s too late to help as a huge and powerful demon swept in from nowhere and grab the powerless bird youkai in his mouth. Natsume was stunned by what he saw. Hiiragi then appears, followed by Natori and it seems that they were chasing after the big nasty demon which has been devouring lesser spirits and livestock. Natori ask if Natsume would join him in the hunt and invites him to a meeting of conjurers taking place the next day. He said that Natsume could make use of his powers to help those who might need it.
Natsume thought it’ll be a good idea to find out what he’s capable of doing and perhaps find others like him. On the way to the place, he ran into a couple of youkai intent on misleading him. Natori along with Hiiragi then appeared and warned the youkai of doing any harm to Natsume unless they want to face the neko on his shoulder…haha. This promptly scares them off. Hiiragi then earns a punch from Natsume for trying to strip him suddenly…haha. Apparently she wanted to draw an ideogram on Natsume’s chest but seeing how he reacted to her trying to strip him, decides to draw it on his arm instead. The drawing will help to ward off spirits. She tells him that should he be attacked, at least his arm will be saved…which lead Nyanko to sarcastically mention that his body will be gobbled up then. Nyanko-sensei is too funny.
Natsume is surprised and impressed with what he saw upon arrival at the meeting place of the conjurers, so much so he can’t tell the difference between humans and spirits. Nyanko-sensei immediately made himself at home with the sake and food…haha. Natori asked if Natsume wants to put on a mask to protect his identity as there are many who are there to solicit information and does not want their identities to be revealed. Natori said that he is famous by birth because his family has always been well known exorcists. Therefore it’s useless for him to conceal his identity. Nyanko just couldn’t pass up the chance to make a funny comment when he saw Natori’s lizard tattoo crawling over his face…saying it never fails to be creepy. Natori then calmly adds that what’s more creepy is the lizard mark does not crawl to his left leg. 😀
Natsume meets Nanase-san the secretary of the Matoba group of exorcists. I don’t like her as she appears to be a crude and sneaky person…barging into Natsume’s thoughts like that when she heard his name and questioning him about Reiko. She also seems to be mocking Natori for his failure to capture or getting rid of the big nasty demon he was chasing. Natori though does not seem to mind saying that he will seal the demon if he can’t get rid of it upon which she gave him a demon sealing pot. Apparently, he also doesn’t get along with the Matoba group.
Walking along the corridor, Natsume came across a picture of the wanted big nasty demon and ask Natori to make use of his paper doll to track the demon. They found a way to do so and manage to learn that the demon is somewhere in the building because there are many delicious prey for him to eat.
The group then pursue the paper doll to the demon’s location with Hiiragi going ahead of them. Spotting signs of the demon above the ceiling, Natsume warns the people in the room to clear out when it came crushing down with Hiiragi. Hiiragi managed to pierce the demon with her sword but she was injured in the process. The demon tried to attack her again but Natsume stop it with his protected arm and punched it with his other hand. His punch is powerful enough to send the demon crashing through several rooms…amazingly strong that boy. Nyanko transformed into Madara to give chase to the demon. Natori and Natsume followed suit after quickly making sure that Hiiragi is alright. Meanwhile, Nanase-san seems to be eying the whole situation with an interest.
Out in the woods, Natori and Natsume sets up the sealing ritual and prepare to capture the demon while Madara battle it out with the demon in the skies. The power of the spells draws in the demon and pulls it into the demon sealing pot which the two quickly sealed. Natori is surprised how Natsume was able to perform the ritual and spells at first try.
Natori thanked Natsume for helping him out and tells him not to be so self deprecating about his powers. While they were talking, the pot which Natori was holding spouted wings and flew off from his hand. They followed it and saw it flew up to the rooftop into the hands of Nanase-san. The sneaky old lady and her retainers were watching the situation the entire time and somewhat made used of Natori when she first ‘gifted’ him with the pot. She had no intention of having Natori keep the pot at all. Furthermore, she revealed that she was looking for a new servant and had been eying the demon as replacement. She had used her bird youkai as the bait to lure the demon which angered Natsume, who is disgusted by her action. She said she’s taking something that harms human and worthy of execution to be used for human benefit. This leaves Natsume speechless and makes him think that such people are dangerous and he will never let them know about the yuujin-chou. Nyanko then said that the old lady won’t be able to use the demon because the seal that Natsume placed on the pot won’t be easily removed. That’s another indication of how strong Natsume’s spiritual power really is. It’s lovely to see Natori calms Natsume down. I think he knew that Natsume is disturbed by what he heard.
Natori and Hiiragi both said farewell to Natsume and depart for another job. Natsume ponders that perhaps it’s time he learns more about himself and Reiko. It’s good that he’s beginning to think about learning Reiko’s past but I hope it’s not at the expense of isolating himself from his guardians. He should know that they loved him like a son.