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Old 11-04-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
lilbluecorsola
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Meowth Natsume Yuujinchou

"I can't explain it very well but it seems that lately, it doesn't matter, human or spirit. If your hearts touch, it's the same thing. When you're all alone, you get lonely, and the first step is always scary. Everyone once in a while, I wouldn't mind them relying on me." - Natsume Takashi


The name translates to "Natsume's Book of Friends". (Which instantly makes me think of "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends". Though I've not seen the latter, their premises may not actually be too far apart.)

I stumbled upon this title quite by accident while listening to the full version of Kimi to Boku's OP on YT (love the music in that show, can't wait for the insert song to be released). At first I thought the preview pic showed one of the twins from Ouran, but instead it turned out to be an unfamiliar face lying on the grass beside a fat lucky cat eating an orange. The song itself was lovely. Intrigued, I looked up the series both were from, though not expecting much considering I'd never heard of it. I discovered instead to my pleasant surprise that it's received stunningly high praise for its simplistic beauty and plot. Not only that, it was already in its third season, which in fact just ended recently. Perhaps most impressive of all, all three seasons scored consistently well across the board - a rare sign they must be doing something right.

Curious to find out what sort of tale would garner such uniquely fresh reviews yet relatively unknown success, I found to my delight and slight trepidation that it was another story about monsters and ghosts. Namely, about a boy who can see spirits - an ability that's alienated him from society since he was young. His grandmother had the same ability, which she used to challenge the spirits and would take their names upon defeat, written down in her "Book of Friends". This gave her complete control over the spirits, allowing her to summon them at any time. When Natsume inherits the book upon her passing, he becomes the target of both benevolent and vengeful spirits who either seek to break their contracts or the power the book holds. Reluctant at first, but respectful towards both his grandmother and the captured souls, Natsume agrees to take on the task of freeing the spirits one by one with the help of his new bodyguard, the infamous spirit Madara (who takes on the form of a cat).

I've watched the first three episodes so far, and if there's one word I would use to describe it, it's "charming". While not groundbreaking, the characters are immediately entertaining and endearing, as well as surprisingly sympathizable. I was worried upon being greeted by the main character's apathy that he would turn out to be a stereotypical emo loner who curses his fate, but his background was handled very well and doesn't feel cheesy at all. In fact, the flashback reveal in episode three was one of the most subtle, yet crushing moments I've seen that really drove the point of isolation home. Really clever, and the best possible way to deliver the message.

I had thought Natsume's voice sounded familiar, and when I looked him up... Surprise, what a coincidence! It's Araragi from Bakemonogatari! Guess his seiyuu must have a bit of an interest in the supernatural himself. But compared to Bakemonogatari (and Tsukihime), it is quite refreshing to encounter a story that actually focuses on the nature and culture of the spiritual beings themselves, rather than the "moe" elements - of which there have been none so far. I suppose this means I should also check out Mushishi at some point if I want something similar (and potentially even better, according to ANN ratings).

Overall, the sound is soothing, the animation is well done even in the first season, and the short, cheery yet emotional stories and characters come together to create a light, beautifully optomistic atmosphere that's right up my alley. I wish I had discovered it earlier so I could've caught the third season in the summer alongside Usagi Drop. Can't believe I passed over such a small gem. This will probably end up being one of my personal favorites - it might even compete with Ano Hana for my favorite animé of 2011, which is saying something considering how deeply I feel about the latter.

Links to OPs/EDs:

S1 OP
S1 ED
S2 OP
S2 ED
S3 OP Full (YT TV ver. unavailable)
S3 ED Full (YT TV ver. unavailable)
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YUKI.N View Post
Not only that, it was already in its third season, which in fact just ended recently. Perhaps most impressive of all, all three seasons scored consistently well across the board - a rare sign they must be doing something right!
Wuh oh! Should I not watch this episode then? Or is this the first episode of Season 1? I'm only 1m30s into it, so I doubt I'd have gotten too spoilered. (Unless the cat's transformation is a spoiler, in which case ... ^^; ) I reached this by finding the show on MyAnimeList, seeing that it said it aired from July 'til September of this year, and then going to CrunchyRoll and clicking on the "Summer 2011" tab on their Anime page and finding it. I just assumed it would be the the only season. Then I paused, to come and read more of your post before watching the episode, only to discover SURPRISE! ^^; So yeah. I'll pause there and wait for you to load that link and confirm for me whether that's Season 1 or Season 3.

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Originally Posted by YUKI.N View Post
Curious to find out what sort of tale would garner such uniquely fresh reviews yet relatively unknown success, I found to my delight and slight trepidation that it was another story about monsters and ghosts. Namely, about a boy who can see spirits - an ability that's alienated him from society since he was young. His grandmother had the same ability, which she used to challenge the spirits and would take their names upon defeat, written down in her "Book of Friends". This gave her complete control over the spirits, allowing her to summon them at any time. When Natsume inherits the book upon her passing, he becomes the target of both benevolent and vengeful spirits who either seek to break their contracts or the power the book holds. Reluctant at first, but respectful towards both his grandmother and the captured souls, Natsume agrees to take on the task of freeing the spirits one by one with the help of his new bodyguard, the infamous spirit Madara (who takes on the form of a cat).
So wait: he's basically pulling a Walter Peck and letting all of the ghosts out of the Ghostbusters' storage grid book his grandmother left behind? ^^; Does that make him something of a dick, then, towards his grandmother? And/Or does that imply that his grandmother was sort of a cruel bitch for keeping the ghosts she defeated indentured to her the rest of her life? ^^; I don't see how neither the grandma nor the boy can escape vilification. At least one or the other has to be sort of an ass here. ^^; Care to explain?

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I've watched the first three episodes so far, and if there's one word I would use to describe it, it's "charming".
From what very little I've seen so far, I would agree. I dunno if it'll be able to hold my interest as Usagi Drop did, but seeing as I gave No.6 my free time , I suppose I at least owe this show a swirl if you're saying it's that good.

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I wish I had discovered it earlier so I could've caught the third season in the summer alongside Usagi Drop. Can't believe I passed over such a small gem. This will probably end up being one of my personal favorites - it might even compete with Ano Hana for my favorite animé of 2011, which is saying something considering how deeply I feel about the latter.
High praise! High praise. Okay, girl: you've said this is better than AnoHana or Kaiji? Let's see it.

Yuki: Oh dear. -.-

Well, I doubt it'll beat Kaiji in my book --

Yuki: Of course it won't beat Kaiji in your book. XP

-- but I am curious to see how it fares against AnoHana, which it seems to have more atmospherically in common with anyway.


EDIT: N/m, I see that Crunchyroll decided to just lump the entire thing together as "Natsume Yuujinchou" and have placed 39 episodes in the folder, 13 for each of the three seasons. I get it. Okay then, I'll go ahead and continue watching this first episode. Maybe not right this minute, but with no Fate/Zero , then maybe soon enough. lol
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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So wait: he's basically pulling a Walter Peck and letting all of the ghosts out of the Ghostbusters' storage grid book his grandmother left behind? ^^; Does that make him something of a dick, then, towards his grandmother? And/Or does that imply that his grandmother was sort of a cruel bitch for keeping the ghosts she defeated indentured to her the rest of her life? ^^; I don't see how neither the grandma nor the boy can escape vilification. At least one or the other has to be sort of an ass here. ^^; Care to explain?
The morals are a bit muddled, but the spirits tend to lean more towards making grandma out to be the cruel one. However, the boy is the only one who has faith in her and usually believes she had good reasons for all her actions.

Light overview of grandma's development up to mid-season 2:

Spoiler: show
While the first season provided plenty of evidence to the contrary, the second season has started showing more of her altruistic side. Young Reiko herself is almost as much of a main character as her grandson, and out of the entire permanent cast has gradually developed the most alongside him. Unraveling her past is pretty much one of the biggest mysteries of the series.


As for the protagonist himself, it's true that he has few qualms about returning the names to good and evil spirits alike. In the beginning, he saw the task as basically his duty to clean up the mess his grandmother left behind, and perhaps more importantly a way to get the creatures out of his hair (or they might just kill him ^^; ). While he's not without heart and judgment, being shunned for his entire life has left him cold towards both humans and spirits. Half the point of the show is watching him grow from an apathetic loner into someone who cares about the people and spirits around him. The story has basically moved on from him simply returning the bound names (which is a shame because I just love watching the beautiful animation where the characters fly off the sheets) to him performing random acts of kindness, helping out any person or monster in need.

Like I said, it's a very optomistic show, so most of the dark beings he does encounter turn out to be redeemable or are defeated by other (usually non-violent) means in the end. In fact, the most disagreeable character so far (IMO) is an exorcist who hates spirits and seems to want to destroy them.

..."Seems" being the key word. That being said, a lot of the characters' actions are contradictory. But it's this contradiction that makes them feel realistic rather than completely black and white.

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High praise! High praise. Okay, girl: you've said this is better than AnoHana or Kaiji? Let's see it.

Yuki: Oh dear. -.-

Well, I doubt it'll beat Kaiji in my book --

Yuki: Of course it won't beat Kaiji in your book. XP

-- but I am curious to see how it fares against AnoHana, which it seems to have more atmospherically in common with anyway.
To be fair, I haven't even gotten to the third season myself yet. (I have watched all the way up through episode 6 of season 2, and expect I may end up finishing the entire series this weekend. ^^; ) But if it's anything like the first season, I'd say it stands a fair chance of surpassing Ano Hana. Note that I did say "favorite", not necessarily "best". I haven't seen Kaiji S2 either, you know. XP ^~

Mind, MAL lists this under the "shoujo" category, and I suppose it's an apt qualifier if only for a few aspects such as the majority of (angsty) bishounen and some very light, very rare yaoi implications. These situations are perfectly ignorable though, to the point where they're only suggestive if taken seriously out of context. Trust me, their magnitude and volume are nowhere even near KtB's level (which is supposedly non-yaoi), let alone No.6. XP

On the whole this show is simply "pure" in the purest sense of the word, and believe me when I say I shook my head in disgust at the fact the only comments it received on most sites were from crazy fangirls: "i wish there were romance in this series", "these guys are so cute!", "lol they could be in a yaoi". It honestly broke my heart to read these kinds of things after tearing up from an episode while listening to the gorgeous ED that makes me happy and want to cry at the same time, without fail.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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Natsume Yuujinchou:

Finished all three seasons yesterday.

This was so nice, like a refreshing summer breeze. Natsume's Book of Friends is mostly just a sweet and heartwarming tale about overcoming loneliness and social barriers, and learning trust, acceptance, and kindness. And it works. It works well. There were times that I felt both bittersweet sadness and warmth. They weren't overwhelming emotions like from Full Moon or Kanon, and while I was only moved close enough to tears a couple times, I agree with one reviewer who said that sometimes it's nice to feel sad without having to cry.

As for how it fares against Ano Hana… I should say that I never actually cried once during the latter. Ano Hana’s premise is closer and dearer to my heart, but Natsume Yuujinchou presents itself in such a way that it stirs my soul just the same. Where Ano Hana falls short in execution, Natsume Yuujinchou pulls through each time by letting characters and emotions simply flow without feeling forced or over-pretentious.

Trying to judge just the third season on its own against Ano Hana is difficult, since Natsume Yuujinchou San already has a strong foundation to build upon. I cared a lot for the main character at this point, so much that I was practically screaming at him in one episode of season two to finally open up to his foster family. (If Rin is a poster child for adoption, these folk are poster parents. They’re like saints.) It was a little disappointing to see the artwork inevitably simplified so the characters look younger instead of more mature, but I grew used to the new designs and the overall tone of the show is still as sweet and charming as ever.

That being said, the latter half began to introduce more overarching dramatic plotlines, similar to season two. I tend to find these side stories and antagonists less interesting than the individual filler episodes, especially as they get more drawn out. I understand they’re an important threat necessary for conflict though, and a force that will have to be dealt with eventually.

On that note, it may interest Talon to know that towards the end of the second season, the show starts to directly address its own dispute between “good” and “evil”, whether humans or spirits are inherently one or the other, and whether it is even possible for two different groups of beings to coexist in peace. For now, Natsume plays the optimistic peacemaker who treasures both human and spiritual “lives” equally, and has been mostly lucky successful in his efforts to preserve both forms of friendship thus far. But his hardened mentor warns him that eventually he’ll have to make a choice: “Which is more important to you? Humans or spirits?”

Anyway, setting the comparisons to previous seasons aside, Natsume Yuujinchou San is still a great series that I would’ve rated a 9 if it hadn’t gotten bogged down by seemingly stereotypical villains in the second half. It still had some excellent individual character-building episodes that could be appreciated with or without prior knowledge of the earlier seasons. It’s great to see the secondary human characters even getting some more screentime as well, as my one complaint about the first two seasons was that they were undeveloped. This can be seen as a good sign of development for the protagonist as well, as he’s learning to rely on his friends more whereas he was usually distant before and tried not to involve them.

By itself, the third season is on par with Ano Hana at a solid 8. As a whole, I’d place the series at a 9, a score which only Full Moon, Kanon, and Ouran have received from me (and is pretty much considered my top rating since I am reluctant to give out perfect marks to anything non-Haruhi-related. I’m struggling very hard to decide now whether I should bump Kanon off MAL top five in order to make room for this x.X). It’s not an epic masterpiece, but it doesn’t have to be. There is just almost nothing I dislike about it, and you’d have to be a total killjoy to not appreciate at least some of its gentle and genuinely touching tales.

One thing’s for sure, it beats the pants of Bakemonogatari in my book. Ah, I feel like my soul has been cleansed now. ^-^ XP

Thank you, Natsume, for this magical journey. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing you again in January. =3 We’ll see how much more you’ve hopefully grown by then.

...Btw, Talon, forgot to mention if you like tragic ghost romance stories, Natsume Yuujinchou has a few of those. ^~ The first one was the episode that made me shed the most tears out of the entire series. ;-;
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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Natsume Yuujinchou:
Watched the first two episodes. Good though not great. Sad that Reiko died so young. Not a fan of Nyanko-sensei's voice. (His dragon form voice is good. Wish he were in his dragon form more often.) Charming presentation, though, with a sometimes-frustrating sometimes-fascinating premise makes it something I'll want to keep watching.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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Not a fan of Nyanko-sensei's voice.
Aw, I adore Nyanko-sensei's voice. It's a bit weird at first, but it grows on you. I've been listening to these two clips every now and then when I need a pick-me-up. XP (First one really reminds me of a character sound effect from Zelda.)

Like I said, it's a mostly episodic series, so it's easier to judge each one on a case by case basis. The first few were sort of forgettable; it wasn't until the second half that the more memorable characters and powerful tales started to really shine. Although I do recall episode 03 was the turning point where I felt strong sympathy for the main character himself, rather than just seeing him as a whiny emo. =/ Yeah, the kid did have it pretty rough (as later seasons only attest to further ;-; ).

The premise by itself is wishy-washy at best, and basically asks you not to scrutinize the implications too closely and just be happy things always tend to work out in the end. XP Given your doubts about Reiko's and Takashi's motives, I'm slightly anxious to hear what your opinion of episode 05 will be, since I've read one person's critical comments of how it forced him/her to drop the show. (For the record, it was an animé-only episode - as was the contradictory rectifying one in the second season) If you can conveniently ignore the inherent flaws as I did or at least deal with that level of handwavey-ness, I'd say you're good to enjoy the rest of the series as a whole.

Natsume is very accurately called a "consistently good" series, but not great. Individually, some parts are better than others. It's the sheer simplicity that takes one back to the time of innocent fairy tales, when we could appreciate stories and their (hopefully) happy endings without skepticism or flair, that raises it to greatness in my book (of friends). It's original because it's unoriginal, retelling classics without trying too hard to stand out. *jiii's at Angel Beats! and Bakemonogatari* Everything is brought down to the basics - no relying on extraneous details like silly love triangles or fanservice or even flashy insert songs to get in the way. And it works, IMO.

P.S. Your boobs comment yesterday made me think of a line from one of the characters in the show. XD Hey, at least the animé kept the glasses girl around (whereas in the manga she moved away), otherwise the first season would've really been a pure sausage-fest. ^^;
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:11 PM   #7
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Natsume Yuujinchou:
Episode 03 was a big improvement over the previous two episodes. I especially liked the flashback scene of Natsume's. I've seen stuff like that before, but I have to confess that by the point they did the plot twist, I was no longer harboring suspicions of that at all, i.e. they definitely got me. As for the present, Misuzu is interesting but if he's that hellbent on getting released then it's sort of a shame because he seems like he could be a really powerful ally; the thing with the priest was interesting because it really does drive home the fact that, in this particular story, the people we normally think of as good (i.e. exorcists) are the bad guys in the world of Natsume Yuujinchou, even if (like the old man here) they don't mean anything ill by their actions; and it was good to get a new supporting character who looks like he'll matter to the story. Maybe. Possibly.

Yuki: just go ahead and make a thread for this. Your first post can be empty, e.g.
(post to come later)
and you can edit in the guts later. I just want to put all of my Natsume Yuujinchou stuff there. You know ... with your mod powers, you could even find your oldest Natsume post on UPN and make a copy of it which serves as the parent post for the new thread. Rename the thread title for the copy to "Natsume Yuujinchou" (or "Natsume and the Book of Friends" or whatever you like) and you're good to go. You don't even have to splice the other things out yet if you're busy: when you do it later, they'll auto-bubble to the top (since this software puts posts in order of date posted, not in order of date migrated).
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #8
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I especially liked the flashback scene of Natsume's. I've seen stuff like that before, but I have to confess that by the point they did the plot twist, I was no longer harboring suspicions of that at all, i.e. they definitely got me.
Given that I had just started watching Tsukihime too, I was inclined to think...

Spoiler: show
The woman really was a Miss Blue-like character. The dawning look of betrayal on little Natsume's face - and the subsequent tears - just broke my heart. ;_; And then in his hurt, he even goes and scares the real concerned woman away. Not cool, fate. D=


There's actually an episode in the third season that chronicles a somewhat similar past event, and it's one of my overall favorites. Based on that one's eventual happy reunion, I really wish Natsume could somehow go back to that place and find her again to make up. =/ Alas, that's probably impossible for several reasons...

I won't say anything about Misuzu for now, but as for Tanuma I'll reiterate that my biggest gripe about the first season was that the human characters were underdeveloped. The manga is even more guilty of this in its early chapters. Basically, don't be surprised as I was that for such a seemingly significant character (who even gets his own shot in the OP), after Tanuma's introduction he's promptly all but forgotten.

The later seasons do improve in this regard, giving Natsume's supposed school friends more screentime and direct involvement in his adventures. In way it's actually sorta symbolic, how he used to remain distant but is gradually opening up and trusting people more. By the third season, the story's focus is actually more on Natsume's relationship with humans than with spirits.

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Yuki: just go ahead and make a thread for this.
*gleam* I've been waiting for those magic words. 83 I was dying to make a thread right away, but had to force myself to wait and see if anyone else would actually be interested in watching and discussing the show. ^^;

Moderator powers, activate!
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #9
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Finally got around to watching Episode 04. I modestly enjoyed it. There were highs and lows, fun points and slow points. In the end, the show is very, very slow and sedate and calmy-peaceful. You really have to be in the mood to watch a show like that, but if and when you are, Natsume Yuujinchou's not a bad pick. Ordinarily I'm not sure if I'd be in it for the long haul with this one, but Yuki loved it so dearly and she's got me hoping for great things in Season 3 so much that I can't abandon it just yet.

Wasn't sure what to make of Reiko having pwned a spirit who (1) was the vengeful spirit form of a former deity and (2) by Nyanko-sensei's own admission was much more powerful than he himself. It's kind of cool, I guess? But I fancy the idea that not many spirits are more powerful than Madara (Nyanko-sensei) and that that's why Nyanko-sensei was sealed away in the Maneki Neko statue as he was. Like, think about it: why seal Madara away but allow a vengeful ex-god to roam the school? To me, that should scream "Because Madara was way much more of a threat." So ... yeah. ^^; But oh well! Moving right along!

It was neat that they gave Natsume a female friend who can also see spirits sometimes, but according to Yuki she completely vanishes for the remainder of Season 1 (lol what? ), so I guess there's not much more to expect from her just yet either.

Highlight of the episode: the part where Nyanko-sensei divebombed into her face and KO'd her. The noise she made and the way they animated that was awesome. And it came so, so out of nowhere.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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Episodes 04 and 05 are the most unimpressive of the season and perhaps the series as a whole, so expect the lull period to continue. 05 is especially lolwhut-worthy since it was a made-for-TV episode that may or may not contradict canon. Episode 06 is when the show picks up speed, and along with episode 08 are the major highlights of the first season.

The thing about season three is that it's best enjoyed if you're really invested in the characters by that point. It focuses a lot more on Natsume's relationships with humans than with youkai. That being said, one of my favorite episodic stories was introduced in the early parts, and I'd probably recommend the season alone just for that.

Regarding the aspect you're likely most interested in (adoption), this is one of the main reasons I'm really looking forward to the fourth season as I hope they'll include an especially tearjerking arc from the manga. Breaks my heart everytime I see this one relevant fanart. ;-; (Top half is spoiler, click at your own discretion.) One might argue Natsume's circumstances are special since duh, he's not normal, but I think the same could be said of any poor child who's unwanted simply because they have some sort of problem they can't help. Rin was lucky since she was a perfect adorable angel whom anyone would want to pick up and take home, and she also lucky she didn't have to go through a brutal process of getting passed around by foster families who might not have... "Cared for her", shall we say, as much as Daikichi did. I guess what I'm saying is that surprisingly, Natsume's experience feels more genuine and realistic, and his current closed off personality depressingly shows the consequences of a less-than-ideal upbringing.

On that note, I've been really wanting to draw a Natsume + (not x) Rin crossover pic when I get home. -^-^- One loves cats, the other rabbits. I think they'd make a good sibling pair. =3

Anyway, Yuki.Ngent aside... Lol, I have an animated gif of Nyanko's dive-bomb attack. (Not from that episode though. Bwahaha now you know it's coming but you don't know when...) There's a part in the manga that I think would've been hilarious, if a bit mean, to see animated where something surprises Sasada and she grabs onto Natsume, and he just throws her aside. ^^; It was a reflexive action from experience of youkai jumping out at him, but he chided her anyway saying "Girls shouldn't just cling to guys!" Sasada: "That's cold. I bet you make girls cry. D8"

As for why she faded into the background for the remainder of the season, in the manga she actually moved away after that chapter. I'm glad the animé decided to keep her around though, and despite her minor role I feel she does help add (feminine) balance to the cast. Her straight-laced attitude tends to offset the two class clowns, but her best moments are when she's being silly (and sometimes unknowingly the butt of jokes ^^; ) herself. Besides, I'm happy to see Natsume have all the friends and support he can get.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:52 PM   #11
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*didn't click on link*

Does that mean that she's missing from the rest of the manga, too? Or is the implication that:
(a) she moves back or
(b) Natsume moves once more and he happens to move to the same city she moved to?
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
*didn't click on link*

Does that mean that she's missing from the rest of the manga, too? Or is the implication that:
(a) she moves back or
(b) Natsume moves once more and he happens to move to the same city she moved to?
Sasada never appears again in the manga save for a cameo during a flashback in a later chapter.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:55 PM   #13
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How many episodes is each season? Is the whole set 36 episodes?
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:03 PM   #14
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How many episodes is each season? Is the whole set 36 episodes?
13 to each season, so 39 total so far.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #15
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Watched Episodes 05 and 06 and am at the beginning of 07.

05 was okay but it wasn't anything terribly special. The whole time I was watching it, I was more focused on identifying the contradiction of canon that Yuki spoke of than I was actually watching the episode.

Spoiler: show
The claim that Reiko is very forgetful?
The claim that Reiko simply forgot her promise to the guinea pig?
Natsume saying how every time he returns a spirit's name he gains some of Reiko's memories?
The claim that earth spirits tend to be malevolent?

Episode 06 was much better. Probably my favorite episode yet.

Spoiler: show
Was sad to see Tsubame go. She had a REALLY attractive voice and just a generally all-around sweet personality.

I don't understand why the guy who fed her couldn't see her now, though. If he could hear her growls and see her eyes when she was an oni, why not now when she's a yuurei? Might stem from a belief that everyone can see oni but few can see ghosts, I dunno. Seems weird to me still.

The plot twist about being eaten was certainly a surprise. It was also a surprise to meet another of Nyanko-sensei's kind. Though what is up with their predilection for disguises? Why did Natsume deny that he'd ever promised Nyanko-sensei the right to eat him? I thought he totally promised that. No?

It felt like Natsume violated the "no special powers" rule in the race, but I guess Nyanko-sensei's transformation was fair game? I guess by special powers they meant no hypnosis or fireballs?

Episode 07 starts and I see that I'm finally going to get to see that cutie-pie cat girl from the OP. Except ...

Spoiler: show
She's not a cat ...... and she's not even a she. [/it's a trap!]
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #16
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Some fanart of Tsubame (Episode 06):
夏目さまは お優しい
『燕』
人が好きです

おや夏目さま。お誕生日おめでとうございます。

I particularly like the first one and the fourth one. Translations and stuff:
Spoiler: show
Picture 1's title reads "Natsume-sama, oyasashii" or "You're so kind, Natsume-sama." This was a line from the episode. The same text appears in the image itself.

Picture 2's title is 燕 (the kanji for Tsubame) in Japanese-style quotation marks.

Picture 3's title reads "Hito ga suki desu" or "I like people." This is another line from the episode. The text on the artwork reads, "Yasashii mono wa suki desu. Atatakai mono mo suki desu. Dakara hito ga suki desu." This means "I like kind/gentle things. I like warm things too. That's why I like people." It's another memorable line of Tsubame's from the episode. Given how much it shows up, I should probably explain my translations for yasashii.
Spoiler: show
Briefly, the word means both the English "kind" and "gentle." There are other words in Japanese which can mean kindness but don't convey the idea of gentleness (e.g. shinsetsu 親切). In the sentence "Natsume-sama wa oyasashii," she's saying he's so kind. But when saying "I like [yasashii] things," gentleness is evoked just as much as kindness, maybe even moreso. (I actually translated it as just gentle for both Pictures 3 and 4 originally but then realized an observant reader might have noticed I translated the same exact word two different ways between Picture 1 and Pictures 3&4. In fact, if I still had to pick only one word to go for in these two pictures, it'd probably be "gentle." But that's my interpretation of it. And like I said, in Japanese, the word is a hybrid of both English words. Having to pick between one or the other is simply a consequence of the fact that English and Japanese don't have 1:1 correspondence and we don't have a word in our language which simultaneously conveys both of these concepts.)

Picture 4's title is the kanji for Tsubame. The text says "Yasashii mono wa suki desu" or (as before) "I like kind/gentle things."

Picture 5's title reads "Oya[?] Natsume-sama. Otanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu" or "Oh? Natsume-sama. Happy birthday." I guess that means that July 1 is his birthday?
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:55 PM   #17
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Just watched Episode 07. I don't think I've "Awwwww! "'d quite so much since I watched the Maracacchi episode of Pokémon BW Best Wishes. This was just ... it was Usagi Drop's Rin except with cat fox ears and a fox tail! HRRRRNGH! Major moe overdrive about to give me a heart attack! Too cute!

Spoiler: show
That fox spirit has to be the cutest thing I've seen in months. Unbelievably adorable. I never thought a little boy could be so cute, but I guess that's what happens when you effeminize the fuck out of a boy. Looks like a girl, talks like a girl, dresses like a girl, acts like a girl ... except on rare occasion acts like a boy and says things about trying to be a man, which then completely shatters the illusion that he could maybe be a girl or genderless and we're just being misled. The part of the episode where the fox goes on a mission to find Natsume was just so "Awwww." And the earlier part where he asked to become Natsume's servant -- the first spirit to have ever done so iirc! -- and Natsume turned him down and then he was all like, "Is it because I'm weak? I promise I'll try and become stronger!" just made me want to hug him and hold him tight and tell him he's loved.

Her his voice actor sounds just like Usagi Drop's Rin to me. But they're totally different. Rin is an actual little girl while the fox spirit is ... well, the fox spirit is someone who was born in 1967. ^^;

I looked at the voice actress's credits and it looks like, much to my dismay , we're not going to get to see the fox again until Season 3 Episode 08. Bummer. I really, really wanted to see her him at least once every four or five episodes. He's just too adorable not to be used more often in the show.

This was probably the best episode yet for me. 06 was good, but this was a scootch better just by virtue of the awwww factor. They were both good episodes, though. They needn't compete with one another. ^^;
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Watched Episodes 05 and 06 and am at the beginning of 07.

05 was okay but it wasn't anything terribly special. The whole time I was watching it, I was more focused on identifying the contradiction of canon that Yuki spoke of than I was actually watching the episode.

Spoiler: show
The claim that Reiko is very forgetful?
The claim that Reiko simply forgot her promise to the guinea pig?
Natsume saying how every time he returns a spirit's name he gains some of Reiko's memories?
The claim that earth spirits tend to be malevolent?
Spoiler: show
It was never implied in the manga that Reiko was necessarily forgetful. The manga has actually spent even less time than the animé developing her character, though what little has been shown of her past generally indicates that despite her callous exterior, she had a pure soul good heart. The main question this episode then brings up is whether she was so careless as to renege on a promise she made to help a friend, whether intentionally or not. Not only does this conflict with later examples of her behavior, what would really bother some people is how Natsume continues to insist she must have had good reason or intention behind all her actions, despite seemingly clear evidence this time to the contrary.

The memory/dream-sharing has always been somewhat of a mystery, seeing as Natsume not only tends to gain access to Reiko's memories but seems to alternatively peer into spirits' minds and perhaps on occassion a human's as well. Madara hints that Natsume himself is subject to expose his thoughts if he's not careful, and that the human consciousness is typically more vulnerable when asleep.

The author's bias towards what types of spirits are usually "good" or "bad" is a topic that's been debated, but I won't get into that unless you really want me to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Episode 06 was much better. Probably my favorite episode yet.

Spoiler: show
Though what is up with their predilection for disguises? Why did Natsume deny that he'd ever promised Nyanko-sensei the right to eat him? I thought he totally promised that. No?

It felt like Natsume violated the "no special powers" rule in the race, but I guess Nyanko-sensei's transformation was fair game? I guess by special powers they meant no hypnosis or fireballs?
Spoiler: show
It's funny because all the characters have proven to be notoriously bad at disguises. ^^; According to the author not one of them has a shred of originality, hence the name "Nyanko-sensei".

Natsume and Nyanko are always in denial about what exactly constitutes their relationship. XP ^~

I was also confused/slightly bothered by the cop-out, but meh, all's well that ends well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Episode 07 starts and I see that I'm finally going to get to see that cutie-pie cat girl from the OP. Except ...

Spoiler: show
She's not a cat ...... and she's not even a she. [/it's a trap!]
Spoiler: show
Ha ha, I was also looking forward to the moment when that adorable "girl" would show up. ^^; We both got deceived.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Some fanart of Tsubame (Episode 06):
夏目さまは お優しい
『燕』
人が好きです

おや夏目さま。お誕生日おめでとうございます。

Translations and stuff:
Spoiler: show
Picture 3's title reads "Hito ga suki desu" or "I like people." This is another line from the episode. The text on the artwork reads, "Yasashii mono wa suki desu. Atatakai mono mo suki desu. Dakara hito ga suki desu." This means "I like kind/gentle things. I like warm things too. That's why I like people." It's another memorable line of Tsubame's from the episode.
Semi-personal rant:

Spoiler: show
"Thank you... For not growing to hate humans."

This was the first line that stood out to me in a review on MAL, which really pushed me to want to watch the show. Tsubame's straightforward but honest feelings pretty much sum up my own as to why I love this series. I used to try and act cool by snubbing sentimentality and social relationships, shutting myself in especially after a rough year in middle school. But, at heart we all seek human contact. I can't help it, the truth is I like soft and warm things. I do like people. I really do. I'm willing to accept that now and no longer see it as a sign of weakness, but true strength and progress.

Similar to Zelda, Natsume Yuujinchou is a story I wish I might've encountered earlier in my life. I want to believe that there are kind people in this world. That we are all capable of healing, of giving and receiving help even if we might not know it. It's strange, that I've fallen for a series that I don't relate to as strongly as some of my other favorites. Perhaps I might've embraced the theme of loneliness once upon a time, but I like to think I've moved past that period. I can certainly understand and empathize with someone who's still struggling to open up though.

Now, I mostly admire Natsume Yuujinchou for what it essentially is: A good story about good people doing good things. Kanon's formula was actually quite similar... At least up until the end when it focused more on the tragedy and romance alone, though those aspects were powerful too don't get me wrong. ^^; XP What I mean is I loved the series for the sheer quality of its storytelling and characters, despite not finding myself personally invested in any of them. NY is the same, yet it I think it strikes an intermediate chord with me deep down. Natsume's peaceful and benevolent, yet still closely guarded world is a place I've both somewhat grown from and strive to reach.


Anyway... I adore how Tsubame looks in the last two pics. ^-^ July 1 is Natsume's birthday, huh? Close to mine again~
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:57 PM   #19
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Ha, took so long organizing my catharsis I missed this post. ^^; (Hey, I was studying all day too, cut me some slack. XP)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Just watched Episode 07. I don't think I've "Awwwww! "'d quite so much since I watched the Maracacchi episode of Pokémon BW Best Wishes. This was just ... it was Usagi Drop's Rin except with cat fox ears and a fox tail! HRRRRNGH! Major moe overdrive about to give me a heart attack! Too cute!
Right about the time I solidified my resolve to draw a NY x UsaDrop crossover I realized Rin and the little fox do resemble each other. o.O;

Glad to hear you enjoyed the episode, despite it not turning out to be exactly what you expected. XD I wasn't sure how you'd react to the surprise so I didn't want to squeal over it prematurely. ^^; It sure tickles me to see guys gushing over this character though. Lol at one man's review that Natsume Yuujinchou was a devious plan to turn him into a:

Spoiler: show
Shotacon


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Spoiler: show
That fox spirit has to be the cutest thing I've seen in months. Unbelievably adorable. I never thought a little boy could be so cute, but I guess that's what happens when you effeminize the fuck out of a boy. Looks like a girl, talks like a girl, dresses like a girl, acts like a girl ... except on rare occasion acts like a boy and says things about trying to be a man, which then completely shatters the illusion that he could maybe be a girl or genderless and we're just being misled. The part of the episode where the fox goes on a mission to find Natsume was just so "Awwww." And the earlier part where he asked to become Natsume's servant -- the first spirit to have ever done so iirc! -- and Natsume turned him down and then he was all like, "Is it because I'm weak? I promise I'll try and become stronger!" just made me want to hug him and hold him tight and tell him he's loved.
Differences from the manga:

Spoiler: show
The fox spirit wasn't nearly as effiminized in the manga, for better or for worse. No girly hat or human clothes. ^^;

I think the animé handled the servant-request scene better, since in the manga Natsume gave a very scary expression while harshly declaring "I don't want it [the fox's name]." o.o;;; Whether this was just the translator's choice or not is up for debate, but I imagine it could be the same in the original. Compared to a simple "I don't need it" - which I'm fairly sure was the line in the animé - with an accompanying gentle smile, the former gave me a bit of a shock before he then switched to a reassuring grin. I get that the author was trying to establish more of a surprise, but that panel sure was unsettling.

In general, Natsume tends to come off as a bit angrier and more bitter in the manga, especially in the beginning. The author herself has stated that she appreciates how the animé has made Natsume's world seem like a "much warmer place". Manga Natsume has grown a lot in terms of dealing with people since the early chapters, though I'd say he's still more reserved and perhaps lagging behind his animé counterpart a little in learning social skills.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Spoiler: show
Her his voice actor sounds just like Usagi Drop's Rin to me. But they're totally different. Rin is an actual little girl while the fox spirit is ... well, the fox spirit is someone who was born in 1967. ^^;

I looked at the voice actress's credits and it looks like, much to my dismay , we're not going to get to see the fox again until Season 3 Episode 08. Bummer. I really, really wanted to see her him at least once every four or five episodes. He's just too adorable not to be used more often in the show.
I really liked the little fox's voice too. But wow, I wouldn't have expected the CV to be that old. =O

As for future reappearances...

Spoiler: show
ANN's a bit wrong. So you may be in for a pleasant surprise sometime soon. ^~
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:14 PM   #20
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Just watched Episodes 08 and 09.

08 was okay. I think it was too similar to 06 and too soon for me to really be impressed by it. But it was still good. It also introduces the possibility that Natsume won't be able to see spirits once he grows up, something which could explain Reiko's string of broken promises. But it seems very unlikely and ...

... it's all but shelved by Episode 09 which introduces us to Natori Shuuichi, the adult exorcist. I liked Episode 09 much more. Kind of confused, though, as to why youkai would serve a man who exorcises other youkai, but whatever. The very end of this episode (at the train station) was both real but also a little confusing. It'll be interesting to see how Natsume and Shuuichi butt heads in the future. I also like how (and I think I mentioned this before) in any other show, the exorcist would be the good guy but here in Natsume Yuujinchou he's the antagonist. Nyanko-sensei stole the show again for most memorable moments.
Spoiler: show
I loved the "NYAN! >3" part where he blew away the hair youkai's hair tendrils in the cafe. I also loved the part where he headbutted and then got into a fight with Natori's other main youkai assistant.

One thing I kept forgetting yesterday was that Natsume is Natsume's last name. I've heard humans call him Takashi enough times now that I think I've got it figured out, but ... how did he inherit his grandmother's maiden name? Seems like this may suggest that his grandmother became pregnant out of wedlock and/or was a single mother.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:38 PM   #21
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Heh, that's a surprise. Episode 08 was my personal favorite of season one. Damn near started tearing up at the end. ;-;

Spoiler: show
Did you pick on how the name "Kiyo" is the end of "suki yo", which Natsume head in his dream/Hotaru's memories?


And so the pedo gaylord enters the scene. XP Oh Natori, why'd you have to come and fab up my precious show? I'm working on downloading the episodes now, and I wanted to avoid ainex's subs since they inserted a "gay book of friends" comment, but they're the only ones with easy access to .avi format, so... Bleh.

Jokes aside, Natori's character has grown on me since thanks to the manga. I at least prefer him a lot more over [spoiler].

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
One thing I kept forgetting yesterday was that Natsume is Natsume's last name. I've heard humans call him Takashi enough times now that I think I've got it figured out, but ... how did he inherit his grandmother's maiden name? Seems like this may suggest that his grandmother became pregnant out of wedlock and/or was a single mother.
Spoiler: show
The manga has at least confirmed Reiko kept her maiden name after marriage(?). Why her daughter would then also decide to keep hers and/or pass it on to her son is still unclear, if it's an issue the author intends to explain at all.


Anyway, yes, his full name in English written format is Takashi Natsume. His grandmother was Reiko Natsume.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:48 PM   #22
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Watched Episodes 10, 11, and 12.

Episode 10:
Spoiler: show
Noto Mamiko! One of my favorite voice actresses guest stars as the koto player Asagi in this traditionally Japanese romantic tale. It was a good episode. The highlights were definitely those moments whenever Asagi influenced perceived physical changes in Natsume's voice or body. Long-haired Natsuko on the stairwell in school? HOT.

Thought it was kind of a copout at the end though to be all like, "It's okay, she's still alive, she's just back inside this calabash." [/ohcomeON] But maybe we'll see her again, then. Who knows.

Episode 11:
Spoiler: show
This was a cute episode. Fillery, sort of, but the little girl was aww and NyanKo was pretty sexy. Though I can't say the same for how she ate through those guy's wallets. ^^; The part where Nyanko-sensei comes home and sees Natsume bonding with "his new cat" was priceless. Poor Nyanko-sensei!

The part where the little girl thought that Nyanko-sensei was going to die was aww.

Episode 12:
Spoiler: show
So we finally get to meet the yuurei with the blue hair. Given her look and presentation in the OP, I totally had been assuming all this time that she was going to be Season 1's primary antagonist. Imagine my surprise when it's revealed that not only is she an ally but SHE'S A LESBIAN IN LOVE WITH REIKO! I felt really bad for her when she found out about Reiko's death. Hinoe looks like she could be quite the interesting character. Hope to see her again.

The horse guy (Misuzu, is it?) shows up again this episode. LOL at the revelation that he was behind all of this. Furrowed brows, though, at his all too convenient answer of "You're not worthy to have my name ... but you're interesting, so I'll let you keep it for now." Oh please. Just admit that he is in fact worthy, then. Otherwise, take your name back now!

Just one more episode to go.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Episode 10:
Spoiler: show
Noto Mamiko! One of my favorite voice actresses guest stars as the koto player Asagi in this traditionally Japanese romantic tale. It was a good episode. The highlights were definitely those moments whenever Asagi influenced perceived physical changes in Natsume's voice or body. Long-haired Natsuko on the stairwell in school? HOT.

Thought it was kind of a copout at the end though to be all like, "It's okay, she's still alive, she's just back inside this calabash." [/ohcomeON] But maybe we'll see her again, then. Who knows.
Spoiler: show
Lol, Natsuko. As if he wasn't already feminine enough. XP

I wouldn't get your hopes up, since a lot of these episodes are meant to be stand-alone and thus have one-shot characters. (The author wanted readers to be able to pick up any chapter by itself.) Pretty much only those featured in the OP are the mainstays for the course of the series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Episode 11:
Spoiler: show
This was a cute episode. Fillery, sort of, but the little girl was aww and NyanKo was pretty sexy. Though I can't say the same for how she ate through those guy's wallets. ^^; The part where Nyanko-sensei comes home and sees Natsume bonding with "his new cat" was priceless. Poor Nyanko-sensei!

The part where the little girl thought that Nyanko-sensei was going to die was aww.
Spoiler: show
I like that they expanded this chapter from the manga (same with the little fox story), even if it was fillery. It hasn't been directly stated in the animé btw, but Natsume's a total cat person. A later episode in season three may demonstrate the reason why, both in the superficial and perhaps psychologically deep-rooted sense.

Curious now since you've remarked on both Natsuko's and NyanKo's beauty, have you noticed NyanKo's human form resembles Reiko? How do you feel about the legend herself so far?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Episode 12:
Spoiler: show
So we finally get to meet the yuurei with the blue hair. Given her look and presentation in the OP, I totally had been assuming all this time that she was going to be Season 1's primary antagonist. Imagine my surprise when it's revealed that not only is she an ally but SHE'S A LESBIAN IN LOVE WITH REIKO! I felt really bad for her when she found out about Reiko's death. Hinoe looks like she could be quite the interesting character. Hope to see her again.

The horse guy (Misuzu, is it?) shows up again this episode. LOL at the revelation that he was behind all of this. Furrowed brows, though, at his all too convenient answer of "You're not worthy to have my name ... but you're interesting, so I'll let you keep it for now." Oh please. Just admit that he is in fact worthy, then. Otherwise, take your name back now!
Spoiler: show
"Where are your BOOBS?!" XD Ha ha, I love Hinoe. I heard people complain that the "lesbian who hates men" stereotype is common in animé, but I believe this is the first time I've encountered one, so I thoroughly enjoyed that scene.


As this is the third time you've complained about the cop-outs, yeah, this is what I mean when Natsume invokes a lot of handwaveyness - typically in favor of an optomistic ending. If you can deal with this level though and not let it hamper your enjoyment too much - as it seems you have so far - then that's great. If not, well... Good luck to you in the future if you decide to press on with the series. ^^;
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:38 PM   #24
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Finished Episode 13 and with it the first season of Natsume Yuujinchou. Thoughts:

Spoiler: show
When I saw the sneak peek at the end of Episode 12, I had mixed feelings about a group get-together episode. On the one hand, those episodes tend to be very fluffy and fillery. On the other hand, it'd mean a chance to see the fox spirit again.


Not quite the right picture, but you get the idea.

So when I got to the actual episode, I was delighted to discover that as fillers go it wasn't so bad -- it was kinda cute, honestly -- and the fox spirit had one of the biggest starring roles of any of the yuurei all episode, even the ordinarily omnipresent Nyanko-sensei. So that was great. It was basically "spend half the time with other spirits, spend half the time with the fox spirit being adorable. "

I half expected Natori to kill the two spirits who are always bullying the fox. I also half expected Natori to exorcise the fox. ;_; Was glad to see that that didn't happen. But what was he up to?
(1) why did he have his helper tail the fox? Did he want to do something to Natsume?
(2) what was the meeting he attended?
I mean, let's face it: it was very suspicious that he lied to the fox spirit and said he'd never heard of one anyone named Natsume before. For all his "let's be friends ^_^" talk at the end of Episode 09, I'm thinking that Natori may wind up being something of a series antagonist indeed. It remains to be seen, though, how he justifies killing some spirits while allowing others to serve him.

LOL @ Sasada. One person said in Episode 04 or 05's commentary on CrunchyRoll, "I really hate that girl. She is so nosy! XP" I think she's a cute companion for Natsume, but she's totally a nosy little snoot. LOL @ how she tried to pawn her job off onto the other guy. L-O-L @ how he bruntly told her "No. >_> You do it." (That is even more funny in Japan than over here where 100% of us would act that way!)

It was interesting how they had the fox spirit look like a little girl boy to us but had it look like a fox to everybody else. Obviously we don't typically see that for the other characters since they're all ghosts without corporeal forms. Though it does beg the question of how/why others can see Nyanko-sensei and why they perceive him as a bonafide cat and not as a maneki neko statue. ^^; Anyway, we first saw the fox-animal form in Episode 07, but back then I thought they were showing us that she's he's normally in fox form but he transforms into spirit form when Natsume's around. Didn't realize that they were just doing the transformations for the sake of the television audience's understanding that what Natsume sees as a little boy the rest of the world sees as a fox.

That wasn't very nice, Hinoe, stealing their food. ^^;

The little girl was cute again. Poor Nyanko-sensei. ^^;

And that's that. So ... on to Episode 14. I watched a little bit before pausing it. Was looking at my phone while Natsume did the usual "welcome to Season 2, let me tell you all about myself for those of you who have never seen the show before" recap only to suddenly hear a loud noise and look up to see that scene. Will have to re-watch it later.

EDIT: Forgot to answer some questions you'd asked but which I didn't want to answer via iPhone. ^^;

Quote:
Originally Posted by YUKI.N View Post
Curious now since you've remarked on both Natsuko's and NyanKo's beauty, have you noticed NyanKo's human form resembles Reiko? How do you feel about the legend herself so far?
I'd noticed that the two looked physically similar but I didn't necessarily think that Nyanko was trying to copy Reiko's body when he transformed into human form. It's certainly interesting, though, and speaks for some possibly telling things about their relationship.

Spoiler: show
  • no matter who it was who sealed him -- even if it was Reiko herself -- he obviously had a lot of respect for her
  • he spent enough time around Reiko that either
    1. he decided that hers would be the body he'd focus on copying for his human form or else
    2. he was simply around her so much that his mental image of what humans look like basically became what Reiko looked like. (After all, humans all look more or less the same to youkai in this universe.)
  • he knew Reiko during her school days -- just like every other spirit seems to have -- because he's replicating her form in student dress
In fact, that was something I hadn't paid attention to in Episode 10 but which I probably should have. When the two other boys were like, "I haven't seen that school uniform before. I wonder where she goes to school?", my first thought was that Nyanko-sensei was just copying some girl who went to school somewhere else; but now that I realize he's been copying Reiko, it's clear that the school uniform is hers and that the fact that the boys don't recognize it just goes to show you how much things can change over the course of 30+ years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YUKI.N View Post
As this is the third time you've complained about the cop-outs, yeah, this is what I mean when Natsume invokes a lot of handwaveyness - typically in favor of an optomistic ending. If you can deal with this level though and not let it hamper your enjoyment too much - as it seems you have so far - then that's great. If not, well... Good luck to you in the future if you decide to press on with the series. ^^;
Well, we'll see. If I had to rank the show right now, it'd be somewhere around a 6 or a 7. I'll need to look at previous animes I've ranked and how I've ranked them to make sure I'm not shortchanging Natsume Yuujinchou out of a 7 ... but also to make sure that I'm not caving in to giving it a 7 when my emotional excitement really only warrants giving it a 6. I've enjoyed it. It's been pleasant. I wouldn't mind watching more. But ... it's very sedate.

Last edited by Talon87; 12-14-2011 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Spoiler: show
It was interesting how they had the fox spirit look like a little girl boy to us but had it look like a fox to everybody else. Obviously we don't typically see that for the other characters since they're all ghosts without corporeal forms. Though it does beg the question of how/why others can see Nyanko-sensei and why they perceive him as a bonafide cat and not as a maneki neko statue. ^^; Anyway, we first saw the fox-animal form in Episode 07, but back then I thought they were showing us that she's he's normally in fox form but he transforms into spirit form when Natsume's around. Didn't realize that they were just doing the transformations for the sake of the television audience's understanding that what Natsume sees as a little boy the rest of the world sees as a fox.
Spoiler: show
In the manga he was never shown as an actual fox, so it's unclear whether he was originally intended to be a real animal or not. Either form is definitely adorable though. <3


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
And that's that. So ... on to Episode 14. I watched a little bit before pausing it. Was looking at my phone while Natsume did the usual "welcome to Season 2, let me tell you all about myself for those of you who have never seen the show before" recap only to suddenly hear a loud noise and look up to see that scene. Will have to re-watch it later.
What scene are you referring to? ^^; I don't remember what happened exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
I'd noticed that the two looked physically similar but I didn't necessarily think that Nyanko was trying to copy Reiko's body when he transformed into human form. It's certainly interesting, though, and speaks for some possibly telling things about their relationship.

Spoiler: show
  • no matter who it was who sealed him -- even if it was Reiko herself -- he obviously had a lot of respect for her
  • he spent enough time around Reiko that either
    1. he decided that hers would be the body he'd focus on copying for his human form or else
    2. he was simply around her so much that his mental image of what humans look like basically became what Reiko looked like. (After all, humans all look more or less the same to youkai in this universe.)
  • he knew Reiko during her school days -- just like every other spirit seems to have -- because he's replicating her form in student dress
In fact, that was something I hadn't paid attention to in Episode 10 but which I probably should have. When the two other boys were like, "I haven't seen that school uniform before. I wonder where she goes to school?", my first thought was that Nyanko-sensei was just copying some girl who went to school somewhere else; but now that I realize he's been copying Reiko, it's clear that the school uniform is hers and that the fact that the boys don't recognize it just goes to show you how much things can change over the course of 30+ years.
Spoiler: show
1) There's an interesting point of contention regarding Madara's relationship with Reiko due to differing translations of the manga. I originally thought the animé may have made this change, but upon re-checking the source it seems the disparity simply lies between scanlations and Viz's translations.

Scanlation: "I won a game against her, and then wound up visiting every now and then to play more. But one day, I just decided to stop. I'd forgotten how fleeting your lives are..."
Viz: "I refused to duel, but she kept coming from time to time to challenge me. But one day she stopped coming....I thought she'd given up. I'd forgotten how short your lives were..."

I don't recall what his exact words were in the animé, but if they also lean towards the latter I'd trust the official interpretation.

2) B is pretty much on the right track.

3) To clarify, in the manga version of this chapter Nyanko didn't change into human form. That was added in the animé, so those two guys' comment about her uniform might not have any bearing. Doesn't change much though considering the above has been confirmed.
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Mekakucity Actors Discussion Thread

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