First Impressions: Natsume Yuujinchou San

Hey Moar Powah!, pluffei here. This is my first post, so please treat me kindly. By the way, I’m the one who does all the silly Jack Guo drawings all over the site :).

So let’s dig in, itadakimasu~

Guo the Cloud Riding Snail spirit will be traveling to Japan via the Grease Trail, to get his name back from Natsume Takashi.

As a diehard Natsume Yuujinchou fan, I almost dropped my balls bowl of rice when I heard that the series was getting a third season; needless to say, this was definitely the show I was looking forward to the most in terms of the new anime season. I remember either crying buckets or grinning like an idiot for almost every episode in the previous two seasons, and thus I was expecting to do the same as I sat down to watch the first episode of season 3. All, of course, in the lonesome of my room at 2AM in the morning.

I bet you get all the girls with those beautiful long lashes of yours, Takashi.

Look at that cat eat.

However, despite having tissues handy, I didn’t end up crying at the end; but it was close. The new season kicks off with the same familiar mood that had been present in the previous two seasons. Frankly, it didn’t feel so much as a new season, but more of a continuation after a long hiatus. The animation and art style is the same as that of the previous two seasons, and flaunt a girly long-lashed main character as well as calm scenic backgrounds. Fantastic, but no noteworthy changes there. Instead, the first thing I noticed (and that took me by surprise) was Natsume Takashi’s voice; I realized (for the hundredth time) that he was voiced by none other than Kamiya Hiroshi (signal fanfare, as he is also the voice of our Devil almighty smiting the righteous from his throne in Hell, Orihara Izaya). It was the same voice he always had, but after watching Durarara! and other series with Kamiya’s freaky roles, it’s hard to picture him as a normal gentle-hearted high school boy again. However, my mixed feelings on Takashi’s voice was quickly overshadowed by the very welcomed reappearance of Nyanko-sensei (voiced by Inoue Kazuhiko), in all his flabby gelatinous glory, followed by the rest of the gang. Happy merry times ensue.

Look, the teacup has legs and is dancing!

My, my, are you trying to pick up an old gal like me?

Episode 1 starts out with Takashi being his usual do-gooder self, returning names of the ‘youkai’ (AKA spirits of all sorts) in his grandmother’s Book of Friends, and of course running from other more violent spirits instead of kicking their asses punching them in their face sending them away. It moves along as Takashi’s days pass by, in its usual calm and sentimental pace. Takashi meets a teacup spirit that warns of disaster (and sometimes sacrifices itself to prevent said disaster), as well as an old and mostly forgotten shrine god, (who he initially mistakes for an elderly human). The shrine god asks for Natsume’s help with looking for a particular spirit, but it turns out the shrine god was actually looking for Natsume’s grandmother, Natsume Reiko. She just didn’t know Reiko was actually human, nor did she remember that her name was actually in the Book of Friends (even though every other spirit’s and their mother’s is). All in all the first episode was a nice way to remind everyone of the general plot of the series so far without having to be a blatant summary or recap episode.

Reiko looks so happy, too bad the old lady is a youkai.

A very prominent theme this time was how Reiko had trouble dealing with humans, and was shunned by humans. So, when she finally thought she found a human friend (at first, like Takashi, Reiko thought the shrine god was just an old lady) she was pretty darned happy. Unfortunately she was let down when she realized that the old lady she often talked with was just another fantastic creature no one else could see. I get the feeling that this season might move towards how Takashi will differ from his grandmother; Takashi seems to mingle well with both spirits and his human environment, including with humans who had found out his secret. Still, he continues to go at his paranoid pace. Although I enjoy his cautiousness, I’m looking forward to character development towards a more trusting nature, in terms of both humans and spirits.

Additional notes: They did a great job with the ED choice; they had the same artist who sang the ED for Season 1 do the ED here as well. I could tell it was by Kousuke Atari immediately because of his distinctive enka-ish singing style. It was a blast of nostalgia, so kudos to them.

All in all, I was very satisfied with the direction the season is going in so far, and am eagerly awaiting more meals episodes to come.

Gochisousama deshita! Over and out.

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Just someone who was born with mugibrows.

Pluffei

Just someone who was born with mugibrows.

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