The Unexpected Yet Satisfying Conclusion of Natsume Yuujinchou
The final moments of a beloved series are always bittersweet. It’s a relief to reach the end without the uncertainty of a future sequel, and that sentiment holds true for Natsume Yuujinchou. While the disc sales may have slowed down, the announcement of a sequel came surprisingly quickly. In addition to the upcoming sequel, fans can also look forward to two disc-only episodes of “Go” in 2017, bringing more Natsume adventures to the screen.
A Season Finale Filled with Warmth and Appreciation
Although it may not have been initially intended as the season finale, this episode perfectly captures the essence of Natsume Yuujinchou. Unlike previous season endings, it doesn’t present major revelations or conflicts. Instead, it showcases the deep love and care that the characters, especially the youkai, have for Natsume. It’s a beautiful irony that the boy who was once lonely and rejected now has an abundance of friends and family.
An Unexpected Focus on Hitotsume and Ushikao
What sets this episode apart is its spotlight on the “Chuukyuu” pair, Hitotsume and Ushikao. Historically used for comic relief, they take on a more significant role in this episode. Alongside their silly moments, they drive the plot forward, leading to a remarkably moving climax that is quintessentially Natsume Yuujinchou.
The plot itself is relatively simple. Natsume falls sick after the Chuukyuu, who had been unable to bother him due to his exam preparations, decide to take him to see a rare blooming flower atop a mountain. Despite the sweet intention, the gentle breeze on the mountaintop leaves Natsume with a cold. This sets off a series of events as the Chuukyuu embark on a quest to find fever medicine from a powerful Ayakashi, while Natsume’s human friends worry about his well-being.
Heartwarming Moments and Fever Dreams
Throughout the episode, there are several poignant moments. The Chuukyuu’s journey to rebuild fallen stone lanterns highlights their determination. Natsume’s human friends plan a home visit to check up on him, showcasing their care and concern. Natsume, in his feverish state, experiences vivid dreams, including a delightful scene where Nyanko-sensei transforms into himself.
One of Natsume’s fever dreams brings him face-to-face with his grandmother, Reiko. Though fleeting, these encounters hint at her significant presence in the story, suggesting that she will play a crucial role in the future.
The Essence of Natsume Yuujinchou
The true essence of the episode is revealed towards the end when Natsume realizes that one of his earliest memories of kindness came from a “monster.” As he recovers from his illness, Natsume goes to thank the Chuukyuu for their concern. They shower him with flower petals, and Hitotsume delivers a profound line that encapsulates the entire series: “We know the flowers will fall someday, yet we’re still entranced by them.” This concept of embracing the transience of life, known as “Mono no Aware,” lies at the core of Natsume Yuujinchou. Despite the fleeting nature of human existence, connections can be made, and bonds of friendship and love endure.
A Reflection on the “Go” Season
While comparing the various seasons of Natsume may not be a common practice, it’s worth noting that “Go” has been a relatively low-key yet positive installment. With the exception of the exorcist interlude, which was the darkest and least impactful part of the season, the focus has remained on the connections forged between humans and youkai, as well as the relationships that define Natsume’s life.
Although there may be a tinge of disappointment that Kogitsune, a prominent character in the opening sequence, did not receive a dedicated episode, it’s possible that it was one of the two episodes delayed until the disc release. While the emotional intensity may have been slightly lacking, “Go” provided a strong emphasis on the youkai world, showcasing the series’ most captivating aspects. Ultimately, “Go” feels like a phase in an ongoing journey rather than a destination in itself, but it’s a journey that fans are always eager to embark on.
The season finale of Natsume Yuujinchou proves to be a heartwarming culmination of the series, emphasizing the profound connections that Natsume has nurtured throughout his life. From the unexpected focus on the Chuukyuu pair to Natsume’s fever dreams and the resonating words of Hitotsume, this episode showcases the magic and poignancy that sets Natsume Yuujinchou apart. As one chapter closes, fans can eagerly anticipate the next installment, continuing their enchanting journey alongside Natsume.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will there be a sequel to Natsume Yuujinchou?
Yes, there will be a sequel to Natsume Yuujinchou, keeping the beloved series alive for fans to enjoy.
2. Are there any plans for additional episodes related to “Go”?
Apart from the sequel, there will be two disc-only episodes of “Go” released in 2017, providing even more Natsume adventures.
3. How does the season finale compare to previous endings?
The season finale of Natsume Yuujinchou stands out by focusing on the heartfelt appreciation and love that surround Natsume. While there are no major revelations or conflicts, it beautifully conveys the growth and connections in Natsume’s life.
4. Why wasn’t Kogitsune given a dedicated episode?
Although it may come as a surprise, the absence of a Kogitsune episode could be attributed to possible delays or it being included in the delayed episodes released on disc. Regardless, the strong emphasis on the youkai world compensates for this absence.
5. How does “Go” fit within the overall journey of Natsume Yuujinchou?
“Go” can be perceived as a phase in an ongoing journey rather than a self-contained destination. While it may not deliver emotionally charged episodes, it continues to explore the harmonious relationships between humans and youkai that define the series.