Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Natsume Yuujin-chou Shi 11: A Picture's Worth

The episode begins with Fujiwara-san taking a picture of Takashi as he comes home. Later, Takashi gets a surprise from his youkai friends who are all waiting for him in his room. It turns out another youkai wants its name back and Takashi has to do his thing. Afterwards, an exhausted Takashi falls asleep and dreams of Reiko. The next day, Takashi goes through his old stuff and finds a picture of his parents. He tells Nyanko-sensei that he can finally look at this photo now without feeling the old hurt. Takashi's human friends drop by but their fun is cut short when Takashi gets a call from a Tachibana-san, who tells Takashi that he's finally found a buyer for his parents' house. Takashi convinces himself that he doesn't need that house anymore as he has all that he needs with the Fujiwaras. Nishimura then joins them and the boys find out about all the photos of his friends that Takashi keeps in his closet. The next day, the boys go out into the woods to find Nishimura's fabled soda water spring, using a confusing map that Nishimura made as a kid. The map turns out to be useless but the boys decide to have an adventure anyway. Then Takashi gets distracted by memories of his father and, thus, gets attacked by a hungry youkai. Nyanko-sensei comes to the rescue and then gives him a scolding. Takashi notices that he's dropped his parents photo but lies to his friends about it. They are just about to continue on their way when Tanuma figures out what happened. Angry at Takashi's deception, Tanuma tells him not to lie when he doesn't have to. Takashi apologizes and tells them that what he dropped is something very important to him. They all pitch in and look for the photo together. Nishimura finds it and comments that Takashi looks a lot like his mother, much to Takashi's embarrassment. On their way back, the boys stumble upon Sasada and Taki, which gets Nishimura excited but unfortunately for him the object of his affection only has eyes for a certain ball-shaped white cat. Much later, Takashi decides to be honest with the Fujiwaras and asks them to let him go visit his parents' house one last time.

Honestly, this episode caught me by surprise. One minute, it's completely nothing, and the next, I'm holding back tears. A really wonderful episode and one that really captures what this anime's entire appeal. It will get to you. Of course, it helps that Reiko gets featured in all of three seconds. God, I wish they'd devote at least an episode of Reiko, but at the same time, I don't want to see it because that's her appeal: her mystique. Anyhoo, love this episode.

more screencaps from episode 11: