After the first two episodes of fast-paced narrative (in relative terms), Natsume returns back to the poignant and lulling shorts in the third and forth installments. Both of them are predictable from a mile away in terms of plot development (nothing new), but they are pretty interesting. The fourth episode in particular excelled with the conveying of the mono no aware theme.
To start off, let’s welcome the little cutesy youkai which is a strange hybrid of animals, insects and things.
Puffer-fish. (Or Porcupine)
Huge fans of this series rejoiced when the fourth iteration was scheduled to air right after the new year, rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of meeting those lovable characters like old friends reunited after years after separation. (Although this one only lasted only a few months.) There’s Nyanko sensei who never fails to entertain with its drinking and childish antics; there’s Natsume’s unofficial cheerleading team, consisting of the bumbling cow and one-eyed demons; the adorable fox-spirit; and of course Natsume himself, quiet, thoughtful and ever-maturing.
The noitaminA time-slot is famous for its slice-of-life and horror series catering to a older and more mature demographic of watchers. This season witnessed an experimental take on the mystery whodunit genre in the form of Un-Go, and first impressions withstanding, the results are pretty mixed.
I needed something different from the usual fare of light-hearted moe hi-jinks and high-school settings. Something deep. Something artsy fartsy if you want to put it from an elitism point of view. Something that could pull me in from the word go and take me for a hell of a ride.
And what a ride Kaiba was.