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.