There are just some shows that you know are going to be great to watch. After two strong seasons there really wasn’t any doubt that I wanted to check out the third season of Natsume.
The first few episodes have really matched up to my hopes. As always Natsume is a guy who is growing and developing as a person. In the past he was a kid who was bullied and misunderstood by everyone around him. Being able to see youkai while everyone else was oblivious was a terrifying experience. At least he has found a place and friends who can accept and understand him. Of course his life has gotten more dangerous as he now can’t really turn away from youkai he sees in trouble, but that’s worth it I think for him being able to actually smile and be happy.
The first few episodes really did a good job of getting us back into the series and reminding us of what the episodes are commonly about. Very key emotions like loneliness, wanting to be accepted, and building friendships are so important to the show. Bittersweet farewells also happen since the difference between youkai and humans in a lot of ways can be huge. Of course key emotions are the same no matter which a character happens to be. The old woman from the first episode and her connection to Reiko was a good example of this. Both thought the other was something else and had to deal with the realization that they were mistaken. Reiko is such a central figure even though she’s been dead since before the series started. Seeing how her life compares to Natsume is always pretty interesting. Natsume also gets to learn a lot about his grandmother through returning names to youkai.
It’s going to be good to show off familiar characters like Taki and Tooru who are such strong friends to Natsume. We’ve had them involved in such serious situations that you can’t help but care for them. They are characters who don’t have to show up all the time to still be well liked. The first few episodes seem to hint that we’ll be carrying on the trend of having mostly one episode stories being told. And there is nothing wrong with that since Natsume is just good at making you care about characters who only ever show up once.
Another solid opening for Natsume. The song brings your mood up and has very nice vocals to it. The scenes that showed events from the first 2 seasons were probably the best part of it. Since I just rewatched the past 2 seasons those events were fresh in my mind. It’s just a good thing to do for the sake of those familiar with it. Another positive is showing off the important characters to the series which is a mix of youkai and humans.
I’m a bit mixed on the ending. The endings for Natsume have been of really high quality in the past 2 seasons so this felt like a bit of a step back. The others just had a good beat that started up near the end of the episode and this doesn’t feel as good. Of course it’s not a bad song and definitely could have been worse. Visually it’s nice and simple. Things starting off with Natsume alone, but building up to Nyanko-Sensei and the Fujiwara family appearing around him.