A first impression for Natsume Yuujinchou seems silly considering it’s now in its third season.
Director Takahiro Omori is ganbare for his third go-around with the Natsume Yuujinchou franchise, but after working with Kenichi Kanemaki as his writer for the past two seasons, he’s working with a new guy for this third season – Sadayuki Murai. Lucky for us, we probably shouldn’t expect much of a drop-off, since Murai has some experience with some pretty good shows, including Kino’s Journey and ironically, the live action version of Mushishi (being that Natsume is often referred to as Mushishi lite).
This particular episode wasn’t particularly memorable, but it served well as a reintroduction to the series and all the main pieces – Natsume, GMILF Reiko, moe-explosion Nyanko-sensei, a lonely youkai, an angry youkai, and a self-sacrificing teacup to boot.
Being that Natsume Yuujinchou is a show without much linear progression, I did start wondering about how this show should end. Will Natsume eventually run out of names in the book? Will Nyanko/Madara ever get to take over the book from Natsume once he dies? One of the elements I think that’s gotten lost over time, or has been easy to take for granted, is that theoretically, Natsume’s life is in constant danger. Ostensibly he could’ve died a couple times already if not for Nyanko’s intervention. But three seasons it, it seems increasingly unlikely that Natsume will ever bite the bullet, so some of the thrill and danger that you might’ve felt in the first or second season feels a bit faded.
So what would be the ideal ending for the show? Maybe he sets free a youkai version of Reiko to give her the peace she never got to experience in her short life on Earth?