Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou Episode 2
Melting into Spring
Natsume was having a dream. A dream from long ago when he was a little boy. His classmates were laughing at him, accusing him of lying that a woman was peering into the classroom from outside. None of them could see the Youkai that he saw staring at him.
He wakes up and it was snowing outside. It's been a long time since the snow piled up so thick. After school, he decides to drop by Shibanohara for a walk together with Nyanko where they end up having a snowball fight. He finds a statue there which was one of the forest guardians. Nyanko tells him that long ago there were two of them protecting the village but now there was only one.
As Nyanko runs off having lost the snowball fight, Natsume sits down for a rest. Suddenly he hears a voice and turning round, he sees a dark shadow rising out of the statue. It spirals into the air before diving back down aiming for Natsume. It was going to possess his body but ends up inside the snow bunny Natsume had made. However, the Youkai wasn't disappointed. It introduces himself as Gen and asks for Natsume's help to find a "Sealed Tree of Evil" because he has heard its seal has been broken and he must go seal it.
The next day, after finding out at school that the tree was in Shinrin Park, he returns home to take Gen with him. Gen had managed to return partly to his normal form now that he had gotten used to his new vessel. Soon at an old abandoned temple in Shibanohara that reeked of the dead, they find Sui who had been corrupted by hate. Gen tries to grab hold of her but she manages to escape.
Gen explains that long ago they resided in two statues that were built as a pair and there, they purified the forest and rid it of evil spirits. Villagers often came to them to wish and at first Sui thought it was very silly that they believed seeing a rainbow with three colours would mean their wishes came true but but eventually, she too started to believe in it.
One day, the villagers had a bad harvest and came to pray for help in making the soils fertile again. However, both Gen and Sui were only purification gods so they could not help. Despite that, they tried to spread their life energy but it did not help the situation. Out of anger, the villagers put the blame on them and destroyed Sui's statue by throwing it over a cliff. Sui didn't understand why they did this when she and Gen had been protecting their happiness all this time and soon her hatred had got hold of her. She became an evil spirit and attacked the village before she was sealed away.
That night, Natsume found himself being strangled. He finds out it was Gen and manages to knock him back. Nyanko returns just in time but fortunately, Gen was still partially in control of himself. Nyanko explains the build up of his loneliness and sadness were starting to tear him apart. Gen was in so much despair he wanted Natsume to burn his name in the Yuujinchou and kill him. Hearing this, Natsume tries to calm him down convincing him that he wasn't alone and he will help. Sui is still around too after all.
Natsume goes around spreading the word, asking for other Youkai to keep on the lookout for Sui who was hiding somewhere. One morning, they receive news of a strange shadow lurking about in the forest and immediately they rush there. They weren't disappointed for it was really Sui who was lurking there. She tries to escape again but Natsume grabs onto her arm desperately at the risk of his own life. Gen leaps in just in time and embracing Sui, he manages to return her to her original self as she remembers the time when they waited for the three coloured rainbow together. As Gen thanks Natsume, they disappear in a bright glow of light.
After that incident, Natsume decides to plant flowers around the statue and remarks that he should treasure all that he thinks is important to him.
And the story seems to continue telling a common tale of how Youkais ended up separating and hating humans.
The opening was a spooky one. When they said it was a woman peering into the classroom I instantly thought Yuki Onna (Snow Woman) because of the snow being shown but then what do I see...? A detached head hanging sideways with a creepy grin on its face. Well, was a nice start to the episode anyway. A complete contrast to that lightly lit classroom.
Initially this wasn't on my watch and blog list because I didn't want to blog shows that were continuing from a previous season that I missed but, this doesn't look like I need any prior knowledge to write up so it's managed to slip its way in. It's also managed to make a better impression this episode whereas the last was pretty average besides being associated with Youkais I'm interested in.