This episode marks the return of Taki, one of Natsume’s dearest friends. She gets involved into some youkai business, because although she can’t see them she’s very sensible to their presence and somehow concerned about them. She explains to Natsume that because she could hear a youkai in her house, she decided to use the circle of her grandfather. Apparently the Youkai in question just wanted some help in order to get out of the house, help that Taki was able to offer. But because the smell of the youkai on Taki is really strong Natsume decided to visit her and brought Nyanko-sensei with him.
At Taki’s house, Nyanko-sensei tells her the circle of a grandfather is a forbidden technique but doesn’t get the chance to explain why in detail cuz they are faced with another youkai: Some sort of little rat who says he’s a rabbit. HEH…
So the rabbit explains him and his friend saw the big hairy youkai coming to this house and because it was clearly the best decision to take, they followed him inside which resulted in them getting trapped inside. After the explanation they find out that the hairy youkai was casually hanging around the house even if he had no reasons to, since he managed to get out of the house. Together they search for the second rabbit youkai. Surprisingly enough Taki is the one who’s the most motivated in that search and does everything that’s within her power to help. According to Nyanko-sensei it might be because she feels responsible for her grand father’s forbidden techniques. So by the end of the episode, they’ve found the second rabbit, everything ends well and everyone is happy… well, almost happy.
It was hard for the hairy youkai to leave Taki’s side and the house’s surroundings. After seeing Taki’s eyes he began to feels lonely and a bit sad. He explains that if the circle helped them to link, they still can’t really connect in a proper way that’s why he feels some sort of emptiness. To me when the hairy youkai said the whoever forbid the circle technique was kind, he probably meant it form the youkai’s point of view. It is true that the circle protects humans from dangerous youkais but maybe then, the latter kind can also be protected from humans. Maybe youkais need to be protected from humans since they can become dependent to them, like the two little rabbits showed us; it only needs one encounter with humans for some youkai to not fear them anymore and to even grow fond of them. So yeah, that’s the eternal, we are meant to bound with people but it might hurt us in some ways.
Speaking of them, those two little rats almost made me cry, when they reunited and hugged each other… oh boi, why? I was saying “oh dear lord that’s so cute” in front of my screen, ashamed of my feelings because it’s just two little rats hugging each other but heh, oh well… I’m quite the emotional one… And when they all said goodbye… whyyyy? Whyyy is this sooo sad?
And that last scene, had a very particular aestheticism.The whole episode had some sort of melancholic feeling to it and with that last scene and the succession of scenery shots it actually made me a bit depressed. Adding the new visuals for the ending, which were marvelous by the way, the episode left a strange taste in my mouth. It was a sort of bittersweet ending, but I’m used to it now. Natsume Yuujinchou, stop playing with my little heart like that!
But it’s good to see Taki back; I like her, it must suck to not be able to see youkai but she remains strong and although she is a bit afraid of them she believes that not all of them are necessarily evil. Natsume realizes that but doesn’t quite agree with that statement and might fear for Taki’s safety which makes him such a good friend!