There’s been a much verbalized sense of unease in the blogosphere regarding the fourth season of the now sizable Natsume Yuujinchou, punctuated by the excited squeals of fans (and me). As Scamp put it best in his post on what he’d like to see from this season, every previous iteration explored and fleshed out some aspect of Natsume’s life. In the first, the formerly isolated, bitter Natsume found a family and a new home that just happened to also play host to youkai that occasionally wanted to eat him. The second deepened the connection by throwing some new friends into the mix, both youkai and human. And by the end of the third, he realized that the youkai were as much a part of his life as the humans that surrounded him, and he grew to accept himself despite his unique gift.
For me to think that the fourth season would live up to the previous three, it would have to cover something that’s only been given a cursory glance thus far despite being an ever-growing element: The exorcists and their indenturing of youkai to serve them. (more…)