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Archive for February, 2012

The first episode is “The Little Ones”. In this episode Natsume finds crows attacking what he thinks is a kitten. Turns out it is a tiny, fluffy Youkai. The Youkai is quite scared and it is poisonous, but Natsume manages to calm it down and take care of it. He then lets it go the next day. Natsume then gets a visit from another Youkai looking for a ring she dropped. She thinks Natsume stole it. Of course he didn’t and she agrees to give him three days to find it. Natsume seems to recall seeing a ring on the little fluffball. Only one problem – there are tons of fluffballs. Natsume asks some local Youkai to look for the ring. Natsume is forced to go home in defeat that night. In the middle of the night the fluffball returns to apologize for hurting Natsume when two of the local Youkai return. Other local Yokai are scared of the fluffballs based on some of the stories they have heard and they are coming to drive them out. The fluffball we are interested in gets upset and flees. Nastume (and Nyanko-sensei) chase after them. Natsume finds the group and warns them. The ring is dropped as a goodbye present. Unfortunately, the Yokai who wants the ring is crazy and still thinks Natsume stole it. The fluffballs join together and save Natsume while Nyanko-sensei deals with her.

The second episode is “The Stand-In”. A Youkai who can imitate human voices and be heard by humans tricks his way into Natsume’s house. He wants the book of friends since he wants to summon a Youkai whose name is in it. After some trouble, Natsume gets the story out. This Youkai watched a human couple who were clearly in love. They met at a shrine in the forest every day. Then a day came when the young man didn’t come. He was forced to marry someone else for his family but never told the young lady. She kept coming back. This Youkai spoke to her in the young man’s voice, but eventually she found out. He ran away, but when he returned he found a note at the shrine. However, the note was too old to open and read. The Youkai he wants to summon can restore paper. So Natsume helps and he gives the Youkai back his name and he restores the first Youkai’s paper. It turns out that the young lady was grateful to the Youkai for telling her the truth.

The third episode is “To You, From Bygone Days”. In this episode, we see events from two points of view. This is from Natsume’s Junior High days. A girl meets him and notices like everyone else the odd things he does, but she also notices there is more to it than that. She suspects the truth, that Natsume can see things others can’t. They get to be friends of sorts and she even tries to defend him. It is true there is evidence more is going on then at first seems. We then see Natsume’s perspective, and how because he helped a small Youkai escape a much larger one he is being pursued all the time. All the odd things that happen are really this Youkai’s fault. Meeting this young lady is a bright spot for Natsume. Both reflect on this time of their lives in the present. The young lady hears news of Natsume and is glad to hear it sounds like he is doing well.

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Xxxholic Manga #19

Time passes. Things change. Things stay the same. One of the things that stays the same is Watanuki. He now has people who care for him. He keeps busy looking after the shop and granting his customers’ wishes. But will his wish ever be granted – to see Yuuko again?

This series (and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles) ends . . . sort of. Watanuki does have closure of a sort. And I don’t think he is in danger of disappearing. It would be very easy for CLAMP to go back and do a second series or combined series with further adventures. I don’t know that I want that, though. It would be very hard to come up with a story that would not be anti-climatic. In any case, Xxxholic has been full of wonderful characters and I at least have enjoyed spending time with them.

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Saiunkoku Monogatari Manga #6

This volume begins with the aftermath of the ruckus in the previous chapter. Ryuuki gets the support of the underworld bosses because they failed to keep control of things – letting thugs steal the tokens of those who qualified to take the national imperial examination indeed! It turns out that Eigetsu who Shuurei met also qualified. He ends up taking first and Shuurei third. Ryuuren took second, but did he bother to show up after? After that Shuurei and Eigetsu do make some honest mistakes, most of which are not their fault, and between that and the fact that Shuurei is female and that Eigetsu is the youngest to ever pass (and has a problem with alcohol – hello Yougetsu! – and won’t take any marriage offers) makes them the most downtrodden of all the new officials as they are on probation for two months to see what they are good for. Shuurei gets stuck cleaning bathrooms and Eigetsu polishing shoes and they are bullied by everyone. And all their friends can do nothing for them. Even Ryuuki can only make sure that things don’t come to actual physical harm. However, Shuurei and Eigetsu don’t let this get them down.

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Sorry about the lack of posts. My poor computer had to be sent in for repairs. I’ve also been busy. But I promise I will be continuing Natsume season #4. In the mean time, here is a post on a manga I just finished.

In this volume we basically get two stories. The first is what happens when Tanuma and Natsume shelter from the rain in front of Taki’s house. It turns out her grandfather had power, maybe more than she does, but he couldn’t see spirits. Natsume and Tanuma help her to clean out the storage shed where all his old things. Unfortunately, Natsume accidentally lets a spirit loose that the grandfather had sealed by accident. And it isn’t a nice one. Interesting how because Tanuma and Taki understand what is happening they respond correctly. They eventually get some minor spirits to help who had known Taki’s grandfather. The next story starts with Natsume spending time with his two pals and Tanuma. He drops a photo of his parents (probably the only one he has) and when Tanuma realizes he insists that the look for it instead of going to their destination. He also tells Natsume not to lie if he doesn’t have to. Poor Natsume is such so used to hiding the truth, even when he doesn’t need to. He also works through some feelings both because of the photo and because a relative calls to tell him they want to sell his parents’ home. Natsume does decide to go visit before it is sold. We also get some memories of relatives. The girl in the family in particular disliked Natsume. She felt he was a liar and was taking away her parent’s attention. Unfortunately, a Yokai who was there back when Natsume used to live there and caused him problems has grown and is in danger of hurting normal people. Natsume manages to deal with him. Natsume also now feels he has a home to return to.

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