Aigoo. I just love this manga–so so much. And I’m glad I get something happy to rant about this time–last time was hard. And always, let me know what you think about it!
One of my favorite things about Natsume Yuujinchou is the depth to which it explores human connection. For some people, interacting with others comes easily and naturally: they don’t constantly worry about saying the right thing or coming across in the right way or being understood. This doesn’t mean they never stress about their public image, just that it doesn’t hinder them from social interaction.
I am not one of those people.
It takes me a long time to really process and fully understand my thoughts, and I don’t like sharing them until I know exactly what I’m trying to say. I think Natsume–the main character–has a similar concern when trying to make friends or show his makeshift family that he cares. And even when he knows what he wants to say, he hesitates to share it, because humanity scares him.
Stepping outside of your box is hard. Letting other people see what you think, who you are and what you believe is hard. Harsh words can’t be taken back, and exposing your deepest self to possible criticism takes an insane amount of courage. In the end, though, it’s all worth it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Natsume Yuujinchou, it’s that while connection is painful and often feels fruitless, it adds a beauty to life otherwise not achieved. At the end of every arc Natsume lends insight to what he’s learned and how he’s slowly growing. Over the course of the manga, I’ve noticed a fairly running theme. Before, Natsume was alone. When he was alone he was not said, but he was alone. Now he is not alone but often finds himself distressed because of people. But of the two, he would prefer the way he is now.
I can see that in so many different places in the world, especially in my own life. I’ve felt alone and had no sadness–because I didn’t have anyone to be sad with. Now I have connected myself with to people, and while it has complicated my life and hardened my path, I can feel not only sadness, but joy. I feel the way things are. Someone once said–and here I apologize for my faulty memory–that it is ok to feel pain and loss. It is ok to feel torn and troubled about the people in our lives when they encounter trouble or commit sin. They said the only way to get rid of that troubled feeling would be to get rid of love.
Creating optimism in a bad situation can be done and should be striven for–but feeling pain for others reminds us too how much we care for them. We might not always be able to help, but we can let them know they are loved. Natsume is slowly recognizing the limits of his power, but he never stops trying to protect and care for others. And that’s what I love most about the manga. As an extremely introverted individual, I often find it hard to communicate my real desires to someone else, because feel I lack the words to explain myself. Even so, I want to understood–to convey that I value and cherish someone, even if I’m not always successful in showing it. It’s taken me three read times reading this manga to truly understand Natsume and myself, but I’m glad I kept coming back. It’s taught me a lot.
Thanks for reading and God Bless,
Natsume, by Wehip from http://wehip.deviantart.com/art/Natsume-280603576