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Recap / Natsume's Book Of Friends Episode 19 "The Maidens Circle"

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少女の陣 | Shoujo no Jin | Chapter 17
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As Natsume researches strange circles which start appearing on the ground after a quiet girl named Taki starts attending his school he is approached by the youkai Chobihige who complains that the circles allow humans with no supernatural power to see youkai and he has been screamed at while walking along minding his own business so he wants Natsume to stop Taki from drawing the circles. When Natsume speaks with her he learns that Taki is searching for a youkai that cursed her since it gave her a time limit in which to find it again or it will eat her and the last thirteen people whose names she's said.

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Tropes associated with the episode:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: If Taki doesn’t “win” the youkai that cursed her will eat the thirteen people whose names she has most recently spoken.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Natsume places his hand on Taki’s head and tells her that they will win.
  • Blank White Eyes: Natsume, Nyanko and Chobihige ’s eyes go blank with shock when Taki grabs Nyanko and declares him cute.
    Natsume & Chobihige: Beg your pardon?!
  • Catapult Nightmare: Natsume jerks awake with a yell after a dream in which a youkai tells him that since he has seen it he has 360 days to something in which case he will win but otherwise it will eat him.
  • CliffHanger: The episode ends with Natsume disappearing after the youkai that cursed Taki appeared behind him, leaving behind his bag containing the Book of Friends.
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  • Cool Mask: One of the small humanoid youkai that flee from Natsume after realizing he can see them and has been listening to their conversation about strange marks which they think may be a curse has a neat white bird mask. The tengu Taki saw in the past had a pretty cool mask too.
  • Crop Circles: Nyanko doesn't recognize the magic circles as any he’s seen before and wonders if they are “one of those circles they use to communicate with aliens”
  • Cuteness Proximity: Taki’s response to seeing Naynko for the first time is to shout kawaii!! grab him in a hug and start rubbing her face in his fur to everyone’s shock.
    Taki: I’m sorry. When I see cute things, I just can't help myself.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Natsume dreams of when Taki was cursed before ever speaking with her.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Nishimura falls for Taki immediately, despite knowing nothing about her and never having spoken with her:
    Nishimura: So, anyway, there's this totally cute girl in Class 5, but she's a bit odd, Hey, Natsume, you listening?
    Natsume: Yeah I am.
    Nishimura: She was staring at me with these crystal-clear eyes—
    Kitamoto: What’s her name?
    Nishimura: I have no idea.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: Kitamoto stands with his feet apart and his hands on his hips while listening to Nishimura wax poetic about the new transfer student, before crossing his arms as Nishimura admits he’s never even heard her speak and Sasada approaches them.
  • Ear Wings: A small youkai Natsume asks about the youkai that cursed Taki flies using its oversized ears.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Kitamoto’s eyebrow creeps higher as he listens to Nishimura talk about Taki until he has to butt in and ask if Nishimura even knows her name.
  • Flying Seafood Special: The tengu Taki saw in the past was accompanied by a pair flying golden fish that looked somewhat like koi fish wearing toupés.
  • Food Porn: Touko makes a rather elaborate meal since there was a sale included shrimp tempura, steamed clams, noodles, vegetables and soup among other things.
  • Furry Confusion: Nyanko has been catching sparrows and tying strings to their legs to keep them rather than eat them, of course he’s not really a cat at all.
  • Geometric Magic: Taki’s circles which allow normal humans to see youkai.
  • Ghostly Gape: The youkai that cursed Taki has dark empty holes for eyes.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The youkai which cursed Taki plans to eat her and the last 13 people whose names she had spoken when it does if she cannot find it within 360 days.
  • In-Series Nickname: Mustache Man
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Humanoid youkai wear kimonos or hakama.
  • Lost in the Maize: When Natsume lays in the tall grass it is over his head and two small youkai are walking in it over whom the grass towers, after they flee from him he tries to crawl through it parting it with his hands to try to find them or what they were talking about. Nyanko is also hidden by the grass in his cat form and startles Natsume when he crawls out of it.
  • Luminescent Blush: Natsume blushes after Touko makes a giggling comment about him being “that age” after walking by the bathroom where he was distracted from getting ready by a curse mark.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The curse marks on Natsume’s chest are only visible in the mirror even to his eyes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Natsume goes from laughing at Madara’s clumsiness as Nyanko to suddenly kidnapped by the man-eating youkai that cursed Taki.
  • Multi-Part Episode: First part of a two-parter.
  • New Transfer Student: Taki is new to the school.
  • Nice Hat: Outside of school Taki wears a cute brown hat that matches her jacket.
  • No Name Given: The recurring unnamed midlevels, the one-eyed one-horned youkai and his bull like companion make an appearance.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Touko walks by the open bathroom door as Natsume is looking at his reflection when he pulls his shirt open to try and get a better look at the curse mark across his chest. “Oh? What do we have here Takashi-kun? Entranced by your own good looks?”
  • The Quiet One: Taki, due to a youkai curse
  • Sailor Fuku: The school uniforms, girls have black skirts and black sailor-suit collared shirts with blue ascots while the boys are in black gakuran.
  • Screaming Woman: Chobihige was screamed at by an old woman who was terrified by his appearance.
  • Secret Keeper: Taki asked Natsume's help after hearing about his ability from a youkai and has not intention of spreading that knowledge.
  • Sweat Drop: Natsume gets one as he haltingly asks Taki to set Nyanko down.
  • Tengu: The first thing one of Taki’s circles revealed to her was a Tengu.
  • Winged Humanoid: The tengu had brown feathered wings.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Madara playfully says “I guess this means you won't be alive much longer! The Book of Friends will soon be mine!” to Natsume after they learn about Taki’s curse and the fact that she accidentally said Natsume’s name.
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