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Recap / Natsume's Book Of Friends Episode 36 "The Broken Mirror"

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割れた鏡 | Wareta Kagami | Chapter 28

Madara drags Natsume along to look for a tree struck by lightning the night before as it is supposed to produce “otherworldy sake” they get separated and something shining falls into Natsume’s eye. When Tanuma comes across Natsume standing in the forest an ominous gust of wind kicks up and he steps in between it and Natsume and it becomes evident Tanuma has been possessed by a youkai who says she is looking for the broken pieces of her mirror which she was taking to heal her gravely ill friend. Madara tries to force her out so he won’t get pulled into any ridiculous quests but finds that she has such a strong hold on Tanuma that if he forced her out he could damage him so Tanuma and Natsume are forced to help her and Taki volunteers to help.

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Tropes associated with the episode:

  • Demonic Possession: Tanuma gets possessed by a spirit which makes him ill and then uses his body to try and search for pieces of its broken mirror.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Taki, Tanuma and Natsume search for the scattered pieces of a shattered magic mirror.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The mirror fragment in Natsume’s eye resonating with other pieces causes him enough pain when he's near other pieces to cause him to drop to the ground when it happens unexpectedly, this makes it difficult for him to do much against the shadowy hammer carrying youkai even though he can take out most individual youkai with a single punch since it is hunting the mirror fragments and tends to be near them when Natsume comes across it.
  • Drop the Hammer: There is a youkai whose face is always hidden by shadow that uses a hammer to break mirrors in its search for the pieces of the broken magic one and to attack Natsume.
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  • Eye Colour Change: When the youkai is completely in control of Tanuma his eyes turn blue.
  • Fear of Thunder: Nyanko teases Natsume for being unsettled by the thunder during the storm in which the mirror was broken.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Tanuma fights having his body taken over by the youkai possessing him.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: As soon as Tanuma is out of sight of Natsume the youkai possessing him starts trying to influence him and take over his body and Tanuma clutches his head.
  • Hand Behind Head: Natsume puts his hand behind his head after Tanuma protects him from something unseen in the forest and he tries to tell him not to protect him since he doesn't want anything to happen to his friend and Tanuma replies that he doest want anything bad to happen to Natsume either.
  • Invisible to Normals: The mirror pieces are barely visible to Tanuma and Taki can’t see them at all since they are from a magical youkai mirror.
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  • Magic Mirror: A youkai takes over Tanuma’s body to use him as a vessel while she’s recovering from being struck by lightning to search for the pieces of her broken mirror which she says has healing properties.
  • Multi-Part Episode: First part of a two-parter.
  • Running Gag / I Am Not Weasel: Tanuma breifly mistakes Nyanko for a tanuki, before quickly realizing it’s Natsume’s cat. “Nyanta-sensei!’’
  • Sensor Character: Tanuma cannot see spirits and youkai save occasionally as blurry indistinct transparent shadows but he can sense them and ill intent which is why he stepped between Natsume and what appeared to be a strong breeze.
  • Sweat Drop: The second time a pair of students sees the trio’s odd antics while looking for mirror pieces they develop sweat drops.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Taki, Tanuma and Natsume group together to look for mirror shards.
  • Voice of the Legion: When the youkai speaks using Tanuma's mouth their voice is an eerie combination of their voices speaking at once.
  • We Were Rehearsing a Play: A pair of students passing by while Natsume is standing clutching his eye while Taki supports him and Tanuma jumps around with a shovel asking “Here?” Wonders what they are doing and the girl says they must be rehearsing for a play. When the same students pass them again later she is surprised they are still “practicing”.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Taki brings pictures from the school’s cultural festival to school and there is one of her crossdressing.
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