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Recap / Natsume's Book Of Friends Episode 37 "What The Mirror Shows"

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映すもの | Utsusu Mono | Chapter 29

Natsume stays over at Tanuma’s house since he is concerned about his possessed friend and the youkai lends Tanuma her eyes so he can see what Natsume sees when she notices that he wants to know so he can better understand Natsume's actions after a youkai that wants to steal the mirror breaks in. Natsume gets lectured by the youkai possessing Tanuma on how important it is to communicate with friends and not leave them in the dark since her friend did not tell her what he was sick with and she had to follow rumors to learn that he was dying. The next day they team up with Taki again to search for the remaining mirror shards.

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Tropes associated with the episode:

  • Alcohol Hic: A drunk Nyanko hiccups as he orders the midlevels to find the rest of the mirror pieces.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When the hammer carrying youkai reappears after being blasted with a bright weapon by the youkai possessing Tanuma it is missing an arm.
  • Bad Liar: Taki and Tanuma’s attempts to explain to Kitamoto what they are doing while searching for fragments is really weak:
    Tanuma: This is a nice mirror isn’t it? Somebody must’ve put a lot of work into making it!
    Taki: That’s right! Is there a name on it somewhere?
  • Bandage Mummy: The youkai’s friend is covered in bandages in an attempt to treat his deadly illness.
  • Breath Weapon: The youkai possessing Tanuma takes out the hammer wielding youkai with a beam of light from his mouth:
    Tanuma: I don’t know but I feel like something incredible came out of my mouth.
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  • Cross-Popping Veins: When the youkai takes over Tanuma and eats the chestnut he’d been preparing for Nyanko-sensei Nyanko has a cross shaped anger mark on his head as he yells at her. Later as the midlevels bring in item after item of “shiny things” that do not have any pieces of the magig mirror attached to them he gets a whole bunch of them before losing patience and blasting them with power from the mark on his forehead.
  • Demonic Possession: Tanuma is possessed by a spirit which is searching 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.
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  • Dream Walker: Natsume accidentally wanders into the youkai’s dream of her last meeting with her ill friend.
  • 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.
  • Eye Colour Change: When the youkai is completely in control of Tanuma his eyes turn blue and they turn blue when she allows him to borrow her eyes so that he can see the supernatural clearly.
  • Facial Markings: The youkai possessing Tanuma has a red mark under her left eye.
  • Footprints of Muck: Once Tanuma “borrows” the youkai’s eyes he can see the black footprints leading from the broken window that Natsume is following.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: Tanuma briefly clutches his head due to the pain being possessed causes him.
  • Hidden Eyes: Tanuma and Natsume’s eyes disappear in shock as Nyanko drags almost the entire completed mirror out of the bushes after they spent two days of diligent searching with Taki to only find about a tenth of it.
  • Horned Humanoid: The youkai possessing Tanuma has four horns.
  • 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.
  • Magic Mirror: Taki, Tanuma and Natsume are helping a youkai find the pieces of her broken magic mirror.
  • Multi-Part Episode: Second part of a two-parter.
  • Mystical White Hair: The youkai possessing Tanuma has long white hair.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: When the youkai possessing Tanuma uses her beam of light weapon from Tanuma’s mouth it causes him to collapse.
  • Protective Charm: Taki makes personalized protective talismans for Tanuma and Natsume. Tanuma thinks his looks creepy but she says that’s the only design she knew for a protective talisman for a possessed person.
  • Rule of Empathy: Lampshaded by sensei:
    Nyanko: Don’t get me started. It happens all the time.
    Tanuma: All the time?
    Natsume: Nyanko-sensei-
    Nyanko: He’s too nice. He can’t ignore anything the youkai ask him to do. It’d be much easier if he just told them to go away.
  • Running Gag / I Am Not Weasel: Tanuma's continuing trouble identifying Nyanko and remembering his name:
    Tanuma: It’s a tanuki! Wait, it’s just Ponta.
  • Sensor Character: Tanuma cannot see spirits and youkai save occasionally as blurry indistinct transparent shadows but he can sense them and ill intent.
  • Shrines and Temples: Natsume goes to stay the night with Tanuma who lives at a temple since his father is a monk.
  • Symbiotic Possession: The youkai possessing Tanuma lends him her eyes so that he can clearly see the supernatural.
  • 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 both their voices speaking at once.
  • Wise Tree: After traveling to talk with many youkai the one which knew of a way for the youkai possessing Tanuma to heal her friend was a large talking tree.
  • Zigzag Paper Tassel: The tree which told the youkai about the mirror and its ability to heal her friend had a shimenawa wrapped around it.
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