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Recap / Natsume's Book Of Friends Episode 38 "A Place To Go Home To"

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帰る場所 | Kaeru Basho | Chapters 30-31

A youkai that tried to kidnap Natsume to keep as a pet before he moved in with the Fujiwaras finds his new home. It causes Natsume to come down with a fever and dream about when the youkai almost succeeding in getting him to come with it and his first meeting with the Fujiwaras, who were the first people in a long line of caretakers he’s had since his parents’ deaths who actually wanted him and asked him if he wanted to stay with them.


Tropes associated with the episode:

  • Abusive Parents: Evidently the youkai that decided to keep Natsume read his mind and it talks about how some of his caretakers had gotten drunk and hit him and some had intentionally “forgotten” to feed him.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Natsume was considered a freak by his classmates and foster families prior to the Fujiwaras and he gives some of his abusive caretakers an excuse saying
    “Of coarse they don't want to let a freak into their family!”
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The youkai naturally. The one that decided to keep him informed him that a sad heart is delicious to it so it decided to keep him as a pet and doesn't understand why he might object.
  • Breaking Speech: In the past the youkai talked to Natsume about how someone like him couldn't live with humans, and very nearly succeeding in breaking him.
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  • Broken Faceplate: When Madara deals with the youkai he leaves its shattered mask on Natsume’s sheets, the mask crumbles away into nothing as the last of its power dissipates.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Kitamoto and Nishimura are talking to Natsume during lunch to Kitamoto’s horror Nishimura just up and says:
    Nishimura: Hey, how many times did you transfer? It must’ve been tough, but you don’t seem that screwed up.
    Kitamoto: Hey, Nishimura!
    Nishimura: I would’ve been a darn wreck by now.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Natsume jerks awake from a dream in which the youkai says it has eaten everyone in the house before launching itself at him.
  • Cyclops: The youkai from Natsume’s past has one large centered eye.
  • Despair Event Horizon: His meeting the Fujiwaras saved Natsume from the one which the one-eyed youkai pushed him towards, nearly succeeding in getting him to let it keep him as a pet without really fighting it.
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  • Dream Within a Dream: Natsume dreams he wakes up to an empty house and as he searches for the Fujiwaras and sensei the youkai from his past shows up in the dining room and says it has eaten everyone before Natsume jerks awake with a yell.
  • Expressive Hair: The youkai stalking Natsume has hair that starts floating when it’s angry.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: All the food Touko fixes looks delicious.
  • Flashback: Natsume dreams of when he first met the Fujiwaras.
  • Happily Adopted: Natsume finally has a loving family in the Fujiwaras.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Before meeting Madara Natsume was trying to find a way to stop seeing youkai.
  • Invisible to Normals: Natsume has trouble connecting with people and staying out of trouble due to reacting to and being attacked by youkai which no one else can see and he worries that Touko isn’t really a human the first two times they meet since there was no one else around at the time and he is not used to people being so nice to him.
  • Nightmare Face: The youkai from Natsume’s past had an eerie face before with its single eye and disappearing mouth but its stint sealed at the Fox’s Boulder left it creepier with two swirling black holes for eyes and an unchanging constant smile, this face falls off and reveals itself to have been a mask.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Natsume is finally able to wake up and stay awake after Madara destroys the youkai that attacked him.
  • Paper Talisman: The Fox’s Boulder uses ofuda to seal youkai in a pit.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Natsume makes a mask by drawing some eyes and a smiling mouth on a leaf to ask youkai how a human might get rid of a youkai that is pestering them.
  • Pit Trap: The Fox’s Boulder which Natsume used to seal the youkai that was stalking him before going with the Fujiwaras was a pitfall disguised to look like an ordinary patch of grass.
  • Stalker Without a Crush:
    "You're lonely, aren't you Natsume? I like the lonely ones. They're fun to watch."
  • This Is My Human: When the youkai returns after making Natsume ill to try and claim him Nyanko stops him and says that Natsume is his now.
  • Through His Stomach: Kitamoto and Nishimura, who have to pack their own lunches, note that they can tell the bentos Natsume’s adoptive mother Touko fixes for him are prepared with love and thoughtfulness for him.
  • Trauma Swing: Natsume sits on a swing to consider his options after Touku invites him to live with her and her husband and thinks:
    She said she wanted me to come. Everybody so far just took me in because they had to. She's the first one to ask me what I wanted to do… It's only because she doesn't know about me.
  • The Un Favourite: Natsume’s previous foster mother frets over her biological son and insists he wear a scarf and jacket since it’s so cold out without saying anything to Natsume who is just in his school uniform even when her son tries to bring up that Natsume should probably wear a scarf too.
  • Voice of the Legion: The youkai from Natsume’s past speaks with multiple voices at once.

Example of: