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Well that was quite a round 1! You can catch up with all the action here:
And now for the exciting conclusion of round 2!
Touko vs Natori
For this match Karandi is arguing for Touko, the last normal human standing in the contest, and Irina is defending Natori.
Karandi: How can you not love the woman who managed to turn Natsume away from despair and gave him a home to live in? Admittedly, she didn’t do this alone as the original decision was initiated by Shigure, but it is Touko who seeks out Natsume and speaks with him and it is Touko who greets him each day and scolds him when he is late and genuinely gives him all the warmth and attention he was previously denied by the endless cycle of being passed around to relatives who didn’t want him in their houses.
Her warmth is overflowing and even when she’s scolding Natsume, there’s concern and care in her voice. She’s interested in what he has to say and his opinion, and she welcomed him home when he brought in a cat. However, Touko also knows where the lines are and there are times when she may not understand the answer Natsume has given her but she knows it is important to him and not to ask for more. She is the absolutely perfect healing balm for the lonely child that Natsume was way back in season 1.
And while her character isn’t growing or developing, Natsume’s perception of her is changing as he grows in the warmth of this household. At first he held her and Shigure at arm’s length, unwilling to attach himself to anyone. Then he tried not to be a bother and did what he could to ensure he could stay in the house. However, as the later seasons have come around, Natsume is now very much a member of the household and he has let Touko see more of himself and as a result, he’s also seeing her more and more.
It is really impossible to beat the impact Touko has had in this series and on Natsume. While she is seldom involved in the supernatural side of events, she’s very much at the core of the human side of the journey and that is the strongest part of the show. The emotional core around which everything revolves. Natori is one of my favourite characters, but if we are genuinely discussing strongest supporting characters, Touko cannot be overlooked because her impact has been enormous.
Irina: Of course I love Touko, I’m not a monster! Natsume clearly loves Touko as well. I’m not here to pretend otherwise or try to diminish the beautiful impact she has had on his life but let’s face it, no matter how hard she tries (and she does try very hard) she can only do so much. There is a part of Natsume’s life that will always be out of reach for her. A facet she will never be able to truly understand and appreciate. And this is where Natori comes in.
We know that Natsume sadly didn’t get a chance to know his mother at all but lost his father when he was still a baby. The short bond he had managed to form with him is the only notion of blood family he has and he naturally tends to gravitate more towards father figures than mother figures. Besides, Natsume was already a bit older when he met the Fujiwara’s as such he feels the need to protect them as much as he sees them as guardians. They are more akin to grandparents for him.
On the other hand, Natori is the closest thing he has to a father, although he would probably prefer to think of himself as an older brother. Natori actually knows and understands everything Natsume is and has gone through. He can help with problems Natsume couldn’t even begin to explain to anyone else and his more practical approach to their relationship makes him appear less fragile, less in need of protection and in turn a better candidate for Natsume to share his burdens with.
The fact that Natori himself can be an occasionally disorienting character of unsure morality makes him all the more exciting. If Touko is a stabilizing force, Natori is both a support structure and a potential trap. More than anyone else, his exact role in the story is flexible and avoids precise definition. Natsume clearly sees him as his one true ally, a belief that has helped the boy become comfortable around people and gain a huge amount of confidence, but we have yet to receive any clear assurance that the sentiment is shared.
Natori is clearly not a bad man but he is a human with all the the shades of grey that implies. What he believes is best does not always align with Natsume’s perceptions and they have clashed in the past. We also know that Natori is not above keeping his secrets. All these uncertainties and nuances of character make him perfect for almost any future storyline. He could easily take on the role of Hero or reluctant Traitor without any need for us to reassess the character.
And let’s not forget, it’s Natori’s presence that served as an entry point for the exorcists in the story.
Not only would Natsume and his tale be completely different had he never met Natori, but any future adventures would be made infinitely richer by Natori’s presence. It seems completely inconceivable to remove him from this story!
Karandi: I know I was arguing Touko, and she’s an amazing and fantastic character, but I’m throwing my vote to Natori. He’s such an interesting character as well as an important one both for the plot and for Natsume’s character. I feel kind of terrible, like I just threw Touko under a bus, but that’s my vote.
Irina: Touko is amazing. I dearly hope I can grow to be such a remarkable woman someday. But, It has to be Natori. Anything else would be inconceivable.
So is your favorite still in the running? Did we get it wrong? Let us know by voting below or just leave a comment!