A widened smile followed by a laugh, with your heart warming inside and your memory noting that moment down. “This is it”, it said. “This is happiness.”And then you smiled again to your own silliness. So many days has passed in so many years, when we are all dedicating our hard work into something, out of nowhere, a small unrelated moment made us smile. How great that feeling is. How desirable. How sweet, bittersweet it is.
Natsume Yuujinchou is a story built based on this ideal concept – happiness. Sure, not all the incidents involving yokai searching for him to reclaim their names are delightful, but in the end, they just sort of are. If you know Natsume, you’d know his personality and how he treats everyone just because he knows the term ‘loneliness’ better than anyone. If you don’t know Natsume, one look into his calm face and you can feel both kindness and sadness radiating behind his eyes.
The beautifully-weaved tales tells how powerful little stories of ignored youkai can be, removing pages one by one from Natsume’s book of friends but added one more story into his life and our heart.
He embraced the world as it is, as ugly it could be and even though it forces all the loneliness and isolation into him, he still smile. He smiles to flood the sadness departing with spirits that he is emotionally attached to, he smiles to hide his worries of youkai in front of his friends, he smiles to reassure both his aunt and uncle that he’s grateful and satisfied with their care. He smiles simply because he wanted to. He has everything he could ever ask for, a warmth that he could not obtain when he was a child.
He embraced the world as it is, as beautiful it could be with diverse background stories of different youkai. Even though he’s not obliged to help any of them, but not even his guardian – Madara, the fat fluffy cat could stop him from being a busybody. Because with each name recovered, he saves a spirit from a tie. A tie that no one other than him is able to understand. Call it guilt or kindness, but this is the setting that bring forth the mixed feelings.
His formula of happiness.
– To embrace the world as it is, as beautiful and as ugly it could be.
Because being able to embrace it makes him to be able to appreciate the happiness he created for himself more than anyone, and slap loneliness in the face harder than anyone. A smile, is his cure for sadness and a cover for his loneliness. This is why even if Natsume has a short life like a flower, youkai that transcend life couldn’t help but to be entranced by him. It is why everyone being so helpless and tiny in this enormous universe, still searching for something that makes us feel happy, less lonely everyday even when we already have a portion of it.
It’s a work in progress. In fact, it takes time. A long time. But, we will know when the moment comes. A widened smile followed by a laugh, with your heart warming inside and your memory noting that moment down. “This is it”, it said. “This is happiness.”
Our little formula of happiness.