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Soseki Natsume
I've travelled halfway around the world to learn about these people's country and its great history! But no one wants to listen to a man with a strange accent. They all hate me!

Soseki Natsume was a Japanese exchange student studying English literature in London during Ryunosuke Naruhodo's time in the city. He was the defendant of in two of Ryunosuke's trials, having been suspected for the attempted murders of an English woman and man.

Arrival in England[]

Soseki Natsume was an English teacher and aspiring author who was sent to London by the Japanese government to research the English language. Unfortunately, he didn't have that much money and he wanted to save it to spend on books. He felt like a real outsider among the people of England. The only place he could afford to stay was a boarding house owned by John Garrideb. The flat on the second floor was available, but Natsume had heard rumors that it was supposedly haunted due to a former resident, a convicted criminal dying in prison three months prior. After the criminal's death, rumors spread of a "Convict's Curse", since the next resident, Duncan Ross mysteriously suffocated to death there. Nonetheless, Natsume signed Garrideb's contract and stayed there.

For several days after that, Natsume felt increasingly certain the rumor was true. Before he went to bed each night, he felt like he was being watched. He would wake up struggling to breathe, only to find the freezing room filled with gas, as the gas stove somehow turned off every night. He complained to his landlord about this, though he only dismissed him. One day, he went to Grub's Grubbery, a nearby pub, though unbeknownst to him, a young woman named Olive Green followed him there. While he was eating soup, he told the shop owner about what was going on in his flat. Hearing this, Green had an epiphany regarding one of the former residents, her fiancé Duncan Ross.

Accused of attempted murder[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro

One night, Natsume was walking home from a bookstore named Yore Books. While he was there, he'd purchased three books: The Picture of Monsieur Lecoq, Canterbury Yearnings, and A Meal for Gaboriau. Just as he reached the complex on Briar Road, he stumbled across Green collapsed with a knife in her back. This scared him so much he dropped his books and ran away. Herlock Sholmes arrested Natsume for the attempted murder, since he was near the victim and witnesses saw him flee the scene.

No one seemed to want to defend Natsume, deeming him "suspicious" since he ran from the crime scene and was Japanese. Ryunosuke Naruhodo and Susato Mikotoba, who were also studying abroad, were assigned by chief justice Mael Stronghart to defend Natsume. The trial didn't start off well, with most of the jurors believing him to be guilty for one reason or another. To make matters worse, the prosecutor was The Grim Reaper of the Old Bailey Barok van Zieks, who was known for the defendants who managed to get acquitted in trials he prosecuted dying at some point afterward. Nonetheless, Naruhodo proved that John Garrideb's wife, Joan, threw the knife that hit Olive Green during a fight with her husband.

Accused again[]

Main article: The Memoirs of the Clouded Kokoro

When he arrived back at the boarding house around 9 PM, Soseki Natsume visited William Shamspeare, the Shakespeare obsessed resident of the ground level flat. He brought red tea with him as a gift to his neighbor. After a heated debate over whether Romeo or Juliet was stronger, the men settled things with a Jujutsu battle dressed as the characters they had argued for in the debate, with Shamspeare as Romeo and Natsume as Juliet. Natsume won and left Shamspeare's flat at 11. When he went to bed, he had a dream where one of the ex-residents, Selden, strangled him to death.

The next morning, Natsume and John Garrideb discovered William Shamspeare unconscious in his flat, having been poisoned. Natsume sent a telegraph to Herlock Sholmes for help. Unfortunately, Sholmes and Naruhodo's dance of deduction only ended up getting Natsume arrested again. Naruhodo and Susato visited him at the local prison, and Naruhodo agreed to defend him again. Natsume told them about what it was like living in his flat, and about the dangerous criminal Selden, the resident before Duncan Ross who died prior to when Natsume moved in.

The final turnabout for Natsume's trial was a surprising one. William Shamspeare and Selden were cellmates in jail, and Selden gave Shamspeare a key and promised him he could have a treasure he'd left in his flat. Three days after Selden's death, when Shamspeare was let out of prison, he tried to rent a room at the boarding house Selden had stayed at. However, the owner told him someone else was already staying in that room, a man named Duncan Ross, but that the ground level room was available. Shamspeare agreed to take the room, with intentions of scaring Ross out of the second floor flat so he could rent it instead. He blew into the gas pipe to turn off the stove in Ross's room overnight, but Ross ended up dying as a result of the gas filling the room. Shamspeare was trying to do the same thing to Natsume, explaining all the weird "hauntings", but Olive Green, Ross's fiancée, put poison on the pipe in Shamspeare's room as revenge.

After the trial, Natsume decided to go back to Japan to become an author. On the steamship back, he was arrested by Satoru Hosonaga because he seemed suspicious, when in reality, Natsume was only hiding one of Wagahai's newborn kittens in his pocket.

Witness to murder[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney

On the steamship back to Japan, Natsume was approached by Yujin Mikotoba who wanted to know about the case involving the treasure Selden stole, a blood-soaked dog collar, which Sholmes had found in Natsume's former flat after the trial. When Natsume got back to Japan, he wrote his first book entitled I Am a Cat. The book was a smashing hit, making Natsume quite famous. Yujin invited him to Imperial Yumei University, where the two would be interviewed by a reporter from Shoyu News named Raiten Menimemo.

Yujin Natsume newspaper

In a newspaper article with Yujin Mikotoba.

After the meeting, Natsume went to the beach to play with crabs and build sand castles. He saw Rei Membami taking a knife out of Jezaille Brett's dead body, which he misinterpreted as her killing her with multiple stabs. He testified alongside Hosonaga. After "Ryutaro Naruhodo" cross-examined him in the trial of Rei Membami, it was proven that Jezaille Brett was only stabbed once. During the initial parts trial, he was constantly photographed by Raiten Menimemo. In the trial it would be later proven that Menimemo stabbed her in the hut to accelerate her death after he poisoned her with a chemical he stole from the university and that Rei Membami was just trying to see how to alleviate the poisoning.

After Menimemo was arrested as the real culprit and Rei Membami was acquitted, he and Hosonaga learned that Ryutaro Naruhodo was Susato cross-dressing to be able to defend Rei Membani. The judge knocked Menimemo after he tried to tell the defense information and confirmed that he knew about Susato disguising herself as a man to act as a defense attorney.

At the defense bench[]

Several months later, Soseki stood in court at the defense's bench, alongside Rei Membami, to defend Satoru Hosonaga against charges of infiltrating the office of Seishiro Jigoku. This was to Hosonaga's dismay, who wished he had requested a proper attorney.

Personality[]

Soseki Natsume
Relentlessly Racked by Remorse and Regret! ...Relentlessly racked by remorse and regret, I am...

Soseki Natsume is a very nervous and paranoid man. His many mannerisms include moving into different positions when speaking in alliteration, or moving quickly to look behind himself out of paranoia. Natsume fervently believes in ghosts, and that they were the ones who tried to make his life hell. He also believed that they were the cause of his nightmares, as well as believing in the "Grim Reaper's curse". He is a very lonely and quite isolated man. Even his landlord's wife believed he was strange, and there were rumors about him too. At first, when Olive Green was stabbed in front of him, he proved to be quite cowardly and instinctively rushed away from the situation towards his lodgings, in which he locked himself. However, throughout his case, he has shown to have a lot of empathy and remorse for his actions; even refusing to accept the judge's apology, saying that he was the one who was sorry for fleeing the scene and leaving the woman, instead of going to get help, even though he believed she was dead.

He is also not very good at spoken English, despite being a student of English literature, answering only common words, if he doesn't answer in Japanese in the first place. He seemed to be joyful when he met Ryunosuke Naruhodo and Susato Mikotoba, two "Japanese compatriots". He is also quite eccentric; his apartment is filled from floor to ceiling with old books. In it, he's kept company by his calico cat, Wagahai.

He's shown to have learned from his experiences during his second standing as the defendant, having sent a letter to Sholmes asking for help after discovering Shamspeare unconscious in his flat. Ultimately, however, this only lands him in jail again.

During the trial for the death of Jezaille Brett, he's shown to have more of an egotistic and cocky attitude, though he tried to be more humble and honest sometimes. However, he didn't leave his extravagant poses and flamboyant words behind, with Raiten Menimemo constantly taking pictures of said poses now that he was a "renowned author". He confesses to having been catching crabs and building sand castles while the crime was taking place, and that he misunderstood the actual scene, confusing it with an assassination instead of an attempt to help the victim.

Name & development[]

  • Sōseki Natsume was a real-life Japanese author who lived from February 9, 1867 to December 9, 1916. He visited Britain as an exchange student to study English literature. Unfortunately, he did not enjoy the majority of his time in the country and became somewhat reclusive. However, he did learn a great deal during his time abroad, and eventually became a professor of English literature at the Tokyo Imperial University when he returned home. Natsume went on to become one of Japan's most notable authors, with one of his most famous works being I Am a Cat (吾輩は猫である Wagahai wa Neko de Aru), a satirical novel about Japanese society during the Meiji period written from the point of view of a supercilious house cat; the in-game version of the author owns a cat named Wagahai, referencing this novel. According to Shu Takumi, Sōseki's relatives said the game's developers could do whatever they wanted with him.[1]
  • At one point in development, Natsume was a much more recurring character, appearing in all of the episodes, including as a witness at the Great Exhibition in The Return of the Great Departed Soul.[2]
  • Natsume was originally designed wearing a dotera coat. For his reappearance in The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney, he wears a kimono, becoming closer to that original design. However, he retains some Western clothing to allow room for his energetic animations.[2]

References[]

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