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Anime Review: 'Natsume's Book of Friends, Seasons 1 & 2'

By February 12, 2013

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Being a teenager in an anime series should be classified as an occupational hazard. If you're not getting killed and then resurrected as a "spirit detective", you're a walking magnet for supernatural strangeness. Or maybe you're Natsume of Natsume's Book of Friends, in which case you've inherited a list of supernatural creatures that your grandmother made into her slaves -- and you've also inherited the responsibility of setting them free.

Natsume's Book of Friends, a recent release by anime distributors NIS America, comes to us by way of a manga by Yuki Midorikawa (reviewed at Manga.About.com). NIS America are the same folks who have given us a whole slew of quality anime releases, from the simple human drama of kimi ni todoke and Bunny Drop to the stylized fantasy of Katanagatari and Zakuro.

See what we thought of this mix of Japanese mythology and slice-of-life drama in our review.

Image: 2008 Yuki Midorikawa, Hakusensha/Natsume Yujin-cho Project. Image courtesy NIS America.


February 13, 2013 at 12:14 am
(1) Joseph Petek says:

I certainly agree that Mushi-Shi is the easy comparison, but Mushi-Shi is also more dense, more adult, and more interesting. Mushi-Shi will leave you with hard questions about life to mull over, while Natsume is focused more on the trials of growing up.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Natsume. It’s just aimed a bit young for my taste, and can only suffer when compared to a show like Mushi-Shi or Kino’s Journey, which are both more meaty, as well as some of the best animated series ever made, period.

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