If you’re looking for a feel-good anime that combines supernatural elements with heartwarming human relationships, then Natsume’s Book of Friends(natsume yuujinchou) is the perfect show for you. Adapted from the manga series by Yuki Midorikawa, the anime has captivated audiences with its touching stories and beautiful animation. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the show and explore what makes it so special.
The Plot: A Boy and His Yokai Friends
The story revolves around a teenage boy named Takashi Natsume, who has the ability to see and communicate with yokai – supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore. Natsume inherits a book from his grandmother, Reiko, which contains the names of Yokai she had defeated. Many of these yokai want their names back to regain their powers, and they often come to Natsume seeking their return.
However, Natsume is reluctant to hand over the names, as he understands the pain and suffering that yokai have experienced at the hands of humans. He sets out to return the names and help the yokai find peace with the help of his loyal yokai friends.
The Characters: A Cast of Lovable Misfits
One of the main strengths of Natsume’s Book of Friends is its cast of human and yokai characters. Natsume himself is a kind and empathetic protagonist who has struggled with loneliness and isolation due to his ability to see Yokai. He is a deeply relatable character who learns to open up and form meaningful connections with others.
His yokai friends are equally endearing, with their unique personalities and quirks. There’s Nyanko-sensei, a cat-like yokai who serves as Natsume’s bodyguard and mentor. Despite his gruff exterior, Nyanko-sensei has a soft spot for Natsume and is fiercely loyal to him.
Then there’s Hinoe, a fox yokai who acts as a motherly figure to Natsume. She is kind and nurturing but also possesses a mischievous streak. Other memorable yokai include Tama, a friendly yokai who loves to play pranks, and Hiiragi, a serious and stoic yokai who values honour and duty above all else.
The Themes: Finding Connection and Acceptance
At its core, Natsume’s Book of Friends is a story about finding connection and acceptance, even in the face of loneliness and adversity. Natsume has spent most of his life feeling isolated due to his ability to see Yokai, but he learns to overcome this by forming bonds with humans and Yokai.
The show also explores themes of empathy and understanding as Natsume seeks to help the yokai find peace and resolution. Many of the yokai in the show have experienced trauma or mistreatment at the hands of humans, and Natsume’s kindness and compassion serve as a beacon of hope for them.
The Animation and Music: A Feast for the Senses
Natsume’s Book of Friends boasts gorgeous animation and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. The visuals are lush and detailed, with a warm colour palette that adds to the show’s cosy atmosphere. The music, composed by Makoto Yoshimori, perfectly captures the show’s mix of melancholy and joy.
Natsume’s Book of Friends is a must-watch anime for anyone looking for a heartwarming and uplifting story. Its mix of supernatural elements and relatable human relationships make for a unique and captivating viewing experience. So please sit back, grab some popcorn, and let Natsume and his yokai friends take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.