Hello my dears you’ve got Glamour and I’ve got a need for some alcohol! Like one of the characters in the anime that I’m covering next Natsume’s Book of Friends! Now as someone that didn’t necessarily always fit in be it with family or my peers I sort of found some instances similar to my own while watching this anime. In fact some recent occurrences in my life kind of made me revisit this anime so without further ado let’s get going!
Takashi Natsume is an orphan that’s been passed around by multiple family members more often than a pack of cigarettes on the prison yard. He’s a handsome young man, kind, thoughtful, quiet so why would he be passed back and forth so many times? Simple, he was different or more specifically he could see spirits. For that he was bullied as a child and been pushed away by family thinking he was simply seeking attention or worse off… crazy. However, he was not the first in his family to possess spiritual ability his predecessor was his grandmother Reiko to whom he bears a strong resemblance but along with her power he also inherited her book.
The book of friends was a collection of Ayakashi names binding various ayakashi to whoever holds the book in servitude until one of Reiko’s bloodline releases them from their service by returning the name. This of course makes Natsume a target for ayakashi including Madara (Nyanko-sensei) that was accidentally released from a shrine by Natsume often going around in the guise of a ‘lucky cat’ able to be seen by normal humans. Nyanko-sensei first attempted to get the book to become the ruler of all ayakashi but got a soft spot for the human Natsume and decided to protect him until death….so he could get the book afterwards.
The relationship between Nyanko-sensei and Natsume has some funny twists and turns but it’s an interesting world that Natsume is shown by his drunken, cat toy loving, ‘pig shaped, yet vigilant teacher. However it doesn’t end there things change with each ayakashi they meet and some talented humans as well such as Shuuichi Natori a famous actor and very able exorcist with overkill methods and a mean streak towards ayakashi.
The most interesting thing I found about the art style was the variety of ayakashi and the creativity put into Nyanko-sensei’s design. Which is one of the things I find myself drawn to in this anime like the episode titled ‘A Chick Hatches’ where Natsume raises a small creature from an egg that he found left in the forest. When the creature was fully grown I’ll admit I was astounded by its form. When it comes down to it I very much like this anime although I do admit its not heavily fighting. It’s more along the lines of a coexist sort of set up between humans and yokai. The struggles are more dealing with helping out others versus breaking faces along with understanding that Natsume shared feelings of being alone or cut off from others because he sees the world a little differently that his grandmother had. This anime is gentle enough to show children and an interesting watch. The only thing I can think of that someone might really complain about is that Nyanko-sensei drinks. Although seriously that is not really that big of a deal and too many parents are wine-o’s to deal with their kid’s mania anyways so I’m not really too worried about that. Well off to bed my dears because this Hatter is out!