While most fifteen-year-old boys, in one way or another, harbor secrets that are related to girls, Takashi Natsume has a peculiar and terrifying secret involving youkai: for as long as he can remember, he has been constantly chased by these spirits. Natsume soon discovers that his deceased grandmother Reiko had passed on to him the Yuujinchou, or “Book of Friends,” which contains the names of the spirits whom she brought under her control. Now in Natsume’s possession, the book gives Reiko’s grandson this power as well, which is why these enraged beings now haunt him in hopes of somehow attaining their freedom.
Without parents and a loving home, and constantly being hunted by hostile, merciless youkai, Natsume is looking for solace—a place where he belongs. However, his only companion is a self-proclaimed bodyguard named Madara. Fondly referred to as Nyanko-sensei, Madara is a mysterious, pint-sized feline spirit who has his own reasons for sticking with the boy. -Copied from MAL
There is a reason in a industry where most Shoujo doesn’t get second season, an anime managed to get five. The manga has always been close to my heart and I didn’t think it ‘d possible for the anime to wreck me anymore, but moving images have a special capability of their own.It’s hard to pinpoint what is so good about Natsume Yuujinchou, but it is simultaneously the most heartwarming and heartbreaking anime I have come across.
Is it the serene atmosphere? Maybe the gentle opening and ending song? Or is it Natsume and his loneliness? Better yet, the Youkai’s with their quirky characters and encounters they couldn’t forget?
Or maybe it’s all of them?
Natsume Yuujinchou is an episodic, slightly character driven story then any actual plot. Its about Natsume’s and his journey to find a place for himself, dues to his spiritual abilities making him a person who neither is here nor there. Haunted all throughout his childhood, Natsume couldn’t find it in himself to trust Youkaii’s and yet, he is more comfortable with them than he had every been with humans. Humans inherent desire to reject anything that is different has left a huge scar on Natsume. Yet, it doesn’t stop him from being a kind person, and despite his attempt at distancing himself from everyone, he ends up helping them anyway. Natsume never really felt love or trust in all the houses he has been forced to live in, so it is a huge surprise to him, the kindness his new adoptive father and mother, Shigeru and Touko showers on him. It is endearing to watch, as Nastume struggles to come to term with love in all its form, of that of a parent and child, of a Youkai and Human, of friendship and trust.
A huge part of Natsume Yuujinchou’s success falls on Madara or Nyanko-sensei, a high level Youkai posing as a cat. He is funny, often mistaken as a pig in his cat form, and while he denies it, Nyanko-sensei is a tad bit protective of Natsume. Its hard to decipher what Madara is thinking, but it is clear, over the course of the season, Natsume has become an important person to him. Their interactions are amazing to watch, as they both lookout for each other in their own way.
We have the Youkai’s, of course, with various personalities and desires. Natsume Yuujinchou is about the Youkai in Natsume’s book of friends, after all. There is a bunch that follows Natsume around and Natsume can’t help but be irritated and comfortable with them at the same time.
The relationship between human and Youkai has to be one of the most strongest part of the series. Its essentially sad, and sweet at the same time. How would you feel if someone touches your heart and doesn’t even have the privilege of remembering or being with you?
So, while the latest season of Natsume Yuujinchou- season 5- might not be quite up to the mark, it is definitely worth checking out the other seasons.