Natsume Yuujinchou is a series that is more suitable for episodic review than an overall opinion. Due to my exams, I could only watch the anime in one sitting, and missed the episodic fun, something that will sadden me for a long while. So, instead of a review, I decided to focus more on why Natsume Yuujinchou is a precious series to me.
Natsume Yuujinchou falls in the category of my most beloved shoujo manga, and while I never imagined liking the animated version just as much, it stills hit me every single time a new season comes out.
The anime gives off a feeling of warmth, Starting from the melodic opening and ending song, to the colour tone and atmosphere, it gives of a sense of calm and angst. Something that is extremely hopeful and sweet, and yet, it leaves such a bitter feeling in your chest.
The circumstances surrounding Natsume is fictional. Youkai don’t exist for most people, unless you believe in that stuff. However, the series still has one foot set firmly in reality, the two worlds coming together and mingling in a painful way. For example, Natsume’s fear of abandonment comes from the way he was thrown around from home to home as a child, something that was a reaction to his insistence that Youkai exist. The Youkai’s aren’t real, but kids who fear abandonment and are closed up because of the system, and parental neglect do exist.
Natsume is a character grounded in reality, even if his world is fantasy to us.
I can’t count the countless times I have wanted to reach out and assure him, that everything is going to be okay.
On that note, special mention to episode one and episode six of Natsume Yuujinchou, which firmly explores Natsume as a character. Both does an wonderful job on focusing on the distance Natsume places between himself and others, his fears, and explores why he wants to hold on to the life he has now so firmly.
Here’s to hoping for another season of Natsume and his book of friends.