Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends) (夏目友人帳)


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One of the most quiet, warmest extraordinary world within an anime… I believe that descirbes “Natsume’s Book of Friends”.
This anime is based on a manga written by Yuki Midorikawa. Unbeknownst to many, the manga was a great work in the beginning, but it has been getting more popular since it was animated and 4 seasons have been aired as of now.
One day, Takashi Natsume who lost his parents and has to live with his relatives found a “Book of Friends” his grandmother Reiko Natsume left. The book contains the names of yokai (spirits) Reiko defeated and the yokai in this book cannot disobey the owner of the book. He can control a lot of yokai with this book, so spirits who want to try to get back their own names have an eye on him.
So he decides to give their names back and begins to have to deal with yokai with a self-proclaimed bodyguard, Nyanko-sensei.

I used to follow the stereotype of yokai stories; they are scary and dark, but this anime has a mild atmosphere due to Midorikawa’s brushwork and the story that doesn’t have so much fighting but a lot of conversations.
In addition, Nyanko-sensei who is always bustling around is quiet cute in this anime. The combination of the light tone of the voice actor, Kazuhiko Inoue and Nyanko-sensei’s original character makes him more interesting than him in the manga.
His cool yokai form (Madara) is also good, but his round and cute figure should be loved! Once I find Nyanko-sensei merchandise, I want to buy them…
This anime always has beautiful nature as a background and it remains me of a provincial city in Japan.
There is not any specific city that it is set in, but there are many scenes that are modeled from Kumamoto, which is Midorikawa’s hometown. The scenery in season 3 was drawn based on the scenery in Hitoyoshi. In season4, Fukuoka was also portrayed.

This anime series is one off independent stories, so you can watch it little by little when you have time. I’m writing this article in winter, so I recommend the second episode of the second season “Melting into Spring”. Takashi meets a guardian angel of a forest called Gen when he enters the forest to get medical herbs to heal the back of Nyanko-sensei who played around in snow too much.
Gen tries to possess Takashi but he mistakes a snow bunny Takashi made for Takashi. Takashi listens to Gen and decides to help him but…
The atmosphere of this episode is childlike, Nyanko-sensei in the snow and Gen with bunny ears because of the snow bunny. It is needless to say that Nyanko-sensei playing snow is so cute, but the bunny ears on Gen’s handsome face with long hair is also great.
As for the story, it was painful to see Gen’s admirable hope; he wants to help Sui who protected the forest. I wanted to apologize because it was the fault of humans.
As flowers bloom, spring comes. I want them to come to see the flowers that Takashi had sowed seeds.
I want you to watch this anime when you are tired. It’ll make you feel calm.

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