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. Based on the critically acclaimed manga by Yuki Midorikawa, Natsume Yuujinchou is an unconventional and supernatural slice-of-life series that follows Natsume as he, with his infamous protector Madara, endeavors to free the spirits bound by his grandmother’s contract. – My Anime List
Based on 14 review scores:
I would recommend anyone to give this a try. You may not like the genre, but it won’t do any harm to watch.
This show might not be for everyone. It isn’t as action packed as you might imagine and focuses on telling good emotion-filled stories. If any show out there deserves an “A” it is Natsume Yuujinchou Go.
I like to think this anime has a little something for everyone, no matter what they may be into. It’s very calming but also has plenty of action; it’s light-hearted and humorous, but also dramatic, bringing everything together nicely.
Natsume Yuujinchou is a great little slice of life series. I think, compared to most others, this has more of a wider appeal just because the content is more varied than a lot of other slice of life series. I mean ,there’s even a little action and whatnot in Natsume Yuujinchou. Definitely one of the better slice of life shows out there.
The Foodie Geek
Not having cutting edge animation and action-packed fight scenes as its forte, one could say the juicy content of this anime lies in the heartrending climaxes of the various relationships between humans with their fellow humans, Ayakashi with other Ayakashi, and the interaction of both in which most are suffering an undying pain that is later relieved with a genuine gesture of the heart, thanks to the selfless Natsume and Nyanko-sensei lending a hand in their generation-long heartaches.
Nukid101 – Deviant Art
Natsume Yuujinchou was an experience I really recommend to a lot, provided you don’t need big explosions and massive battles every second in your story. It’s one of the most relaxing anime out there.
On its own, the series begs for more, but after watching its two sequel series, I can safely say it gives us more. And the best part? The series is gonna get better and better.
Natsume Yuujinchou doesn’t quite reach the grand, explorative scale of Mushishi, and I doubt it can be said to have the same narrative elegance as Haibane Renmei. However, in keeping with the monoliths of its genre, Natsume Yuujinchou achieves a sentimental charm all of its own and is sure to please countless fans of this style.
My Anime List
What more can I say? I fell completely in love with this anime. If you want something relaxing and heartwarming, Natsume Yuujinchou is for you.
Natsume’s Book of Friends achieves a sublime harmony rarely seen in recent Anime, but it takes its time. The first season initially felt almost as disjointed in construction as the otherworldly material presented and is perhaps best appreciated in retrospect. It wasn’t until the second season that I was sold. As with any series, the creators establish the premise with early episodes, but refine and expand both conceptually and stylistically in later seasons. Book of Friends brings new depth and originality to a tired genre, but it’s not for everyone. Fans of fast-paced action and traditional horror unable to dismiss their assumptions may be disappointed.
This series, along with the aforementioned, may truly be the yin and yang of yōkai anime… and while the depths of the psyche can be perceived in both, Mushishi is generally darker… Natsume, being calmer, is not necessarily naïvely optimistic like, say, Aria can be… and generally has an episodic direction, and while there isn’t much that is over-arching, there is ample time where all the ayakashi just decide to hang out…
A surprisingly solid title that tells its stories from both sides of the fence.
The Nihon Review
The artwork and the music manage to draw the viewer into Natsume Yuujinchou‘s subdued, enchanting setting, but the series shines brightest in the way it draws out the viewer’s emotions as it tells its stories while developing its cast to the fullest. As such, people looking for a relaxing, wonderful series that goes into the realms of magical realism should definitely give this title a shot.
While it’s not balls to the wall terrifying, or can’t-sleep-at-night jarring, Natsume Yuujinchou is likely to leave an impression on nearly anyone. There are enough differing stories and characters within the series to entice anyone to watch it. So if you’re looking for a sort of first foray into horror anime if you will, Natsume Yuujinchou is a fantastic place to start.