Natsume Yuujinchou, also known as Nutsume’s Book of Friends, by Brain’s Base is an anime adaptation of the Japanese manga series by Yuki Midorikawa of the same title. It began serialization by Hakusensha in the shōjo manga magazine LaLa DX in 2005, before switching to LaLa in 2008. The anime series consists of 6 seasons and 74 episodes of 24 minutes each. If you’re still in need of more Natsume Yuujinchou there is also an OVA, 4 specials, and a movie.
The anime introduces us to the main character, Natsume, who has just moved to live with relatives in a small town in the countryside. He can see and hear spirits and was often shunned by “normal” people because of this. He is determined not to have anyone discover his secret and to build a normal life for himself and cause as little inconvenience to his relatives as possible. At first, he is afraid of the spirits constantly chasing after him and trying to eat him until he finds his grandmother’s “Book of Spirits”. His grandmother had, had a lot of spiritual power and a bit of a bad attitude had sealed many spirits by contract within this book’s pages.
The narrative follows Natsume on his quest to free these spirits as he learns to make friends, spirits, and humans alike. Despite his weirdness, Natsume starts to realize that the people around him actually like him regardless of his quirks, unlike his grandmother who preferred a solitary life and only befriended spirits. Each spirit has its own story which Natsume learns as he tries to free them and at the same time he learns more and more about his late grandmother and who she was. The storyline is simple yet contains depth and sophistication which keeps the viewer intrigued. There are a lot of funny moments as well as moments that are emotional and sensitive, so the narrative takes you on the full ride. The story is packed with life lessons as the magical journey unfolds.
Natsume Yuujinchou is powerful and thought-provoking. If you’re looking for a slice-of-life anime that will take your heart full circle, look no further. The series is perfect if you’re in need of some mental downtime, just beware of the myriad of emotions the series will have you experience. There is a reason this anime made it up to six seasons and should definitely be regarded as a fantasy masterpiece. If you’ve finished Natsume Yuujinchou and all its extras I would highly recommend watching Hotarubi no Mori e, Caution: Beware the feels.