I don't know about you, but when I watch this series, I almost want to live with Natsume, his family and his friends. So many moments warm my heart that it would be difficult for me to count them.
Story: (10/10) As always, we follow Natsume Takashi, an orphan high school student who had an unfortunate childhood and now adopted by the Fujiwara. Natsume helps the different yokai/humans who are connected to the "Book of Friends" accompanied by Madara (Nyanko-sensei) a powerful yokai. Natsume also comes to humans' aid not affected by this "book". (You know the story if you want to watch the 5th season...)
the series has an episodic format that could discourage you because it would be repetitive and it would become tiresome after a few episodes. However I would like to point out the inventiveness of Yuki Midorikawa will impress you with every episode and you will be surprised by the turn of events.
The stories are very often moving and I won't fail to tell you I have cried many times while watching an episode.
Don't expect a "forced drama" series, no, the direction is very subtle and prefers to go through the narration to reach his audience.
This 5th season focuses more on the secondary characters and their past. More specifically Touko and Shigeru Fujiwara, Natori, Taki and Reiko.
Characters: (10/10) As mentioned earlier, many episodes focus on Natsume's friends and family, more than Natsume himself which changes a bit from previous seasons.
I won't say any more at the risk of spoiler.
Art: (7/10) Always great despite the studio change. (The staff is almost similar to previous seasons)
Overall, we will very rarely find badly drawn characters when they are close to the camera.
Sound: (10/10) It plays a very important part in the atmosphere of the series. Many older OSTs like "Furusato no Nioi" or "Daiidaro no Toki" are used and I can't explain the reason but I feel calming by listening to them. There are other new soundtracks I don't know the titles yet to recommend.
We owe this work to Makoto Yoshimori.
Enjoyment: (10/10) Needless to say that I spend great time with each episode. My favorites are the 1st, 5th and 10th, and what are your favorites?
Apart from the fantasy/supernatural aspect that plunges you into a universe inspired by the myths of Japanese folklore, this series is a slice of life and also talks about daily life. For example, the moments spent lunching with his adoptive parents, traveling with friends, etc. Things that most of us live. And here the series accentuates these passages and tries to make us understand to what extent these little moments of happiness are precious and that we must cherish them. And to see it from the point of view of Natsume is important insofar as he had a very difficult childhood, rejected by his classmates, and the previous adoptive families.
In conclusion: I highly recommend this series and this S5 even more.
+ Narration: in many series adapted by Takahiro Omori, we find this narrative system with a character telling his story, his past.
+ Characters: very interesting development of Taki, Natori and Fujiwara that you shouldn't miss.
+ Slice of life: I insist but this series has a certain beauty that sets it apart
+ OP (by Sasanomaly) and ED (by Aimer) which correspond perfectly to the atmosphere of the series
+ mmh ... 11 episodes, it's too short, I want more.
I love how each episode they show us the youkai's, natori, Touko and Shigeru's backstory very very heart warming. Some episode manage to make me touched with every single character they have and made me care for them like what happend to them after that? how are they doing now? is Natsume going to be straight or gay? Taki or someone?
There is though some episode that is meh at certain part but they fixed quite quickly, the art is beautiful they always upgraded their art every single single season. The ending in this anime is one of my favorites
It's Natsume Yuujinchou. If you aren't following this series, you've either not tried it or slice of life anime is just not for you. That's okay if you don't like slower shows. Otherwise... Join us in the iyashikei world, where the world is good and pureness reigns and smiles are protected! Go! We'll see you at Roku!
OVERALL - 9
Always happy for more Natsume Yuujinchou. Heartwarming. Fluffy. Pure. Activates the "I must protect this smile!" instinct. Feels. Feels that are sometimes happy. Feels that are sometimes REALLY KINDA HEARTBREAKING??? Iyashikei but with an undertone of constant melancholy that almost makes you have multiple existential crises but
then your heart is healed into a pure state? Aw yes!
STORY - rounded down 9.5
Short stories. Always superb. Some used this season were more dynamic than I've ever seen Natsume Yuujinchou show us before---more than enough to make up for some of the more forgettable ones (sorry).
ART/ANIMATION - 9
So we have moved from Brain's Base to Shuka. There's reason to be skeptical of this infant studio that tends to slack of halfway, but they poured a lot into consistantly making Natsume beaut-- I mean, Natsume Yuujinchou beautiful, haha. The softer colour palette and more pencil-like lines compliment the iyashikei feel. And it's hard to not melt a little bit (or, you know, a LOT) at the very gentle and fluid animation every time Natsume smiles. Good to know Shuka knows where to pour the most effort.
SOUND/MUSIC - 8
Natsume Yuujinchou uses the same lovely OST every season with only some new tracks, so let's just talk about the OP/ED. Like the OP: makes me excited for more Natsume. Love the ED: reminds me of Zoku's ending which is my personal favourite.
CHARACTERS - 9
It's season 5. You know who you love and who you disapprove of by now. (If you don't like Natsume himself within 1-3 episodes of the first season... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sorry, he's the MC and a boy of kindness & good intentions whose Shuka-animated smile I will always treasure.)
ENJOYMENT - 10
It's season 5.
Additional Ratings : SEIYUU - 10 (Kamiya Hiroshi. Jun'ichi Suwabe. The usual cast. The usual greatness) ; CINEMATOGRAPHY - 9
The fifth season of Natsume Yuujinchou was a true pleasure to watch. In this season, we see Natsume's friendships develop and grow. We learn more about his troubled past and the backstory behind the Fujiwaras.
One of my favorite aspects of Natsume Yuujinchou is how each episode stands alone. There is a distinct thought or feeling, a pearl that is revealed at the end of the episode as Natsume reflects upon what happens. He speaks directly to the audience. This is so powerful and so beautiful. And yet, there is a distinct thread that runs throughout the series. We see Takashi grow and mature.
We see his friends follow him as well. But we also see Takashi's past as well. Overall, the story is cohesive and well-paced.
The art is certainly beautiful, and the landscapes are quite scenic. There is definitely attention to details and the animation is good too.
The soundtrack reinforces the key emotions of the show. Overall a pleasure, but not the best in the series.
The character development is truly outstanding. This is what keeps this series going season after season.
We can all relate to the emotions and feelings that Natsume Takashi has. We admire Takashi's bravery and selflessness, and his genuine desire to help others, whether it be human, Ayakashi, or beast. He has a true heart of gold.
Nyanko-Sensei, the bumbling buta-neko, is a true companion. He claims to only want the Book of Friends, but we see that he has sincere concern for Takashi. They have such a cute relationship. And of course, they always find a way for Nyanko-Sensei to be gone so that Natsume can fight some of his battles on his own. It's pretty well done.
Taki and Tanuma are Natsume's somewhat spiritual friends. They're OK.
Kitamoto is the cutest character, besides maybe Takashi. He needs more screen time.
Definitely a pleasure to watch. Not so sad that it's a tear-jerker every episode, but it does taste a little bittersweet like a good dark chocolate.
Sometimes when you look at a new season you find yourself despairing because all you see are a bunch of sequels to anime you've never seen. However I'm here to tell you that you should view this as a fantastic opportunity to catch up on all these anime you haven't seen before the new season begins!