As with its prequel, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou is about Takashi Natsume, a boy who has had the ability to see youkai since he was young, and his bodyguard youkai Madara, nicknamed Nyanko-sensei. Natsume attempts to return names written in his "Book of Friends" (which he inherited from his grandmother Reiko) to youkai in his village. Throughout these adventures, he meets some youkai that are friendly, some that want to steal the Book, and some that want to kill him, as Natsume learns about himself and his relationship with these mysterious beings along the way.
I put off finishing Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou, the sequel to Natsume Yuujinchou, only because I didn't want it to end. I had really enjoyed the first season, and this one was even better.
Like it's prequel Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou has a very gentle feel to it. It's heavy focus on loneliness and longing, is evened out with cheerfulness of love and friendship that Natsume experiences not only with the youkai he encounters but with his foster parents, school friends, and other humans.
You can see Natsume growing stronger bonds with characters introduced in the first season. It's enjoyable to see the almost sibling love between Natsume and
Madara, along with a growing friendship with Natori.
More characters are introduced and the human characters have a stronger role as well. Natsume is growing into someone very different from the first season, and it is very noticeable that it is because of what he experiences with his fellow cast and the problems that he helps the youkai solve along the way.
Madara of course is the main source of humor, be it his comments and bad habits, or bantering with Natsume, he sometimes steals the show. It is also interesting to see how this season changes his relationship with Natsume, definitely not disappointing.
And the most pleasing is the better look into the past and character of Reiko; Natsume's grandmother. However, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding her, leading to fans hoping for the series continuation, if only to have the biggest questions about Reiko answered.
The show could only go so far with it's fascinating characters and heart catching stories. The art and music really help to pull everything together. With the light colors and almost paint brush feel of the scenery, along with the gentle soundtrack playing in the background, it just helps cement the feeling that the creators tried to create and pull off.
Sadly, one of the last episodes got a little sloppy,'little' being the key word as it is barely noticeable. Other than that the animation is smooth and pleasing to the eyes.
The opening and ending really complement the over all feel and message of the show. I especially liked the ending 'Aishiteru' by Kourin, her voice gave the lyrics a lonely but hopeful feel, it is very nostalgic.
Some might say that this show is boring because of how mellow it can be. This is not true, and the reason is that most of the series is focused more on 'themes' as the main plot, with one story episodes; rarely does a story or conflict go on for more then one episode.
The ending of the season is especially pleasing. While it clearly shows some bridges have been crossed as far as story development, it was left open for either the viewer's interpretation or a third season.
Over all, this series really makes one think about the workings of the heart, friendship, and trust. I recommend that everyone give this series a try, there is so much that it offers, and it would be sad to miss out on it.
---PS. This is my first review on MAL. Let me know what you thought.
Story - 8.8/10 (B+)
At first glance, i thought the whole "defeating spirits" element was overused, but the way Natsume Yuujinchou does it is much different. Natsume's grandmother, Reiko collected the names of spirits she defeated in battles until the day she died, and Natsume wants to return all the names, even though he could risk his life in the process. It really flows well, especially how Natsume punches the spirits like it's no big deal, kinda funny there. Then we have Madara, or as we know him as Nyanko-sensei, the spirit who seeks the Book of Friends only to
be told by Natsume that he will get it when Natsume dies. I'm surprised that Nyanko-sensei hasn't came up with a plan to kill Natsume, but then again, the pacing of this show is different. When i watched the first episode, i felt like it was Winter, and i was warm from a fireplace (weird, i know), but this show really makes you feel calm, collected and just mellow. Perhaps all the mecha animes and the shounen animes took a toll on me, and Natsume Yuujinchou is the cure to my pain.
Animation - 10/10 (A+!)
The art is spectacular! I can't believe it's so well animated, just blew me away. From the opening sequence, to the ending sequence, and all in between, i really am fond of this show even more. It's so simple that it's perfect, in every way.
Sound -10/10 (A+)
i love the OP, and the ED is the most soft, teary, and beautiful song i've ever heard. The voice acting is really tremendous, with Kamiya Hiroshi as Natsume Takashi (Who also voices Tieria Erde in Gundam 00 btw). The voice actors all do a really marvelous job, it makes you feel like you're a part of this as well.
Characters - 10/10 (A+)
Many people think of people like Natsume as the "gay-ish", femine person. Well, it's better than hearing macho, tough, know-it-all's (Naruto, Ichigo, Black Star) say the same s**t all the time. Natsume is the kind of anime guy i really like, not too femine and not too masculine. Then we have Nyanko-sensei, the lovable kitten who's real form is somewhat dragon-like. Reminds me of Yoruichi's cat form from Bleach, only more enjoyable. Nyanko-sensei always has to say something smart, or pick at Natsume for being weak or too much of a pushover. I can just have these two characters and no other characters appear, and i'd still love this show.
Enjoyment - 10/10 (A+)
Something so excellent as Natsume Yuujinchou is easily overlooked by redundant shounen anime, or money-wasting ecchi. Everyone needs to watch this show, whether you're feeling down, feeling stressed or just plain you. This show will not disappoint. Some might view this as too boring, but those people are the ones who survive off of (redundant) animes such as Naruto and Bleach and Soul Eater. As a former Bleach fan, this show really got me off the shounen animes, and i'm thankful. Give this show a try, because you'll be glad you did.
The Good: Animation, Characters, OP/ED, Basically Everything
The Bad: Use of spirits (not so much a big deal) as a plot element.
Sometimes it can get too boring.
Ahahaha~ I rated everything a ten. No. I'm not some mindless idiot who thought this series was the best thing since sliced bread. I'm a fellow reviewer who KNOWS this series is the best thing since sliced bread. Anyway, on with the review!
If you loved Natsume Yuujinchou's storyline, then you'll love Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou just the same. I honestly have a thing for 'characters who are shunned by others because of their special abilities' when it comes to anime. And I loved how they developed the story throughout the series. Makes it more enjoyable to watch.
The art . . . The art's amazing.
It fitted every single moment perfectly. Plus, what I loved about this anime? No awkward animation. At all. Even with creepy Youkai.
The same goes with the sound. They chose the best music for each situation: A battle against the Youkai, times when it's peaceful, the episode breaks . . . Well, you get the point. ;P I especially loved the theme song, which, again, sets the mood for the series
There was not one character whom I detested/hated/was disgusted with at all. And even if I was, I got over it quickly. I'm not saying you have to like all the characters, though. What I'm trying to get at is that this anime's characters didn't undergo any moment where they weren't acting like themselves. Each and every character kept with their personalities straight through and didn't alter it because of what somebody said, like many anime characters tend to do.
Geez. If I didn't have so many anime on my planned to watch list, I would re-watch this over and over and over again. I enjoyed each and every episode thoroughly. I never laughed so hard at an anime like this either.
Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou. Simply the best of its kind. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes anime with the ghostly aspect with splashes of humor thrown into it.
As the first series continues, Natsume Takashi learned that many youkai have different powers with different purposes.
It’s a continuation of the first series as they made a slightly different way of development because it shows more involvement of youkai and his capability to use his own power. It focuses of using the same method of youkai solving as new tale to tell and to discover as it goes deeper in its arc. The drama and mystery here became more interesting and entertaining than before as they add some twist to cope up viewers on watching.
Definitely a different way
of continuing the preceding series as it really goes very well.
Art & Animation...
Beautiful backgrounds, detailed character designs, and impressive scenery just like the preceding. Noticing the difference from before, it’s jibing better and more appropriate in its settings.
The OP and ED theme is just truly wonderful… better than before.
The OP and ED song is lively, dramatic, calm. Both of them matched its theme that contains such wonderful and harmonious art and BG sounds adds up the enjoyment through the show.
Hmmm… Natsume Takashi, he's kind of weak in physical appearance, a compassionate type among youkai, not that free spirited among human beings but reverse among youkai, and improves a lot in this series. As for Madara the other main or the best supporting character on the series that keeps the level of boredom on the bottom became sillier, and more knowledgeable in puns.
And for the other characters who sometimes make an appearance in this series, they help the series to be complete and entertaining.
It's quite redundant in its case; it might be an anime that will keep you interested in their arcs, art & animation, sounds, but not quite in the characters. It has a plain and calm feature.
Recommended for those who wants a slice of life with different style of maintaining its peaceful feature. A style where people tend to communicate in other species for resolving what must be done to solve its problem.
It is a mixture of drama, supernatural, and slice of life that will give you depth in life.
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