Mar 3, 2009
thepinkangel (All reviews)
Oh my goodness, where to start.

Natsume Yuujinchou is a small gem of a series, and I'm glad I followed a friend's recommendation to watch it. This small, often overlooked series is so beyond charming that I wonder how anyone could pass it up!

The story is simple, because there's no overall arcing plot. The series basically consists of self-contained episodes where Natsume looks to help youkai with their problems and give them back their names. Sometimes he seeks to help out humans troubled by youkai. In any case, Natsume is always trying to help someone while "Nyanko-sensei" scolds him for his human stupidity.
Each story serves as character development, either for Natsume, the youkai involved, or both. The youkai teach Natsume about themselves and about humanity, and Natsume ends to teach the youkai that not all humans are so bad. Natsume learns to be more social and gains a few friends as the series goes on. For the most part, each episode has a fairly happy ending, though some are heartbreaking yet beautiful. Generally the show has a very optimistic outlook on things, but doesn't gloss over potential emotional tragedy.

The art is fantastic. Everything about the style is simple and gentle, but very beautiful as a whole. The linework and soft colors work beautifully together, and the animation, when given to show off beyond walking and talking, is awesome. I welcome the simple and more realistic character designs for the humans, and the simple but not generic designs of the youkai.

I LOVE the music. Like everything else in the series, it's subtle and unobtrusive, simple but very pretty. The opening and ending themes are also very fitting.

As for enjoyment and overall value, let me say that I was disillusioned to anime a few years ago, and have very little patience for it now. But Natsume was so charming that I couldn't put it down once I found it. And now I'm hooked on season two! A definite recommendation.