Honestly, I don't really understand why this anime has so many amazing ratings. This isn't the worst anime i've ever seen- no, but I certainly do not think it's anywhere near the best.
Now, let's talk about the story.
One of the things I hated the most about this anime was the fact that it's episodic, and it doesn't work. In my opinion, this only makes it painfully predicable and underdeveloped. Honestly, you've seen the first three episodes you've seen the whole show. A youkai comes. Cool. They want Natsume's help. Oh. They get their help. There's a revelation. Ok. The majority of the episodes follow this structure. And for the first few or so episodes, yes. It's entertaining. Heartwarming even. But I wouldn't expect that to be the whole show. CAN SOMETHING ELSE HAPPEN. CAN THE PLOT PROGRESS. CAN WE STOP THIS CYCLE. It's too simple. It got boring.
And the art/animation...
The art is uninteresting. It's boring. it's simple. Which pretty much matches the story. The story and the art go together. So I guess that's a good thing. It further sets the mood of the anime. It made it more boring for me.
I hated the soundtrack of this anime. I always skipped the opening, which I almost never do. The sound effects and all that were clear. Voices, clear. So the sound is fine. That soundtrack though. No. But it does do a good job of further setting the over all mood of the anime.
The character development in this anime really lacks. What the hell even is Natsume's personality. He barely has one. The youkai though, they have much better personalities. But just because they're better than Natsume's doesn't mean they're deep or "thought provoking" no. But they are definitely entertaining. The one character I truly did like was Madara. He's a gem, really liked him. It's like they compensated for Natsume's lack of development with Madara's.
If you read what I previously wrote it's pretty obvious I did not enjoy this anime. I watched it to the end to be able to make a full conclusion about it. BUT BOY WAS THAT PAINFUL.
I just think this anime wasn't for me. If you're the type of person that likes to decipher plots, enjoys suspense, twists and turns- this is really not the anime for you. Skip it. If you like more simple, heartwarming type things give this a try. This isn't the kinda anime where you're on the tip of your toes, heads spinning, mind boggling. This is the kinda anime you watch when you're in your room bored, too tired to watch something with a more developed, complex plot.