Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3 Episode 3
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Natsume Yuujinchou, or “Natsume’s Book of Friends” is an anime series based on a long-running manga of the same name. The first 13-part series aired in 2008, followed by a second season in 2008, and a third season subtitled “San” from July to September 2011. Natsume Takashi is a teenage boy with the ability to see spirits; after inheriting a book from his grandmother filled with the names of spirits, he spends his time dissolving the contracts bound within.
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Spoiler-free Episode Summary: Shibata used to be a classmate of Natsume’s, and tracks him down for advice. When they were younger he teased Natsume incessantly about seeing imaginary things, but now Shibata needs his help with a strange girl he has been meeting in the park. Natsume discovers that she is really a spirit of a plant that wishes to devour Shibata; at first he angrily denies the charge, but finally accepts reality just in time to see her one last time.
My Impressions: Another light-hearted episode, more of nothing particularly special. Natsume Yuujinchou belongs to a specialized genre of anime known as Iyashikei, or “healing anime”, and it follows the mood, feel and formula quite nicely.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, not every show can be chock-a-block with explosions and panty shots, after all. But that means you have to set your expectations to…not expect a whole lot. And so far, that’s what Natsume Yuujinchou has offered up. Three different episodes, three different demons that seek and attain serenity. So, my question is, will it continue like this “Demon of the Week” formula ad infinitum, or are we going to get some sort of plot development, glacial as it may be? The main focus of the “healing” is supposed to be Natsume himself, but so far I’m not seeing it.
Perhaps I am starting to grouse too soon. It’s *supposed* to be a slow-paced and slow-developing show, so at three episodes in it’s still all just set-up and mood. Hopefully we’ll see some growth in Natsume before too long, though.
- Previous reviews:
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Mushishi or Kamichu
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Essentially, this episode was essentially more of the same; an episodic heart warming chapter. I do wish that there would be more progress or a more complex plot in the next episode which would extend over a couple of episodes instead as while I am enjoying the episodic style of story-telling, the longer stories were always more entertaining and grabbed my attention more.” – Otakuness
- “This is the perfect example of why I love Natsume Yuujinchou so much. Even with fantasy characters, it’s able to pull up a heart touching story, the feeling of love and longing so rife that you have no other choice but to feel it and heartwarmingly so too. The beautiful goodbye was simply brilliant.” – Metanorn
- “Contrary to what I had expected, we didn’t really get much character development for the main characters (Natsume, Reiko, etc), but this was still a cozy little episode. It would be nice if this series begins to focus a bit more on the main characters though, because although exploring side characters are nice, it’s really the main cast that holds the most potential for growth.” – Emory Anime Club
ROUND THREE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Three: Mawaru Penguin Drum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Kamisama no Memo-chou, Nurarihyon no Mago Season 2, Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3
Thumbs-down for Round Three: Dantalian no Shoka, Nekogami Yaoyorozu
Coming up next: Usagi Drop