Anime Review: Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3 Episode 5

Anime Review:
Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3 Episode 5

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.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Quick Episode Summary: Natsume and Tanuma visit Taki’s massive house, and end up helping her with spring cleaning. They learn her grandfather had a lifelong fascination with spirits, and during cleaning Natsume accidentally unseals a powerful, malevolent spirit. The spirit travels throughout the house recovering its body parts as Natsume pleads with the local house spirits for help, before it becomes whole again. Ultimately with the help of Nyanko, the demon is defeated.

My Impressions: Sorry I’ve been distracted with other hobbies, so my reviews have been falling further behind. But as I’ve expressed elsewhere, I really don’t care very much how far behind I am, I’m going to take my own sweet time at this, because rushing it would lessen the enjoyment. There’s plenty of blogs that put out reviews within the same week as when the show aired…this isn’t one of them.

But even that being said, a little bit of brevity can’t hurt to get the ball rolling, so I’m spending less time typing and more time watching.

So, cutting to the quick: Out of the fifteen different shows left over from the Spring and Summer 2011 seasons that I am still watching at this point, Natsume Yuujinchou is the one where I receive the least amount of satisfaction or enjoyment. Not that it is terrible by any means (those shows were weeded out of the viewing schedule long ago), but it’s just not that interesting. At its very core, it’s essentially an anime version of “The Ghost Whisperer”, featuring a different “ghost of the week”. And after five episodes, I think I’ve had my fill.

As far as this specific episode goes, it is once again okay-but-unexceptional. Natsume encounters yet another youkai, and once again dispatches it. Same idea, just a different setting. And for people who haven’t yet had it drilled into their heads from previous episodes before, this really does point out that in this series, the youkai really do think and behave differently from humans — they are not little anthropomorphic creatures, but have their own thought processes and ideas that can run contrary to human ideas. Especially when it comes to death.

Much like Ikoku Meiro no Croisee (another show that I very recently turned sour on), I definitely can understand the appeal of the show, and I do not hold it against anyone for liking this. But it’s just not really for me, I guess.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “Natsume is seeing a LOT of action this season. If you have been following the series, it’s more on the tranquil and feel-good side rather than action-packed. Still looking at the pacing, I love this speediness and a blend of good-evil the arcs are following. Seeing some old friends is always a joy and I have a rather soft spot for Tanuma, he being all broody, bishie and determined.” – Metanorn
  • “In some ways, this episode was bittersweet, where it is rather melancholy to think how even in death, Shinichiro was never able to see the youkai he loved so much. Yet at the same time, it made the ending all the more satisfying and heartwarming.” – Emory Anime Club
  • “It’s really impressive how a series can manage to be dark, gritty and heartwarming in the same episode.” – Meeping Anime
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