Natsume Yuujinchou San

Title:Natsume Yuujinchou San
夏目友人帳 参 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Brains Base
INOUE Kazuhiko
KAMIYA Hiroshi
R1 License - NIS America
The third season of Natsume's Book of Friends which continues its focus on Takashi Natsume's interactions with various youkai.

[TV series, 2011, 13 episodes, 24 min; Animation by Brains Base]
0:31min promotion video - YouTube Video
[edit] The ↗Natsume Yuujinchou franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 8 8 8 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2457#1552]
Having been a sap for the previous two seasons of Natsume's Book of Friends, this third season of the franchise was a definite watch for me for the Summer 2011 anime season. Like the previous two seasons, this one retains its episodic focus on Natsume's encounters with various youkai, some good and some hostile, that either seek his help on a manner, are an old acquaintance or have selfish intentions that Natsume must thwart with help from cat youkai Madara and two human friends aware of his abilities. The series fleshes out enough about the various youkai for the audience to connect with their characters as the previous two seasons have done. This season does have a few prominent episodes that make it stick out from the two earlier seasons where a couple episodes are focused around Natsume's past which reveal how he came to live with his distant relatives and meeting with a boy who used to bully him in one of the various towns he used to live in. There's also a two episode mini-arc which sheds more light on a rival exorcist family of Natori's that we seen from the second season of the series. In addition, I took notice that the visuals to the series are up a notch from the prior two seasons with more clean details and a brighter color palette used for the settings and character designs compared to the subdued color toning used in earlier seasons. Otherwise, this season follows the same episodic setup as the prior two seasons which combined with the franchise's notable mellow mood will not make it one for everyone to watch. Otherwise if you have gotten enjoyment out of the two prior seasons of Natsume's Book of Friends, then this will be a definite watch for you and I look forward to seeing the franchise's fourth season come the Winter 2012 anime season.

Last updated Monday, September 26 2011. Created Monday, September 26 2011.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2457#628]
(Three episodes watched):

Most shows set up an antagonist to oppose the main character, then kill or destroy it. What's unique about the seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou is that Natsume takes a more realistic and peaceful approach, and attempts to make peace or compromise without anybody getting hurt. Spirits are portrayed as having feelings too, rather than being out-and-out evil. The very notion of setting up a character with supernatural abilities, and then not involving massive horror and violence almost seems anathema to anime. Yet here it is, and in its third season somehow. I guess some good deeds do get rewarded after all. This is a laid-back, thoughtful show, and Nyanko is always fun.

The solution to the mystery in the first episode was a little confusing, but it made clear that this series would pick up just where the last one left off, with the same original approach to spiritualism. I had high hopes for NY San. However, episodes two and four (I missed number three) reinforced my feeling that the storytelling here is not as sharp as in the previous seasons. It's hard to feel moved by the characters when you are confused about what exactly has just happened. This doesn't ruin the show altogether, but is distinctly disappointing; it kind of dilutes the quality and gives us a watered-down version of Natsume Yuujinchou. The previous seasons have shown that NY San could have been much better than it is. I think I am going to quit watching this show; the thought has occured to me that I would be better off to watch reruns of seasons one and two than to stick with this one.

My favorite line: "I've been bitten by some kind of white pig!"

Last updated Sunday, September 11 2011. Created Monday, July 18 2011.

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