The other winter title that I was really looking forward to was the second season of Natsume’s Book of Friends. The fall season lacked a quality slice-of-life show so I’ve been literally hungry for the return of Natsume and Nyanko-sensei.
Rating: 12/12 Perfect
I didn’t think Brain’s Base would drop the ball and they didn’t. The first episode picks right back up where the first season ended.
If you’re not familiar with the show, Natsume can see ghosts like his grandma. The grandma took to fighting the spirits and when she beat them, she’d have them write their name in the Book of Friends and this gave her the ability to control that spirit if she desired. On the grandma’s death, Natsume inherits the Book of Friends and soon the number of spirits that are looking for him increases greatly. They either want their names back, want the book, or just want Natsume’s help because he can see them but is still alive and can interact with the physical world.
Natsume just wanted to live a normal life and had finally been able to find relatives that don’t mind his occasional odd action. The Book of Friends put a big target on Natsume and it further convinces him that his ability to see spirits is a curse. Over the course of the first season, Natsume’s character slowly changes from a person with a big shell around himself that kept everything at a distance to a more open person that actually liked his ability.
This first episode reminds and reinforces these changes. Natsume doesn’t run away, like he did in the first episode of the first season, when a spirit shows up wanting the book – he uses a swift punch to the nose to make it runaway. Also, we see him very comfortable around people and he no longer hesitates to help a spirit in need, even if it means potential death for himself.
The animation continues at the same level as the first season: beautiful and perfect for this type of show. Also evident in this episode was the little bits of comedy woven into the show that helped make the first season so good. The one thing I’m hoping that this season will do is to give some of the great characters from the first season a reoccurring role so we can them again.