Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 4

Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 4

Some books describe the supernatural. This one brings it.Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for T audiences. Takashi's quiet afternoon in the forest is disrupted when an angry spirit tries to possess him. He manages to dodge the spiritual attack, but he can't as easily avoid the yokai's pleas for help. Now he's tracking down an escaped evil sprit that threatens the life of the...

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Title:Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 4
Author:Yuki Midorikawa
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 4 Reviews

  • Sarah Hayes

    Originally posted

    at Anime Radius.

    Natsume's Book of Friends is a rare series: it is consistently high quality and has a clear message through every volume: the loneliness of human beings and the need for connections. In this volume, we see more of Natsume's kindness as well as his loneliness and how the two feelings constantly conflict inside of him as he lives between words - the world of humans and the world of yokai. We also see a direct parallel of living with the ability to see and int

    Originally posted

    at Anime Radius.

    Natsume's Book of Friends is a rare series: it is consistently high quality and has a clear message through every volume: the loneliness of human beings and the need for connections. In this volume, we see more of Natsume's kindness as well as his loneliness and how the two feelings constantly conflict inside of him as he lives between words - the world of humans and the world of yokai. We also see a direct parallel of living with the ability to see and interact with yokai in the form of Natori; his narrative occasionally crosses with Natsume's and shows how living between overlapping worlds affects two individuals differently. And then there is Nyanko-sensei, Natsume's devious guardian who keeps the human boy safe while always keeping one eye on the Book of Friends - Reiko's lasting legacy for her grandson.

    Yuki Midorikawa's typical gorgeous art and storytelling skills really shine through on the pages of this book and add depth to Natsume's story. His story is one of a boy looking for acceptance after a lifetime of being shunned by people who should have loved him, and in these chapters we see how Natsume reaches out in his own way to achieve this. He does not always walk away from each experience feeling like he's found it, but you can see how each moment touches him and affects his own views on himself and the rest of the world. Whether it's helping a guardian spirit looking for a wayward evil force or protecting a fox spirit from bullies, Natsume constantly gives parts of himself to other people because of his internal belief that everyone is good inside and can be trusted. I would not call him naive so much as overly trusting; he is capable of being angry and upset when he is lied to or tricked, especially when it's done by someone he wants to trust wholly. You can see the conflict most clearly in his relationship with Natori, a man who communicates with the world of yokai on a regular basis as does Natsume but sees them much more differently.

    The fourth volume of Natsume explores the character of Natsume in nuanced and multiple ways, showing us the young man as a human being and a teen and a seer of yokai as well as someone who is vulnerable yet strong enough to bear the pain of both of the societies he lives in. People who demand a fast-paced series should probably not pick up Natsume's Book of Friends; the development in story and characterization is slow and subtle but absolutely fascinating to watch unfold. With Nyanko-sensei as his highly humorous sidekick, Natsume's journey is an involving one that proves that you can have a supernatural manga that still comments on the human condition and remains wonderful while doing so.

  • Anne Skelding

    *rolls around in the beautiful peaceful stories*

  • Mizuna

    Perfect.

  • machinaheart

    Magical, personal and quietly brilliant.

    Being different, loneliness, creatures from myth and legend, friendship and camaraderie and the meaning of family.

    Rural Japan in all its loveliness! (When it comes to a time period I’d say, roughly the ‘here and now’.)

    At once magical and ordinary. The focus on interpersonal relationships in a world where a vast array of supernatural creatures are never far, is the key to making this story so wonderful. It

    Magical, personal and quietly brilliant.

    Being different, loneliness, creatures from myth and legend, friendship and camaraderie and the meaning of family.

    Rural Japan in all its loveliness! (When it comes to a time period I’d say, roughly the ‘here and now’.)

    At once magical and ordinary. The focus on interpersonal relationships in a world where a vast array of supernatural creatures are never far, is the key to making this story so wonderful. It is almost always less about the being’s strangeness and abilities, but rather its hopes and wishes.

    Every character is incredibly unique and loveable in their own way. What I adore the portrayal of the ayakashi is that Natsume always tries to understand the circumstances of a creature first and only if there is no other way will try to bind it or even kill it. Mostly the ayakashi are shown as having different values or being ignorant of human customs.

    Natsume has to cope with his ability to see ayakashi and with the mysterious “Book of Friends” his grandmother left behind. Not to mention this erratic lucky-cat (that is actually something very different) called Nyanko-sensei. At first the chapters are rather episodic in a monster of the week style (but many really touching and never boring), but somewhere along the line more characters, supernatural and human, appear and as Natsume’s friends and acquaintances expand, the plot branches out.

    The artwork has a lovely light touch which adds to feeling of otherworldliness and gives it a sense of fragility.

  • Isel

    This series gives me too many feels but I love it 😭😂🤣

  • R

    Awesome stories and beautiful art.

  • Rachel

    I really liked this installment of the series. Even though they are short stand alone pieces you can really see in this book how Natsume has grown and changed. His character is revealed a little bit more and Sensei is softening a bit too.

    I really enjoyed this one and wish the library had the next one.

  • Miriam

    A couple particularly scary stories, and a couple particularly tender ones.

  • Rici

    Dieser Band hat mir wieder besser gefallen, die Inhalte haben mich wieder mehr gerührt und wir haben auch wieder Rückblicke in Natsumes Vergangenheit - die kurzen Stories am Ende aus anderen Sichtweisen haben mir sehr gut gefallen.

  • Shawna (BacchusVines)

    I have so many feels for Natsume. Those short stories at the end? Killer.

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