Saturday, September 20, 2014

Manga Review: Natsume's Book of Friends, Volume 16, by Yuki Midorikawa

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Volumes: 18+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 15. 17.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Takashi Natsume can see the spirits and demons that hide from the rest of humanity. He has always been set apart from other people because of his gift, drifting from relative to relative, never fitting in. Now he's a troubled high school student who has come to live in the small town where his grandmother grew up. And there he discovers that he has inherited more than just the Sight from the mysterious Reiko.

Natsume's human friend Taki can only see yokai if they walk through one of her spell circles. Although many yokai see her spells as aggressive traps, putting her at risk of their retaliation, the latest yokai to pass through her circle may have something other than revenge in his heart. But is that any better...?


This series is just so pleasant. It just makes me happy, honestly. Which feels like a weird thing to say, especially since sometimes the plotlines are sad or even mean. But it always just makes me happy.
There are two main plotlines in this volume. The first one involves Taki, the girl friend of Natsume’s. I honestly wouldn’t mind some romance in this series (and, oh geez, wouldn’t Natsume just be adorable, dealing with that for the first time?), but him just having friends is enough for me. This episode is very sweet, and mostly simple, with the yokai involved simply lost in Taki’s house.
The second story features Takuma and Natsume’s other guy friends, all of them going to stay and work at a hotel with hot spring that a relative of Takuma owns. There were some threats from some yokai in this story, but I mostly enjoyed seeing Natsume with his friends. There were even some humorous scenes, where they’re all joking around. It’s nice seeing that.
Natsume also has to struggle with keeping yokai secrets, and being able to see them while his friends can’t. It’s hard. But Natsume is handling it rather well, at least at this point.
There was also an extra chapter at the end, which was just Natsume helping out some yokai. There haven’t been as many of those simply episodic chapters recently, and it was actually sweet to see.
I just love this series. It just fills me with warmth and makes me smile. So I’m looking forward to the next volume, even if there’s a longer wait.

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