Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Manga Review: Natsume's Book of Friends, Volume 21, by Yuki Midorikawa

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2018
Volumes: 23+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 20. 22.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Takashi Natsume has always been aware of the supernatural world, but after he inherits a magical book from his grandmother, the supernatural world is aware of him!

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.

Nyanko Sensei hasn’t been home in days, and Natsume is starting to get worried. He knows Sensei left in a party mood, but he has no idea where his friend and bodyguard was headed. And now there are rumors of evil spirits from the east heading to the local forest. Are they related to Nyanko Sensei’s disappearance, and will Natsume have to face this threat all on his own?


This volume took me a long while to get to, and then it was a slow start. I think I started it a few times, so it felt familiar. But I think that's also just how this series feels—it is familiar, and slow, and thoughtfully easy, if that makes sense.
While the episodic chapters are fun, and I do enjoy meeting new, odd and cute creatures, I do really appreciate when the plot or characters or relationships progress. When we get to see Natsume building his friendships, and get to know more about his friends and family, it's just so special.
One episode featured his friend Kitamoto and a book shop, with a sweet girl yokai. Natsume makes a little Nyanko-sensei figure that comes to life, and that was quite cute. Then we got a chapter that didn't include Natsume at all, and instead Natori.
These volumes are always a sweet, smooth treat.

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