Natsume Yuujin Chou – 1

What an inspired show! I loved it so much I felt like watching it again. xD

Anyway, along with Tetsuwan Birdy Decode, I’ll be blogging this on an episodic basis. Hope you guys enjoy my reviews as much as I enjoy writing them. =)

Summary;

Seeing as I’ll be quite busy this month I’ll be making really brief summaries. So I suggest you watch the episode before reading this since my summary really isn’t much to go by.

So, Natsume Takashi who has the ability to see Youkai (spirits) is running away from two of them who keep coming after him. Heading for the shrine, which wards those demons off, Natsume accidentally breaks a seal containing a fortune cat shaped Youkai, who tells him about the Yuujin Chou (Book of friends) and how it’s related to his dearly departed grandmother, Natsume Reiko.

He manages to find the Yuujin Chou after ruffling through his grandmother’s mementos and is immediately assaulted by the cat Youkai, who asks Natsume to call him Sensei. Natsume explains that the Youkai have been more violent towards him since he shifted to this area, after the passing of his parents. Sensei goes on to tell him that the names written in the Yuujin Chou all belong to the Youkai  Reiko had supressed in her youth.

The bell rings and Natsume attends to it, only to be chased by the two Youkai who were after him earlier. Seeking help from Sensei, who for some reason wants the Yuujin Chou too, Natsume decides to return all the names in the book to their owners. Sensei takes care of the one who wants to misuse the book while Natsume returns the name of the long haired one, Hishigaki. He’s sees a vision from Hishigaki’s memory of Reiko whom she befriended long ago but never returned. Hishigaki dissapears, finally finding relief and Natsume cows to return all the names in the book together with sensei.

My thoughts;

I’m a sucker for Ayakashi stories, always have been, and Natsume Yuujin Chou in particular is a good example of one. One probably reason for this is that Ayakashi based anime, not the usual shounen demon fighting ones (bleach, D-gray man and many others which I make an explicit point not to watch), those such as mushishi or even Kamichu! have a tendency to be more slice-of-life based, which in my books is a good thing.

Okay, the most striking thing about this animes art is it’s colour palatte which comprises mainly of really light colours. I’d say it made the countryside scenery come alive in the sense of the word. Fluid and detailed, the animation sticks out when it needs too although it isn’t on par with most other shows this season.

Musicwise, the soundtrack is standard fare for such animes with relaxing tunes most of the time. The opening and ending are quite well done too although not really memorable. I liked the ending sequence though because of it’s pastel themed style. Anyway I’m more interested in the voice actors, mainly Natsume’s, Hiroshi Kamiya who has an impressive resume having voice acted in series such as Honey and Clover (as takemoto), Macross Frontier (as Mikhail) and even Gundam 00 (as Tiera, now this threw one me off a bit). Needless to say, his voice as Natsume’s is really quite believable.

The general plot of Natsume Yuujin Chou seems good so far although I’m not exactly sure of the direction it’ll take. Based on my initial impressions I see two possible directions the plot could take; first would be the slice-of-life approach, which would mean Natsume dealing with the Youkai episodically (cue Mushishi) or secondly, it could actually have a structured plot with some sort of conclusion (Amatsuki anyone?). Either one would work fine by my standards though.

So, as you can probably guess I’m very impressed by the first episode. However being the horrible skeptic I am, I can’t help but judge it prematurely, which would probably be one of my biggest faults. Eitherway, I’ll be looking forward to each episode.

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5 Responses to “Natsume Yuujin Chou – 1”

  1. omisyth Says:

    I don’t watch D.gray-man for interesting grunt enemies, I watch it to see lots and lots of fighting ^_^.

    Amatsuki subs are taking a while to come out, but the episodes I don’t feel inspired to watch for some reason, even though its a great show.

    I’ll be sure to look at your thoughts on an episode as I’m thinking of blogging this too,

  2. blissmo Says:

    Yeah, I really liked the colour as well, but this is not the anime for me, even though the grandma seems so incredibly cool

  3. rroknedaj Says:

    Omisyth

    =)

    Bliss

    Hehe, we fail at hiding our inner artisans. xD

  4. issa-sa Says:

    @blissmo: Best grandma this season?
    Well, didn’t really give Amatsuki much of a shot (half an episode), so I’m hoping Natsume Yuujinchou leans mroe in the Mushishi direstion. Either way, I liked what I saw this episode, and I’m hoping to like the coming ones as well 🙂

  5. enima01 Says:

    @ blissmo & issa-sa: haha, yes! Reiko for SaiMoe 2008! XD

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