Blessed with eyes that are able to perceive the otherwise invisible youkai, Takashi Natsume hides his ability from his newfound family and friends to protect everyone's peaceful daily life. Nonetheless, Natsume never fails to show the same kindness to the benevolent youkai and happily returns their names by using the infamous Book of Friends he inherited from his late grandmother, Reiko.
Meanwhile, the exorcist clan Matoba still wishes for Natsume to join their ranks due to his overwhelming gift. However, Natsume firmly rejects the clan's invitation since not all exorcists are as reasonable as his friend Shuuichi Natori, and many improperly and indiscriminately seal away every youkai in their way. Unsatisfied with Natsume's answer, Seiji Matoba blackmails Natsume into attending a grand gathering of powerful exorcist families. Natsume soon finds himself in the company of dangerous people and youkai alike. But even then, he continues to defy the exorcists' hard-handed methods and believes that peace between both worlds is possible.
Natsume Yuujinchou Go or Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 5, follows the journey of Takashi Natsume, a lonely teenager who has been able to see youkai, spirits in Japanese folklore since he was young. This uncanny ability, inherited from his deceased grandmother, Reiko, has led to many adventures—and misadventures—as he encounters these spirits living around him. Reiko, though, bound several youkai in her lifetime by defeating them and inscribing their names in the ‘Yuujinchou’ or ‘Book of Friends’. Now, it seems, the roles have been passed on to Natsume.
This fifth season unfolds with more emotional stories, where Natsume continues to return the names of the youkai back to their rightful owners, while also trying to maintain his own life as a high school student. The interactions between Natsume and the spirits provide insight into the dichotomy between the spirit world and the human world, as well as the connections bridging the two. Each episode carries an emotional depth, laced with a few lessons about life, friendship, and humanity.
Here we go! Another mesmerizing entry into the Natsume Yuujinchou series – just when you thought the magic might’ve faded, they rev it up again! Unfolding with a gentle elegance, Natsume Yuujinchou Go proves that it continues to be a masterclass in storytelling.
The animation by Studio Shuka is as beautiful and consistent as ever, with lush and scenic environments that really make you feel like you’re in Natsume’s world. It sets the stage for a narrative full of poignant parables on life, culture, and relationships that hit you in all the right spots.
Our main man, Natsume, really shines in this season with his character development scaled up. His struggle with self-acceptance and the effort he puts into preserving the balance between the human and spirit worlds is an emotional rollercoaster. It magnifies the underlying themes of loneliness, acceptance, and forging connections.
No review of this anime would be complete without recognizing the beautiful score by composer Makoto Yoshimori. The melancholic strains of the music heighten the emotional depth of the show and play a big part in making the heartwrenching moments unforgettable.
The humor in the lighter moments is perfectly timed and balanced, and the charm of Madara, or Nyanko-sensei, as a sarcastic, self-acclaimed bodyguard-cum-mentor remains intact. He serves as the perfect comic relief in this otherwise emotion-heavy plot.
In conclusion, Natsume Yuujinchou Go manages to strike the perfect balance between emotional depth, beautiful animation, a captivating soundtrack, and the quiet charm of the supernatural. It’s safe to say that it’s a treat for both the fans of the series and newcomers alike. So whether it’s for the rental, purchase, or stream, let’s just say – it deserves a solid ‘Go’!
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