While searching for Nyanko-sensei, Takashi Natsume encounters meek and small-looking youkai Mitsumi. Mitsumi was entrusted by his leader Gantetsu, a powerful and strong ayakashi, to be the year's "Ishi Okoshi," whose role consists of waking him from his deep slumber. Seeing how much Mitsumi wants to prove himself as Gantetsu's worthy servant, Natsume decides to help him fulfill his task. However, time is running out—for they are not the only ones who want to awaken the divine being.
One day, Natsume's friend Kaname Tanuma is visited by a strange man. In the subsequent days, the visitor briefly talks with Tanuma and leaves. Natsume soon discovers that the outsider is a youkai disguised as a human, who claims to bear no danger. Despite trusting the youkai, Tanuma's health slowly begins to deteriorate, causing Natsume to become more suspicious of the interloper. What is the truth of his sudden appearance and his connection with Tanuma?
Anime Review: Natsume Yuujinchou: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihousha
Immerse yourself in the evocative world portrayed in Natsume Yuujinchou: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihousha. Director Takahiro Omori executes another standout entry in one of the anime world’s finest franchises about a teenage boy, Takashi Natsume, who has the ability to see spirits and demons – a gift (or curse) he inherited from his grandmother. He spends his time freeing spirits bound by her in the Book of Friends. A must-watch if you’re an adventure anime aficionado.
Our protagonist finds himself befriending a spirit who wants to wake a divinity from its deep slumber. The spirit believes that the deity might be able to grant him his wish. Now, the answer to the spirit’s desire – would it bring peace or lead to devastation – forms the core of the narrative. Layered with intriguing mystical elements, compelling characters, and virtually every emotion painted beautifully, the anime takes you on an unforgettable spiritual journey.
The story treads carefully along the lines of the supernatural realm – subtly introducing the spirit , the sleeping deity, and embedding these characters into Natsume’s life. The narrative is fantastic and the way it blends episodic tales with one large overarching story is an absolute treat. The narrative always leaves enough for the audience to anticipate what could possibly come next! This anime knows how to entangle the supernatural with the mundane world, and it does so splendidly, leaving you captivated throughout its run.
Animation & Music
The animation quality is superb, with a consistent and marvelously detailed style that perfectly captures the serene countryside setting as well as the otherworldly spirits. It creates an atmospheric canvas that is as pleasing to the eye as it is engaging. The music too, plays a crucial role in amplifying the emotional depths of the story, striking a sublime balance between captivating and soothing to provide an immersive watching experience.
The series shines in its characterization of Natsume, the spirits he meets, and even the secondary characters. They’re all imbued with depth and individuality that makes the interactions meaningful and memorable. The growth of Natsume, both emotionally and in terms of his understanding of the spirit world, is deftly portrayed across the series and is sure to tug at your heartstrings.
On hold or not, I would recommend Natsume Yuujinchou: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihousha to all anime enthusiasts who seek not just entertainment but also a spiritual escape. It can be streamed, rented, or bought, but definitely not ignored. Full of sweet melancholy, thrilling adventures, and heart-warming moments, this series, like Natsume’s Book of Friends, is a treasure waiting to be explored.
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