Posted by psgels on 31 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Natsume Yuujin-Chou

The first season of Natsume Yuujin-chou was basically a string of random stories about the lead character, Natsume, meeting a bunch of Youkai. The second season forms much more of a unity as Natsume’s development starts kicking in. The random stories are more connected to each other, and instead of an episodic series, we’re suddenly treated to a character-study of a boy who grew up with being able to see youkai.

The production-values are as solid as ever: backgrounds are rich and detailed, the animation is crisp and the different designs for the youkai are very solid. The music is also very enjoyable again, with especially the ending theme standing out as a great song.

Unfortunately, despite this it did lose some of the charms of the first season this way. For me, the show has lost its novelty by now, and I don’t think that it’s really succeeded in making up for it, even though many people seem to disagree with this. For me, the height of Natsume Yuujin-chou still is the Hotaru-episode, and the second season did nothing to change that.

I think that one of the reasons for why the second season has made less impact is that it ends at a point where it’s simply still building up. There’s a huge part of the manga left to be animated, and the second season was mostly just setting the pieces correctly for those arcs. I that way, it served its purpose very well if there’s going to be a third season, but it doesn’t suffice as a finale here.

And don’t get me wrong here: Zoku Natsume Yuujin-chou is still a very enjoyable and relaxing slice of life series without any major flaws, but it just lacks the impact that the first season had, but there is still enough worth watching if you were also charmed by the first number of episodes like I was. Especially don’t miss the Tama-chapter.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

11 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    From what I understand there actually is not a lot of manga left to animate hence why we probably won’t get a 3rd season anytime soon. I think there is less than 2 volumes of material left to animate.

  2. midenz says:

    dang, i really hope there is going to be a 3rd season, natsume is just such a fantastic show to watch !

  3. Snowolf says:

    Has the manga finished? I hope not. Natsume Yuujinchou is a different type of anime/manga. It really reminds me of xxxHolic and Spirited Away put together- a light, fluffy kind of story with all sorts of different tiny things into it. Our main character bears a similar resemblance to Watanuki in that he has no self-worth, but is unlike Watanuki that he really explores the existence of youkai and their personalities. Along with the very interesting and genius relationship between Nyanko-sensei and Natsume- a “friendship” that’s mostly just a deal (almost like a feudal bond) which really gives some depth and comedy to the show.

    Natsume Yuujin Chou is so relaxed I feel so calm and happy by the end of it. It’s lazy (not in a bad way) and makes you want to daydream on clouds or something. The art isn’t superb but isn’t bad, but the voice actors are great at what they do (especially Nyanko-sensei) I totally agree with you that it needs to pick up a third season. They really need to get into the “main” storyline and go deep into the characters rather than having 26 “filler” episodes which are definitely cute but have kind of made me uneasy on watching more. It would be okay if it was a shounen anime, but since Natsumi is such a slow paced and relaxed show, it can’t afford to be even more slow paced than it is already. I hope we get some major character development into our heroes and youkai. :D

    But otherwise, Natsumi is a light story that’s bound to leave some sort of message on the tip of your tongue, no matter how sleepy you are :D

    Rating for the second season: 8.5/10

  4. Machi says:

    Well manga is in the same position as saiunkoku, namely not enough material yet. As you’ve pretty much summed up well the second season is simply a catapult for what seems to be a shift in the manga, mostly Taki’s chapter and the final episodes, which seems to be a more episodic Natsume Yuujinchou. (Can’t say much as I’m in airport :( oh well free net)

  5. Irie says:

    I generally found most of the episodes to be emotionally capivating. I never really expected an episodic adventure or some incredible conflict. Even so, the storytelling was unique in many ways and refreshing. A comfortable and relaxing show with the occasional tug on the heart strings. It would be great to get a 3rd season.

  6. Esme says:

    i’d luv for this to get a 2nd season…i mean…this show is one of the shows(other than XXXHolic) that actually got me rrly excited over…
    i mean the storyline…this may be slow…but if u watch it more slowly…u’ll understand the story better…
    but…this is just my opinion…rite…???

  7. renz says:

    I really loved this show. I really hope it comes back for another season or even an OVA or something.
    A real arc would be nice but i dont think its necessary and I dont know if it can capture the same emotions that the standalone ones do.

  8. randomperson =3 says:

    i LOVE this series to death. i love the way that everything is so smooth, crisp, and pastel. the voices are awsoe and i acutally like the second season as much if not more than the first. i hope there’s a third season!! it’s so refreshing and fun, i wasn’t expecting a major storyline…at all. but now it’s sort of implied unfortualtly they left a cliffhanger. i’ve never seen XXXHolic cause the dubbed version’s voice annoys me SOOOOOOO much i can’t STAND it. but i would have given this rateing
    storytelling- 9/10
    chareacters- 10/10 =D
    production values 10/10 =D
    setting- 10/10 =D

    maybe it’s ’cause i haven’t seen a half way decent anime for a month XD

  9. Akari says:

    Natsume also on my top 10 fav list, although the 2nd season seems like fillers to me, but still a very comfortable anime to watch.. a slow pace anime makes me think of Kobato..

  10. evolstar says:

    There’s a third season coming this July!

  11. kakadoodledoo says:

    evolstar, you just made my day.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.

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