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Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 5 by Yuki…
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Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 5 (edition 2011)

by Yuki Midorikawa (Author)

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1262180,719 (4.22)1
"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. Takashi thinks he's found a balance between yokai and friends when he goes with a group of classmates to a country inn for a marathon cram session before school starts again. But even the prosaic threat of homework can't keep the 'other world' at bay, especially when the innkeeper has been dabbling in mermaid blood!"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
Member:OmeSinclair
Title:Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 5
Authors:Yuki Midorikawa (Author)
Info:VIZ Media LLC (2011), Edition: Original, 200 pages
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Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 5 by Yuki Midorikawa

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Originally posted here at Anime Radius.

As the fifth volume of Natsume's Book of Friends progresses, something quickly becomes obvious: the world of humans and the world of yokai are quickly becoming acquainted with each other in ways not previously seen in this series. We are meeting more humans who have encountered ayakashi and become cursed (Taki and her magic circles) or have unknowingly been a part of a yokai capture (Uncle Shigeru). As we see these interactions, we can further understand Natsume's own loneliness, not only at feeling detached from either world but also because he keeps meeting people who have touched the peripheral edge of the realm of ayakashi but do not live with the sight every day like he does. In Yuki Midorikawa's typically brilliant way, we are slowly brought into Natsume's shoes and shown the world through his eyes to understand how he feels and why his gift is more of a heavy load than an aid.

The stories in this particular book span the spectrum from exciting to emotional, serious to humorous, but never in such a way that they seem out of place together. Nyanko-sensei is a constant source of comic relief, although there is a moment during the Taki story arc when Natsume temporarily loses his otherworldly sight that his presence becomes a sobering one. There is also another Natsume observation log 'special episode' which brings back series favorite Tanuma and has him meet Nyanko-sensei for the first time. As usual, these stories will leave readers both quietly satisfied and wishing they had the next volume in their hands as soon as possible. It is always rare to find a manga that keeps its storytelling and character quality consistently high over a number of volumes, especially past the two/three volume mark, making Natsume a precious kind of rarity indeed; may Yuki Midorikawa never abandon this jewel of a series.
( )
  sarahlh | Mar 6, 2021 |
First story: Natsume goes on a study group trip and meets a mermaid and an old woman who believes she used the mermaid's blood to curse a friend of hers with immortality. Second story: Natsume meets Taki, a girl who draws circles that allow her to see any yokai that step into them, and helps her end a curse that has been plaguing her for almost a year. Third story: Shigeru (Mr. Fujiwara) tells Natsume about meeting an eccentric but kind girl when he was a child. Natsume knows that the girl he met was Reiko, and that she rid Shigeru's home of a nasty yokai. Fourth story: Tanuma wishes Natsume were more honest with him about the things he sees, because the way Natsume holds himself apart from everyone makes him feel a bit lonely.

The third and fourth stories were my favorites, in large part because I love stories that deal with Reiko in more depth and stories that deal with Natsume's relationships with other humans.

I love that Shigeru is so direct about telling Natsume that he knows he's keeping himself apart from them and that he'd like Natsume to trust them and think of them as family. The Fujiwaras are mostly background characters, but anytime they're around for even a little bit, they're always such lovely people. Even as a child, Shigeru was the kind of person who'd befriend a lonely girl like Reiko.

And Tanuma – poor guy, thinking he can't connect with Natsume. I can't wait to see their friendship deepen. Tanuma's barely been in the series so far. It's easy to forget that he exists.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Dec 5, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yuki Midorikawaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Olsen, LillianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"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. Takashi thinks he's found a balance between yokai and friends when he goes with a group of classmates to a country inn for a marathon cram session before school starts again. But even the prosaic threat of homework can't keep the 'other world' at bay, especially when the innkeeper has been dabbling in mermaid blood!"--P. [4] of cover.

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