Final Thoughts: Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou
Ever since Nyanko-sensei came into his life, Natsume Takashi has slowly learned that being able to see spirits doesn’t mean he has to distance himself from other people. But even as he juggles the responsibilities of human friendships and the Book of Friends, new challenges will arise that test his powers and make him consider his place in between everyday life and the world of the supernatural.
In its first season, Natsume Yuujinchou quickly grew on me and established itself as one of the better supernatural series out there- and with a fresh batch of manga stories to draw from, it seemed only sensible to expect the second season to keep on delivering quality material. Fortunately, not only did this season live up to expectations, it went a long way towards strengthening Natsume Yuujinchou’s already worthy reputation.
Continuing in the vein of the first season, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou brings us more episodic tales of the supernatural, offering its usual mix of the amusing and the thoughtful to bring each story to life. From a delightful tale in which a black version of Nyanko-sensei mysteriously shows up to hideous monster intent on devouring its victim, each episode is always a treat to watch, and certainly the highlight of any viewing schedule.
In the first season of Natsume Yuujinchou, we saw our hero grow beyond his enforced isolation, and Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou continues the process. Once again, we see our hero slowly opening up to the people in his life, maintaining old friendships, establishing new ones, and even slowly breaking down the barriers he erected between himself and his foster parents. Not that Natsume is the only character on display, of course, for as well as bringing back the always solid supporting cast, this second season throws a few new faces into the mix, most notably Taki Tooru, an onmyouji and new ally who can see spirits who pass through her magic circles. Also of interest are some further insights into the character of Natsume’s capricious grandmother Reiko, whilst the delightful Nyanko-sensei remains a consistent scene-stealer.
Visually, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou brings us more of the same subdued pastel visuals; it will never be the flashiest series out there, but it still looks attractive. Nyanko-sensei seems to be fatter than ever, but other than that the series is on a par with the first season. Similarly, background music continues to serve its purpose without particularly standing out.
After a strong first season, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou brings us a slightly tweaked and improved formula that delivers even more goodness than ever before. Watching it is a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable experience- more of the same, please.