Natsume himself is the focus of this third episode. As we open, twilight colors and suburban sprawl return us to Natsume’s childhood, as he cries over his strangeness beneath a playground slide. As he laments his isolation, a girl comes up to console him, and asks the question he most wants to hear: “can you see them too?” Perhaps Natsume is not so alone after all.
Natsume’s second episode opens with a distant shot portraying Natsume’s school, along with more of the rural scenery that has already proven to be one of the show’s central characters. I love that scenery, beautiful even in this show’s simply drawn, low-resolution format. Rural Japan is one of my favorite anime settings, along with that “vaguely medieval Mediterranean countryside” employed by shows like Kino’s Journey and Haibane Renmei. Perhaps it’s simply a natural tendency towards exoticism, but something about Japan’s rolling hills and sprawling farmlands naturally puts me at ease. Continue reading
Natsume’s Book of Friends has long been one of my shortlist shows – the shows whose reputations are so strong that I essentially know I’ll get to them, and so it’s just a matter of when. Of course, the “when” is its own serious hurdle in my case, since I’ve moved from being so slow about getting through backlist that it barely moves to so overwhelmed by other things I literally need to watch that it doesn’t really move at all. I get through a handful of personal watches a year at this point, which makes it a great relief when someone decides to support something like Planetes, or Nichijou, or Natsume’s Book of Friends.