Natsumes Book of Friends DVD Review
Natsume's Book of Friends is
an anime adaptation of the
original manga by Yuki Midorikawa. The anime adaptation is from
Takahiro Omori (Baccano!, Durarara!!) and the series began airing
in Japan in 2008 and aired in four seasons through to 2012. It's an
fun, and generally lighthearted show about a character who can see
is about a young man named Natsume and his adventures (or misadventures?) as he sees yokai spirits that often chase
after him due to his resemblance to his grandmother Reiko. Natsume has
book that his grandmother used to collect the names and sprits of the
and this is a book that Natsume doesn't seem to want to have anything
with. It doesn't take long into the series for him to decide that he
return the names of the collected yokai and to set them free from the
not your typical teenager, and this is of course something that is
the get go. He is not typical in several ways, not only in
consideration of the
fact that he can see and speak to yokai and most teenagers (and adults)
do so at all. Natsume is a kind, mature youth of considerable decency
comes to how he interacts with others. Natsume's kind determination to
is one of his greatest personal strengths. He is also deeply spiritual
energy-wise and thus the strong connection to spirit beings on the show.
world, the book of friends is a highly sought after item and one that
lot of value to many yokai spirits. There are other spirits who would
possess the book solely because of what it could bring them in newfound
and abilities. Natsume has no real interest in any of this power that
attained from the book of friends.
meeting a spirit who does care about the book's special powers, a
odd feline cat (a yokai sealed in a cat statue who then takes on the
Natsume decides to enlist his help and promise the cat-yokai,
the book upon his passing. The cat (might as well call him one!)
favorably and decides to enlist his help to Natsume in working as a
of sorts for Natsume. A friendship and many a funny quip from that
most part, this is a well done show. It actually reminds me a bit of Cardcaptor Sakura with the premise. This
is of course somewhat hilarious when one stop's and considers how it
technically is almost a polar-opposite plot-concept in execution. The
similar but the stories themselves and the direction taken was quite
anime fans will be inclined to appreciate the fact that this is a
character-based show, and not altogether focused upon the plot
a series with an actual story but it spends a lot more time on focusing
character developments and these moments are at the core of the series.
more about Natsume and it helps the show achieve long-term success.
This is a
highly episodic series and one that will appeal those looking for a fun
The artwork impresses, the direction is sublime, and the characters are
fascinating to behold and get to know. Natsume's
Book of Friends is a true success as an anime series.
Book of Friends is a
beautiful looking series but
the DVD presentation isn't one of the best I've seen. The image is a
and the colors are sometimes less pronounced than I would have
However, the transfers are clean and seem to present the source
well as can be expected. These 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers
the original television broadcast presentation.
is Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles are in English. The series has
fairly standard audio presentation that seems more focused on dialogue
anything else, but it does have good depth when it comes to music
and occasional front-channel sound effects which are well utilized on
America is the most impressive new anime distributor to arrive on the
North American audience in ages, and the company has licensed all four
this series for release over two Premium Edition DVD collections. This
first collection contains the first and second seasons of the series.
series is housed in a collectible art-box with an art-book featuring the
outer design of Natsume's book of friends (as seen in the series), an
guide for the two seasons, an interview with the director, character
production artwork, and pages of full-page art from the series.
extras include clean openings
and endings for each season and Japanese promotional commercials.
Book of Friends is
entertaining series that is worth checking out for anime fans, and this
edition DVD release from NIS America is a real winner despite the lack
on-disc extras. The quality of the presentation is good and the
amazing. It definitely is a release that deserves consideration. For fans of the anime, this will be an easy
purchase. The set is well worth owning.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.