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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

No Longer Human, Volume 2
Osamu Dazai, Usamaru Furuya
Progress: 100/194 pages
The Dinosaur Lords: A Novel
Victor Milán
Progress: 304/574 pages
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Robert I. Sutton
Progress: 6/210 pages
The Listerdale Mystery and Eleven Other Stories
Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser
Progress: 3/6 minutes
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Abigail Revasch, Tara Sands
Progress: 190/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Natsume's Book of Friends (vol. 1) by Yuki Midorikawa, translated by Lillian Olsen

Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 1 - Yuki Midorikawa, Lillian Olsen

This series is, for the most part, pretty episodic, so I'll try to briefly mention which stories are covered in each volume. In this volume, Natsume learns about the Book of Friends and gains Nyanko-sensei as a bodyguard. Many years ago, Natsume's grandmother traveled from place to place, dominating yokai (spirits and supernatural beings) and forcing them to write their names in her Book of Friends. As the owner of the Book of Friends, Natsume could opt to control those yokai, but instead he decides to give as many names back as he can. In the second chapter, he helps a Dew God get his name back and sees that there can be good/bittersweet relationships between yokai and humans. In the third chapter, he learns that someone has been exorcising yokai in a particular area, and he discovers that one of his classmates can probably see yokai too. In the fourth chapter, Natsume helps a swallow yokai see the human who befriended her one last time before she fades away.

Even though I've seen the anime multiple times, and nothing in this volume was a surprise to me, it still made me cry. Natsume says he doesn't care for yokai and maybe sees giving them their names back as a way of cutting them out of his life. However, in reality, his efforts seem to increase his empathy for them. Natsume's a kind kid, and I think Nyanko-sensei senses that too.

The artwork is nice, but has a very wispy feel to it, different enough from the anime that it took me some time to get used to it.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)