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