Natsume is lonely; he has an ability that separates him from others: he can see and interact with spirits. Soon, however, Natsume discovers that he’s not alone: his grandmother Reiko also had the gift. But things get hectic and possibly dangerous for Natsume when he finds out that he also inherited the 'Book of Friends', a book that contains the names of all the spirits Reiko defeated and subjugated. He finds himself hounded by his grandmother's underlings and, with the help of a 'cat' charm spirit, decides to free them from the Book's shackles, as well as protect the book from those who seek to misuse its power...
In the feudal kingdom of Yogo, a dark secret is threatening its proud imperial family, and the Emperor intends to destroy it before it leaks out. Unfortunately this dark secret resides within his son, the young and innocent Second Prince Chagum. Enter Balsa, a wandering warrior who has sworn to save eight lives in penance for those she has taken during her violent career. Upon accepting her role as protector to Chagum, her eighth and final job, the two begin a perilous journey that tests not only their physical endurance and mental resolve, but also the tentative relationship they build along the way. Will Balsa fulfill her penance and protect Chagum as he seeks to understand the nature of his secret? Or will the Emperor's relentless assassins and other powerful enemies get them first?
Both anime involve a young man struggling to bridge the world between reality and ethereal. At the same time, the protagonist is learning his place in the world and discovering more about the world around him. The slow pace of each anime allows for rich character development.
Ran Isozaki is a typical middle school student with a typical crush on her childhood friend Rui, and a not-so-typical ability: she has just discovered that she has the power of telepathy! Though she'd rather be finding ways to get Rui's attention, Ran finds herself in the middle of sinister supernatural situations; but she's not alone! Joining Ran is the cocky and beautiful Naha Midori, a fellow telepath who has just transferred to Ran's school. Together, Ran, Naha and Rui will experience the joys of middle school, and the perils of the supernatural!
Both series deal with the same topic - "the hidden world" that co-exists with our world. Common people cannot hear strange voices, cannot see spirits and strange creatures, but the main characters can and are therefore destined to help them and to understand them. The only difference is that Natsume has to deal with them alone with his "cat" while Ran has a precious friend who has the same powers. If you liked one, be sure to check out the other.
Yuki is an introverted teenager whose intense fear of public speaking makes it difficult for him to make friends, so hoping for a fresh start, he moves with his grandmother to the small island of Enoshima. Shortly after his arrival he encounters Haru, a strange youth claiming to be an alien - and what's more, the otherworldly visitor requests his help to catch a strange being that inhabits the local waters! Along with fellow classmate and local angling celebrity Natsuki, the boys must now form a bond in the hopes of saving the town from the force that is threatening it. With a mysterious organization also lurking about and posing potential danger, Yuki must put his best face forward and protect the island... with the help of a fishing rod?!
While these two series have different plots, they both involve a boy who has trouble making friends who meets a non-human being that changes his life. The main characters of both series make some friends as their respective series go on. Both series are mostly lighthearted and laidback (though Tsuritama does get a little bit tense in the last couple of episodes). Both series also have plenty of funny moments (though Tsuritama's humor is often crazier than Natsume Yuujinchou's) and you get a feel-good feeling after watching both series. Overall, I think if you like one, you will probably like the other.
When Daikichi's grandfather dies he leaves behind a young daughter named Rin. However, as most of the family is embarrassed at the idea of a 79-year-old man having a six-year-old child, they can't seem to figure out what to do with her. Disgusted by this behavior, Daikichi decides to take care of her himself, but he's a bachelor, has no idea how to raise a child, and isn't even all that comfortable with kids! Now, Daikichi must do the normal things a parent does such as enroll her in school, buy her clothing and teach her about the life and world around her. But more importantly, he must also help her deal with her father's death and decide whether or not she should try to find her mother. Together, the two begin their unlikely relationship as father and daughter, navigating each of life's bumps along the way.
While these two anime have very different plots (as well as Natsume Yuujinchou being a supernateral fantasy and Usagi Drop being more realistic), both shows have similar feel. They are both mostly light-hearted (with a little bit a drama here and there) and leave you with a pleasant feeling after watching them. They are also very cute and touching series.
Aizawa Ayumu is spending the summer visiting his father in the quiet, rural town of Tana; but before long, he begins to notice that things aren't quite right. Flowers are blooming out of season and stories of ghosts and kappa abound, but for Ayumu, the strangest thing of all is the appearance of mysterious creatures who take the form of floating balls of light. Adding to this mystery is Wakkun - a boy who seems to be connected to the lights and claims to know Ayumu from the past. Now, Ayumu begins to search for the truth about the lights and Wakkun, as a summer like no other begins...
Both series have a rural, slow paced atmosphere. Both feature spirits, although the spirits of Natsume Yuujinchou are shinto spirits while the spirits in Zettai Shonen are based off of famous toys. Natsume Yuujinchou is about how the protagonist relates to the spirits, while Zettai Shonen is more of a mystery series.