Natsume's Book of Friends Season 4 - Reviews

Alt title: Natsume Yuujinchou Shi

EdtheRadical's avatar
Apr 25, 2012

The first 3 seasons of the Natsume Yuujinchou series sowed many seeds from which to develop the story and characters. All of us have secrets that can sometimes make us feel alone in this world. There are somethings that the rest of the world won't or simply can't understand. Can you truly have friends who don't know important things about you? As Natsume gets more involved with the world of Youkai these questions are explored.

The series continues to follow a slow-paced episodic style. What makes this season my favourite is the balance between tales of interesting Youkai with and the story of Natsume's growth as a character.


The standard of animation follows the previous seasons. There a range of interesting character drawings, nice backgrounds and occasional action scenes. It is largely flawless but nothing spectacular. Nonetheless, its a joy to watch.


The sound track is appropriate, with a nice OP and ED. The voice acting is also flawless.


Character development is arguably one of the greatest strenghts of this show. Natsume is continually tested and grows as a person. However, there are many other well rounded interesting characters we learn more about during this season. The characters are often asked to make decisions with no right or wrong answer. Although some Youkai are simply evil, we most characters are an interesting shades of grey.


Its rare for Anime to go beyond 2 seasons and maitain such a high quality. However the fourth season of Natsume has proven to be the best so far. This is largely due to character and story development in the earlier seasons. Nonetheless, this has been one the most enjoyale series I have watched and I can't wait for the next season!

10/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
kenikki's avatar
Oct 19, 2012

The fourth season of Natsume Yuujinchou is here. But is it as good as it's predecessors? The answer is "I guess..."

Natsume Takashi has the ability to see spirits, which he has long kept secret. However, once he inherits a strange book that belonged to his deceased grandmother, Reiko, he discovers the reason why spirits surround him. Containing the names of these spirits, a binding contract was formed between the spirits and the owner of the book. Now, Natsume is determined to free the spirits and dissolve the contracts. With the help of a spirit cat - Madara/Nyanko-sensei, his days are filled trying to return the names to these spirits. 

Quick recap of my feelings on the previous seasons:

First season - Great! Relaxing, fun and heartwarming.

Second season - Almost as good. Pretty much more of the same.

Third season - Pretty good. It went for a more serious storyline, which it suffered for.

So how's the fourth season? Well, honestly it wasn't all that good. I did like it better than the third season. But not by much. For some reason it was somewhat dull. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I suspect it's because I'm simply tired of this series by this point. It's not particularly "heartwarming" at any point in this season (with the very last scene being a possible exception), and all the scenes of this kind revolves around Natsume - his past and his feelings. I would prefer to have stories that focused more on the spirits - and we would get to experience these stories through Natsume's point of view. The spirits aren't very imaginative either anymore. It's kind of just trodding along in the same manner it always has, but it needs to be new and creative in at least some way for it to work. And if not, then it should excel at being heartwarming (get used to seeing me write this word) or emotionally gripping or having some sense of urgency.

However, if this is really how it is, then why do I consider the third season to be the worst when it actually tries to introduce a slightly more serious and lasting story line? Honestly, I can't say exactly what it is that bothers me with this season - but there is something with Natsume Yuujinchou that simply doesn't work for me anymore. And it's not because I don't like slow paced Slice-of-Life series. If they excel in some particular field then they could be some of the better anime series out there. The Aria franchise is one of my favorites within anime. That's because the entire series is so heartwarming (there's that word again) and nice and pleasant and sweet. I feel so good inside when I watch that series. Then again, another reason why I love the Aria franchise so much is because it has such an amazing ending. And by ending I mean half the last season - Aria The Origination. So it didn't exactly trodd along the same path forever. If it would, then I'm sure I'd grow tired of it as well.

But this review is supposed to be about Natsume Yuujinchou Shi - so I'll stop bringing up Aria now :P

If anyone else is having the same thoughts as I am, then please let me know why you're thinking this way. Or let me know if you merely have a theory on why I'd be feeling this way about the series.

Ok, so that's what bothered me with the series - but that's not to say that I didn't like it overall. In fact, I did. I found it to be pretty good. It never outright bored me, and Nyanko-sensei is still as fun as he's ever been. He's entertaining in every single scene he appears in and his the greatest aspect of this entire season.

My second favorite character is Natsume's friend Tanuma - because he gets some pretty good development as he ventures further into the world of spirits in order to discover more about what Natsume goes through.

Despite it's flaws it is still quite enjoyable for me and I will definitely watch the fifth season if they ever make it.


The good:


Tanuma Kaname

More of the same

The bad:

Just more of the same...

Not as heartwarming as it could be

Spirits aren't imaginative

6/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
6/10 overall
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Efinate's avatar
Jun 9, 2022

Finally i finished the 4th season of this series and this was better than the last season tbh. This season focused on the backstory of our main protagonist which was something i liked and this season also deepend the friendship between tanuma and natsume but i feel like the other main side characters like taki and sasada needed more screentime. Only 2 more seasons are left and i really wanna know how natsume reiko is related to our protagonist like on which side of the family. The animation was better this time and the soundtrack was absolutely amazing and flawless.i am still very confused that this series isn't that famous like this really is a underrated show.

7/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.2/10 overall
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RinReborn27's avatar
Jun 24, 2015

First of all, I'd like to mention that I watched all of the Natsume Yuujinchou series in a short amount of time and if they would release another sequel I would watch that one as well. This anime is just so captivating that it leaves you wanting more and more episodes to watch.


We follow the teenage boy Natsume and his cat Nyanko-sensei around in their daily life, which is almost normal. Natsume can see spirits, his cat is one too, and he inherited the "Book of Friends" from his grandmother. The spirits have a great interest in Natsume's heirloom and that causes the boy to get mixed up in their lives, we get to see how Natsume deals with the spirits in an episodic way.


Natsume Yuujinchou has a certain style of animation that fits the series really well because it looks like the story feels. Light and simple but it delivers the story with great elegance.


The opening and ending songs are ones you don't really want to skip, they fit the feel of the anime well. The voice acting is also quite good, although sometimes the spirits fail to deliver the serious tone that once in a while is needed.


If you really like to see some serious character development then look no further, this is it. We really see how Nastume grows from a shy and quiet character into one that laughs openly with his friends, be it humans or spirits.

The side characters aren't left out either and we also see how they, along with Natsume, grow up and go about their daily lives.


This is a pretty good anime, aside from some minor faults, the big thing that bothers me the most is how some plotlines aren't resolved in the end. But we did get to meet Natsume and watch him grow up, which I think was really something incredible.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall
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Maarten's avatar
Jul 20, 2017

And again Natsume 4 is so great, the story is beautiful.

Animation is perfect.

The begin song is good and of course as normal by Natsume the end song is so special, it give you every episode a great feeling.

I realy like the characters, they are serious and sometimes with a lot of humor.

I realy enjoy to watch Natsume 5.

10/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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