Natsume’s Book of Friends, vol. 1

All his life Takashi Natsume has been able to see things that others cannot. Since his parents died after he was born, Takashi has spent his life being shipped from relative to relative, with all of them too scared of him to keep him for long. Now that he is in high school, he has finally found a home and, with the discovery of a mysterious book that belonged to his grandmother Reiko Natsume, he may be on his way to finding some answers to his mysterious ability. Like Takashi, Reiko had the ability to see yokai–spirits and demons–but she used that ability to bully those spirits, locking their names away in her book. Now Takashi must return those names to their rightful owners…dangerous beings who will do anything to get back their names.

Midorikawa’s manga is as quiet and gentle as her main character. Takashi is an outcast who has learned, out of necessity, to be a wallflower. Imagine never knowing your parents and then add on top of that the horrors of seeing scary monsters which no one else can see. Even worse, no one believes you and they reject you for your visions. Though Takashi is now in a good home, he tries hard to be unobtrusive so that they won’t be bothered by him. His pain is never overstated, but is, none-the-less, heart-breaking….

This review was originally posted at Good Comics for Kids. Please visit the original post to see the rest of the review.

Natsume’s Book of Friends, vol. 1
Yuki Midorikawa
ISBN 978-1-4215-3243-1
VIZ, January 2010

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