What Are The Best Anime Like Natsume Yuujinchou?
Natsume Yuujinchou may come to mind when considering Japanese folklore. Despite the fact that it has a lot to do with the supernatural, the anime manages to be both mellow and engaging at the same time. The perfect show to unwind after a season of bingeing on shounen anime? Look no further.
Since the current anime has already covered the majority of the manga, another season is unlikely for some time. Until then, here are ten shows to watch if you like Natsume Yuujichou but want something different.
10. Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods
Sadly, the death of Makoto Saeki’s mother gives Makoto the ability to see yokai and meet Gintarou, a fox spirit who has been protecting the Inari temple for a very long time. The plot revolves around Makoto’s day-to-day activities as both a student and a shrine attendant.
If you like Natsume Yuujinchou’s laid-back style, you’ll enjoy Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods. Both shows center on assisting both humans and spirits. Each of the protagonists learns something new about the world and about themselves as a result of their day-to-day adventures. What better way to see the world than through the eyes of your yokai?
When it comes to seeing and attracting ghosts, Kimihiro Watanuki is unmatched. He comes across Yuuko’s shop while fleeing from a spirit. Yuuko, who has picked up on his ability, offers to take it away for a fee. Until Watanuki has paid the full value of his wish, he must now work for Yuuko. Under Yuuko’s guidance, he performs routine daily tasks as well as paranormal errands that put his life in jeopardy.
Both have similar beginnings. It begins the same way for Watanuki and Natsume: fleeing an evil spirit. This leads them to meet someone who promises them protection. When Natsume awakens “Madara,” he calls him “Nyanko-sensei” because of his fat cat appearance. Watanuki meets Yuuko and works for her. After their initial encounters, both protagonists become more involved with the spirits. Undoubtedly, this is something they ought to have considered prior to signing a contract with each other
Kantarou Ichinomiya had a lifelong obsession with finding the oni-eating tengu in order to become stronger. With experience as a folklorist/exorcist under his belt, he accepts a job that sends him to the location where the oni-eating tengu is imprisoned. In the end, Kantarou succeeds in becoming the tengu’s master and renames him “Haruka.”. Each episode focuses on Kantarou’s role in sealing spirits and cleaning up areas that have been contaminated by them. Haruka’s memories slowly resurface as the story progresses, endangering his relationship with his master.
Neither anime depicts how a yokai can coexist peacefully with humans. As well as demonstrating the power of a “name,” both Natsume Reiko and Kantarou demonstrate their control over yokai by compiling their names in a book. If you’re interested in Japanese Mythology folklore, Tactics has a wealth of information.
7. Spirited Away
Chihiro and her parents find an abandoned amusement park on their way to their new house. Her parents were turned into pigs as a result of them going hungry and not paying for it. After that, Chihiro runs into Haku, who fills her in on the happenings on “this” side of the world, as well as the whereabouts of her biological parents. To buy time to figure out how to free herself from her parents’ spell and leave the area, Haku instructs her to work in the bathhouse.
Chihiro, unlike Natsume, was not born with the ability to see spirits, but she still found herself in a lot of sticky situations thanks to them. The good news for Chihiro is that her journey does not go on for as long as Natsume’s one does. Despite the fact that it is not a series, Natsume Yuujinchou and this Ghibli classic have a lot in common. Both show the power of a name, have a main shapeshifting bodyguard, and most importantly, teach the audience the value of friendship. As a result of being forced to relocate, Natsume and Chihiro are both revealed to be reclusive individuals. Additionally, both main characters triumph over their personal struggles throughout the course of the series.
Yato, a minor god, has a fantasy of having a colossal following. As he continues to misplace his regalia and has no shrine built in his honor, his goal appears a long way off. Afterwards, he meets Hiyori Iki, who believes he is a normal human being and makes an attempt to save him from a speeding truck by using his powers. A result of this incident is that Hiyori’s soul frequently departs her body, leaving it dormant. She wants things to be the way they were before she met Yato. Hiyori vows to remain loyal to Yato until he finds a way to restore her to normal, and until then, she will worship the minor god in hopes that he will keep his promise to her.
Despite the fact that Noragami has a lot more action than Natsume Yuujinchou, the two series have a lot of the same themes: friendships that cross worlds (the spiritual and the human), the importance of family, and the journey of self-discovery. Hiyori chooses to stay with Yato and Yukine despite the fact that she has the option to leave later on. This is similar to Natsume’s decision in the first episode to take responsibility for his grandmother’s past actions in order to better understand her and yokai. Also, if you pay attention to things like voice actors, you’ll notice that Yato and Natsume have the same one: Hiroshi Kamiya.
5. The Eccentric Family
Yasaburo Shimogamo, a tanuki who has been living among the people of Kyoto without anyone’s knowledge, has been keeping watch over them. To blend in and observe humans and tengu without suspicion, he uses his shapeshifting abilities to help him blend in and blend in with the environment. In the past, a human gang known as the “Friday Club” had eaten Yasaburo’s father. Towards the end of the story, Yasaburo finally learns the truth about his father’s death.
Yasaburo, the main character in The Eccentric Family, has traits similar to Natsume, except he’s a tanuki. Yasaburo, like Natsume, is an outsider in his own family because of his desire to be more human and learn about his father’s death, which has earned him the nickname “weird” by his relatives and classmates. A charming tale told from the viewpoint of a curious yokai.
4. Silver Spoon
Silver Spoon tells the story of Yugo Hachiken, a teenager who is tired of living up to his overbearing parents’ expectations. To avoid his parents, he enrolls in Oezo Agricultural High School in Hokkaido. Yugo expected an easy time because his agricultural school was in the countryside, but he was wrong. Instead of starting from scratch, he’ll have to learn everything about farming and raising livestock from the ground up. In his new school, Yugo is learning more about farming and everyday life.
In addition to being an anime about the supernatural, Natsume Yuujinchou is also a light novel that emphasizes the value of finding one’s self and making friends. These lessons in life can push you out of your comfort zone at times. During Silver Spoon’s new school year, Yugo must adjust to a new environment and learn that life is not as simple as following the rules laid out in a textbook. While this anime does not have any supernatural elements, it still manages to be gripping. All of the fundamental life lessons are still there, served with a dash of humor.
3. Fukigen na Mononokean
Hanae Ashiya’s health began to deteriorate once he entered high school for no apparent reason. Due to his condition, he was confined to the school’s infirmary for the first week of class. Who is to blame for this sudden change in the course of events? Hanae was attacked by a yokai disguised as a small furry creature. Desperate, Hanae seeks out an exorcist—Haruitsuka Abeno—who, instead of directly assisting Hanae, aids him in seeing the yokai world from a new point of view. Hanae is now Abeno’s assistant, helping him deal with a variety of nefarious issues.
Fukigen na Mononokean, another Natsume Yuujinchou title worth checking out, is a lighter fare. While the main characters of both animes face off against yokais early on, they remain friendly toward them. Both characters try to understand the yokai around them rather than rejecting them and labeling them as “evil”.
2. Kamisama Kiss
Nanami Momozono is in a difficult position after her father abandoned her and she was forcibly evicted from her home due to her father’s mounting debt. When Nanami is forced to look for a new place to live, she saves a man named “Mikage” from a vicious dog. She opens up to him about her predicament. Afterwards, Mikage provides her with directions to a house and lets her know that she is welcome to live there permanently. At the “house,” she discovers that the fox spirit Tomoe has taken up residence, guarding it. Tomoe, who at first seemed hostile to Nanami, eventually grew to love her.
To make matters worse, our two protagonists now face issues relating to the yokai community. One fateful encounter with their respective yokai guardians is the catalyst for the rest of the story. You’d think they’d be free of supernatural problems if they hadn’t hired their guardians. Characters in both anime series initially despise spirits but learn to coexist and enjoy their time with them throughout the course of the series.
1. Hotarubi no Mori e
Every summer, Hotaru Takegawa spends time in the countryside. One fateful summer, she gets lost in the woods and meets a mysterious human-like boy in a mask who tells her a strange story. As he leads her out of the woods, the young man introduces himself as Gin and warns her not to touch him lest he vanish. He warns her not to go back into the forest after they reach the end of it. Hotaru, on the other hand, returns to the forest year after year and forms a strong bond with Gin.
Since Hotarubi no Mori e is written by Yuki Midorikawa, the same author as Natsume Yujinchou, it’s likely that people will notice the similarities in the art style and color palette. Hotaru, like Natsume, has difficulty deciding which side of the plane she belongs on. She wants to be a part of Gin’s life, but she’s limited in her yokai activities due to her human nature. Both shows depict the bitter reality of making friends with spirits who have a different perception of time in the world than we do.