Natsume’s Book of Friends Volume 20

So I asked for a lot of things for Christmas and one of them was this. I don’t have the space to continue collecting manga physically so I made a rule. I will only physically purchase manga that I already started buying physically and manga that mean so much to me that I want it in physical form. Natsume means a whole lot to me, so much that I have the DVDs and the manga. Although, I may have to break this rule, because there’s a BL manga I like that is only available physically…but I digress.

I was delighted to find the Tsukihigui chapter in this one, because that’s the episode in the anime I go back to the most. Even though Natsume doesn’t technically return to being a child, his mind reverts to that “I can’t trust anyone” mode. It also shines a light on Taki and Tanuma, and how important they are, and I always enjoy episodes like that. But what really stays with me from this episode is when Tanuma is describing all the stuff they do with Nishimura and Kitamoto and Natsume’s just like “I have friends? And we hang out together? It’s like a dream.” My heart just sinks every time. But it’s heart-warming to watch Tanuma, Taki, and Nyanko Sensei support him. Though, admittedly, part of me really wanted to see what would happen if Nyanko Sensei took him to Natori…lol.

The Ten Nights chapter was interesting. Yorishima especially. Even if he really doesn’t know Reiko, maybe he knows something about Natsume’s grandfather or dad. Apparently, Natsume’s grandfather had ties with an exorcist, and if Yorishima’s family used to run in those same circles, there might be a connection somewhere. Even Natsume sensed something strange about him, though it could just be his yokai arm if that rumor is true. I definitely want to see him in future chapters.

On another note, I absolutely love chapters involving Natori, because his relationship with Natsume is so interesting. Sometimes he gives off the big brother vibe, other times he seems almost parental, and then other times he’s like a mentor. I know those all sound the same, but to me there are distinct differences. Watching Natsume stand up for Natori and seeing Natori’s reaction made me squeal. Watching Natori say that he wanted to free Natsume from the book…almost made me cry. Tanuma and Taki are amazing because they believe Natsume without having the same level of ability. But Natori can see everything Natsume sees, and so he’s probably the only human friend Natsume can be completely honest with. This is especially true now that he’s told Natori about the book. So I always enjoy seeing them together. But I think hearing Natori say that also…made me feel a bit sad and showed that there is still a disconnect between them. I know he means well, but for Natsume, it’s not a burden. But Natori- and probably Yorishima too- have more experience and have drawn a line between yokai and humans. I’m sure Natori worries that if Natsume gets drawn in too deeply, he won’t be able to live normally. I mean, Misuzu and Hinoe had this conversation way earlier in the series, and Natsume and Nyanko Sensei had this conversation when they first met. But I still think that even if they somehow got rid of the book…Natsume would still be Natsume and get mixed up in things simply because that’s his nature. Though, he’d probably be a heck of a lot safer because the yokai would no longer have a reason to chase him…

Overall, I really enjoyed this volume. One final note…baby boar Sensei is adorable!!!

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