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Archive for April, 2017

Natsume continues to be as sweet as usual. In the first chapter, Natsume gets turned into a child by a Youki he helped (the Youki really was trying to thank our hero!) and Nyanko-sensei along with Tanuma and Taki have to deal with the consequences. It helps us see how far Natsume has come by seeing how he used to be. In the next chapter, Natsume goes on a class trip, and he must figure out the mystery of a Youki at the place they are staying at, which is connected to four masks, the fourth one which only Natsume can see… In the following chapter, Natsume and Natori end up investigating the same house, whose owner is a normal person being haunted by Youkai. It is good to see how their relationship is now that Natsume has confessed the existence of The Book of Friends. Finally, we end with a chapter where Natsume decides to build a new, little flower garden for Touko, but some Youki interfere. Included are the usual notes from Midorikawa about life in the middle of each chapter, and notes on each chapter at the end. All in all, another wonderful volume.

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The Great Passage

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The Great Passage or Fune no Amu is an anime which aired last year and which is amazing. It follows introverted and socially awkward Majime as he becomes involved in the creation of a new dictionary and the people who become involved in his life as he learns to express himself. Doesn’t sound exciting? Well, it isn’t – if what you are looking for is an action-adventure. This is a slow slice-of-life that focuses on characters and the words that come to link them together. Making a dictionary is a very involved lengthy process. These people spend at least thirteen-years making this dictionary. Talk about dedication! Most of the time focuses on the first year or so when Majime first joins the dictionary team. The last few episodes focus on the last year or so, when the dictionary is finally finished. There are a number of memorable characters. There is Nishioka, who is loud and confident, easily connecting with people. There is the beautiful Kaguya who catches Majime’s eye sufficiently to fight against his own reserved nature. There is the gruff Araki, the former editor of the dictionary who now can only work part time, and the grandfatherly Matsumoto-sensei who is a language professor assisting the project. Admittedly, this may not be the type of story to attract everyone’s interest. As a Tolkien fan, knowing that he spent over a year working on the Oxford English Dictionary, of course I had to watch this series. If you enjoy character focused, slice-of-life stories that are grown-up then The Great Passage is well looking into.

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