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English Dub Review: Natsume’s Book of Friends “Touko and Shigeru”

Overview (Spoilers Below):
Touko and Shigeru are the kind elderly couple who took in Natsume when no one else would.  But what were they like before they let Natsume move in?

Our Take:
This week’s episode brings viewers back to the past to focus on the show’s supporting characters.  This time, it focuses on the Fujiwaras, a kind couple and friends of Natsume’s family who gave the protagonist a home when his family neglected him.  However, unlike “A World Unbent”, this episode doesn’t start immediately with the past.  Instead, it showcased a little bit of present-day Natsume helping Touka with the laundry.  More importantly, it doesn’t involve any hints of yokai whatsoever, making this episode a surprising change of pace in the show’s formula.
“Touch and Shigeru” is a flashback episode showcasing Touka and Shigeru’s tranquil life before adopting Natsume.  While attending a funeral for Natsume’s late father, Shigeru encountered young Natsume sitting alone while his father’s cousins talked about getting rid of the teen.  In case you aren’t aware, this is due to Natsume’s ability to see yokai making him behave erratically.  From everyone else’s perspective, they think Natsume has gone bonkers.  As a result, Shigeru decided to adopt Natsume and welcomed him to their home, kicking off the series’s events.
Despite living in their home alone, Touka and Shigeru are still the lovely and supportive couple we’ve known in previous episodes.  They are also worried about Natsume’s “behavior” occasionally, but they’re never quick to abandon him like his father’s cousins or anyone else in the family. Instead, Touko and Shigeru treat Natsume the way he wants to be treated: accepting and welcoming. In short, Natsume is the son they never had, filling their lonely hearts with love.  Despite feeling aimless at first, “Touko and Shigeru” offers a comforting portrait of loneliness and love that shows why the Fujiwaras are the perfect family Natsume could ask for.  Considering that we’re nearing the end of this short season, this is one of the splendid ways to close off Natsume’s latest series of tranquil misadventures.

I’m a recent writer for BubbleBlabber who has an extraordinary passion for films and television, especially from the animation genre. I also spent plenty of hours playing video games, most notably from the Kingdom Hearts franchise. My goal is to provide the most friendly and entertaining reviews on the planet. Whenever something might be good or not, I always remain optimistic and curious about a specific concept from a film or television show.

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