Hey, guys hope you are having an amazing day. Here are my favorite picks for 10 Similar Anime Like Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou). This list is made by my personal opinion and If there’s a particular anime that you feel deserves to be on this list, leave us a comment and we’ll add it to the list. Also, keep in mind the list is in no particular order. Enjoy!

10 Anime Like Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou)

10. Hanada Shonen-Shi
9. Kamichu!
8. Kemono no Souja Erin
7. 3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)
6. Fukigen na Mononokean (The Morose Mononokean)
5. Kimi to Boku. (You and Me.)
4. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
3. xxxHOLiC
2. Mushishi
1. Hotarubi no Mori e

10. Hanada Shonen-Shi

Hanada Shounen shi
Synopsis – Young Ichiro Hanada lives with his parents and grandfather in a quiet rural town. He is a little brat who constantly teases his sister, insults his mother, fights with everybody, and eats a lot.

Ichiro has a near-death experience when he is hit by a truck, and when he wakes up he can see and talk to spirits. The spirits of people who have just died but who cannot pass on yet seek him out. They have some unresolved issue in their lives that is holding them back, and Ichiro must help them out.

Similarity – These series are just two of a kind, dealing with the ghosts, life-after-death and family themes. Hanada Shonen-shi is more visually explicit, more complex, more parodic and globally aimed towards a more mature audience despite the age of its main character, while Natsume is more of a conventional slice-of-life/comedy with traditional but great characters. Both are equally good, but Hanada Shonen-shi deserves to be known better. If you liked Natsume, you definitely have to check out Hanada.

9. Kamichu!

KamichuSynopsis – Yurie Hitotsubashi was just an average middle school student living in the city of Onomichi on Japan’s inland sea in the easygoing times of the 1980s. She spent her days worrying about exams and trying to get Kenji, the clueless boy she likes, to notice her. Then during lunch one day she suddenly announces to her friend Mitsue that the night before she had become a goddess. Their classmate Matsuri quickly latches on to Yurie’s newfound divinity as a way to promote her family’s bankrupt Shinto shrine. She hopes that replacing their hapless local god, Yashima-sama, with Yurie will make the shrine more popular (and profitable). Now, with Matsuri as her manager, Yurie has to grant wishes, cure curses, meet aliens, and attend god conventions. All the while attending school and working-up the courage to confess to Kenji.

Similarity – Stories where humans and the supernatural mingle together.
Kamichu is a very lighthearted look at this delicate and strange relationship, somewhat reminiscing My Neighbor Totoro by Studio Ghibli.
Natsume Yuujinchou takes a deeper and a quite more painful look into this relationship, introducing us to a string of beautiful stories between humans and youkai that are touching and oftentimes sad.
Both are set in the summer, a time of the year that fits both series perfectly.

8. Kemono no Souja Erin

Kemono no Souja ErinSynopsis – In the land of Ryoza, the neighboring provinces of Shin-Ou and Tai-Kou have been at peace. Queen Shinou is the ruler of Ryoza and her greatest general, Grand Duke Taikou, defends the kingdom with his army of powerful war-lizards known as the “Touda.” Although the two regions have enjoyed a long-standing alliance, mounting tensions threaten to spark a fierce civil war.

Within Ake, a village in Tai-Kou tasked with raising the Grand Duke’s army, lives Erin, a bright girl who spends her days watching the work of her mother Soyon, the village’s head Touda doctor. But while under Soyon’s care, a disastrous incident befalls the Grand Duke’s strongest Touda, and the peace that Erin and her mother had been enjoying vanishes as Soyon is punished severely. In a desperate attempt to save her mother, Erin ends up falling in a river and is swept towards Shin-Ou.

Unable to return home, Erin must learn to lead a new life with completely different people, all while hunting for the truth of both beasts and humanity itself, with tensions between the two regions constantly escalating.

Similarity – Both have a relaxing atmosphere, which is very calming, though it does get serious and there is some action.
However Natsume is more orientated towards the supernatural, and Erin is focused more on fantasy. Natsume also seems to be aimed at an older audience. Both are good watches to unwind though.

7. 3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)

3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)

Synopsis – Having reached professional status in middle school, Rei Kiriyama is one of the few elite in the world of shogi. Due to this, he faces an enormous amount of pressure, both from the shogi community and his adoptive family. Seeking independence from his tense home life, he moves into an apartment in Tokyo. As a 17-year-old living on his own, Rei tends to take poor care of himself, and his reclusive personality ostracizes him from his peers in school and at the shogi hall.

However, not long after his arrival in Tokyo, Rei meets Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto, a trio of sisters living with their grandfather who owns a traditional wagashi shop. Akari, the oldest of the three girls, is determined to combat Rei’s loneliness and poorly sustained lifestyle with motherly hospitality. The Kawamoto sisters, coping with past tragedies, also share with Rei a unique familial bond that he has lacked for most of his life. As he struggles to maintain himself physically and mentally through his shogi career, Rei must learn how to interact with others and understand his own complex emotions.

Similarity – Both are a slice of life shows about boys dealing with isolation and depression who learn to open up, depending on others, and be happy. Both are very touching with beautiful character development. Rei and Natsume are similar character archetypes, and if you enjoy either show for the main character, you’ll definitely like the other show.

6. Fukigen na Mononokean (The Morose Mononokean)

Fukigen na Mononokean (The Morose Mononokean)Synopsis – The start of Hanae Ashiya’s high school career has not been easy—he has spent all of the first weeks in the infirmary, and his inexplicable condition is only getting worse. The cause of his torment is the mysterious fuzzy creature that has attached itself to him ever since he stumbled upon it the day before school began.

As his health continues to decline and the creature grows in size, Hanae comes across a flyer advertising an exorcist who expels youkai. Desperate and with nothing left to lose, he calls the number and is led to the Mononokean, a tea room which suddenly appears next to the infirmary. A morose-sounding man, Haruitsuki Abeno, reluctantly helps Hanae but demands payment afterward. Much to Hanae’s dismay, he cannot afford the fee and must become an employee at the Mononokean to work off his debt. And to make things worse, his new boss is actually one of his classmates. If Hanae ever hopes to settle his debt, he must work together with Abeno to guide a variety of dangerous, strange, and interesting youkai back to the Underworld.

Similarity – More or less episodic shows about beautiful boys interacting with youkai/spirits/mononoke to the sound of refreshing music tinged with a little tradition.
Yuujinshou is more subdued with a more faded color palette, whereas Mononokean is stronger colored and louder voiced. Both have a colorful cast of yokai and just enough supernatural action to keep the show moving at a nice relaxed pace

5. Kimi to Boku. (You and Me.)

Kimi to Boku (You and Me)Synopsis – The high school students in Kimi to Boku. consider their school life to be anything but exciting. A repetitive journey through classes, arguments, and orientations for future careers that seem way too distant. But with the right group of friends, time can be made to move a little faster.

Four high school boys, who have known each other since childhood, hang out together in school every day. There’s the handsome twins Yuuki and Yuuta Asaba, the gentle Shun Matsuoka, and the calm class head Kaname Tsukahara. Although they have become used to a lack of excitement in their lives, the addition of a new transfer student, Chizuru Tachibana, who is half German and half Japanese, may add a little more adventure to their routine. With his energetic personality and stories from a distant country, Chizuru may be able to light up the dull atmosphere of the group.

Similarity – Similar relaxing feeling overall (although KtB is not supernatural). The slow gentle pace in a plot that revolves around friendship and bonds. It’s about the daily life and the important things in life, it gives you some good lessons. And both have cats who are usually near the protagonists.

4. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)

Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus' Bride)

Synopsis – Chise Hatori, a 15-year-old Japanese girl, was sold for five million pounds at an auction to a tall masked gentleman. Abandoned at a young age and ridiculed by her peers for her unconventional behavior, she was ready to give herself to any buyer if it meant having a place to go home to. In chains and on her way to an unknown fate, she hears whispers from robed men along her path, gossiping and complaining that such a buyer got his hands on a rare “Sleigh Beggy.”

Ignoring the murmurs, the mysterious man leads the girl to a study, where he reveals himself to be Elias Ainsworth—a magus. After a brief confrontation and a bit of teleportation magic, the two open their eyes to Elias’ picturesque cottage in rural England. Greeted by fairies and surrounded by weird and wonderful beings upon her arrival, these events mark the beginning of Chise’s story as the apprentice and supposed bride of the ancient magus.

Similarity – Both Mahoutsukai no Yome and Natsume Yuujinchou have a protagonist that can see extraordinary things. They both suffer a great deal in their childhood because of their ability to see what normal people can’t. Both anime tell the tale of their protagonists’ lives and how they deal with the world that is beyond the ordinary human eyes.

Also Read Anime like Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)

3. xxxHOLiC

xxxHOLiCSynopsis – Kimihiro Watanuki can see spirits and other assorted supernatural creatures, which is quite a bothersome ability he strongly dislikes. On the way home one day, while plagued by some spirits, he is inexplicably compelled to enter a strange house. There, he encounters Yuuko, a mysterious woman who claims to be able to rid him of the ability to see and attract the troublesome creatures—for a price. She demands that he work at her “store” that grants wishes to people, and thus begins Watanuki’s adventures through weird and wonderful events.

Similarity – Both main characters are the only ones in the story that can see spirits. They also share the same sense of loneliness that comes with it. There are a few episodes in both Natsume Yuujinchou & xxxHolic that go into true detail about their feelings of being alone. It’s drama unlike I’ve ever seen before, and I love that part about each of these shows, so much. If you’ve seen one of these shows, then I highly recommend you check out the other.

2. Mushishi

MushishiSynopsis – The series is an episodic anthology with no overarching plotline in which the only common elements are Ginko and the Mushi. Ginko is an otherworldly-looking man with one green eye, who not only can see various types of mushi but also attracts them. Because of this ability, he is constantly wandering and smokes in order to keep the mushi away. He appears to have a generally laid back personality, however, he can be very serious and focused on his work when it comes to protecting people from mushi. He stresses that the mushi are not evil, but merely trying to survive like everyone else. A majority of the stories do not focus on Ginko, but rely on him as a catalyst to move the story forward by diagnosing or curing mushi-related illnesses and phenomena.

Similarity – If you liked Mushishi I believe you’ll most definitely enjoy Natsume Yuujinchou. I could see similarities right off the bat, in how they both deal with spirits or other supernatural creatures. Both main characters have a sense of compassion when interacting with these entities, and often will try to find the least violent method of solution. Also, both series are episodic, yet it’s a style that suits them well. The day-to-day solving of problems has a relaxing sort of mood in both series, and I think they complement each other nicely.

1. Hotarubi no Mori e

Hotarubi no Mori eSynopsis – Intrigued by the tale of a mountain god, six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa loses her way in the ancient forest while visiting her uncle. Exhausted and desperate for help, Hotaru is thrilled to find a masked forest spirit named Gin. She learns the hard way that she should not touch the boy, or he would disappear. In spite of this, Gin leads Hotaru out of the forest and warns her never to return when she promises to come again with a gift.

Paying no heed to his cautionary words, and despite being separated by both distance and planes of existence, Hotaru and Gin become close friends as she visits him every summer. However, their relationship and resolve are put to the test, when romantic feelings conflict with the one and only rule.

Similarity – Both anime are written by the same author, Yuki Midorikawa hence contains similar themes, mood, and settings. Both series has a mystical feeling which is smooth, slow paced, serene, and natural. The music in both series is also collected and calm. Both series also involves main protagonist dealing with supernatural beings, specifically spirits. These two anime are both relaxing to watch that are considered rare gems.

Credits – MAL

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