3.1 C
New York
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Advertisement

Natsume’s Book of Friends: Season 3 Premium Edition Blu-ray Review

Natsumes-book-of-friends-S3-Premium-Edition-CoverU.S. Release

 

 

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_01

This is the fantasy series, based on the manga series of the same name by Midorikawa Yuki. It has now entered into its fourth season, but what we have here is Natsume’s Book of Friends: Season Three (夏目友人帳) in the Premium Edition release from NIS America. The series mainly deals with teenaged high school student Natsume Takashi who has inherited the ability to see yokai, or spirits from his grandmother, Natsume Reiko. Natsume has also inherited one other item from his late grandmother, and that is her Book of Friends, book containing the names of spirits Reiko had beaten into servitude to her. Now, unlike his grandmother, Natsume spends his time returning the names of the yokai in the book to their owners and releasing them from his servitude. Given the value and power of the Book of Friends amongst the yokai, however, there are some more evil yokai who want to obtain it from Natsume at all costs. This is where Natsume’s constant companion, Madara, called Nyanko-sensei by Natsume, comes into play. He is a powerful yokai who acts as Natsume’s bodyguard and spiritual adviser, but also has his own personal motivations towards gaining the book. Nyanko-sensei isn’t transformed into his true form as a large, powerful beast, he spends most of his days alongside Natsume in the form of an oversized cat-like creature.

This third season finds the orphaned Natsume, once very much a loner because of his ability, pulling closer to those around him in the small town he now lives in. His friend Tanuma Kaname, a quiet boy who moved into the area at the same time as Natsume, can also sense yokai, but he cannot see them or interact with them on the level that Natsume does. He finally has the opportunity to when he is possessed by a benevolent yokai in need of his and Natsume’s help in order save a friend. Taki Tōru has her voice back and grows closer to Natsume, eager to help him in any way she can. She can’t get enough of the fluffy Nyanko-sensei either, even if he really wants nothing to do with her. With this season, we find out even more about her and her family’s history with the yokai when the trio of friends must ward off an evil kimono spirit in her family home, among other adventures.

This series is really an easygoing, unexpectedly pleasant mixture of fantasy elements, coming of age stories, and humor. The artwork and often whimsical musical soundtrack help to offset some of the darker story elements as well. While the basic character designs are nothing cutting edge – Natsume and his school friends all look rather generic – the designs of the various yokai are admittedly inventive. They range from tiny kokeshi-like spirits, to fluidly moving ghosts, or gigantic, trollish monsters. The outdoor backgrounds are delicately applied, almost like impressionist water paintings at times, and interiors are minimalist, but well drawn.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_02

The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer of the series’ digital animation is very strong. With the exception of some slight color banding that can be spotted in color fills from time to time, this is a satisfying transfer with crisp details, rich colors, and no anomalies like aliasing, posterization, or video noise.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_03

A simple LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) stereo Japanese mix, as is typical of these NIS releases. It offers clean dialogue, a reasonable amount of stereo separation and dynamics, and good accompanying English subtitles with no typos or grammatical errors.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_04

Apart from the slight on disc extras that really only include the Japanese commercial of Natsume’s Book of Friends as the only real addition, this Premium Edition comes with NIS America’s usual high quality hardcover book filled with an episode guide, character sketches and bios, and additional artwork.

The supplements:

  • DVD – Standard DVDs included
  • Clean Opening
  • Clean Ending
  • Japanese Commercial (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • NIS America Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_05

NIS America’s Premium Edition of Natsume’s Book of Friends will be a boon to anime fans who love swag with their purchases. It comes with fine hardcover book with a quality slipcase and is packed with Blu-ray and DVD. Most of all – and this is the really important part – the series itself is enjoyable. No amount of glitzy extras in the world could improve a bad series.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00BPF1EYK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_06

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_07

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_08

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_09

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_10

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_11

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_12

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_13

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_14

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_15

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_16

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_17

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_18

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_19

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_20

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_21

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_22

Natsumes-Book-of-Friends-S3-BD_23

[amazon-product]B00BPF1EYK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com


Advertisement

Related Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...
%d bloggers like this: