The return of the piggish cat and boy who sees spirits

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A powerful spirit masquerading as a gluttonous cat that loves to drink and an orphan with the ability to see spirits are back this winter in “Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou.”

Yes, Nyanko-sensei and Takashi Natsume are back for a second season. Viewers first met them in “Natsume Yuujinchou” which chronicled how Takashi ended up living with a kindly couple in a small town, met the cat who wasn’t a cat and learned that his late grandmother possessed the same ability as he did.

Reiko Natsume could see spirits but unlike her placid grandson, challenged these otherworldy beings. When they lost to her, she would take their real names and jot it down in what would later be called “The Book of Friends.” Takashi inherited the book and much of season one dealt with him returning the names of the spirits.

I loved the first season because I’m a sucker for supernatural anime that doesn’t fit the norm. Some folks might find the show too slow. Consider it a break from shows where middle schoolers carry weapons that blow up half the town or giant robots stomp all over the bad guys.

In the second season, Takashi is more comfortable with his power and continues with his fair treatment of spirits and non-humans. He found a dragon egg, helped it hatch and protected it from a spirit who wanted to eat the young. It didn’t look like a dragon though when it grew up, more like a bird. And when it hatched, it adopted a humanoid shape.

Takashi doesn’t tell his foster parents about his ability. He fears he will lose the only stable home he ever had.

His supposed bodyguard, Madarao or Nyanko-sensei, is still with him. Everyone sees Nyanko-sensei as the fat cat that tags along after Takashi. He claims he’s only around because the teen promised him “The Book of Friends” after he’s gone. But you know he is fond of the human boy. And Takashi likes having the fat furball around too.

Watching the series for me is a weekly treat. And just when I think that animators are churning out more and more crappy anime just to please fanboys and fangirls, along comes a show like “Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou” to change my mind.