Learn Japanese with Anime: “Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho” (Intermediate Level)

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Webmaster Review

72% Excellent

The previous work had many heartwarming stories in a slice of life, despite the theme of youkai extermination. This work has weight in the story because the theme of youkai extermination has become tough. In conclusion, the previous work was for beginners, but this work is for advanced level learners.

Drawing and character design are rather plain, but the story and the worldview have Japanese-style beauty. What is especially impressive is the appearance of the main character; Natsume is shrinking the distance between a human being and youkai. This anime has the splendor in the growth of Natsume which gradually opens his mind in the relationship with a person with the same ability, a person who does not have the same ability, and a relationship with youkai.

Stories, directing, characters, and music are never flashy, but you can enjoy the Japanese atmosphere in this anime very much. Knowing this Japanese atmosphere and feeling is very useful for your Japanese learning as well. Because Japanese is an ambiguous language, such a Japanese atmosphere and sense complements that ambiguity.

  • Story/Worldview 85 %
  • Character 70 %
  • Animation/Background 65 %
  • Songs/Sound 70 %
  • Originality/Enjoyment 70 %
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0 %

 

1. Information

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

Title (Eng)Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho
Title (Jpn)続 夏目友人帳
TypeTV
Episodes13
Aired Year2009
GenresDrama, Horror, Fantasy
PreviousNatsume Yujin-cho
NextNatsume Yujin-cho San

 

 

2. Synopsis

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

Natsume Reiko who was able to display youkai in her eyes, and she challenged the games to write youkai’s name as proof of making them followers. Reiko’s grandson; Takashi Natsume who got a bunch of contracts “Book of Friends” also inherited the power of Reiko and was able to see things that are not human beings. Takashi decided to borrow the power of Nyanko-Sensei who is a bouncer and return the names to youkai. Takashi started to understand the heart of men and the thoughts of youkai, and various youkai start to gather into him.

 

 

3. Character’s way of Speaking

・Natsume Takashi (夏目 貴志, なつめ たかし)

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

He speaks in honorific terms to the superiors. His honorifics level is somewhat higher than ordinary high school students. From this point as well, we can understand his personality. In this way, paying attention to simple honorific words or advanced honorific words can make Japanese learning more profound. In learning Japanese, it is very effective to emulate his way of talking.

He uses a frank tone for high school friends and Nyanko-sensei. He speaks in honorific terms to Mr. and Mrs. Fujiwara who are parents-in-law. Usually, people talk in a frank tone to their family. However, in the case of Takashi, he uses a polite tone because he feels an obligation and modesty from Mr. and Mrs. Fujiwara.

 

・Nyanko Sensei (ニャンコ先生, にゃんこせんせい) / Madara (斑, まだら)

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

He speaks arrogantly like looking down on people. He likes many assertive expressions such as “xxx である” or “xxx だ”, and uses order words such as “xxx しろ”. He frequently uses the expression “あやつ” when referring to another person who is not in front of him. When someone says “あいつ”, it sounds like the person is looking down on the other person. An old-fashioned phrase like him is not used anymore nowadays. I think that it is difficult for you to understand his phrases, but knowing classics is useful in learning Japanese more deeply, so please do your best and listen.

 

・Natsume Reiko (夏目 レイコ, なつめ れいこ)

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

She speaks in a girlish tone of “xxx わよ”, “xxx だわ”. She uses the expression “あなた” for the second person, so if you listen to only the expression, you will receive the gentle and polite impression to her. However, she is bullish on youkai and actually speaks with looking down. Watching the video in Anime helps you understand that such intention is included also in the polite way of speaking.

 

・Natori Syuuichi (名取 周一 なとり しゅういち)

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

He speaks in general male words. He frequently uses the expression “xxx かい?” when he asks something or needs for consent. This is an expression to use when saying a little cocky expression “xxx ですか?” and “xxx かな?”. When you look closely at the look and the feeling of the speaker in Anime, you can learn a subtle nuance sense of Japanese. When you want to talk cocky, you imitate his way of talking (Of course, do not imitate during your ordinary conversation)

 

 

4. Terms and Talking Contents

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

Many non-human characters appear in this anime, but the contents of the conversation are many on a daily basis. As there are parts where youkai’s words are old Japanese, I recommend you watch this anime with subtitles at first. Old Japanese is not used in conversations anymore but often appears in Anime, novels, historical dramas and so on.

Please be aware that it is a bit far away from the point of learning Japanese in general because Japanese terms used in scenes related to youkai are often old. Terms related to youkai are also professional and old-fashioned. So you need to acquire preliminary knowledge in order to understand them. In order to enjoy this anime in Japanese, please prepare by referring to the following difficult term list. I think these words don’t appear in your regular Japanese learning, but it is a good teaching material for you to aim for advanced level.

 

 

5. Difficult Term List (You should prepare for them before watching)

・Difficult Term List which You Must Know (They come out more than twice)
#よみ漢字Meanings
1ようかい妖怪ghost; youkai
2あやかしものあやかしものghost; youkai
3まねきねこ招き猫beckoning cat; figure of a cat with one paw raised
4ようじんぼう用心棒bodyguard; bouncer
5ようりき妖力spirit power; magical power
6しゅじゅう主従master and servant; lord and retainer
7こよい今宵this evening; tonight
8よりしろ憑代object representative of a divine spirit
9あくりょう悪霊evil spirit
10あしきもの悪しき者badness; evilness (as same as youkai)
11ふういん封印to seal
12こうきな高貴なhigh class; noble
13じゃき邪気maliciousness; ill will
14しえき使役employing; using; setting to work
15けっかい結界boundaries for religious practices; prohibition
16たたる祟るto curse; to cast a spell
17たたり祟りcurse; divine punishment
18ふじょうり不条理absurd; irrational
19のろい呪いcurse; spell
20いひん遺品articles of the deceased
21ちんけなチンケなworst; poor and boring; uncool
22かいごう会合meeting; assembly; gathering
23しきceremony; rites
24じゅじゅつし呪術師witch doctor; shaman
25おんみょうじ陰陽師diviner; sorcerer
26ひつぎcoffin; casket

・Difficult Term List which Can Be Useful (They come out once)

#よみ漢字Meanings
27たらいまわしたらい回しacrobatic barrel-rolling; handing something around
28うたげparty; banquet; feast
29さかなappetizer or snack served with drinks
30やぼ野暮boorish; unsophisticated; unrefined; uncouth; tasteless; insensitive
31たあいもない他愛もないsilly; foolish; absurd; childish; easy; trifling; guileless
32おせっかいお節介meddling; meddlesomeness; nosiness; meddler; buttinsky
33ひとざと人里human habitation
34はらい祓いpurification; exorcism
35つちをこやす土を肥やすto make the soil fertile
36ふさく不作poor crop; bad harvest; crop failure
37こつつぼ骨壺funerary urn
38おやごさん親御さんanother’s parent; another’s parents
39いっぱくふつか一泊二日one night and two days
40おしのびお忍び旅行incognito traveling
41りちぎな律儀なupright; honest; faithful; conscientious; sincere
42きろにつく家路につくto start for home; to head for home; to make for home
43びみ美味good flavor; good flavour; delicacy
44けいそつ軽率rash; thoughtless; careless; hasty; imprudent
45ばったもんバッタ物fake merchandise; unlicensed merchandise
46ちんちくりんちんちくりんshort (in height); stumpy; tiny
47おひとよしお人好しgood-naturedness; good-natured person; credulous person
48しおどき潮時tidal hour; right time; favourable opportunity
49みより身寄りrelative; relation
50ふきんしん不謹慎indiscrete; imprudent; unscrupulous
51どうりはない道理はないno reason; not to stand to reason
52ぬすっと盗人thief; robber
53しかばねcorpse
54まんかい満開full bloom (esp. of cherry blossom); full blossom
55いそうろう居候odger who pays nothing for room and board; freeloader; sponger
56そえん疎遠estrangement; alienation; neglecting to stay in contact
57ふかおい深追いchasing too far; pursuing relentlessly
58べんしょう弁償reimbursement; compensation; reparation; indemnity
59ておい手負いwounded
60せんべつ餞別farewell gift
61ひくつ卑屈menial; meanness; servility; abject
62よこしまなよこしまなevil
63ふかく不覚failure; defeat; mistake; blunder; negligence; indiscretion; unconsciousness
64ゆきち諭吉10,000 yen note
65ごうまん高慢haughty; arrogant; proud; stuck-up
66ざれごと戯言nonsense; silly talk; drivel; rubbish
67ほうかご放課後after school
68こぶんしょ古文書ancient document; archives; ancient manuscript
69たんざく短冊long, narrow card on which Japanese poems are written

 

6. Intermediate can Learn Japanese with This Anime

Zoku Natsume Yujin-cho

©緑川ゆき・白泉社/「夏目友人帳」製作委員会

Although everyday conversation and the main character Takashi’s monology are plain Japanese, the conversations with youkai and old-fashioned phrases are very difficult. Please note that the difficult terms occurrence rate is not high: 5.4 terms/episode, but the difficulty level of terms and conversation is high: 16th grade. Although the story is easy to understand for the completion of one episode, the terms and phrases are very difficult anyway, so I recommend this anime to advanced level Japanese learners.

 

Difficult Terms Occurrence Rate 5.3 terms/episode= 69 / 13
Difficulty Level16th grade= University
Total Difficulty Score84.8 points= 5.3 * 16
   
Comprehensive JudgmentNormalin 70 to 129.9 points
Recommended Japanese LearnerIntermediate 
JLPTN3 

 

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