Characters / Natsume's Book of Friends

The characters for the manga and anime Natsume's Book of Friends.
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    The Natsumes and Madara 

Natsume Takashi

Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya

  • Abusive Parents: Some of his previous foster parents 'got drunk and hit him', and others 'forgot' to feed him. Natsume dismally blames himself for their behavior. They always started out nice.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Like his grandmother, has white hair and silver eyes in the manga.
  • All-Loving Hero: He cares greatly for both human and youkai. In contrast to his grandmother Reiko and the exorcists like Matoba.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Has his moments.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Was bullied when he was a child due to his ability.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Though it's not really an outright gender bend -Natsume just gets possessed by a Youkai who happens to be female, and who occasionally slips to the surface causing him to to exhibit feminine qualities (sometimes seemingly having longer hair). All of his friends start finding themselves disturbingly attracted to him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Although brief, he has this for the little fox youkai.
  • Bishōnen: Nishimura and Kitamoto lampshade this about him in chapter 11. Not surprising though since looks almost exactly like his grandmother as noted by other youkai.
  • Break the Cutie: The story of his childhood.
  • Bystander Syndrome: While not being an outright jerk, Natsume had started the series with giving the cold shoulder to youkai who came to him with a problem (which is understandable considering the events that lead to his first meeting of the Fujiwaras). However, as he got a better understanding of youkai, that started to change.
  • Cassandra Truth: This happened a lot during his childhood.
  • Chick Magnet: Proves to be this on episode 35.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: After his Character Development, Natsume will rush headlong toward Youkai, and all kinds of other danger if he knows someone is in trouble, knowing full well that his opponents are more often than not much stronger than him.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: He's an ordinary human minus the ability to see youkai, and is filled with self-doubt and trust issues.
  • Consummate Liar: Zig-Zagged. Natsume would usually have to lie in order to cover incidents created by youkai because years Cassandra Truth during his childhood taught him no human would believe him. However, thanks to the help of Fujiwaras and his friends, he has learned to open up to people and has even found others who he can talk about his problems. Because of this, in more recent chapters, people who are close to him can now tell if he is lying or hiding the truth (secretkeeper or not) though they don't always choose to voice it. For the most part
  • Conveniently Seated: Natsume sits in a seat by the window between his friends, Kitamoto and Nishimura, and is usually shown looking outside during class time, thinking about his most recent Youkai experience.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Natsume is a blond with gold eyes. Both are silver in the manga.
  • Cuteness Proximity: A mild example, but Nyanko-sensei calls him out on it once, saying he's far too nice to youkai he thought were cute.
  • Death Glare: Parodied: Natsume's sometimes give this look with often Nishimura and Kitamoto unintentionally at the receiving end, usually after dealing with youkai (though played straight in chapter 26 when he initially suspects they are possessed). However, in more recent chapters, they now assume he just not feeling well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Though only to Nyanko-sensei and initially Natori.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He frequently knocks out strong youkai with a punch, the most frequent victim being Madara. It's useless against humans though, since it's his Soul Power which does all the work, rather than his physical strength.
  • Distressed Dude: Natsume has the bad habit of getting captured frequently. For instance, in episode 5 of season three, he gets captured by an ayakashi that's intent on cutting off his arm so that it can use it to retrieve its lost head. Natsume's friends are left frantically searching the house for him. He's also been kidnapped by Matoba two or three times. Nyanko-sensei usually bails him out when he doesn't get out himself.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: And so he tries to act manly and uses masculine speech, according to Word of God.
    • The following exchange near the end of the second season highlights on it:
      Kai: ...Sorry for calling you a sprout, a chopping board, and a girly boy...
      Natsume: Ah, w-well, i-it's okay...
      Tanuma, Taki & Sensei: (suppressed snorts & laughter)
      Natsume: ...Notamusing!
      Trio: (guilty, somber, not meeting one another's eyes) ...Right!
    • When Natsume shows his friends his parents photo, they compared him to his mother at instant, not father.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In the anime, and a rare male example.
  • Happily Adopted: By the Fujiwaras.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He considers himself an inconvenience to the people around him, and considers even simply asking for help with something to be a selfish indulgence.
  • Fear of Thunder: According to Nyanko-sensei.
  • Friendless Background: When he was a kid his frequent outbursts caused the other children to become frightened of him and bully him, and he never got close with anyone.
  • The Hero
  • Identical Grandson: Natsume Takashi looks a lot like his grandmother Reiko, original owner of the Book of Friends. and since many (if not all, Hinoe certainly seems to express a preference) Youkai don't really care too much about gender, Natsume tends to get Youkai who are looking for his grandmother on his tail.
    • Taken to it's logical conclusion when someone calls Natsume "Girly Man".
  • I Didn't Tell You Because You'd Be Unhappy
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: At first. He grows out of it later.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: All he ever wanted was someone to understand him. He briefly had a friend who he thought was like him, but she was really another youkai.
  • Ill Boy: It was hinted that he has anemia, though this is likely a cover for how much interacting with youkai can drain a person's energy.
  • I See Dead People: Depends if youkai count.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Despite what it says in Dude Looks Like a Lady above, it's not all that hard to get this impression.
  • Last Name Basis: Almost no one calls him by his birth name Takashi with the exception of his biological and current foster parents.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Thanks to Nishimura who had formally introduced him to Kitamoto.
  • Magnetic Medium
  • Morality Pet: Sort of one for Madara/Nyanko-sensei.
  • Mystical White Hair: In the manga, like his grandmother, though was often treated otherwise.
  • Nice Guy
  • No Social Skills
  • Not Good with People: While his ability made it hard to talk to people in general, this seems especially with children.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: A good bit of Natsume's difficulty with people (and his reluctance to tell the Fujiwaras about his abilities) stems from the fact that, up until then, he was passed around from relative to relative because nobody wanted to deal with the Creepy Child that kept telling "lies" about seeing ghosts and Youkai.
    • Abusive Parents: Chapter 31 confirms that several of the parents he's lived with were physically or emotionally abusive.
    • Parental Neglect: Also confirmed in the aforementioned chapter that some of Natsume's parents also forgot to feed him as well.
  • Parental Abandonment: Natsume's parents are dead, and every single family he's lived with before the Fujiwara's looked forward to the day he left their family, since he could see spirits.
  • Plot Magnet
  • Psychic Powers
  • The Quiet One: What first impressions of him often are.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Natsume often wound up as one in his adolescence, when Ayakashi started causing acts of vandalism around him; his options were either to let everyone believe he was some sort of delinquent, or let them believe he was some sort of crazy delinquent.
  • Socially-Awkward Hero: He was unable to make any friends as a child because of the discovery of his connection to spirits. He's slowly growing out of this, though.
  • Soul Power: He has a lot of spiritual power, which is the reason behind all of the other supernatural tropes that apply to him, including his ability to punch youkai clear across a room.
  • Stepford Smiler: Lampshaded by Nishimura.
    Nishimura: It felt like that was the first time I saw the ever smiling transfer student smile. But when I looked at it another way, I thought to myself that his normal smiles must all be fake.
    • When He Smiles: How Nishimura discovered this when Natsume did gave an genuine smile.
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: Youkai generally find him delicious due to his strong spiritual power.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Has considerably strong psychic powers. However, his eyes are grey in the manga.
  • Weirdness Magnet


Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue

Natsume Reiko
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi


Fujiwara Touko

Voiced by: Miki Ito

Fujiwara Shigeru

Voiced by: Eiji Itou

  • Good Parents
  • Happily Married: To Touko.
  • Parental Substitute
  • Muggle Foster Parents: He is unaware of Natsume's ability, though it is possible that he might suspect something. His kindness has helped soften Natsume's outlook on life.
  • Open-Minded Parent: One chapter has Natsume completely wreck a room due to an exorcism spell in order to get rid of youkai that cursed the house. When Shigeru stumbled upon this room, looking like a very familiar incident of the past, he lets it slide as he knew Natsume did not purposely try to wreck the house. In later scenes, we do see him being more supportive of Natsume and him being against putting too many limitations on Natsume's freedom.

Kitamoto Atsushi

Voiced by: Hisayoshi Suganuma

  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 51.2
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Occasionally plays the Straight Man to Nishimura, but not constantly.
  • Childhood Friends: With Nishimura, or at least it seems that way.
  • Missing Mom: While his mom didn't appear in Kitamoto's special focus chapters, it is mentioned that she is out working since their father is ill.
  • Nice Guy: One of Natsume's first friends after moving with the Fujiwaras. Warns him about the violent senpai and tries to protect Natsume twice from some unseen youkai during his special bonus chapters.
  • Those Two Guys: Along with Nishimura, though contrary to the trope, they have fairly important roles in the plot as one of the few (non-psychic) people who are close friends of Natsume. They also get more screentime than anyone other than Natsume and Nyanko-sensei and a fair bit of fleshing out in the manga.

Nishimura Satoru

Voiced by: Ryohei Kimura

  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 51.1
  • Aloof Big Brother: Revealed to have one in his special focus chapter.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Occasionally plays the funny man to Kitamoto, but not constantly.
  • Those Two Guys: Along with Kitamoto.
  • Nice Guy: Natsume's first real friend, he and Kitamoto really do a lot for him.
  • Keet
  • Childhood Friends: With Kitamoto.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: In most series, he would not be considered this. In such a series as this, when he is the only one of Natsume's companions who has a crush on somebody and insists that they should have a cafe with bunny girls for the school festival, he comes off as one.
  • Innocently Insensitive: One of the author's notes in volume 13 states that he gets into conflicts due to this.
  • The McCoy: Allegedly the most soft-hearted of Natsume's friends.
  • Sibling Ying-Yang: Nishimura is more laidback and cheerful while his older brother is more studious and stoic.
  • The Unfavourite: His family is mainly preoccupied with his older brother's studies, going to the point where Nishimura makes his lunches himself.

Tanuma Kaname

Voiced by: Kazuma Horie

  • Affectionate Nickname / Embarrassing Nickname: "Kaname-chan" by his aunt. Not necessary embaressing but enough Natsume's friends tease him about it.
  • Action Survivor: Deconstructed in the Omibashira arc when Tanuma is forced to become this after Natsume is kidnapped to become a meal offering. Despite the strain from being near youkai, he does manage to disguise himself as a one and sneak into the place. He tries to free the real Natsume by making a bluff but almost gets caught and attacked. Things begin to go downhill from there
  • Dressing as the Enemy: For the aforementioned example above.
  • Ill Boy: He's more vulnerable to the influence of spirits, so he tends to get sick quite easily.
  • Missing Mom: While we have seen his father on two separate occasions, we have yet to see or hear any mentions about his mother.
  • Nice Guy
  • Non-Action Guy: Due to his illness. Acts more of a more support role for Natsume
  • Not Good with People: Tanuma also sees Youkai, but worries that he won't be of any use, or will just be a burden on Natsume, because of his weak power - he can only see shadows and glimpses of Youkai.
  • Psychic Powers: Can understand Nyanko-sensei, feel the youkai's presence and can sometimes see shadows, can't exactly see their corporeal forms.
  • Secret Keeper: Became one when Natsume confirms Tanuma's suspicions about the shadows he sees though Natsume asks he keep it a secret.

Taki Tooru

Voiced by: Rina Sato

  • Cuteness Proximity: Although her eye for cuteness is called into question when she has this reaction to Nyanko-sensei (who everyone else regards as the cat equivalent to a Gonk).
  • Identical Grandson: According to the youkai that knew her grandfather and have confused her for him. However, this might somewhat exaggerated considering that youkai don't recognize gender.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover
  • The Quiet One: At first, but that was only because an evil youkai cursed her, so that the last thirteen people whose names she says will die. Natsume helps her break it. After that, she became more like the Genki Girl.
  • Nice Girl
  • Parental Abandonment: Downplayed but most of her family is out of the house: both her brother and father are overseas while her mom often comes late back from work, making Taki feel most closest to her grandfather who is dead.
  • Secret Keeper: Asked Natsume's help after hearing about his ability from a youkai. Along with Tanuma, she helps Natsume give distractions to his other friends.
  • The Smart Girl: Knows quite a bit of youkai folklore and its relations to the surrounding area, thanks to her grandfather's books.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser - Taki has one panel of this for a school festival crossdressing cafe, and looks damn good too.
  • Unfazed Everyman: One of Natsume's friends who know his secret but doesn't have the ability. She still is quite knowledgeable about them and has encounters by herself, thanks material grandfather left behind. Chapter 64-65 actually explores on the idea if ordinary humans should have contact with the supernatural.

Sasada Jun

Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro

Natori Shuuichi

Voiced by: Akira Ishida

Matoba Seiji

Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe

  • Adaptational Villainy: Downplayed. While he is still a "villain" in both the anime and manga, there are some differences. For example, he pulls out a knife and attempts to stab Nyanko-sensei whereas he never does this in the manga. Also, he tortures a youkai just because it entered a human home while he does in the manga to also get information from Natsume.
  • Archer Archetype: A bow is his Weapon of Choice.
  • Badass: He managed to incapacitate Madara for a while with a single shot, and with hardly any visible strain too.
  • Blackmail: He likes to exploit Natsume's weaknesses, like his concern for a youkai's well-being or desire to keep his foster parents in the dark about his ability to see youkai because it might distress them, to force Natsume to collaborate with him. Several times.
  • Blood Knight/ Spirited Competitor : Bordering between the two, seems to enjoy the challenge of a tough youkai, sounding especially disappointed when Madara wasn't going to fight back after pressing his berserk button.
  • Dissonant Serenity
  • Enemyto All Living Things: His clan is notorious for their exorcise methods and contracts. Matoba himself makes it clear of his disdain for them. Youkai aren't particularly fond of him either except for some of his servants
  • Eyepatch of Power
  • Eye Scream: Above mentioned Eyepatch of Power also covers up a wound left from an ayakashi who attacked Matoba's right eye. He still has right eye and can see but cannot estimate distances well.
  • Jerkass: Just look at how he treats his shiki.
    • Not much nicer to humans either. Was initially going to leave the rampaging youkai to harm the nearby town, along with the unconscious exorcist to die. Later on when he "invites" Natsume for tea, he tells how wonderful the Fujiwaras were "for taking care of a seed so rotten that harmed other children".
  • Manipulative Bastard: He manipulates Natsume into helping the Matoba Clan expose an exorcist possessed by a spirit that hates the Matoba Clan and attacking them by conveniently leaving out exactly who was being attacked. See also Blackmail above.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Though more so in the anime.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Saves Natori and Natsume from the sealed youkai by killing it, not to mention being the one who helped awaken it in the first place.
  • Psychic Powers: Can see and exorcise youkai, since he's an exorcist.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Lampshaded by Natsume in the manga.
    Matoba (referring to the tea): Do not fear, it contains no poison.
    Natsume (thinking): Suspicious.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Does this twice: once when he found out a youkai was too powerful and incompetent to be controlled, another when he learns Natsume's companions would out-power the ones he had. In the second occurrence, he mentions that there are other ways of getting Natsume's help.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Constantly insists to Natsume that what the Matoba clan does to youkai is necessary for the good of humans, even if they end up hated by humans by themselves.


Voiced by: Mika Doi

  • Adaptation Expansion: Not majorly different but she appears slightly more in the anime than manga and was even given a back-story in season 4.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In her back-story, her upbringing as an exorcist made her be considered the oddball from her other classmates.
  • Badass Grandma: Quite fit and capable for someone of her age.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite being second-in-command of Matoba clan, we don't see her after chapter 26. This is subverted in the anime as she appears twice in the 4th season (with her second appearance being her back story).
  • Gray Eyes: Double subverted of type 2 and arguably type 5 but it's only apparent when you know her line of work.
  • Iron Lady: Is the secretary and second-in-command for the Matoba clan.
  • Jerkass: Like Matoba, she uses youkai as bait to draw in powerful shiki and sees nothing wrong with it. The anime's back-story reveals that she does not mind exorcising youkai as she is taught it is the way to keep the world in balance.
  • Meganekko: In her childhood.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Believes that hunting youkai is part of Karma and is needed to keep the earth in balance


Kogitsune (The Little Fox-child)

Voiced by: Akiko Yajima


Voiced by: Akemi Okamura


Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino


Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda