Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. 7
1 journaler for this copy...
This volume opens with a bit more intensity than most: Natsume encounters a scene of horror, dead yokai strewn about and a sinister figure muttering "one still alive"... It attacks, and he's only saved by another yokai's appearance. Seems someone is attacking yokai to take their blood to use in spells! Meanwhile, movie-star/exorcist Natori - who's in a friendly-adversary relationship with Natusme, as they differ in their views of the rights of yokai - is fretting over news of his own, and of possible conflicts with Matoba, a powerful and unscrupulous exorcist from another clan.
Farther on, Natsume encounters Matoba himself - and is taken prisoner! He's the one draining yokais of their blood, and Natsume can't talk him out of it - and, worse, Natsume fears what he'd do if he ever learned about the Book of Friends...
Nyanko-sensei, Natsume's grumpy-cat familiar/guardian, comes to the rescue, but there's more action and creepy-looking foes in this story than in most. And while Natsume escapes Matoba this time, he's now on Matoba's radar, and that can't be good!
As a nice refresher after that unnerving story, there's another tale in which friendly yokai want to throw a party for Natsume, though they aren't always clear on the kinds of games that appeal to humans (i.e., the trolls are NOT allowed to keep the people they catch while playing tag!).
There's a bonus story called "A Midsummer Sigh", an early work that mixes teen romance with amusing possible-super-powers - with a serial-killer subplot (!).
[There's an anime adaptation; I've watched several episodes and found it just as charming as the manga. Recommended! And the TV Tropes page is quite entertaining.]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
[See other recent releases in NH here.]
*** Released for the 2017 Oh, the Places We Can Go release challenge (for Friend, Nebraska). ***
*** Released for the 2017 TV Series release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2017 Celebrate the Irish release challenge, for the mostly-green cover. ***