Anifem Article- ‘The Courage to Speak’: Mental Illness and Recovery in Natsume’s Book of Friends

My article, ‘The Courage to Speak’: Mental Illness and Recovery in Natsume’s Book of Friends has been published on Anime Feminist! Check it out here.


I’m once again so grateful that Anime Feminist gave me the opportunity to publish this piece. I had a great time working with them as always.

I really poured a lot of myself into this one- a lot more than I expected I would- so I think it’s among my best as far as articles go. I put a ton of work and many, MANY hours into this. (Fun fact: I wrote the bulk of this while I was in Chicago to see Hamilton!)

On the way, I had some powerful realizations about myself and why this show resonated with me.

So this article ended up being about more than Natsume Yujinchou- I have some thoughts about how media and society in general approaches mental illness, abuse and recovery and why this show in particular stands out simply because it doesn’t sensationalize abuse and values recovery rather than reveling in suffering.

I hope this piece can encourage people to check this show out because it really is something special that connected with me on a deep level. I think others who have struggled with trauma, mental illness and abuse might feel the same. It’s a gentle but thoroughly emotional experience.

Even if you haven’t seen the show, I’d really appreciate if you read this piece! It’s special to me and if you’re interested in the experiences of someone struggling with mental illness and in how fiction engages in serious mental issues, you might get something out of it. Thank you.


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