i explode if i don't talk about this every so often but seriously this show does a few things that i love.
and none are ever mentioned... and thats why i love them.
most of the time if there is a holiday/birthday/going up a year in school/ change in appearance in an anime it can end up being the focus of the epsiode... it's almost like "hey did you notice this? you didn't... we'll show you again... how about now?"
it doesn't bother me because it's kind of expected... you expect the newyears episode or the making chocolates on valentines day ep.
those episodes never happen in Natsume's book of friends (NY from here on cause... lazy)
don't believe me?
Natsume transfers pretty early on in the year but still after everyone else has started... we know this cause it's winter in the episode where he meets toko and she asks him to live with her and it's some time in spring when the series starts.
this is not the focus... he never sais "i hate that i'm transferring in after everyone has already made friends..." i'm just using two separate episodes (one from season 4 no less) and piecing together the timeline.
When they go up a year the following spring not everyone is in the same class.
again this would be a focus of sadness in another show but in NY it's never mentioned... just in second year tanuma now shares a class with... um... kitamoto? while nishimura stays in the class with natsume, i think sasada is with them as well. it's most noticeable in the school festival episodes where they each are prepairing for their own class thing.
Natsume gets taller.
or at least it feels like he does.
this one is hard to pinpoint but when i was watching this with a friend for the first time theres a scene in season 4 where we both looked at each other and asked. "did he get taller?"
it would make sense, by that time he'd be 16 or 17 (my guessis 17 cause apparently his birthday is july 1st and most of season 4 takes place in fall/winter)
but still no one mentions it... kinda... his guardian does mention that he has grown but considering how small he was when they met (again late middle school) it makes sense for him to notice a growth spurt over 2 years.
Natsume hair gets longer.
"ok now you are just being silly"
well... it's actualyl plot relevant.
in another episode we see he's a little reluctant to ask for hair cuts and tends to cut his own hair... but considering how he's been so busy with the book of friends it doesn't surprise me that he would forget to ask.
or (and this is stretching)
he could be growing it as a precaution against certain yokai but i would really really doubt him doing that.
Natsume is afraid of thunder.
though this IS outright said once or twice in the manga it's only inferred through his reactions in the show... he doesn't get all scared but he certainly doesn't like it and almost outright refuses to go out in stormy weather.
i just... i adore all the little things that are never said and if you're not looking you can miss. it's the reason why i probably enjoy haruhi so much (which is ending for me in a few weeks... a little nervous about that)
once my friend even asked me what i considered canon in natsume... and i had to think about it... other then a few details the manga and anime are pretty similar... (well other then natsume has white hair and green eyes
all of it..
i dunno is that strange?
i think it all works together pretty well and the differences between the two are so slight.
and my arguments work better if i can pull from both
probably.... but so what... i consider everything it haruhi canon and the novel and anime have a few VERY LARGE differences (well... in the book they apparently get drunk once by accident but i suspect this was cut cause underage drinking is bad)
ok now i'm just rambling
tl;dr: i like the use of subtlety and subtext as well as showing not telling.
also kyon is god cause there is no santa clause (he may not be but this is probably the most concise argument i can give till i'm proven right or wrong in a week or two)