Winter 2019 Anime: Official Twitter Hashtags & Pages
2018 is almost out, guys and girls, and that means that another anime year is ready to take its place.
Animated movie Natsume’s Book of Friends The Movie: Tied to the Temporal World was finally released in Japanese cinemas on 29 September. Various collaboration projects and events for it have been announced, such as collaboration cafes, limited merchandise sales, a stamp rally, and more to raise our expectations even higher. I went to the preview screening prior to the official premiere on behalf of MANGA.TOKYO! Let us introduce the high points of the film without spoiling too much.
Natsume’s Book of Friends is a popular anime based manga of the same by Yuki Midorikawa, which is currently running in the monthly magazine LaLa, published by Hakusensha. It’s been 10 years since it was first adapted into anime television series in 2008 with its sixth season released in 2017. The series is about Takashi Natsume (voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya) who is able to see ayakashi (spirits) that nobody else can see. He inherited the Book of Friends from his late grandmother Reiko (voiced by Sanae Kobayashi). It is a ledger of names written by ayakashi themselves as part of a contract after being bested by Reiko in their games. Protected by Nyanko-sensei (voiced by Kazuhiko Inoue) as his bodyguard, Natsume spends his days returning the names of the ayakashi back to their original owners to help or release them.
The series started as a midnight television show at first. As it has gained so much popularity since the release, it became a big hit and it still runs as an exceptionally long ongoing series, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Natsume’s Book of Friends The Movie: Tied to the Temporal World is the long-awaited first theatrical movie addition to the series. Fans of the manga can be happy to hear that the movie features an original story supervised by the original manga author Yuki Midorikawa herself.
Just listening to the introductory phrase in the trailer, ‘A beautiful and transient tale of a human and ayakashi’, gives you the feeling of the Natsume’s world view! It certainly delivers the kindness, transience, and beauty of Natsume’s Book of Friends.
The original Japanese title contains the word ‘Utsusemi’, which literally means ‘cicada shell’ but is often used in a figurative sense to express the traditional aesthetic of transience. In this film, Natsume reunites with his old classmate, Yuuki. Just like other reunions with his old classmates in the anime series, this reunion also reminds him of a bitter memory.
Then, Natsume gets to know Yorie Tsumura (voiced by Sumi Shimamoto), a papercutting artist whom he saw in a memory from an ayakashi whose name he had already returned. Yorie knew Natsume’s grandmother, Reiko, and she now lives peacefully with her only son, Mukuo (voiced by Kengo Koura). As Natsume enjoys his new relationship with them, he learns that a mysterious ayakashi is hidden in the town they live in, and he decides to look into it with Nyanko-sensei. A weird ‘seed’ that Nyanko-sensei brought back stuck to his body grows into a big tree in their yard in a single night and bears fruit. Something seems odd… The fruits somehow look like Nyanko sensei. Nyanko-sensei can’t help it and eats them, only to find him split into three smaller versions of himself the next morning! What on earth is happening…?
There are many hints scattered throughout the trailer to help you solve the mystery. This is ‘a beautiful and transient tale of a human and ayakashi’, and one of the characters there is a ‘kind and sad liar’. Just like all the other episodes of Natsume’s Book of Friends, the story of this film also brings you tears as well as warms your heart. Whether you are a longtime fan or you’re new to the series, I believe you all will love this film. You’ll find a new encounter along with the same old faces of the series. Please enjoy it on the big screen if you can.