Are you a big fan of “youkai (妖怪)” or spirits? If yes, I would like to introduce to you the new screening Japanese Anime movie, Natsume Yujin-Cho The Movie: Ephemeral Bond.
Release Date: 25 October 2018
Subtitle: Chinese / English / Malay
Genre: Animation / Anime
Running Time: 105 minutes ( 1 hour 45 minutes )
Director: Takahiro Omori 大森貴弘 , Hideki Ito 伊藤秀樹
Distributor: GSC (Golden Screen Cinema) Movies
Official Website: https://natsume-movie.com/?from=lower
Takashi Natsume 夏目貴志
[ voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya 神谷浩史 ]
Takashi Natsume, the main protagonist has the same spiritual power as his late-grandmother, Reiko which enables him to see “youkai”. He had been transferred here and there between his relatives since his parents passed away during his childhood time. After he inherited the “Book of Friends” from Reiko, he started his journey on returning the “youkai” names to their original owner.
Power and Abilities
- Returning Names − As Natsume has the same spiritual power as Reiko, therefore he is able to return the names written in the “Book of Friends”, thus freeing the youkai where originally bounded with his grandmother. The process requires him to first picture the youkai in his mind where the book will reacts and flipped to the page with its name written. He then need to rip out the page and place it in his mouth as the ritual requires either the blood or the saliva of the owner. Finally, he will claps his hand and exhales. The whole rituals will drains him a lot of energy which causes him to be very exhausted afterwards.
- Dream / Memory Reader − Natsume is able to see their memories when he releases a youkai’s name. Besides, if a youkai is emotionally unstable in the same space as sleeping Natsume, its dream may flow into him. While most of the youkai will allow Natsume to see their memories so that he can understand their situation better.
- Spiritual Power / Fighting Ability − As mentioned, Natsume which is directly related to Reiko, has a strong spiritual power which allows him to see and communicate with youkai that are normally intangible and invisible to other humans. Asides that, Natsume’s strong spiritual power are significantly seen when he punches Nyanko-sensei or other youkai which makes them unconscious.
Nyanko-sensei • Madara ニャンコ先生 • 斑
[ voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue 井上和彦 ]
Nyanko-sensei, aka Madara is one of the main protagonist of the series. Before he met Natsume, he was sealed in a form of “Maneki Neko” (figure of a cat with one paw raised) which makes him commonly to have this form despite of his original form of “Madara”, a powerful beast youkai. He makes a promise with Natsume that when Natsume pass away, he will take the “Book of Friends” with the exchange of him being Natsume’s bodyguard and a pet cat to live together with Natsume.
Power and Abilities
- Blinding Light − Nyanko-sensei is able to shine a bright light from his forehead (most common seen in his cat form) that will destroys and scares away most of the youkai that might harm Natsume.
- Flight − Nyanko-sensei has the ability to fly in his original form as not all the youkai are able to fly.
- Shape shifting − Nyanko-sensei has the ability to transform / shift between his cat form and original form ( wolf- like form ). Besides that, he is also able to take human forms, but only as Natsume or Reiko because they are the only two human that he observed carefully.
Source: Natsume Yuujinchou Wikia
Synopsis / Summary
Takashi Natsume, who is able to see “youkai”, where others unable to see, since childhood. He inherited a special notebook, titled ” Book of Friends” from his deceased grandmother, Natsume Reiko; who collected youkai’s name and bound with them by defeating them. As the “Book of Friends” contains countless of youkai’s names, therefore, Takashi Natsume who inherited it is on his journey on returning the names to their original owners with the help of self-proclaimed bodyguard, Nyanko-sensei.
During Natsume’s busy day spending with people and youkai, he had met his ex-classmate, Yuuki and remembers his bitter memories. At such time, Natsume encountered Yorie Tsumura, who appeared in a youkai’s memory when he is returning its name. The women who knew about Reiko had lived peacefully with her only son, Mukuo. However, there is a mystery youkai that apparently also staying inside the town where they lived. After returning from investigation of the “Youkai no Tane” − youkai seed that stuck on Nyanki-sensei which caused the seed to grow into a huge tree that bare fruits in Fujiwara’s family garden overnight. Nyanko-sensei found out that the fruits somehow resemble himself and ate it which caused him to split into 3 small Nyanko-sensei −−?!
While waiting for seating in the cinema hall, I saw the trailer was being shown on the LED screen at GSC Midvalley.
Most memorable part….
The most memorable part that I found throughout the movie is when the mystery youkai requested Natsume to return back his name in order to save Nyanko-sensei which had split into 3 small Nyanko-sensei. Asides from that, another youkai (Shiki) which previously owned by someone but death, was ordered to chase over the mystery youkai at the same time.
Despite of continue to stay or leave to another town at time by time, he then decided to disappear. As when he leaves to somewhere else, no matter how close the relationship he previously had with the people at there, they will eventually forget his existence and memory about him. Natsume, who thinks that it is cruel for him as all the 8 years that he spent with them, will just vanish due to his disappearance. All the kind and sad lies told to them, is the scene that leaves a great impact to me.
Throughout the movie, I felt that the ending was a bit too fast and I think that they should explain more details on why the youkai (Shiki) is chasing over the mystery youkai and etc.
Even though I think that the current ending is good enough, however, if they could explain more precisely would be great as well.
I would definitely recommend this movie to everyone as firstly this anime itself had a long series of 30 minutes animation ( 6 season and 5 OVA ). This animation had made it first debut on July, 2008; and this animation is widely known by others due to its popularity.
After watching the movie and the animation, it had taught me on how the relationships between each other are precious, how one would rather to sacrifice itself just to hope someone to smile, the feelings of trying to protect and comfort those that cares and a lots of more emotions that touches one’s feelings.
Additionally, the music used by the movie itself is excellent as it really makes you feel like you are in the same scene as them, especially when watching in the cinema. The theme song for this movie is “Remember”, sang by Uru. I personally thinks that the lyrics of the song are perfectly fit for the story of the movie and it do brings out the sad, emotional feelings that the scene wanted to portray.
Thank you for Reading!