The official website for Natsume Yūjin-Chō: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihōsha (Natsume's Book of Friends: The Waking Rock and the Strange Visitor), announced on Saturday that the new anime film is set for release in 65 theatres in Japan from January 16, 2021, for a limited time. The website also posted a new key visual and also announced that Hisako Kanemoto (Ami Mizuno / Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon Crystal) will guest-star as a new yokai character named Mitsumi.
Advance tickets with a postcard will go on sale at the theatres on October 10, 2020.
The film will be based on two stories, "Ishi Okoshi" and "Ayashiki Raihōsha."
In "Ishi Okoshi," Natsume encounters a small yokai, Mitsumi in a forest. Mitsumi, who has been in charge of "Ishi Okoshi" to wake up a divine-class youkai called Iwatetsu from its deep sleep. However, Nyanko-sensei and other yokai start plotting to take over the role of "Ishi Okoshi" in order to get the reward's sake. Natsume, who is concerned about Mitsumi, decides to help.
In "Ayashiki Raihōsha," A mysterious visitor who appears to Tanuma. He comes to visit Tanuma almost every day to talk for a short time and then leaves. Natsume is worried about Tanuma when he learns that the visitor is a youkai, but Tanuma has come to enjoy interacting with it. Apparently, the youkai doesn't intend to do anything bad, but Tanuma's health starts to get worse little by little...
Aniplex is distributing the film. The returning staff includes chief director and scriptwriter Takahiro Ōmori at anime studio Shuka, director Hideki Ito, scriptwriter Sadayuki Murai, and composer Makoto Yoshimori.
Natsume's Book of Friends (Natsume Yūjin-Chō) manga written by Yuki Midorikawa began serialization by Hakusensha in the shōjo manga magazine LaLa DX in 2005, before switching to LaLa in 2008. The manga has inspired six TV anime seasons and several OVAs.
The series is about Natsume, an orphaned teenage boy who can see spirits, who inherits from his grandmother the notebook she used to bind spirits under her control. The manga was a finalist for the first Manga Taishō award in 2008.
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