|The Cat and the Book of Friends|
Neko to Yuujinchou
|Air Date||July 7, 2008|
|Adapted From||Chapter 01|
|Opening Song||Issei no Sei|
|Ending Song||Natsu Yuuzora|
|List of Natsume Yuujinchou Episodes|
The Cat and the Book of Friends is the first episode of the Natsume Yuujinchou anime. It first aired on July 7, 2008.
Natsume was chased by some monster in a forest. Two students, (Atsushi Kitamoto and Satoru Nishimura) are walking on a dirt path at the edge of this forest, until when the boy jumps out suddenly. The two students recognize the boy as Takashi Natsume, the main protagonist of this series, who had just moved to the countryside town they live in now. They ask what he is doing, but he says that nothing is wrong. He asks the two if there is a shrine nearby.
One of them says there is one past the bushes on their right. Takashi thanks them and runs off in that direction, which makes the two students wonder. Takashi is a transfer student, but rarely talks, making it hard for the other students to approach him.
Takashi continues to run, saying that he's jealous of the two students who couldn't see "it". From behind, the same monster from before, now seen clearly as a one-eyed monster ghost, is still chasing him. He narrates that he has been able to see Youkai ever since he was small. He's never liked them, especially when coming to this town. They've always chased him or played pranks on him, but he knows that shrines ward them off. Before he reaches the gates of the shrine though, the ghost-Youkai catches Takashi by holding him against a tree. The ghost-Youkai celebrates in capturing Takashi, asking him, even though she calls Takashi a "her", to give her name back.
As Natsume struggles, another youkai, more human-like in form, tells the ghost-Youkai that it would be better to tear out Takashi's tongue. While the two youkai converse, Takashi kicks the ghost-youkai in the eye, making her release him. Takashi reaches the shrine, while the ghost-youkai wails in pain and the human-like youkai is unhappy by this event.
While continuing to run, Natsume remembers his past in which no one believed what he saw. The two people in these memories had differing opinions of his actions. The husband believed it was due to attention-seeking as he must've been lonely whereas the wife found it weird and creepy even if she understood her husband's point of view.
Natsume then trips on a rope which was a seal that imprisioned a youkai. The horroring sounds it was making caused Natsume to be cautious but then small shrine's door opens. Inside, a maneki-neko cat. He laughs until the cat destroys the shrine, talks and appoarches him. This cat approaches Natsume and is surprised that he didn't run in fear. Natsume reveals he's used to it. That is when the cat calls him Reiko but then notices he's a man. The cat gives some insight into Reiko's past when he learns that Natsume is her grandson. The cat notes that she was very lonely and had the same powers as him. The cat then mentions something called The Book of Friends and when Natsume believes he has it in his possession, the cat disappears.
Natsume returns home and his adoptive mother and distant relative, Touko worries about him after she notices him looking pale and dirty. Natsume quickly assures her and returns to his room. He takes a deep breath reminding himself that he will never tell his adoptive family about his powers. Searching through his boxes he finds the book the cat was talking about earlier. Flipping through the pages, although the writing is otherworldly Natsume is able to read them, that is when the cat reappears. Menancingly demanding Natsume hands it over. The cat lunges at him but Natsume dodges but makes holes in his closet...
Touko is about to head out to run some errands but she heard the thump and asked Natsume about it. He reassures her that is was nothing and Touko asks him to watch the house while she's out.
Natsume repairs the holes and gives the cat some watermelon slices then asks for him to leave afterwards. The cat refuses firstly because he wants the book and secondly, he's grateful for being released. So he stays to be his bodyguard and has Natsume call him Sensei. Natsume is surprised by the worth of this book and precariously waves it around until Nyanko-sensei reprimands him for it. That is when Nyanko-sensei explains that the Book of Friends is a very powerful and dangerous object. In its pages, contains numerous names of youkai Reiko had beaten in her games. Names are essentially, the very soul of a youkai and should those names be destroyed, so will the youkai.
A knock is heard and Natsume innocently answers it. It's one of the youkais that was chasing him earlier! Natsume makes a run for it with the book in hand. Nyanko-sensei follows him and directs him to hide in a bush. Nyanko-sensei assumes Natsume has seen how dangerous the book is and thus, will give it him. But to his surpsise, he refuses and won't give him the reason. This annoys Nyanko-sensei and reveals his true form, a massive white fox. He traps Natsume under his paw and demands he give it the Book of Friends to him. Natsume refuses and the crushing pain was getting so unbearable, Natsume punches Nyanko-sensei. Nyanko-sensei releases him because the punch was so painful.
Natsume then explains that this book is his grandmother's legacy and his only link to her. Natsume then asks Nyanko-sensei how to return the names, something Nyanko-sensei disagrees with as it would be a waste and they're also violent ones in there. Natsume says that it'll be okay because Sensei will protect him. Natsume sees that it's his responbility to return these names and promises Sensei that he can have the book once he dies. Sensei agrees and teaches him how to return the names.
Sensei easily takes care of the human-like youkai whereas Natsume successfully returns the ghost-like youkai whose name is Hishigaki. Hishigaki's memories surges into the Natsume. This memory is how Hishigaki met Reiko; the starving youkai finds a bun left on a mini shrine and is about to take it when Reiko snatches. Reiko says it doesn't taste that great and the ones from Nanatsuji are much better. Reiko then approaches Hishigaki who is shocked that a human could see her and wasn't scared. Reiko suggests a game which she wins. Hishigaki is then made to write her name on a paper and is now her servant.
Hishigaki notices a scratch on her face. Reiko tells her that someone threw a rock at her because she was creepy. Reiko explains that now that she's her servant she'll need to come the moment she is called. Hishigaki was happy to have a friend but waiting for so long made her angry and wanted her name back. Nevertheless, after her name was returned all she wanted to know was that Reiko is okay and no longer in pain. Natsume comforts her. Telling that she is okay and lucky to have had Hishigaki as a friend. Hishigaki then disappears but Natsume is exhausted from returning the name. He also reaffirms his decision to Nyanko-sensei.
Walking home, Natsume still doesn't like youkai. He then sees the store, Nanatsuji, that Reiko mentioned. The moment he says they're buns are good, Nyanko-sensei excitedly charges towards it.
- Takashi Natsume never had a cat, but he easily produced a cat tail (green colour) for Madara.
- It was Reiko (in Hishigaki's memories) that recommended the sweet bun from Nanatsuji. Ever since then, it is the favourite sweet shop for both Natsume and Nyanko-sensei.
- The youkai Karikage's name is never mentioned in the anime only in the manga.
|Hotarubi no Mori e||Natsume Yuujinchou First Season||2nd Season|
|Episode 01 • Episode 02 • Episode 03 • Episode 04 • Episode 05 • Episode 06 • Episode 07 • Episode 08 • Episode 09 • Episode 10 • Episode 11 • Episode 12 • Episode 13|