'Natsume’s Book of Friends' on big screen in China
By Yang Meng

The heart-warming Japanese story "Natsume's Book of Friends" opens in China today. On the first day of its release, it has garnered over 5,000 reviews and 8.6 points on Douban, with 50,600 fans marking the film as “want to see.” 

The big film 'Natsume's Book of Friends' got 8.6 so far on Douban. /Screenshot via Douban

The big film 'Natsume's Book of Friends' got 8.6 so far on Douban. /Screenshot via Douban

Huge fan base accumulated over a decade

The story of "Natsume's Book of Friends" seems to describe the daily life of Natsume and his cat teacher, but their relationship is filled with warmth and touching moments. 

The film received a lot of attention before its release, as the story has built a fan base in China over a decade.

The comic book that the movie is based on has been serialized since 2006 in China.

The animation series got an average score of 9.3 on Douban. /Screenshot via Douban

The animation series got an average score of 9.3 on Douban. /Screenshot via Douban

The anime was broadcast on TV from 2008 to 2018 in six seasons. During the decade, the cumulative broadcast volume exceeded 100 million people, with an average score of 9.3 on Douban.

It is one of the most mentioned animations in film recommendation articles, and its emotional healing power gives it the title of the “warmest story.” 

Localized exquisite posters

Poster of  'Natsume's Book of Friends’. /Douban Photo

Poster of  'Natsume's Book of Friends’. /Douban Photo

The posters revealed three days before the release date were specially designed to celebrate the debut of "Natsume's Book of Friends" on the Chinese screen.

On one of the posters, the most beloved character Madara, a monster sealed in a body of cat, is sipping a cup of tea on the fence of the Forbidden City leisurely.

In another poster, Madara is lying on the lawn with a basket of traditional Chinese dim sum on the side.

Poster of  'Natsume's Book of Friends‘. /Douban Photo

Poster of  'Natsume's Book of Friends‘. /Douban Photo

The posters were well received.

“Natsume is coming to China with spring together,” said a commenter.

Promo song described as “only need 10 seconds to make you cry” 

The promo song is sung by popular Chinese star Wang Yuan, who is a member of the popular teen group TFBoys.

Chinese singer Wang Yuan sung the promo song of "Natsume's Book of Friends". /Sina Photo

Chinese singer Wang Yuan sung the promo song of "Natsume's Book of Friends". /Sina Photo

The Chinese title of the song is translated as “As long as there are people you want to see, you are not alone.” It conveys the theme of "loneliness and companionship, reunion and farewell.”

Its warm and tear-inducing lyrics and melody is described by viewers as “only need 10 seconds to make you cry.”

As soon as the video was released, it was listed on Weibo's hot search list, contributing to widespread discussion and reposts.

( Top image designed by Liu Shaozhen.)