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Short introduction to Natsume’s Book of Friends:

Natsume is lonely; he has an ability that separates him from others: he can see and interact with spirits. Soon, however, Natsume discovers that he’s not alone: his grandmother Reiko also had the gift. But things get hectic and possibly dangerous for Natsume when he finds out that he also inherited the ‘Book of Friends’, a book that contains the names of all the spirits Reiko defeated and subjugated. He finds himself hounded by his grandmother’s underlings and, with the help of a ‘cat’ charm spirit, decides to free them from the Book’s shackles, as well as protect the book from those who seek to misuse its power…

10. Mushishi

Description: Mushi are another form of life which live parallel to our own natural world. The source of many myths and superstitions, they exist according to their own natural laws, and can be both beneficial and dangerous depending on circumstances.  Ginko, a traveling mushishi, investigates and helps out wherever the mushi have become a problem. Yet Ginko himself is marked by the creatures he researches, and he carries the weight of his past with him.

Number of Releases: Vol: 10; Ch: 50

Release Year: 1999

9. xxxHOLiC

Description: At first glance, Kimihiro Watanuki appears to be a normal high school student; but little do people know that not only is Watanuki able to see spirits, but he’s also a magnet for them! One day, after being chased by one such spirit, Watanuki happens upon a strange building. There he meets a mysterious witch named Yuuko, who claims she can get rid of his ability to see spirits – for a price: Watanuki must work as her housekeeper until he has paid off the cost of granting his wish. Now Watanuki’s eyes are being opened to an entirely new side of the world as he assists Yuuko in her work, all while balancing the housework, his schoolwork, and most importantly, ensuring that Yuuko is never out of sake!

Number of Releases: Vol: 19; Ch: 213

Release Year: 2003

8. Tactics

Description: Kantaro Ichinomiya has been able to see youkai and befriend them since he was a young child, but there is one particular spirit that he has always wanted to meet. Intrigued by the tale of the legendary demon-eating tengu, Kantaro’s goal for many years has been to make friends with the strongest youkai of all. Now, as a young adult Kantaro works as an exorcist, yet he has never forgotten his true desire, and one day his dreams come true when he breaks a holy seal, releasing the fabled demon-eating tengu. As the spirit’s new master, Kantaro names his new friend Haruka and now the pair work together to solve the city’s supernatural problems.

Number of Releases: Vol: 15

Release Year: 2001

7. Dusk Story: Tasogare Monogatari

Description: Takt is a boy who can see ghosts and other strange apparitions. Often the ghosts and people he meets carry strong emotions only he can help resolve. See the world through Takt’s eyes, let yourself be touched by these heart-warming stories.

Number of Releases: Vol: 2; Ch: 13

Release Year: 1998

6. Hotarubi no Mori e

Description: While visiting her uncle for the summer, six year old Hotaru gets lost in the woods outside the village. Scared, the crying girl is eventually rescued by a gentle youkai named Gin, who is burdened with a curse that will cause him to disappear if ever touched by a human. Though they are barred from physical contact, the two become close friends. But after a few short years it becomes apparent that Gin ages more slowly than humans, so while Hotaru is growing up and changing, Gin remains in stasis. How will Hotaru adapt to the complicated emotions she develops as her and Gin’s ages gradually converge?

Number of Releases: Vol: 1; Ch: 4

Release Year: 2002

5. Silver Diamond

Description: Rakan is the only surviving member of his family, so he lives alone with only a flourishing garden to keep him company. One day, a mysterious man falls into Rakan’s garden and tries to kill him, but instead of getting angry Rakan feeds the man, gives him hot food, and offers him a place to stay. As more people mysteriously follow suit Rakan discovers that he looks just like the evil prince of a different world – a man who is exiling unwanted people out of his territory. With the help of this band of misfits – a monster, a man who should have been a woman, a snake that can turn into a sword and a number child – Rakan sets forth to set things right and bring green back to the desert of his new friends’ world.

Number of Releases: Vol: 27; Ch: 81

Release Year: 2003

4. Katana

Description: When Akira Narikawa was a boy, he communicated with the spirits of the swords that passed through his house. The grandson of a famous sword smith, he has grown to be a young man who doesn’t want to inherit the family business, and attends school instead. But Akira soon finds himself in the company of swords and their spirits once more, and with his special talents and kindness he always is able to calm what evil lies in wait. In addition to meeting new friends, Akira will touch the lives of many – both the living, and the dead.

Number of Releases: Vol: 21+; Ch: 91+

Release Year: 2004

3. Mizu no Yakata

Description: A 14 year old boy, after the loss of his parents, starts researching his older brother, who has mysteriously disappeared several years before. He finds him in a strange palace with his two friends who had also disappeared. At first the boy is happy, but then he discovers that something horrible has happened in that palace and he might become a victim, too.

Number of Releases: Vol: 1; Ch: 2

Release Year: 1999

2. Elegant Youkai Apartment Life

Description: When his new high school’s dormitory burns down, Yushi Inaba is left scrambling to find housing that a sixteen year-old orphan can afford. The only place he finds is an old apartment building called Kotobuki-so, where the rent is cheap and the building is… haunted?! A ghostly boy wanders the halls with his dog. The cook is completely invisible except for her hands. And the landlord is a giant youkai, who doesn’t like it when the rent is late! The unfazed human residents live right alongside their unearthly neighbors; and now that Yushi has joined their community, his life is about to get much stranger!

Number of Releases: Vol: 24; Ch: 120

Release Year: 2011

1. Yokai Rental Shop

Description: When the lonely Hiiragi Yasase learns that he has a long-lost half-brother, he decides to meet the man–but is shocked by what he discovers. His brother is the proprietor of a pet shop, one that is actually a front for supernatural rentals. Customers in-the-know can rent out yokai to perform supernatural deeds. There’s just one catch: they have to forge a contract written in blood…

Number of Releases: Vol: 4; Ch: 25

Release Year: 2015

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