The Nobiagari (のびあがり, Stretcher or Reacher) is a floating serpent-like being whose classification varies throughout the series from an alien organizm to a yōkai. known for turning its victims into Vampire Trees. It first appeared in the Shonen Magazine story Vampire Tree.
The Nobiagari's appearance comprises of a long, translucent gel-like body, usually teal, with a single giant eye with a red iris. It has a numerous amount of arms, at minimum three pairs are shown at a time, but in certain adaptations it is shown with more.
The Nobiagari is usually portrayed as a hostile being.
Within the fifth anime, the Nobiagari was portrayed as an innocent creature unaware of the harm it was causing.
The Nobiagari lived in a cave deep underground in the Dragon Cavern under the Thousand Rock. Frequent earthquakes eventually freed it and it began heading for the nearby village looking for victims. The Nobiagari uses a special pollen to put its victims to sleep and then plants seeds in their bodies that transform them into blood-sucking Vampire Trees (吸血木, Kyūketsu-Ki). Its giant eye gives it hypnotic powers which it often uses to crash planes.
In the original manga it was not a yōkai, but is instead said to be a subterranean lifeform that evolved differently than surface dwelling lifeforms.
Nobiagari appears in episode #19 of the first anime adaption, Vampire Tree. When Kitarō to a village to investigate the recent string of Vampire Tree cases, the Nobiagari sneaks into his room at night to plant a Vampire Tree seed. After Kitarō turns into a Vampire Tree, the Nobiagari continues preying on villagers and crashing airplanes. After Kitarō revived himself by growing a new body in a fruit on his Vampire Tree form, he went back to the cave to confront the Nobiagari. He threw sand in its eye to avoid its hypnotism and they fought into the water. Kitarō electrocuted the Nobiagari, stunning it, and then took seeds and planted them all in it. Several days later, a large Vampire Tree grew where the Nobiagari was defeated.
Nobiagari appears in episode #47 of the third anime adaption, Yōkai Nobiagari and the Vampire Trees. In this adaption, the Nobiagari is turning people into Vampire Trees in retaliation to deforestation. In the end, it is defeated when Nurikabe makes a hole in the wall of it's cave, allowing lava to flow in and destroy it.
Nobiagari appears in episode #109 of the fourth anime adaption, Mystery of the Snowy Mountains: Nobiagari. In this adaption, the Nobiagari has been fused with the will of Toshiyuki Masumoto, a man from a snowy mountain village who died ten years prior trying to find the Nobiagari. He begins turning the other villagers into Vampire Trees in order to protect them from an avalanche. This version of the Nobiagari is weak to sunlight, but in the end he goes into the sunlight to save his wife and daughter from an avalanche. After safely pulling them out of the the snow, his body hardens and shatters. After his death, all of the Vampire Trees turn back into the villagers. This is the only time the Nobiagari is portrayed as a good character.
Nobiagari appears in the sixth episode of the fifth anime, Big Panic! Yōkai Yokochō.
The Nobiagari is accidentally collected with some sand Sunakake-Babaa planned to use for a Sand Bath House. Once the bathhouse was set up and the inhabitants of Yōkai Yokochō begin to use it, the Nobiagari came out of the sand and began slipping the relaxed yōkai a pill that turned them into Vampire Trees. The Nobiagari starts off small, but by breathing the life force emitting from the Vampire Trees it begins to grow larger.
With even Kitarō changed into a Vampire Tree, Sunakake-Babaa tries to use some of her special sands to subdue it. However, an exploding sand concoction sets it on fire, hurting it so much it goes on a rampage. Kitarō's chanchanko than flies off of his tree form to attack the Nobiagari, circling it so fast it spreads the flame. The Nobiagari shrinks back to its normal size and passes out, returning everyone to normal. Kitarō then returns it to the sandbank where they found it.
The Nobiagari appears in the first episode of the sixth anime, The Day Yōkai Awoke. The Nobiagari was released from its seal unknowingly by a prankster U-Tuber named Charatomi. It then went around Tokyo, where it made Charatomi its first victim, transforming him into a Vampire Tree and proceeded to turn the surrounding crowd into trees as well. It continues its havoc, indiscriminately turning people into more Vampire Trees during the day, at night it returns to the underground reservoir where it was sealed. It crawls down a pillar, where Kitarō senses it and stays quiet as it had not noticed them yet. However Mana catches its attention after she speaks out loud, it fires a blast that Kitarō intercepts and it was able to subdue him and plant a Vampire Tree seed in his hand, allowing it to escape. The following day it turns more people into Vampire Trees, where it returns to the reservoir again at night. It crawls down a pillar, stopping when it notices something, but continues as it reaches the floor. Kitarō hits it with his Geta, where it begins firing beams at him, Kitarō follows with his hair needles but it has no effect either. It manages to grab his leg, dragging him towards itself, nearly capturing him, but is strucked by a crane hook, hitting its eye and making it fly off. It flies around the city, but Kitarō chases after it, striking its eye even more, it fires more beams but Kitarō evades them and hits its eye again. It flies to the outside of the construction site, where it goes after Mana, but Kitarō fires a finger gun, finishing it and making its explode. After the Nobiagari was defeated, all of its victims returned to normal.
In Yōkai Sen Monogatari, a Nobiagari invades a flower viewing party and begins turning yōkai into Vampire Trees. After Kitarō is transformed into a Vampire Tree and revives himself inside a fruit on the tree, he and Sunakake-Babaa work together to plant Vampire Tree seeds in the Nobiagari, turning it into a giant tree.
Vampire Tree Transformation: The most recognized ability of the Nobiagari, being used in all adaptations. It transforms its victims into Vampire Trees, using special tree seeds called Vampire Tree Seeds. The method it uses varies from adaptations, but most require the seed to be planted within the victims. The trees are tied to the Nobiagari's existence, as it requires them to grow larger and if it is defeated then the victims return to normal.
Flight: The Nobiagari is capable of flight, having been used in nearly all adaptions it appears in, it does so without the need of wings, and is able to reach high altitudes, just above tall buildings.
Hypnotism: Within the first anime, the Nobiagari often uses its giant eye to crash planes.
Eye Beams: Within the 2018 series, the Nobiagari is capable of projecting beams from its eyes to attack those it deems a threat. The beams are shown to be rather colorful, but are primarily white.
Nobiagari appears out of nowhere and quickly swells to a massive size. It often stalks an unexpected traveler from behind and out of clear sight.
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