Miyo Sasaki is an unhappy middle school girl living in the town of Tokoname, Japan, who does not get along with her stepmother. Each day at school, she goes out of her way to flirt with her crush, Kento Hinode, in spite of his repeated rejections. One day, Miyo receives a magical Noh mask from a mysterious mask seller, which lets her become a cat. As “Tarō”, she spends time with Hinode at his home, keeps him company while he studies Japanese pottery and listens to his problems. She longs to confess that the cat that he loves and the girl that he hates are the same person, but is afraid that he will reject her and refuse to visit with Tarō anymore. A Whisker Away 2020
One day, Miyo overhears a pair of boys at school speaking badly about Hinode, and loudly intervenes by jumping off the school building to defend his honor. She hurts herself during the jump, and for the first time, Hinode shows warmth to her as he takes her to the nurse’s office and shares his lunch with her. Later that evening, as Tarō, Miyo learns that Hinode’s family is closing their pottery shop, as the family can no longer afford it. Hinode’s kindness towards her, combined with a need to cheer him up at the loss of his hobby inspires Miyo to confess her love in the form of a letter. The next day in class, a boy snatches the note before she can deliver it and reads it aloud, embarrassing both Miyo and Hinode. Hinode saves face by publicly telling Miyo that he hates her.
Miyo later visits Hinode as Tarō and spends the night with him. In the morning, she decides that life with Hinode as a cat is better than life without him as a human, and her human face falls off in the form of a porcelain mask. The mask seller appears to claim Miyo’s face and tells her that he will give it to a cat who wants to become human. Miyo’s friends and family begin searching for her, including Hinode, who confesses to Tarō that he doesn’t really hate Miyo.