GeGeGe no Kitarō

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GeGeGe no Kitarō
Gegege.jpg
Kitarō and his yōkai friends.
ゲゲゲの鬼太郎
Genre Supernatural, Horror
Manga
Written by Shigeru Mizuki
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run 19601969
Volumes 9
Anime television series
Directed by Isao Takahata
Studio Toei Animation
Toei Company
Network Fuji Television (JOCX-TV (Tokyo Tower Channel 8))
Original run January 3, 1968March 30, 1969
Episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Directed by Isao Takahata
Studio Toei Animation
Toei Company
Network Fuji Television (JOCX-TV (Tokyo Tower Channel 8))
Original run October 7, 1971September 28, 1972
Episodes 45 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Directed by Osamu Kasai
Hiroki Shibata
Studio Toei Animation
Toei Company
Network Fuji Television (JOCX-TV (Tokyo Tower Channel 8))
Original run October 12, 1985March 21, 1988
Episodes 108 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Directed by Daisuke Nishio
Studio Toei Animation
Toei Company
Network Fuji Television (JOCX-TV (Tokyo Tower Channel 8))
Original run January 7, 1996March 29, 1998
Episodes 114 (List of episodes)
Game
Platform PlayStation
Released 2003
Anime television series
Directed by Yukio Kawazu
Studio Toei Animation
Toei Company
Network Fuji Television (JOCX-TV (Tokyo Tower Channel 8) and JOCX-DTV (Tokyo Tower Channel 21))
English network
Original run April 1, 2007March 29, 2009
Episodes 100 (List of episodes)
Live-action film
Directed by Katsuhide Motoki
Produced by Chihiro Kameyama
Written by Katsuhide Motoki
Daisuke Habara
Music by Yūta Nakano
TUCKER
Studio Shochiku
Released April 28, 2007 (2007-04-28)
Runtime 103 minutes
Anime television series
Hakaba Kitarō
Directed by Kimitoshi Chioki
Studio Toei Animation
Toei Company
Network Fuji Television (JOCX-TV (Tokyo Tower Channel 8) and JOCX-DTV (Tokyo Tower Channel 21))
Original run January 10, 2008March 20, 2008
Episodes 11
Live-action film
Gegege no Kitaro: Kitaro and the Millennium Curse
Directed by Katsuhide Motoki
Written by Mitsuhiko Sawamura
Studio Shochiku
Released July 12, 2008 (2008-07-12)
Runtime 115 minutes
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

GeGeGe no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎?) is a manga series created in 1960 by mangaka Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong. It has been adapted for the screen several times, as anime, live action and video games. A new anime series has been made every decade since 1968.

The title of the original story is Hakaba no Kitarō (墓場の鬼太郎?), literally meaning "Kitarō (of the) Graveyard". This story was an early 20th-century Japanese folk tale performed on kamishibai. The name "Ge Ge Ge..." was applied to Mizuki's particular telling of the Kitarō story when a Toei Animation series based on the characters of his comic was created. In January, 2008, the original comic was finally adapted into an animated series, running in Fuji TV's Noitamina slot.

Characters[edit]

Kitarō (鬼太郎 Kitarō?)
Kitarō is a yōkai boy born in a cemetery and, aside from his mostly decayed father, the last living member of the Ghost Tribe (幽霊族 yūrei zoku?). He is missing his left eye, but his hair usually covers the empty socket. He fights for peace between humans and yōkai, which generally involves protecting the former from the wiles of the latter. When questioned in the 2007 movie, Kitarō responds that he is three hundred and fifty years old.
Kitarō has an assortment of strange weapons at his disposal, including:
  • remote-controlled geta sandals
  • a detachable hand, also remote-controlled
  • a magic chanchanko vest which can protect its wearer from danger; it occasionally seems to act of its own accord, wrapping around enemies or aiding friends, even when Kitarō is not available to command it
  • spiny hairs which can be shot like arrows
  • another hair which can serve as an antenna for detecting spirit activity
  • longer locks of his hair can be used as a spear or sword
  • a magical ocarina (usually used for calling Ittan Momen), which contains a baton, a whip and occasionally music which has the power to damage certain ghosts.
  • the power of electrocution, usually employed when an enemy has pinned or restrained him and he can no longer kick or use other weapons
Medama-oyaji (目玉のおやじ, or 目玉親父?, Lit. "Eyeball Father")
Medama-oyaji is Kitarō's father. Once a fully formed adult ghost, he perished of a disease, only to be reborn out of his decayed body as an anthropomorphic version of his own eyeball. He looks small and fragile, but has a strong spirit and a great love for his son. He is also extremely knowledgeable about ghosts and monsters. He enjoys staying clean, and is often seen bathing in a small bowl. He has a great love for sake.
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Daddy Eyeball.
Nezumi Otoko (ねずみ男?, "Rat Man")
Nezumi Otoko is a rodent-like yōkai-human halfbreed. He has been alive for three hundred and sixty years, and in that time has almost never taken a bath, rendering him filthy, foul-smelling, and covered in welts and sores. While he is usually Kitarō's friend, Nezumi Otoko will waste no time cooking up vile schemes or betraying his companions if he thinks there's money to be had or a powerful enemy to side with. He claims to be a college graduate of the University of the Bizarre (怪奇大学 Kaiki Daigaku?). He can immobilize even the strongest yokai that accost him with a pungent flatulence attack. And akin to cats and mice, he and Nekomusume cannot stand being around each other.
Nezumi-Otoko first appears in the story The Lodging House (Rental manga version) as Dracula IV's minion.
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Ratman.
Neko Musume (猫娘 or ねこ娘?, "Cat Girl")
A normally quiet yōkai girl, who transforms into a frightening cat monster with fangs and feline eyes when she is angry or hungry for fish. Predictably, she does not get along well with Nezumi Otoko. She seems to harbor a slight crush on Kitarō, who sees her only as a friend. In recent iterations (possibly due to the recent anime phenomenon of fanservice), she is very fond of human fashion and is seen in different outfits and uniforms. She bears some resemblance to the bakeneko of Japanese folklore.
Neko-Musume first appears in the story Neko-Musume and Nezumi-Otoko (Weekly Shōnen Magazine version), however another cat-girl named Neko (?) appears in the earlier stories The Vampire Tree and the Neko-Musume and A Walk to Hell (Rental version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, she is referred to as Catchick.
Sunakake Babaa (砂かけ婆?, "Sand-throwing hag")
Sunakake Babaa is an old yōkai woman who carries sand which she throws into the eyes of enemies to blind them. She serves as an advisor to Kitarō and his companions, and manages a yōkai apartment building. The original sunakake-baba is an invisible sand-throwing spirit from the folklore of Nara Prefecture.
Sunakake-babaa first appears in a cameo as one of many yōkai attending a sukiyaki party in the story A Walk to Hell (Rental version) before making a more prominent appearance in The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, she is referred to as The Sand Witch.
Konaki Jijii (子泣き爺?, "Child-crying Old Man")
Konaki Jijii is a comic, absent-minded old yōkai man who attacks enemies by clinging to them and turning himself to stone, increasing his weight and mass immensely and pinning them down. He and Sunakake Babaa often work as a team. The original konaki jijii is a ghost which is said to appear in the woods of Tokushima Prefecture in the form of a crying infant. When it is picked up by some hapless traveller, it increases its weight until it crushes him.
Konaki-jijii first appears in a cameo as one of many yōkai attending a sukiyaki party in the story A Walk to Hell (Rental version) before making a more prominent appearance in The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Old Man Crybaby.
Ittan Momen (一反木綿?, "Roll of Cotton")
Ittan Momen is a flying yōkai resembling a strip of white cloth. Kitarō and friends often ride on him when traveling. The original ittan-momen is a spirit from Kagoshima Prefecture myth which wraps itself around the faces of humans in an attempt to smother them.
Ittan Momen first appears in the story The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Rollo Cloth.
Nurikabe (ぬりかべ?, "Plastered Wall")
Nurikabe is a large, sleepy-eyed wall-shaped yōkai, who uses his massive size to protect Kitarō and his friends. The original Nurikabe is a spirit which blocks the passage of people walking at night.
Nurikabe first appears in a cameo as one of many yōkai attending a sukiyaki party in the story A Walk to Hell (Rental version) before making a more prominent appearance in The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Wally Wall.
Nurarihyon (ぬらりひょん?)
Kitaro's old rival,he is depicted as an old man who comes at other people's houses and drink their tea. He is also a member of the Gazu Hyaki Yako, Nurarihyon has a member he always uses named Shu no Bon.

Media[edit]

Kamishibai[edit]

The Kitarō story began life as a kamishibai in 1933, written by Masami Itou (伊藤正美). Itou's version was called Kitarō of the Graveyard (Hakaba no Kitarō), and is generally written in katakana to distinguish it from Mizuki's version of the tale. It is said to be a loose reinterpretation of the similar Japanese folktale called the Ame-Kai Yurei ("The Candy-Buying Ghost.") In 1954, Mizuki was asked to continue the series by his publisher.[1]

Manga[edit]

The work Hakaba Kitarō was published as a rental manga in 1960, but it was considered too scary for children. In 1965, renamed to Hakaba no Kitarō, it appeared in Shōnen Magazine and ran through 1970. The series was renamed GeGeGe-no-Kitarō in 1967 and continued on Shōnen Sunday, Shōnen Action, Shukan Jitsuwa and many other magazines.

In 2002 GeGeGe-no-Kitarō was translated by Ralph F. McCarthy and compiled by Natsuhiko Kyogoku for Kodansha Bilingual Comics.[2]

In 2013, "Kitaro," a compilation of classic Sixties manga episodes, was released by Drawn and Quarterly, with English translation by Jocelyne Allen and an introduction by Matt Alt.[3]

TV series[edit]

Gegege no Kitarō was broadcast on Fuji Television in five different iterations:

  1. 1968-1969
  2. 1971-1972
  3. 1985-1988
  4. 1996-1998
  5. 2007-2009

All of the above were animated by Toei Animation.

Music

The opening theme to all five series is "Gegege no Kitarō". It has been sung by Kazuo Kumakura (1st, 2nd), Ikuzo Yoshi (3rd), Yūkadan (4th), and Ichirou Mizuki (5th).

In January 2008, an all new anime (also produced by Toei) premiered on Fuji TV during the late night hours in the Noitamina block. This anime uses the original manga title (Hakaba Kitarō), and unlike the usual anime versions, it is closer to the original manga and is not part of the existing remake canon. It also features a completely different opening ("Mononoke Dance" by Denki Groove) and ending theme song ("Snow Tears" by Shoko Nakagawa). Toei's website for the series can be found here.

Movies[edit]

Anime[edit]

  • July 21, 1968: Gegege no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎?) (Retelling of Anime 1, Episodes 5~6)
  • July 12, 1980: Gegege no Kitarō: The All Seeing Eye (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 地相眼, Gegege no Kitarō Chisōme?) (Retelling of Anime 2, Episode 37)

Based on the third anime, the following have original plots:

  • December 21, 1985: Gegege no Kitarō
  • March 15, 1986: Gegege no Kitarō: The Great Yōkai War (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 妖怪大戦争, Gegege no Kitarō Yōkai Dai Sensō?)
  • July 12, 1986: Gegege no Kitarō: Strongest Yōkai Corps!Dismebark to Japan!! (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 最強妖怪軍団! 日本上陸!!, Gegege no Kitarō Saikyō Yōkai Gundan! Nihon Jōriku!!?)
  • December 20, 1986: Gegege no Kitarō: Crash!! The Great Rebellion of the Multi-Dimensional Yōkai (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 激突!! 異次元妖怪の大反乱, Gegege no Kitarō Gekitotsu!! Ijigen Yōkai no Dai Hanran?)

Based on the 4th Anime, the following have original plots:

  • July 6, 1996: Gegege no Kitarō: The Great Sea Beast (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 大海獣, Gegege no Kitarō Dai Kaijū?)
  • March 8, 1997: Gegege no Kitarō: The Obake Nighter (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 お化けナイター?)
  • July 12, 1997: Gegege no Kitarō: Yōkai Express! The Phantom Train (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 妖怪特急! まぼろしの汽車, Gegege no Kitarō Yōkai Tokkyū! Maboroshi no Kisha?)

Based on the 5th Anime:

  • December 20, 2008: Theater Edition GeGeGe no Kitarō: Japan Explodes!! (劇場版 ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 日本爆裂!! Gekijōban GeGeGe no Kitarō Nippon Bakuretsu?)
  • In 2009, William Winckler Productions produced two all new English dubbed movie versions edited from the 1996 TV series, titled Kitaro's Graveyard Gang and Kitaro's Graveyard Gang 2. Producer William Winckler, known for Tekkaman the Space Knight, wrote, produced and directed the English films, which are seen on broadband in Japan. Actor Butch Patrick who portrayed "Eddie Munster" on the classic TV series The Munsters provided one of the voices.

Live Action[edit]

2007 Movie (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎)[edit]

CG Character Voices

Yokais of Gegege no Kitarō

Video games[edit]

  • Gegege no Kitarō: Youkai Dai Makyou for the Famicom (1986, Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitarō 2 for the Famicom (1987, Bandai)
  • Gegege No Kitarō: Fukkatsu! Tenma Daiou for the Super Famicom (1993, Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitarō for the Game Boy (1996, Bandai)
  • Gegege No Kitarō: Gentōkaikitan for the Sega Saturn (1996, Sega)
  • Gegege No Kitarō: Youkai Donjara for the Super Famicom (1996, Bandai) (requires Sufami Turbo)
  • Gegege no Kitarō: Noroi no Nikuto Katachi Tachi for the PlayStation (1997, Bandai)
  • Hissatsu Pachinkostation now 5 Gegege No Kitarō for the PlayStation (2000, Sunsoft)
  • Gegege no Kitarō for Microsoft Windows (2003, Unbalance)
  • Gegege no Kitarō: Ibun Youkaitan for the PlayStation 2 (2003, Konami)
  • Gegege no Kitarō: Kiki Ippatsu! Youkai Rettou for the Game Boy Advance (2003, Konami)
  • Gegege no Kitarō: Gyakushuu! Youkai Daichisen for the PlayStation (2003, Konami)
  • Gegege no Kitarō: Youkai Daiundoukai for the Wii (2007, Namco Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitarō Pachislo slot machine made by Sammy
  • Gegege no Kitarō: Youkai Daigekisen for the Nintendo DS (2008, Bandai)

Cast[edit]

1968~1969[edit]

1971~1972[edit]

1985~1988[edit]

1996~1998[edit]

Special Appearances

2007~2009[edit]

Special Appearances

2003 PlayStation Game[edit]

2008 Anime (Hakaba Kitarō)[edit]

Airing in Fuji TV's Noitamina slot, Hakaba Kitarō shares an art director and animation techniques with Mononoke, and adapts the original manga version. This series also marks the return of Masako Nozawa and Chikao Ōtsuka to the roles of Kitarō and Nezumi-Otoko respectively for the first time since the 2nd "GeGeGe..." series.

Special Appearances

Cultural impact[edit]

  • Gegege no Kitarō is the mascot for the Gainare Tottori soccer club. Additionally, J.League Division 1 team F.C. Tokyo also holds "Gegege no Kitarō Day" every season.
  • In Episode 6 of the Japanese drama Hana-Kimi, the protagonist Ashiya Mizuki (Horikita Maki) is quoted as saying that Izumi Sano (Oguri Shun) looks like "Kitarō", due to the way Sano's hair is styled. Sano then said that Mizuki must be "Medama Oyaji", since Mizuki always has 'his' eye on Sano. Also, in Episode 7, Noe greets the assembled couples on their way to the roof of the school on the evening of the delayed star festival (August 7) dressed as Kitarō and holding a figure of Medama Oyaji bathing in a rice bowl.
  • The exclamation "GeGeGe no Ge!" is used by ShogunGekomon in Episode 15 of Digimon Adventure 02.
  • In the last chapter of the manga, Ikujinashi Shiawase (Happiness of a Cowardly Boy) by Naono Bohra, character Kawada is embarrassed to look at the face of his lover, Mori, after Mori gets a haircut. Kawada complains that with his new haircut, Mori's handsome face is "too exposed" and attracts too much attention from other people. He states that Kawada used to have hair like "GeGeGe Kitarō", and he preferred it that way since his face was half-hidden most of the time.
  • Japanese musician Miyavi has also described his hairstyle as a Kitarōu-cut many times (i.e.: official profile, diary, etc...).[5][6][7]
  • Shigeru Mizuki has issued a series of limited-edition woodblock prints entitled "Fifty-Three Stations of the Yokaido Road", re-interpreting the famous Hiroshige series "Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road" as "a haunted journey". Printed from Mizuki's original paintings, the "Yokaido Road" prints star Kitarō and his troupe, as well as many other yokai and weird creatures of folklore. Produced through the Japanese publisher Yanoman Corporation, in March 2008 the series went on display in the Information and Culture Center of the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC.
  • In the Kamen Rider Den-O OVA spin off, Imagin Anime, Ryutaros refers to the show. When the other Tarōs attempt to sing the first part of the series' main theme, Deneb stopped them from getting sued from the mere mention of it by name.
  • In The Great Yokai War, after Tadashi first realizes Sunekosuri is a Youkai, goes out to look at the yokai models, statues of Kitarō and Konaki-Jijii are shown. Later, after a Youkai meeting ends up with their supposed help deciding to aid them, Kawataro the Kappa an Ittan-momen to a pillar while chiding "You're always real brave with Kitarō in those comics!" Kitarō's creator Shigeru Mizuki also appears in a cameo role in the film near the end.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tomohiro Kure. "Shigeru Mura, Before Shigeru Mizuki." Geijitu Shincho Magazine, August 2010 issue, p. 66.
  2. ^ Akado retail, Kodansha International
  3. ^ http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/newsList.php?item=a4fe3406152e94
  4. ^ a b c "北乃きい:映画「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」続編ヒロインに" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shinbun. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  5. ^ http://www.o-re-sa-ma.com/miyavi/top.html Miyavi's profile on official website (Menu>MIYAVI)
  6. ^ Miyavi's profile translation
  7. ^ Miyavi's MySpace blog translation from November 22, 2008.

External links[edit]