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, Black comedy
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)
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
Anime and Manga portal

GeGeGe no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎?) is a manga series created in 1960 by 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.

Plot[edit]

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.
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]

Anime[edit]

Six anime adaptations were made from the original GeGeGe no Kitarō manga series. Gegege no Kitarō was broadcast on Fuji Television, all of the adaptations were animated by Toei Animation. 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).

Live-action movies[edit]

The first live-action movie released in 2007 was simply titled GeGeGe no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎?).

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)

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. 

External links[edit]