4.14.2008

GeGeGe no Kitaro

Hakaba no Kitaro as it was originally called on the 1959 manga by Shigeru Mizuki tells the tale of Kitaro the last survivor of the Ghost Tribe and how it came to be that he now lives among humans defending them from the Youkai (Japanese Folklore Spirits).

Kitaro lost his left eye the same day he was born so his hair covers the empty socket. He wears a stripped vest that was made from the Reishi of his ancestors that lets him travel to hell and come back, his hair can be fired off like arrows, and he has remote control geta and a detachable hand. He is also acompanied by his father who after suffering a terrible illness was reduced to a mere eyeball that sprouted a human shaped body.


This manga is full of Japanese spirits messing with humans, there are also vampires, ghosts, evil people, you get the picture. Shigeru Mizuki believes very firmly in Youkai, and he has written several books about them. All of the monsters in Ge ge ge no Kitaro are authentic characters from Japanese folklore, with the exception of Kitaro and his father Medama Oyaji.

If you like bizarre ghost tales you will probably like this anime. The cast of characters include:


Kitaro
Last survivor of the yūrei zoku, he is packed with super powers. His hair can be fired off like arrows, and he has remote control geta and a detachable hand. He is also pretty much indestructible, having been reduced to a bucket of bodily fluids on more than one occasion, happily resurrecting himself.

Medama Oyaji
Kitaro’s father has a vast knowledge of yūrei and yōkai and is also a talking eyeball. Sometimes rides around in Kitaro’s empty eye socket.

Nezumi Otoko
The rat man who is always messing with kitaro. He hasn’t bathed for over 300 years and he claims to be a graduate of the ghost university.

Neko Musume
A cute little girl who turns into a raving monster at the sight of rats. Official yōkai type is a bakeneko, a breed of magical cats.

Sunakake Baba
An odd yōkai from Nara-Ken, she carries sand in her hair which she flings at enemies to blind them. She also runs the yōkai apartment building.

Konaki Jiji
From Tokushima Prefecture, he is a big crying baby that can increase his weight, crushing anyone who picks him up.

Itta Momen
A flying strip of cloth from Kagoshima prefecture, Itta Momen wraps around peoples heads when attacking. Fears scissors.

The anime version of Gegege no Kitaro has been redone various times since 1968 and also there are at least 9 movies about this manga and various electronic games dating as back as 1986.

In January 2008 the latest anime version of Gegege no Kitaro aired on Japanese TV, you can see the website for this version here .

If you want to see the 2007 gegege no kitaro movie you can see it a veoh.com , I'm placing a link to the search results for the movie which wasabi82 was kind enough to share with us: http://www.veoh.com/userVideos.html?numResults=10&username=wasabi82&offset=50


you can also find the anime episodes of gegege no Kitaro at :
http://www.veoh.com/userVideos.html?numResults=10&username=JOELDBROOKS&offset=10

In July 12, 2008 the latest movie (Gegege no Kitaro 2) will finally be released but you can watch the teaser here:





More gegege no links:

http://www.gegege.jp/
http://www.yanoman.co.jp/yokai53/index.html
http://www.sakaiminato.net/site2/page/foreign/eng/kitaro/


Mata ne!

2 comments:

Alex Case said...

Any idea why it's called Gegege- is it supposed to be your teeth chattering with fear or something?

Dominik Anita said...

No one really comments on why they changed the name to GEGEGE no Kitaro on the Anime series they just say it was renamed, but it would be interesting to find out why the word Hakaba was removed.