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Gegege no Kitarō 4 (Toei, 1996-98)

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Kitarō and Nezumi-otako are captured
Source: TV
Layers: 1
No sketches available
Cel Number: C8
Standard size

Original Unmatching Background

Added 2/3/2009
Updated 5/8/2017
This interesting vignette shows Kitarō and his companion “Rat Man” helpless in the grips of some baddie, who’s roughly lifting the poor revenant off the ground by his hair. Sequence number: C8. Things don’t look good for these two. One notes, however, that Kitarō still has his remote-controlled geta (the sandals customarily worn when one visits a temple and walks on sacred ground), and Wikipedia notes that, like Natsuki in Hyper Police, he possesses the power to zap nearby enemies with electrical shocks, even when he is otherwise immobilized. So it won’t be long before he’s in control again. Still, Nezumi-otako is not sanguine about his safety at this moment. Perhaps he’d just as soon be tied up a little farther away when Kitarō unleashes his powers.

This cel, from its relatively pristine condition and the gap in Kitarō’s teeth, must be from the 1990s Kitarō 4. It also shows Nezumi-otako wearing a yellow hooded robe, while his Kitarō 3 counterpart wore a bluish-gray robe. “Rat Man” is a human/yōkai hybrid that inspired many successors in the anime world, including the dog-demon/human halfbreed Inuyasha and the cat-demon/human offspring Natsuki. This series’ trickster figure, Nezumi-otako normally works as one of Kitarō’s helpers, says Wikipedia, but is not above self-serving schemes at his companion’s expense.

The cel shows an odd feature that I’ve seen on other cels from Kitarō series: if you look closely at the rather complicated highlight/shadow lines in the hair (anime hair got much more sophisticated in the 1990s), you’ll see that some appear to have faded more than others. Actually, the trace lines here are all relatively strong, but some were deliberately overpainted on the front with a thin line of brown to make them look softer. I’m not sure why this was done, but it shows Toei’s unusually careful approach to the final artistic look of the image.

See the thumbnail for a better look at the pretty background showing a moonlit clearing. It was trimmed for sale, so it’s impossible to say if it is matching or not. Still, the cel was once stored against it, as you can see the damage caused by the stickier paint of Nezumi’s robe. As his figure is left unfinished, I’d guess this originally had a book layer that provided a bush or some other object in front of him on the right.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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