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Gegege no Kitarō 4 (Toei, 1996-98)

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Neko-Mesume goes yōkai
Source: TV
Layers: 1
No sketches available
Cel Number: A9
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Added 7/30/2012
Updated 1/11/2013
Neko-Mesume is Kitarō’s main yōkai sidekick in all the versions of this series. She appears in the form of a young girl, rather plain in appearance, with a prominent bow in her hair that suggests cat ears. In fact, though, she is a bake-neko or feline shapeshifter. The humanoid form we normally see is an illusion, and when presented with a tasty bit of seafood (or a situation that makes her very angry) she returns to her true monstrous form, as seen here. The fang-like appearance of her pupils is especially effective. Sequence number: A9

You can learn more about the bake-neko folklore that inspired Mizuki’s character at Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, an excellent survey of Japanese supernatural legendry.

This cel came without any documentation beyond the sequence number, so it’s unclear if it is from Kitarō 3 or Kitarō 4. From the color of the hair, I would guess it is from the 1990s Kitarō 4. (In Kitarō 3 Neko-Mesume’s hair was more brownish).

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Curator: 60something-sensei
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