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A Really Really Quick Gallery Tour: The Golden Age

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Gegege no Kitarō 3 (Toei, 1985-88)
Source: TV
Layers: 1
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Added 1/11/2013
Updated 2/15/2013
A classic, perennially popular anime series, Gegege no Kitarō originated as a manga series by Shigeru Mizuki, an artist who has gained a reputation nearly as impressive as Osamu Tezuka. Mizuki’s manga premiered in 1965 (an earlier version dates as far back as 1958) and it was the first to highlight distinctively Japanese supernatural beliefs and legends. The hero of the series, Kitarō, is a yūrei, which is usually translated as “ghost,” but in fact he is more of a physical boogieman with the ability to confront humans. (This is why [Cardcaptor] Sakura stays out of their way, and why she’s right to do so.)

However, Kitarō is friendly toward humans, serving as a mediator between our everyday world and the complex and dangerous yōkai (supernatural entity) world. Though hundreds of years old, he appears as a young boy with only one eye, while a thick cowlick conceals the other side of his face. The popularity of Mizuki’s character has inspired many one-eyed characters in later anime, including Zelgadis in Slayers, Ginko in Mushishi, and both Syaorans and Watanuke in the Tsubasa/xxxHolic universe.

One regrets that the anime remains difficult to access in North America. It has been one of the most durable productions of Toei, inspiring five series of TV episodes plus spin-off movies and OVAs. The first version, airing soon after the manga’s appearance, was created in black-and-white, like the original Astro Boy anime. It ran from 1968-69 and resulted in 65 TV episodes and one movie. The second series (1971-72) was in color and included 45 episodes.

This gallery collects cels and sketches from Series 3, which ran in 108 episodes, plus three movies and a seven-episode OVA that concluded the story. This series gives Kitarō a human sidekick in his adventures, the engaging innocent in yōkai-land, Yumiko-chan.

You'll find both Kitarō and Yumiko-chan here, plus his quirky inner circle of supernaturals, each of which come with their own background in Japanese folklore. I've also been able to locate some cels and sketches of the guest characters, some of which are cute and a few of which are genuinely scary.

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