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Gegege no Kitarō 3 (Toei, 1985-88)




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A classic, perennially popular anime series, Gegege no Kitarō [Spooky Kitarō] is based on a manga by Shigeru Mizuki, an artist with a reputation in Japan nearly as impressive as that of Osamu Tezuka. Mizuki's manga premiered in 1968 and was the first to highlight distinctively Japanese supernatural beliefs and legends. The first anime adaptation appeared the same year, and so far the story has inspired five anime series (339 episodes and still coming), nine animated movies, two live-action movies, and twelve video games.

The hero of the series, Kitarō, is a yūrei, not a "ghost" but an undead revenant with the ability to confront humans physically. However, he is friendly, serving as a guide to the realm of yōkai (supernatural entity) folklore. Though hundreds of years old, he looks like a young boy with only one eye and a thick cowlick that conceals the other side of his face. Mizuki's character was the inspiration for many one-eyed anime characters to come, including Zelgadis in Slayers and Ginko in Mushishi.

This gallery contains art from Kitarō 3 (1985-88). The series was redone using cels in the 1990s, with character development only slightly changed. But the 80s series is distinctive in giving Kitaro a human sidekick in his adventures, the engaging innocent in yokai-land, Yumiko-chan. Many come with backgrounds that have been trimmed for sale. Evidently this was a standard practice by Toei, who for a time sold these sets as souvenirs to people taking tours of the studio. This typically makes it difficult to link these cels to episodes, or even to the right series. However, I've used a variety of hints, including condition and fine distinctions in design, to separate out the 1980s cels from their younger kinfolks.


 The Kitarō-tachi.

 The Kitarō-tachi

 Kitaro’s house

 Game on!

 Plague!

 Sunakake-baba, Amikiri, Ittan Momen, Medama-oyaji

 A blasphemous Buddhist?

 A horde of yōkai

 Aka-Name or “Filth-Licker”

 Yōsei Nix and Kobold

 Yōsei Nix Portrait

 Ittan Momen in a fight with some oni

 Ittan Momen a little shaken

 A yōkai traffic accident

 Nurikabe repairs himself

 Noppera-bo casts magic

 Sunakake-baba with Medama-oyaji

 Kitarō flying with Nezumi Otoko

 Nezumi Otoko goes fishing

 Don't worry honey ... Daddy will show you that there's no such thing as ...

 Prematurely aged Kitarō

 Kitarō nabbing a Karakasa-obake

 Hiderigami breaking up clouds

 Sunakake-baba and Kitaro confront a spook
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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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