Sunday, March 2, 2014

History of Kitaro, #18

I apologize. I got hit with a number of projects that were all fairly time-consuming, so I had to backburner these History of Kitaro page translations for a few weeks. I finally had a free day where I could sit down to transcribe the text in preparation to translating them. Transcribing takes 3-4 hours, and the translations and clean up take another 1-2 hours, each.

Any mistakes in the translation are mine and mine alone. All rights to the translation belong to Curtis H. Hoffmann. Please do not reproduce without permission. All images used here for review purposes only.

The Influence of the "Gegege no Kitaro" TV anime
During the anime broadcast, the 5 magazines that serialized "Kitaro"

"Hakaba no Kitaro" took a break from Weekly Shonen Magajin, then reappeared in the 11/12/67 issue with the new "Gegege no Kitaro" title. It's likely that the title change had been decided on some months prior. The preparations for the TV broadcast had a lot of ramifications. The first episode was planned to be "Yasha", but that was suddenly switched with "Obake Nighter". One rumor for the change was that the president of the sponsor company, Cisco, (present-day Nisshin Cisco) was a big baseball fan. 

In 1968, Kodansha developed a tie-up with their monthly children's magazine, Tanoshii Youchien (Fun Kindergarten).  From this point, with each broadcast of the "Kitaro" anime, the kindergarten and grade school magazine would concurrently publish the associated manga. The first season anime would also appear in the Bokura (We) supplement Terebi Komimikkusu (TV Comics) as an illustrated story. Then, with "Dokyumento Gekiga Betonamu Senki" (Documentary Dramatic Manga Vietnam Military History) appearing in monthly Houseki (Pearl), Kitaro was being published in 5 different magazines at one time. During this year, Mizuki drew well over 2,000 pages of yokai manga.

After "Gegege no Kitaro" restarted in Weekly Shonen Magajin, it gradually turned into a battle manga with Kitaro fighting on the side of justice against bad yokai. With each episode, the powers and items used by Kitaro and the other yokai would increase, while the number of friendly yokai joining the "Kitaro family" also piled up. Further, many of the first season anime, such as "Hakusan-bou", "Oboro-sha" and "Onmoraki" were remakes of the earlier rental book stories. It's fun trying to track down the original versions of the modern manga.

As a side note, Mizuki took in several assistants, some of whom were somewhat peculiar. During this time, of the 5-7 assistants on staff, two that had manga running in Monthly Garo were Tsuge Yoshiharu and Ryouichi Ikegami. Mizuki had said that because they had styles similar to his, it helped him to have them on his staff. However, it might be more honest to say that he saw their potential and wanted to help them bring it out.

Next time, the "Gegege no Kitaro" of the various magazines.

Bottom right picture:
Splash page for "Youkai Keukegen no Maki" (The Feathery Monster Chapter). "Hakaba no Kitaro" had been on a 4-week break, then came back with this story with the new "Gegege no Kitaro" title, with no detrimental impact.

Bottom left picture:
Page from "Niwa ni Sumu Youkai" (The Monster Living in the Garden), the original source for the "Hakusan-bou" remake. While the story is largely the same, Hakusan-bou dies after being shot by a hunting rifle.

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