Sunday, March 2, 2014

History of Kitaro, #19

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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.

"Kitaro" outside of Weekly Shonen Magajin.
The different versions of "Kitaro" published during the first anime season.

I'd like to talk about the other versions of "Kitaro" that appeared in magazines other than Weekly Shonen Magajin. Monthly Bokura published 13 chapters. From April, 1968, their supplement TV Comics published summarized versions of their illustrated stories (printed versions of the TV episodes) which was about half the volume of the Weekly Shonen Magajin manga. For half a year, monthly Fun Kindergarten ran eighteen 6-8 page digests of the Magajin manga.

From July, 1968, monthly Pearl published 6 chapters of "The Vietnam War History Documentary". In it, Kitaro and company team up with Miage Nyuudou and Backbeard to rescue the people's freedom fighters that have risen up in revolt. In the final chapter, Kitaro and company drive the government forces all the way back to Saigon. Being anti-war, this is an extension of Shigeru Mizuki's war journal stories.

In 1968, sales for Monthly Garo were dropping, and Aomura-Dou delayed Mizuki's guaranteed payments. To compensate, Garo Publishing allowed "Gyuuki to Kyuuketsuki" (Cow Demon versus the Vampire) (Kodansha KC "Gegege no Kitaro" #7), from the "Kitaro Night Stories" series, to appear in Bessatsu Shonen Magajin. Similarly, "Gegege no Kitaro" #8 was compiled from the first half of an edited version of "Night Stories". After the problems were resolved, Mizuki produced 25 chapters of "Hoshi wo Tsukamisokoneru Otoko" (The Man Who Would Seize the Star (?)) for Aomura-Dou. Having been friends since the rental book days, Mizuki understood Aomura-Dou's founder Katsuichi Nagai pretty well.

Bessatsu Shonen Magazine published the concluding works from the "Kitaro" rental books. The same magazine's versions of "Kitaro" used the issues of pollution and lampoons of society as the basis of the problems in the stories. In July, 1970, also in the same magazine, was "Sonogo no Gegege no Kitaro" (After Gegege Kitaro). Kitaro, tired after fighting yokai, heads south. He tries to resolve the inequality of "The Island of Happiness" to make it resemble the equality of "The Island of Death". Although it's plain that Mizuki himself wanted to retreat to a southern resort to relax, he couldn't just allow "Kitaro's" ending to go unresolved.

Next up: "Kitaro Appears in Weekly Shonen Sunday".

Bottom right picture:
"Kitaro no Betonamu Senki" (Kitaro's Vietnam War History) (Monthly Pearl, July, 1968). The title was changed when the serialized manga was released in book form. In saving the freedom fighters, Kitaro and company fight the government forces.

Bottom left picture:
"Sonogo no Gegege no Kitaro" (After Gegege Kitaro) (Bessatsu Shonen Magajin, July, 1970). Kitaro goes to a southern island to govern the people there. This story is unique in that there are no enemy yokai this time.

Note: In chapter 16 of this series, Togetsu Bookstore was incorrectly identified as Ugetsu Bookstore (same kanji, different readings).

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