Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kitaro DVD Review, vol. 6

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review puposes only.)

For volume 6, the featured character is Konakijiji. The kanji translates literally to "Child Cry Old Man". This yokai emits the sound of a crying child, but when you approach it to investigate, it turns out to be an old man. In the old folk tales, when you pick it up, Konakijiji turns to stone and crushes you. This is Konaki-jiji's primary power within the Mizuki universe - in a fight, he'll climb on a target and then turn to rock. However, he's also an alcoholic, and is easily subdued by offering him sake prior to a battle.

(Poster, side 2.)

In the "Kitaro Night Stories" series that ran in Garo magazine between about 1968 to 1970, Mizuki used to end each story with Kitaro walking away while a chorus of insects would sing "Gegege". The second of the two fold-out posters this time shows us exactly what this chorus looks like. The first poster is a feature on Dracula, with the various forms he takes (wolf, bat, mist, etc.)

(One-page feature for Konaki-jiji.)

The yokai highlighted in this volume are: Konaki-jiji, Mizugami (Water God), Kasha (Fire Cart), Kasa Bake (Umbrella Ghost) and Kyuuketsuki Pii (Pii, the Blood Drinker). While Kasha is often a vehicle with flaming wheels that brings victims to hell, in this case it refers to a kind of cat-faced demon. Mizugami, on the other hand, is the patron goddess of several karate styles, but in the Kitaro anime it's just a blob of water being manipulated by a horn-blowing yokai.

(Where's Yamada, and a sampling of some of the Kitaro products that have come out over time.)

The episodes on the DVD are: Jigoku no Mizu (Hell Water, 3/2/1972), Gyakumochi Goroshi (Reverse Mochi Killing, 3/9/1972), Kasabake (Umbrella Ghost, 3/23/1972) and Maboroshi no Kisha (Phantom Train, 3/30/1972). The special is the second half of the Masako Nozawa interview.

(Back cover, showing the two fold-out posters.)

So far, I've watched the anime on the first 3 DVDs. The quality starts out pretty campy and kind of goes downhill fairly fast. The background art is usually really good, and often the guest starring yokai look great, but the designs for Kitaro, Neko Musume and Nezumi Otoko tend to suffer as a result.

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