Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kitaro DVD Review, vol. 24

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

Gegege no Kitaro Magazine DVD Series, volume 24

(Original Art page: Jami)

Features Present:
Where's Yamada (some background shots)
Kitaro Goods (Plastic Kitaro toy, and theme song card)
History of Gegege no Kitaro, #23
Mizuki Collection (Some illustrations from the 13/3/67 issue of Shonen Magajin)

Features Missing:
Fold-out posters
Interviews or special video sections
Featured supporting youkai page

(Shigeru Mizuki Collection page.)

TV Episodes:
#50: Yokai Sekigahara (Monster Sekigahara Battle, 12/15/68)
#51: Anagura Nyudo (Cave Priest, 12/22/68)
#52: Kyuketsu Yokaidan (Vampire Club, 12/29/68)
#53: Yokai Daitoryo (Yokai President, 1/5/69)

(Original Art page: Kyuketsu Yasha)

New Yokai Pages:
Jami (Evil Charm)
Gama Sennin (Gama Master)
Anagura Nyudo (Cave Priest)
Various vampires, including Dracula
Koumori Neko (Bat Cat)
Souzuka Baba (Old Woman Who Strips Clothes)

(New yokai page - Here there be bloodsuckers.)

Original Art Pages:
Kyuketsu Yasha
Souzuka Baba

(Back cover: Where's Yamada, and the Kitaro Goods page)

Lots to talk about this time.

Jami: This is a traditional Japanese demon, but the only information I can find on it is the Japanese wiki entry. The name translates to "evil charm", but Jami itself is just a low-level demon intent on destruction and stealing money from a bank.
Gama Sennin: This is a supernatural humanoid being that has probably attained a demi-god status through centuries of training and spartan behavior. "Gama" translates to "Toad". Gama Sennin lives in a large tree deep in the mountains. He's the one that originally sealed Jami away. He gets some of his powers from mushrooms.
Anagura Nyudo (Cave Priest): "Anagura" is "cave", and we've seen "nyudo" (priest) used as part of monster names a number of  times before. The only information on him is in the Kitaro wiki pages. He likes spiders. Anagura is "Neutral Good".
Various vampires: "Kyuuketsu" is "Blood" + "drink", while the rest of the name is "Yokai-dan", which is "monster" + "group". Literally, this works out to be "blood sucking monster group", but I like "vampire club" better. The story in the TV episode is that various blood suckers from different countries and cultures all band together. The creatures include Kyuuketsu Yokai-ju, or Vampire Tree; Doctor Dracula; Kyuuketsu Yasha; Ransubiru; Penanggalan and Asasabonsan. The Vampire Tree was featured in one of the Kitaro Night Stories that ran in Garo magazine in the late 60's. Not much to add about Dracula, except that here he's referred to as Dracula Hakase, or Doctor or Prof. Dracula. Yasha is a Buddhist deity sometimes shown as a demonic warrior. Ransubiru seems to be another Mizuki creation from the southern islands, maybe New Guinea or Bali. Penanggalan is a folk creature from Malaysia, usually depicted as half-woman and half-bird, although in this episode it's just a big hairy bird. And, Asasabonsan is an African vampire.
Koumori Neko: Nothing really special here. The name translates to "Bat" + "Cat". And that's what it is - a cat with bat wings.
Souzuka Baba: Souzuka is an old woman spirit that sits at the edge of the Sanzu river in Hindu stories, waiting for the arrival of the newly dead. The name is "Old woman who strips clothes", and that's what she does, taking off the clothes of dead children and other dead, and tormenting them.
Sekigahara: The TV episode above is named "Youkai Sekigahara". Sekigahara is a town in Gifu, and was the location of the key battle in 1600 AD that eventually led to the birth of the Tokugawa Shogunate. This clash is known as the Battle of Sekigahara. In the TV episode, "Yokai Sekigahara" is just the name of a dimension where yokai can fight without affecting the real world.

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