Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro, the Japanese horror anime and manga classic, was created by Shigeru Mizuki (1922-), the father of post World War II Japanese horror anime and manga. Ge Ge Ge narrative is folklore like, full of comedic parody and explores numerous themes of folk religion (e.g. possession, theft of soul, exorcism, shamanism) as well as themes of social morality (e.g. pollution, hypocrisy of religion, the negative impact of capitalism) and spirituality (e.g. the meaning of other-world, immortality and resurrection). Mizuki published numerous popular manga works including "Akuma-kun" (The Devil Boy) and "Kappa no Sanpei"(Sanpei the Kappa). Ge Ge Ge was originally published in the mid-1960s as the manga series of the popular weekly comic magazine, Shonen Magazine. The series was later made into many TV anime series and feature length anime films. Ge Ge Ge is one of the longest running anime and manga series of Japan (for lists of anime and manga see below).
The Ge Ge Ge series deals with creatures named Yokai. Yokai can be translated as "strange creature" or apparitions. Yokais in Ge Ge Ge include: a)animal like creatures (e.g. fox, cat, Kappa and Tengu); b) humanoid shaped beings (e.g. Sunakake Baba, Nezumi Otoko, Konaki Jiji - see below); c)beings of natural phenomena (e.g. water, wind, thunder) and d)object like beings (e.g. Ittan Momen is the cloth, Nurikabe is the wall, others take the form of mirror, umbrella and lantern). All possess incredible magical powers and certain Yokai are shape-shifters. Some attempt to harm humans by abduction, soul snatching, possession, vampirism, trickery and magic. Groups of Yokais also attempt to invade the human world and attempt to control them.
Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro is a "good" Yokai who helps and saves humans from being harmed by the "evil" Yokai. Kitaro is the last surviving descendent of the Ghost Tribe and an one eyed child (i.e. right). He can transform his hair into dangerous spikes, release them as weapons, has a Chanchanko (special Kimono made from the hair of the ancestors of the Ghost tribe which makes Kitaro immortal), uses his own hands as a pistol and his fingers becomes bullets. His stomach acid can melt any beings or objects. Ge Ge Ge manipulates his Getas (i.e. wooden clogs. Traditional Japanese footwear) and severed body parts (e.g. hands) via remote control. His companions include Medama Oyaji, Nezumi Otoko, Sunakake Baba, Konaki Jiji, Neko Musume, Nurikabe and Ittan Momen. A brief summary of Ge Ge Ge companions follows.
Medama Oyaji (=Daddy Eyeball. Hereafter "Eyeball") is Kitaro's father. Initially he had a body but illness caused his body to decay and only his eyeball remained. Eyeball's wisdom helps Kitaro in his daily battle.
The notorious Nezumi Otoko (=Ratman) is half human and half Yokai and has lived for more than three hundred years. He never takes baths, is very filthy and full of ulcers and skin disease. His breath and intestinal discharge are both toxic and can render people unconscious. He is selfish and a lier and often betrays Kitaro for his personal gain (e.g. money). Besides money, his favorite things are food and women.
Sunakake Baba (= Sand Throwing Old Woman. Hereafter "Sunakake") was originally a shaman but later transformed into a Yokai. Sunakake make enemies lose consciousness by throwing sand. She also transforms victims into sand. She often slaps others.
Konaki Jiji (= Child Crying Old Man or Old Man Cry Baby. Hereafter "Konaki") attacks the enemy by clinging onto those who picked him up and transforming himself into a heavy stone. Konaki suffocates or crushes enemies to death.
Neko Musume (= Catchik) is a female friend of Kitaro who transforms her face into an vicious looking cat when angry or when she sees her prey or favorite food such as rats and fish. Like Ratman, she is half Yokai and half human. She is the arch enemy of Nezumi.
Kitaro's other "good" Yokai friends include Ittan Momen (=Flying Cloth Monster or Rollo Cloth. Hereafter "Ittan") and Nurikabe (= Giant Plaster Wall Monster or Wally Wall). The former cloth monster flies and kills the enemy by wrapping itself. Ittan also cuts the enemy. The latter blocks the enemies via its gigantic wall structure or absorbs them into the wall.
In 2005, Mizuki produced and appeared as the character Demong King in the Yokai epic saga called "Yokai Daisenso" (English title is "The Great Yokai War). For the Japanese webpage, see "Yokai Daisenso". For the English webpage, see IMDB wepage "The Great Yokai War". Numerous Ge Ge Ge themes (e.g. crows carrying individuals) are recapitulated and Ge Ge Ge Yokais (e.g. Kappa, Tengu and Sunakake Baba) becomes heroes and heroines in this movie.
Shigeru Mizuki Museum in Sakaiminato, Tottori prefecture, Japan.
Bibliography of Ge Ge Ge series.
Online dictionary of Yokais in Ge Ge Ge.
Online Yokai database.
Online Yokai database.
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