GeGeGe no Kitaro (1985) – Episodes 01-18 [NGN subtitles]


So, somewhere around 2010 or so I was uploading a lot of GeGeGe no Kitaro episodes from different seasons to YouTube. This included episodes I was subtitling myself, as well as episodes of the 1985 series that aired with English subtitles on Nippon Golden Network (a Hawaiian pay-cable channel) in the early 1990s. There was another user named dougo13 who was also uploading subtitled Kitaro episodes from NGN to YouTube, and when we exchanged some PMs I discovered that he was a mutual friend of some other people that I used to trade tapes with (shout out to Laurine and George!) back in the day. Then Toei shut down both of our YT channels, and with that private message channel cut off, I had no way of contacting him for several years.

Anyway, thanks to some helpful friends, I’m finally back in contact with dougo13, and holy crap does he have a lot of rare tapes that he’s eager to share with the anime fan community! So here’s the first of many batches of the 1985 edition of GeGeGe no Kitaro. Nippon Golden Network was infamous for their rudimentary and sloppy subtitles, even by the very low standards of subtitled anime shown in a few American television markets (see Let’s Anime article here.) But their subtitles for Kitaro are actually pretty decent, not as good as a fan-subtitle but quite watchable. They refer to Yokai as “Goblins,” but that makes sense if you’re showing it to a 1992 American audience not as familiar with Japanese folklore as we are in the days of teh interwebs.

A lot of the episodes have little snippets of news, commercials, promos, and station IDs at the beginning or end. I decided to leave these little clips in to add more nostalgic flavor in the vein of watching old VHS tapes. Apologies if anyone finds these extra bits annoying. The quality varies from episode to episode due to reception quality, the Hawaiian cable company that carried NGN used that old fashioned sine-wave scrambling system for their pay channels. Episodes 1-5 and 18 are from VHS dubs that I got in a tape trade with Laurine some 20-odd years ago. Episodes 6-17 are from dougo13’s master VHS recordings, so they are somewhat better quality.

[Links replaced with newer batch, you can find that here.]

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28 Responses to GeGeGe no Kitaro (1985) – Episodes 01-18 [NGN subtitles]

  1. Someone says:

    This is a welcome development. So what you’re saying is that you have all the eps of Kitarou ’85 completely subbed by NGN?


    • Nanto says:

      Not all, but quite a lot more of them than are currently available. He’s been transferring more of this massive stack of tapes whenever he has time.


  2. NGN subbed a whole lot of Toei shows. These VHS tapes were highly coveted back in the day. I remember I had Nth generation recordings of Dragonball and Hokuto no Ken. The translations were pretty awful. I remember they translated “He’s the successor of Hokuto Shinken” to “He’s a karate man”. They would skip over details like that, and just give a very basic idea of what was going on for the English speakers to follow along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      Yeah, those NGN subs of Hokuto no Ken were awful, but they were a lot more watchable if you had a copy of Robert W. Gibson’s guide to the series to explain all of the styles and things that were glossed over in their spotty translation. When Rei was first introduced, and they had the freeze frame where the narrator announces his Nanto Suicho Ken style, the subtitles say “BIRD PUNCH!!!”


      • I knew Mr. Gibson through AOL messenger. He actually loaned me a bunch of his stuff to scan and put up on my old Geocities page. He was a great guy that taught me maturity in fandom, and not to be one of those “fanboy” types. May he rest in peace.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cavery says:

        Some more examples of their simplification, this time in Dragon Ball:
        * Kaio-ken times 2! : Kaio double power!
        * Vegeta – Bejeeta
        * Saiyan/Saiyajin – Saiya
        * Kinto-un – Candy Cloud


  3. dougo13 says:

    Oddly enough, Shigeru Mizuki’s translator said that he said I looked like a Goblin (exact words) when I met him briefly at a convention back in 1993 or 1994. I know he said Yokai but at the time, my understanding of Japanese was much worse than it is now (and it’s still not that great). Yeah, there are about 60 episodes of Kitaro that I have found. Most are in decent shape still as they were recorded on quality brand tapes as well as being in SP. I have lots of other shows to cap like Yonimo no Kimyona (which I can’t even find a decent episode guide to online). I had previously uploaded several NGN Dr. Slump episodes but those were in the old avi format. I want to cap those again before the tapes deteriorate further. But there is also a lot of RAW Japanese programs I want to eventually do once I get working Betamax/Betacord equipment again. At this point I have 1 working Betamax but it won’t track any of the Beta X-3 Hifi tapes I have, so I am stuck to older Beta X-2 and VHS recordings. But even that is overwhelming considering that I received tapes from my contact in Japan on a regular basis over the course of 20 years. I estimate the total at around 3000 tapes of my 7000 tape collection. As you can imagine, finding anything in the morass is a challenge. Most people dumped their collections over the years but a few of us retained them, so some real gems are starting to surface. Besides the anime series requests, I’d like to cap the many specials and documentaries and interviews I have. Most of those were shown exactly once and never repeated nor do they appear on other media like DVD or LD. I have to make the effort now as I’m not getting any younger and if anything were to happen to me, it all goes into the dumpster and will be lost forever…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aardvark says:

    Very Cool Indeed!


  5. Cavery says:

    Do you plan to upload other old NGN subs? They do have historical importance after all.


  6. dougo13 says:

    Dang! Amazon pulled the plug on the Unlimited cloud storage for $60. Now it’s 1TB for $60. Oh well, I only need that amount of online storage for these files for the foreseeable future. But I could have used more…

    …and it’s down now anyway! Can’t upload anything just at the moment. Grrr!


  7. JRM says:

    Thank you very much for gifting us with this great classic of Japanese folklore! My favorite version is 1985. I’m Brazilian and I’m a fan of this anime. I wait for new episodes. Will you make all episodes of the 1985 series available?


    • dougo13 says:

      No, unfortunately, I don’t have them all. But I do have at least another 40 episodes to convert. That’s above the episodes already done (up to episode 39 but missing episodes 31 and 32). Some tapes are in rough shape, with bad sync errors or gliches in them caused by faulty playback equipment. The tapes were loaned out and did the rounds in another city as they also had Dragonball on them which was a series that was unavailable here at the time. I had previously converted a few episodes of Kitaro but never got around to posting them before Toei and Youtube pulled the plug on my channel which caused me to boycott them both for a number of years. But I’ve now decided to give them up to the fans as the tapes are starting to deteriorate and would otherwise be lost. It would be great to get a legit release but they have not done so up to now and frankly, I have my doubts they will anytime soon. I hope they will prove me wrong however…


  8. Stefan Aaron says:

    Well this is an interesting thread. My sister and I had redone some of the 1985 series with new video and audio elements a couple of years ago as the VHS tapes are hard to watch at best. Basically just retyping the NGN subs with a minor clean up to flow better. However we were only able to do the episode that where available on Youtube at the time. TheHylia has hosted copies of these for us. I would love to this winter to start working on more episodes and have bookmarked the download page.


  9. Stefan Aaron says:

    Perfect, I would say the winter project is set in stone now. I do not know how many we will get done this winter but anything would be a big improvement. Starting with filling in the holes 6,11,13 on TheHylia list would be the top priority and then work from there as time allows. And since those episodes have already been uploaded by you, we currently have all we need for now.
    Thank you so much Dougo13 for making these episodes available to everyone in the first place.


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