Okay, your friends at TSHS and Hokuto no Gun are ready to celebrate Halloween in the usual fashion, with a generous goodie bag of subtitled GeGeGe no Kitaro. The sixth series (started last year for the 50th anniversary of the Kitaro anime) is still going strong on Japanese television, picking up lots of new fans worldwide due to its availability in so many different markets via legal subtitled streaming. It can be seen on Crunchyroll (in North America, Latin America, and much of Western Europe), Wakanim (in Russia, the Scandinavian countries and some other parts of Europe) and AnimeLab (in Australia and New Zealand).
So while many people reading this may be regulars of this site, there also might be some fans of the newest series checking this site out for the first time. In either case, sit back and enjoy some older episodes from the various Kitaro anime adaptations through the decades.
Don’t forget to check out the Hokuto no Gun site for some spooky manga as well.
GeGeGe no Kitaro series 2 (1971) – episodes 1-3
The 1971 series is the only one to be a straight sequel, rather than a “reboot.” Kitaro’s adventures continue in color, with the “the “Kitaro Family” of recurring characters appearing more often. This sequel series features most of the same voice cast (including such legends as Masako Nozawa as Kitaro) and some of the same production crew as the original series. The character designs are a bit different, and the show’s use of color is quite creative for the time, although some of the flesh tones can look a little odd.
Here’s a new episode “Yokai Court,” as well as remastered versions of the first two episodes we released a few years back. I wish that groovy organ song from the Yokai Dance was much longer. Better yet if it had words, like a Japanese version of a novelty song ala “Monster Mash.”
Get them from Nyaa…
GeGeGe no Kitaro series 3 (1985) – episodes 1-2 (shiteatersubs)
With the worldwide success of the movie Ghostbusters, it’s not surprising that Kitaro was given a new anime remake around this time. Most of the voices were recast, apart from Isamu Tanonaka, who would continue to play Kitaro’s father for this and the next three reboots.
This series saw a lot of remakes of manga stories that had already been adapted in the 1968 and 1971 editions, albeit with radically different takes on the stories. This trend of remaking older material in a new style would continue in every newer incarnation of the show, including the current one.
The third series is not a TSHS project, but I did help out a little with typesetting, credits and such. You can get this from our friends at shiteatersubs (the group so named because of their work on the wonderfully scatalogical Dr. Slump anime).
GeGeGe no Kitaro movie #3 (1985)
The third movie short to be made for the Toei Manga Matsuri (Toei Cartoon Festival, later renamed Toei Anime Fair), and the first one to feature original animation, rather than just recycled TV footage. This movie features several Yokai that also show up in movie #7, as well as the surprise return of a villain from an early episode of series 3.
GeGeGe no Kitaro series 4 (1996) – episodes 1-10
Kitaro returned for a fourth series in the 1990s, again with a new cast and new production team. Manga creator Shigeru Mizuki was a big fan of director Hayao Miyazaki, and influences from the latter can be seen in some of the character designs and in the environmentally conscious themes of this series. While tastes may differ, for some fans this is the definitive version of the GeGeGe no Kitaro anime.
Here’s a batch of remastered episodes, plus two new ones. In episode 9 Rat Man tries to flee loan-sharks by taking the last train to a nearly abandoned rural village, only to find himself part of an attack on Japan by elderly vampires. Episode 10 starts out as a tale about Nezumi Otoko trying to sell a haunted house, but takes an interesting turn, exploring the unlikely friendship between a giant bamboo Yokai and a frail, lonely girl struggling with poor health.
Get them from Nyaa…
A safe and spooky Halloween to one and all!