Monday, September 23, 2013

History of Kitaro, #9

Any mistakes in the translation are mine and mine alone. All rights to the translation belong to Curtis H. Hoffmann. Please do not reproduce without permission. All images used here for review purposes only.

Rental Book Era, Part 9 - "I'm a New Student" and "The Stupid Man".
Appearance of Mizuki himself in the manga.
Introduction of the last 2 rental book stories.

These two stories were also published by Satoh Pro.

"I'm a New Student": Manga artist Shigeru Mizuki gets into a disagreement with a yakuza thug in a coffee shop. Nezumi Otoko starts out the story by admonishing the two with "Stop fighting, I'm hungry". From here, Kitaro and Nezumi want to turn Mizuki's manga into a play. They move into Mizuki's house in Chofu (near Tokyo) which then gets the "Brigadoon Effect" (disappearing from the face of the Earth). A girl, Caroline, gets into a love triangle with Nezumi and Kitaro. Later, Gamoshi, a monster who wants to create a country of monsters, shows up. The heroes have a showdown against Gamoshi, who uses a "Brigadoon" monster cannon on them. At the end, Medama Oyaji reverses the cannon, and Chofu is returned back to normal in the land of the living.

In this story, Mizuki addresses the idea that in the distant past, humans and monsters had lived together but fell into discord, and the result was the creation of separate worlds for humans and yokai.

"The Stupid Man": In this, the last Kitaro rental book, the leading actor is Nezumi Otoko. A yakuza searches a hospital regarding "immortality blood". He proves that it is monster blood. Nezumi Otoko, who had sold the blood, is looking at making more money by creating a "hair restorer"... Kitaro, wanting to live in human society, starts the door-to-door selling of after-life insurance. "For a minor installment payment plan, you can guarantee that you will have happiness in the next world". At that moment, in the other world, the yokai are sending out tickets to the Yokai Olympics. Manga artist Mizuki buys one ticket. He turns into a spirit and goes to the other world to watch the games. But, when he returns to our world, he discovers Nise-Mizuki (fake-Mizuki) living in his place.

Back during that period, while society as a whole was enjoying gradually improving living conditions, Mizuki himself couldn't escape working-poverty. This resulted in a "rebellious scar in his heart", that helped him produce many bitingly satirical short stories.

Next time, From Rental Books to Magazine Serials - "The Mizuki Watershed, Part 1"

(Lower right picture)
"I'm a New Student", (publication starting in 1964). A few of the characters appearing here are altered in the rewrite, which was also turned into an anime for the first TV season.

(Lower left picture)
"The Stupid Man", (publication starting in 1964). Another version of "The Stupid Man" also exists, in which Kitaro has a little sister.

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