Sunday, November 17, 2013

History of Kitaro, #13

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.

Weekly Shonen Magajin - Kitaro, Part 1
Finally, the beginning of serialization of "Kitaro" in a boy's magazine

Weekly Shonen Magajin quietly began the irregular serialization of "Hakaba Kitaro" at the back half of the magazine. At the time, Kitaro would wander the country and resolve various incidents. Shigeru Mizuki used Kunio Yanagita's Youkai Discourse as the source of the names of his good yokai, and Sekien Toriyama's Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons for the bad yokai. Additionally, as part of the plan to tie in with the TV anime, "Akuma-kun" also began serialization in Magajin in 1966, and filming started on the TV series.

The "Kyuuketsuki" (Vampire Tree) storyline started in the April 3, 1966 issue, based on "Suijin-Sama ga machi e yattekita" (Mr. Water-god Goes to Town) from volume 3 of the Kitaro Night Stories rental books. Then from April 17, 1966 (issue 15), Hakaba Kitaro started gaining traction. Also with volume 4, in the long-running "Yokai Daisakusen" (Yokai Big War), we get the concept of "Kitaro's Family", although the characters don't yet demonstrate definable individual traits. "Daikaijuu" (Big Sea Monster), which ran from May 22nd (issue 20) to issue 7 (of the following year) was a "power-up" of the "Naisho no Monogatari" (Secret Conversation). The frontispiece for this story is a classic masterpiece for a boy's magazine. His popularity slowly growing, Mizuki scored the cover of the June 12, #23 issue. "Youkai Jou" (Yokai Castle) appeared in issues 40 and 41, and included the exquisite yokai army of Niguchi Onna (2-mouthed woman), Kamaitachi (Weasel Trio) and Tantanbou (Violent Boy). The deft interweaving of the Nezumi Otoko-Chanchanko (Japanese Vest) storyline went over well with the readers. The drawing of the castle is so well-done that even now it feels like the monsters are really going to step out of the page. Young readers actively anticipated the release of the next issue. 20 chapters for Kitaro appeared in Weekly Shonen Magajin from 1965 to '66, totaling 326 pages.

From there, after nearly half a century has passed, there have been "Kitaro Booms", which have probably surprised even its creator. Through the interweaving of different people's fates, the impact of Shigeru Mizuki's character and personality on others has grown.

Next issue, Weekly Shonen Magajin - Kitaro, part 2

Picture on bottom right: Weekly Shonen Magajin, April 3rd, 1966, issue #13, with the publication of Vampire Tree. A reworking of Mr. Water-God Goes to Town, from the Kitaro Night Stories rental book.

Picture on bottom left: Weekly Shonen Magajin, Oct. 9th, 1966, issue #40. Niguchi Onna (2-Mouthed Woman) was renamed Ooguchi Onna (Big-Mouthed Woman) for the 1960's TV anime series.

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