Sunday, January 12, 2014

History of Kitaro, #15

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 Magajjin, "Kitaro" part 3
The recreation of the Rental Book "Kitaro" with the Weekly Shonen Magazine short stories.

From 1967, the Kitaro stories gradually moved away from the feel of the Rental Books and more towards entertainment. The 10 chapter, 148 page novel "Youkaijuu" (Spirit Beast) , published in Weekly Shonen Magajin contains a scene where Namazu (Catfish), the underling of Happyakuya-Tanuki (808 Tanuki) wounds Kitaro's eye, and he has to wear an eyepatch. His father turns into an eyeball and resides in his left eyesocket. The massive Kouryou (Rain Dragon), Namazu and then Kaname Ishi (Keystone Rock) stories contain page after page of artwork and bold, breath-taking scenes. Kouryou became immensely popular.

Continuing, Miage Nyuudo (3 chapters) opens with the introduction of the Spirit World Post (Yokai Post) and we get the familiar story development. Then, in Youkai Nurarihyon no Maki (The Nurarihyon Yokai Episode) (2 chapters), Nurarihyon is just a mere yokai, and doesn't resemble the Aku no Youkai Soudaishou (Evil Yokai Supreme Commander) of the third anime season.

Weekly Shonen Magajin's sister publication, Bessatsu Shonen Magajin (Supplemental Boy's Magazine) carried Kitaro from 1966. The "Oshogatsu no Tanoshimi Tokudaigou" (New Year's Fun Expanded Issue) contained Suiko (Water Tiger), a remake of the "Suiyouki" (Water Demon) story from the "Ghost Story" rental book volume 1. The "Spring Fun Expanded Issue" had Yuurei Densha (Phantom Train), a longer version of the "Kao no Naka no Teki" (Enemy in the Face) story from the last masterful volume 4 of "Kitaro Yobanashi" (Kitaro Night Stories). Daruma appeared in the "Summer Fun Expanded Issue", which included the yokai Royal Road diagram. The 1967 "Spring Break Fun Expanded Issue" ran Kagami Jiji (Old Mirror Man). At this time, Mizuki's assistants included Yoshiharu Tsuge and Ryouichi Ikegami, and you can see their designs there.

Nekomusume to Nezumi Otoko no Maki (The Cat Daughter and Mouse Man Episode) appeared in the "Early Fall Fun Expanded Issue", where Nezumi conned people out of their money by selling a longevity scam. Within his body is the Sanchuu (3 Insects), which starts making enough of a disturbance that Enma Daioh (the God guarding the gates to Hell) orders Kitaro to do something about it. The boy then requests Neko Musume to punish Nezumi. In this work, Mizuki is saying that in any world, religion is mysterious. Additionally, Nezumi utters the famous phrase "the more money I save, the more I need".

Next time: Kitaro in Garo, and Before the Night TV Broadcast.

Bottom right picture:  "Ghost Story (1)", Suiyouki (1964). A female water demon is sealed in an urn, and is defeated by Kitaro the same way as a wandering priest had done it.

Bottom left picture: "Kitaro Night Stories (4)", "Enemy in the Face" (1961) . One more of the remakes based on "Suishinsama ga Machi e Yattekita" (Mr. Water God Comes to Town). This is the last of these works.

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