Sunday, January 19, 2014

History of Kitaro, #16

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.

The Garo Version of "Kitaro", and the Period Before the TV Anime Broadcast
The remakes of the rental book "Kitaro" prior to the creation of the anime.

In the 1960's, prior to the airing of "Kitaro" on TV, Mizuki drew some caricature and fantasy manga for Monthly Garo magazine. He then created the masterpiece "Maruiwa no Sekai" (Circular Ring World), starting with the September, 1966, issue, and was featured on the Garo covers. The bitterness and weight of the world seen in the Kitaro pictures were not seen in the other magazines.

In the Sept., 1967, issue of Garo, Mizuki suddenly launched "Kitaro Night Stories".  At that point, Kitaro was running simultaneously in both Garo and Monthly Shonen Magajin. "Night Stories" continued until the April, 1969, issue for a total of 22 chapters. The first half of the series was a remake consisting of a mix of Izumi Book's "Lodging House" from "Hakaba Kitaro #4" and "Always Dead People" from #3, and all 4 of the "Kitaro Night Stories" from Sanyo Publishing. The second half was a mix of Izumi's "Hakaba Kitaro #1" and the last of "Bizarre One-Round Contests". That was different from the Bessatsu Magajin, April, 1966, "Phantom Train", which was based on the ending of "Hakaba Kitaro #4". In addition, pages were added to the stories to make it easier to collect them into tankoubon (paperback volumes) and the title was changed.

All 544 pages of the Garo version of "Kitaro Night Stories" were prepared for a tankoubon release, but the paperbacks were never actually published. However, they are now being collected as part of Kodansha's new "Shigeru Mizuki Complete Manga Works" series.

With the August, 1967, issue of Weekly Shonen Magajin, that magazine's top 10 manga titles were selected for the development of theme songs to be included on the "Shonen Magajin Great Parade" record (King Records). The lyrics were each written by the authors of Kyojin no Hoshi (Star of the Giants), Tensai Bakabon, Hakaba no Kitaro, Pattoman X, Dekkai Yatsu (Big Guy), Harisu no Tsumujikaze (Harris' Whirlwind), Marude Dame Otto (Perfectly Useless Husband), Genma Taisen (Genma Wars), Panpaka Academy, and Silent World. Of all the songs, the lyrics for Hakaba no Kitaro were the only ones to be used for any of the TV anime themes. The opening song title was changed from "Hakaba no Kitaro" to "Gegege no Kitaro", while the ending went from "Gegege no Kitaro" to "Karankoron no Uta" (The Clip Clop Song). In 1969, Shigeru Mizuki won a music industry award for "Hit Song" for "Gegege no Kitaro".

Next time: Variations on the "Kitaro" birth story.

Bottom right picture: Monthly Garo (Aug., 1967, issue). Splash page for "Kitaro Night Stories, chapter 1". The 22 chapters were all based on the "Kitaro Night Stories" rental books.

Bottom left picture: Jacket of the "Shonen Magajin Great Parade" record, with the birth of the phrase "Gegege" (1967). "Gegege no Ge-" is written on the obi (paper wraparound band).

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