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).

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.