Kitaro

Shigeru Mizuki, 1922-2015

Book - 2013

"Kitaro is just like any other boy, except for a few small differences: he only has one eye, his hair acts like an antenna that senses paranormal activity, his geta sandals are jet-powered, and he can blend into his surroundings like a chameleon. Oh, and he's a three hundred and fifty year old yokai, a spirit monster. With all the offbeat humor of an Addams family story, Kitaro is a light-hearted romp that blends the eerie with the comic"--Provided by publisher.

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Subjects
Genres
Comics (Graphic works)
Published
[Montréal, Québec] : Drawn & Quarterly 2013.
©2013
Edition
First softcover edition: July 2013.
Language
English
Japanese
Item Description
Translated from the Japanese by Jocelyne Allen--Title page verso.
"The stories contained in this collection hail from the 1967-1969 timeframe and are revered as classics by Japanese ḠeḠeḠe no Kitarō fans"--Cover.
"This book is presented in the traditional Japanese manner and is meant to be read from right to left. The cover at the opposite end is considered the front of the book"--Page 397.
Physical Description
396 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
ISBN
9781770461109
1770461108
Main Author
Shigeru Mizuki, 1922-2015 (artist)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Mizuki's manga tales about yokai, the monster spirits of Japanese folklore, started off humbly but later ballooned in popularity, cementing Mizuki's status as a master of the art. This collection features stories published between 1967 and '69, which are revered as classics by Japanese Gegege no Kitaro fans. Kitaro's background as a children's comic is obvious—the plots are often random, much like a child making up stories. But that randomness has its own charm, especially when combined with the broadly cartoonish art. Kitaro, the yokai boy whose father is an eyeball that lives in Kitaro's empty left socket, is a charmingly droll figure who believes in protecting human beings, even when they don't want his help. Matt Alt's introduction offers background on Mizuki, and Zach Davisson provides a yokai glossary. The obvious audience is classic-manga fans, but none of the tales are too graphic for an older child who loves slightly scary stories—any deaths are of the cartoon variety—though libraries should note that there is some nonsexual, nongraphic frontal nudity. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Originally published in the late 1960s, Mizuki's "Kitaro" series became immensely popular in Japan as horror/humor classics and spun off numerous videos and games. An introduction by Matt Alt (Yokai Attack!) describes Mizuki's enduring legacy. Main character Kitaro looks like a cute little tyke, but he's really a 350-year-old yokai: a supernatural spirit being. Missing an eye that acts as host to his yokai dad (currently reduced to the form of an anthropomorphic eyeball), Kitaro is quick to help whenever humankind and other yokai rub one another the wrong way. In adventures mischievous, inventive, and eerie, the eyeball father and son pair outwit a French vampire, help a village end a cat infestation, force a kid baseball team to return his magical bat, end a plague of vampire trees living on human blood, and drive off a bunch of Western yokai who want to rule the world. VERDICT While a bit grisly, Mizuki's creation will appeal to tweens up through adults who enjoy spooky/goofy oddities.—M.C. [Page 69]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—First published in the 1960s, this popular series organized Japan's many yokai (spirit monster) tales into a clear narrative, resetting them in contemporary times with added social commentary. Yokai are spirits that often cause mischief or harm, but the novel's half-boy, half-yokai hero Kitaro protects humans from their ill effects. Kitaro battles and defeats a blood-sucking tree and a monster who attacks with an army made from his own organs, among others. His closest ally is his father, who exists as an eyeball in the boy's empty left eye socket. The brief chapters highlight the whimsy, fantasy, and horror of Japanese folklore, and manga fans will spot the origins of many of the format's tropes, including shape-shifters, cuddly monsters, and mecha battles. Teens may overlook this title for more familiar, modern series: the illustrations are less angular and more cartoonish than the art found in much of current mainstream manga. However, booktalks of these strange, charming stories, along with connections to folkore in favorite series such as Akihisa Ikeda's "Rosario + Vampire" and Yellow Tanabe's "Kekkaishi"(both Viz Media), should find this volume an appreciative audience.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library [Page 168]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Meet one of Japan's most popular characters of all time-Kitaro, the One-Eyed Monster BoyMeet Kitaro. He's just like any other boy, except for a few small differences: he only has one eye, his hair is an antenna that senses paranormal activity, his geta sandals are jet-powered, and he can blend into his surroundings like a chameleon. Oh, and he's a three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old yokai (spirit monster). With all the offbeat humor of an Addams Family story, Kitaro is a lighthearted romp in which the bad guys always get what's coming to them. Kitaro is bestselling manga-ka Shigeru Mizuki's most famous creation. The Kitaro series was inspired by a kamishibai, or storycard theater, entitled Kitaro of the Graveyard. Mizuki began work on his interpretation of Kitaro in 1959. Originally the series was intended for boys, but once it was picked up by the influential Shonen magazine it quickly became a cultural landmark for young and old alike. Kitaro inspired half a dozen TV shows, plus numerous video games and films, and his cultural importance cannot be overstated. Presented to North American audiences for the first time in this lavish format, Mizuki's photo-realist landscapes and cartoony characters blend the eerie with the comic.