Ge Ge Ge no Kitarō
Genres: Shounen, Supernatural
Ge Ge Ge no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎, Ge Ge Ge no Kitarō?) is a comic (manga) series created in 1959 (under the alternative title Hakaba Kitarō (墓場鬼太郎, Hakaba Kitarō?)) by Japanese cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong. Characters
Kitarō (鬼太郎, Kitarō?) is a yōkai boy born in a cemetery, and aside from his mostly-decayed father, the last living member of the Ghost tribe (幽霊族, yūrei zoku, Ghost tribe?). He is missing his left eye, but his hair usually covers the empty socket. He fights for peace between humans and yōkai, which generally involves protecting the former from the wiles of the latter.
Kitarō has an assortment of strange weapons at his disposal, including:
* remote-controlled geta sandals
* a detachable hand, also remote-controlled
* a magic chanchanko vest which can protect its wearer from danger
* Spiny hairs which can be shot like arrows
* Another hair which can serve as an antenna for detecting spirit activity
Medama Oyaji (目玉のおやじ, or 目玉親父, Eyeball Father, Medama Oyaji?) is Kitarō’s father. Once a fully-formed adult, he perished of a disease, only to be reborn out of his decayed body as an anthropomorphic version of his own eyeball. He looks small and fragile, but has a strong spirit and a great love for his son. He is also extremely knowledgable about ghosts and monsters. He enjoys staying clean, and is often seen bathing in a small bowl.
Nezumi Otoko (ねずみ男, Rat Man, Nezumi Otoko?) is a rodent-like yōkai-human halfbreed. He has been alive for three hundred years, and in that time has almost never taken a bath, rendering him filthy, foul-smelling, and covered in welts and sores.
While he is usually Kitarō’s friend, this treacherous character will waste no time cooking up vile schemes or betraying his companions if he thinks there’s money to be had or a powerful enemy to side with. He claims to be a college graduate of the University of the Bizarre (怪奇大学, Kaiki Daigaku, University of the Bizarre?), among other pompous things.
Neko Musume (猫娘 or ねこ娘, Cat Girl, Neko Musume?) is a normally-quiet yōkai girl, who transforms into a frightening cat monster with fangs and feline eyes when she is angry or hungry for fish. Predictably, she does not get along well with Nezumi Otoko. She seems to harbor a slight crush on Kitarō, who sees her only as a friend. She bears some resemblance to the bakeneko of Japanese folklore.
Sunakake Babaa (砂かけ婆, Sand-throwing hag, Sunakake Babaa?) is an old yōkai woman who carries sand which she throws into the eyes of enemies to blind them. She serves as an advisor to Kitarō and his companions, and manages a yōkai apartment building. The original sunakake-baba is an invisible sand-throwing spirit from the folklore of Nara Prefecture.
Konaki Jijii (子泣き爺, Child-crying Old Man, Konaki Jijii?) is a comic, absent-minded old yōkai man who attacks enemies by clinging to them and turning himself to stone, increasing his weight immensely and pinning them down. He and Sunakake Babaa often work as a team. The original konaki jijii is a ghost which appears in the woods of Tokushima Prefecture in the form of a crying infant. When it is picked up by some hapless traveller, it increases its weight until it crushes him.