Kitaro

Kitaro

Graphic Novel - 2013
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Meet one of Japan's most popular characters of all time--Kitaro, the One-Eyed Monster Boy

Meet 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.

Publisher: Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly, c2013.
ISBN: 9781770461109
1770461108
Branch Call Number: YA GN MANGA KITARO
Characteristics: 396 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Allen, Jocelyne 1974-

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Laura_X Oct 24, 2014

Shigeru Mizuki's Kitaro is one of the most famous and influential series in Japanese manga history. Why is it so important? Because, through works like Kitaro, Shigeru Mizuki is responsible for popularizing Japanese folklore, and to some extent, creating it as well. Kitaro is a compilation of short episodic stories written between 1967 and 1969.

It features the hero Kitaro, who along with his father (an anthropomorphized eyeball), is the last member of the ghost tribe. He challenges legendary monsters (or yokai) and does good deeds to fight for peace between monsters and humans.

As fun as the stories are (and they are really fun!), the most interesting bit of this manga to me is the visual "monster" glossary at the end of the book which explains all of the mysterious and bizarre Japanese monsters Mizuki draws. Fascinating!

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