Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kitaro DVD Review, vol. 18

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Gegege no Kitaro Magazine DVD Series, volume 18

(Page 1 of the Umizato episode summary.)

I've been busy with a number of other projects that have come up lately, which unfortunately do have to be done but aren't necessarily productive in and of themselves. What this means is that I'm spending a huge amount of time on other stuff, leaving me little time for watching the Kitaro DVDs. I'm actually pretty far behind on the TV episodes, with about 4 discs (8 hours) that I haven't seen yet. I'm hoping to sneak in maybe half an hour per night for one episode at time, but even that's a bit difficult to squeeze in.

(Page 2 of the Umizato episode summary, with the original manga splash page in the lower corner.)

Again, no posters this time, no supporting yokai, and no Mizuki Collection. For the most part, the magazine just consists of the episode summaries, new monster descriptions, the Original Art pages, Where's Yamada, History of Kitaro and photos of samples of Kitaro goods (music single record, gym bag and charm necklace). I'm starting to think about just turning these reviews into simple inventory lists. I'll experiment with this in this post. What I will do here is run the first 6 pages of the magazine to give you an idea of what it looks like. It starts out with the cover, spends 2 pages on the first episode summary, 1 page on describing the new yokai (Umizato and Funa Yuurei), and then there's two original art pages (Umizato and Funa Yuurei).

(New monsters: Umizato on top, and the Funa Yuurei at the bottom.)

#26: Umizato (Blind monk of the Sea, 06/30/68)
#27: Odoro Odoro (Scary Scary, 07/07/68)
#28: Makura Gaeshi (Pillow Changer, 07/14/68)
#29: Kagami Gassen (Battle in the Mirror, 07/21/68)

(Original Art page for Umizato.)

New Monsters:
Umizato and Funa Yuurei (ep. 26)
Odoro Odoro (ep. 27)
Makura Gaeshi (ep. 28)
Ungaikyou (ep. 29)

Ok, I could spend an entire blog entry just describing the new monsters.
Umizato: "Zato" refers to someone that is blind. During the Edo-era, blind men often found work as masseurs, and the title generally is applied specifically to a blind masseur. The most famous example being the Zato Ichi movie character, where "Ichi" is the character's actual first name. "Umi" means "sea" or "ocean". In this specific case, Umizato is less of a masseur and more of an ocean spirit, so I chose to translate it as "Blind Monk of the Sea".

Funa Yuurei: This is a title for a whole class of spirits, and ghost stories involving them date back to the Edo-era. In some tales, they're the remnants of shipwreck victims, and their task is to use ladles to fill ships up with water to sink them.

Odoro Odoro: Another yokai taken from exisiting folk tales. The name comes from the word "osoroshi", meaning "scary". So, we could call it "scary scary", or just use "Odoro Odoro" as a formal name.

Makura Gaeshi: "Pillow Taker", "Pillow Mover" or "Pillow Soul Stealer". "Makura" means "pillow", and "gaeshi" is another pronounciation of "kaeshi", meaning to "take" or to "change". Actually, Makura Gaeshi also comes from the Edo period, and was known as a trickster spirit that would take people's souls.

Ungaikyou: For centuries, the Shinto religion has taught that objects can take on a life of their own after being in one's possession for several years, especially toys, dolls, hairbrushes and mirrors. The word "Tsukumogami" refers to any object that is over 100 years old. There's a Shinto ceremony for the burning of tsukumogami like dolls, protective charms, and other things to release these spirits safely and to avoid bringing bad luck to their owners. The Ungaikyou (possessed mirror) refers to Tsukumogami mirrors.

(Original Art page for Funa Yuurei.)

Original art:
Umizato (Blind Monk of the Sea)
Funa Yuurei (Ship Spirits)
Odoro Odoro (Scary, Scary)
Makura Gaeshi (Pillow Changer)
Ungaikyou (Possessed Mirror)

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