Eri KitamuraSayaka OharaNozomi FurukiTadashi Miyazawa
Kitaro's Yokai Picture Diary
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2016: K
Also known as: Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Director: Hisayoshi Hirasawa
Original creator: Riichi Kageyama
Actor: Amiko Sakuragi, Arisa Nakada, Atsushi Imaruoka, Chika Yoshitomi, Eri Kitamura, Hidenori Takahashi, Hiromi Igarashi, Maria Naganawa, Masami Fujikawa, Michio Hazama, Nozomi Furuki, Sayaka Ohara, Shohei Yamaguchi, Tadashi Miyazawa, Toshiki Iwasawa, Wataru Usami, Yuri Kato
Keywords: anime, fantasy, yokai
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 four-minute episodes
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=18706
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 4 October 2017
Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki
It's a throwaway short-form anime that couldn't be said to matter at all, but I enjoyed it. It's educational, if you like yokai. Every episode has a post-credits sequence talking about this week's yokai and presenting their mythological context. Even the ones that you'd think must surely have been invented are in fact taken from real Japanese folklore. Omukade the giant centipede? Yup, he's real and he really is vulnerable to spit. Ungaikyo, the possessed mirror? That's real too.
This is cool. Our hero is Kiitaro. He has yokai living in his house and he meets new yokai every week. It's a fairly silly series, but that's reasonable since yokai are pretty silly to begin with. This show will introduce you to:
KITARO - who's nothing to do with the title character in Shigeru Mizuki's "GeGeGe no Kitaro", even though they're both boys whose friends are all yokai and who have their hair covering one eye. (Their names are pronounced differently, if you listen to the vowel length on the "i".) This show's Kitarou is human and kind of grumpy, but he's nice underneath and impressively tolerant of yokai.
SUZU - a yokai girl who lives with him. Well, freeloads. Or something. She's a zashiki-warashi. They're both in their early teens, so there's no relationship stuff going on.
OTHER FRIENDS - a layabout fox woman with big boobs (but drawn in a family-friendly art style), a foul-mouthed Snow Woman and her somewhat dozy daughter.
OTHER YOKAI - the bath-licking yokai (akahame) and the ceiling-licking yokai (tenjoname). The latter looked so much like the aliens in Time and Tide (DWM 145-146) that I was trying to think if that comic strip's creators might have been doing it deliberately, but I can't think of a possible link. There's also nurikabe (the living wall), the futtachi (in this case talking hamsters doing kendo and unwisely deciding to pick a fight with snakes), cows with human faces who can predict the future (and are extremely freaky), the tenome (although I'm not sure how his physical peculiarity would make you a better poker player), the yokai mirrors in ep.8 (shoumakyou and ungaikyou) and a kodama nezumi in ep.9. There are kodama in Princess Mononoke, you know, and they're my favourite thing in that film. They're the little white goblins with irregular holes in their rattling heads.
All these weirdos are being portrayed in closer accordance with folklore than is usual in anime and manga. This is nifty, but more importantly it's also a fun, light-hearted show about supernatural oddballs hanging out with each other. There's not quite enough in this show for me to start recommending it to people, but I enjoyed it.