Toei Preps Six Different Kitaro Movies

Fans of the popular otherworldly Japanese series Kitaro will have six reasons to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the property next year. According to Daily Variety, a new animated feature titled Gegege Kitaro’Nihon Bakuretsu! (Gegege Kitaro’Japan Explodes!!), will be released in six different versions, one for each major region of the country.

Originated as a popular manga by Shigeru Mizuki, Kitaro has been a huge hit in different forms’comic book, live-action, animated TV series, features and video games. Five different animated versions of the show have aired in Japan through the years. Last January, a new anime series titled Hakaba Kitaro began airing on Fuji TV’s Naitamina slot. A live-action movie based on the property earned over $23 million at the Japanese box office last year.

The book’s storyline centers on a young boy who is the last living member of the Ghost Tribe. Although he’s missing his left eye, his hair usually covers the empty socket. He fights for peace between humans and yokai, the tribe of spirits and spooks that live in the countryside. The six different versions of the movie will feature different forms of Neko Musume (Cat Girl), the hero’s girlfriend. For example, in the movie made for the cold Hokkaido region of Japan, she will be an ice maiden, while she will be portrayed as a geisha in the version prepared for Kyoto. According to the story, Toei had to search 47 locations for the six different versions, which increased the production time to two years. Japanese moviegoers will be able to take in the six different versions of the feature this December. For more info, visit www.toei-anim.co.jp.