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Kitaro [DVD] 
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Based on the hugely popular Japanese comic, GeGeGe no Kitaro , Kitaro is a live-action adaptation of the manga series created in 1959 by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as y kai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong. Kitaro (Eiji Wentz) is a yokai whose parents both died before he was born. In order to protect Kitaro, his father gathered up what little life essence he had left and emerged as a single walking, talking eyeball called Medama Oyaji. Kitaro lives in a secluded tree house with other yokai, trying to remain as unseen to human eyes as possible. However, one day Kitaro receives a letter from a little boy named Kenta Miura (Ruka Uchida) begging for his help to get rid of the ghosts haunting his apartment complex. Kitaro decides to investigate the situation, and sure enough he finds a group of mischievous yokai tormenting the residents of the complex, working under the orders of Nezumi Otoko (literally Rat Man ). Rat Man is a shifty, selfish yokai who s always looking for a way to make a quick buck, so when a land developer offered him cash to force people out of the apartment complex he jumps at the chance.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a great adventure featuring human actors as well as cartoony-cgi characters.
I think they work together very well.
This is a PG rated film and the central characters do appear to be quite young (I say 'appear' as the Kitaro character is actually 350 years old!) so it should appeal to kids. Maybe I'm immature, but at forty-something I also found the film very entertaining. There's romantic interest and I have to say that most of the female characters are very attractive, plenty of toilet humour, cheesy gags, and very well choreographed fight scenes -one of which is almost like ballet it's so artistically performed.
There are also some superb locations.
The soundtrack is a bit odd as it ranges from a great catchy Jungle-Book-like song about the Gegege Forest to a sort of McFly clone pop dross ditty.
The sprit-world theme seems very common in Japanese cinema from what I've seen. The awesome Death-Note (which was on telly again the other night) also features this theme, although along much more adult lines.
I think this is a great fantasy-adventure which should appeal to kids. And parents should approve of the strong moral message (yawn).
[My ref: Ge ge ge no ge 15th Nov 09]
I know a few friends who think I'm crazy for not liking it, but at the end of the day it's always down to everyone's own opinion and for me it just wasn't my cup of tea.
I'm not quite sure what to make of Kitaro. It's a deliriously off-the-wall live action anime based on a classic manga and is, quite simply, one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen. From what I can gather of the plot, there are good ghosts and bad ghosts. The latter are hounding mortals and are kept in check by our eponymous hero Kitaro. He's several centuries old, but looks like a grey-haired teenager. He dresses in a coat made from his ancestors' hair, has only one eye, uses his remote-controlled sandals as weapons and hangs about with some very weird folk like 'Daddy Eyeball', 'Rat Man' and the utterly bizarre 'Wheel Monk' (who truly has to be seen to be believed!) And there's something about a stone of ultimate evil that has gone missing. Weird? You ain't seen nothing yet! I guess Kitaro is aimed at the younger viewer, but it is more funny peculiar than funny ha-ha most of the time. Sure there's some slapstick, but there's also some downright grotesque imagery too, which would give most Western kids nightmares! OK so I confess; I really didn't get Kitaro and cannot even begin to guess at what the intended target audience is. It's certainly spectacularly bizarre, with plenty of striking eye-candy, but whether that's enough to hold the interest of your average British viewer, I don't know.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh yeah, you know you're in live action Japanese fantasy territory here, replete with all the super hammy overacting, super awful CGI effects, and super silly plots that such... Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2010 by John Clayton III
I loved Kitaro as a film purely on the basis that it tries to emulate the original Manga and the strange creatures that make up his family. Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2010 by Paul B
Kitaro is a new live action/animation hybrid based on the long running Japanese Kitaro anime series. Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2010 by David Lovie
Based on a the comic - Kitaro follows the adventures of a supernatural team led by the one-eyed title character. Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2010 by James Cameron
Simply put this is definitely one for the kids - its bound to while away a Sunday afternoon - will you want to watch it again? Well its unlikely but they may do ... Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2010 by T. J. Bacon
Briefly, as my children will be watching it on this recommendation (older ones, of course)...
It is exciting and has stunning animation and graphics. Read more
This is the story of a spirit boy Kitaro and his guardian friends who combat evil ghosts. Think Casper the friendly ghost meets a samurai film uptown. Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2009 by Mr. G. Carroll