His true identity in early adaptations until the third anime was unclear as he, in gas-like form, possesses human and animal bodies. Akamata in earlier adaptations appeared as a gas-like yōkai possessing the body of an old man.
In the fourth anime, he has an intense hatred for the many Japanese people that appear on the island in the hopes of profiting from the water of life, and longs to overpower them for good.
He appears in Episode #39 of the first anime adaptation, Yōkai Army.
He appears in the first movie based on the third anime adaptation, GeGeGe no Kitarō (1985 film). Here, he serves as one of Chinpo's minions, along with Yashi-Otoshi. After Kitarō is injured by one of Yashi-Otoshi's coconuts, the two of them, along with Nezumi-Otoko, begin to celebrate the boy's defeat. Unbeknownst to them, Kitarō has freed himself of his rope bindings. A fight ensues, and Kitarō injures Akamata's left eye with his Hair Needles. Kitarō has the upper hand at first, but is soon overwhelmed by the two South Asian Yōkai. Suddenly, backup arrives in the form of Neko-Musume, Sunakake-Babaa, Konaki-Jijii, and Ittan-Momen. As Sunakake-Babaa and Konaki-Jijii fight Yashi-Otoshi, Kitarō continues to battle Akamata. Using his Chanchanko, he deflects the yōkai's acid attack. It hits Akamata, turning him into stone. Kitarō takes the stone, and throws it into the sea.
Later in the film, when Nezumi-Otoko attempts to save Yumekō, he finds the stone and discovers that Akamata is still alive inside. Akamata convinces Nezumi-Otoko to crack open the rock, freeing him. A blinding light comes out, and Akamata reveals that he has the ability to possess other creatures. He takes control of Nezumi-Otoko, and sets off to defeat Kitarō.
He appears as the main antagonist in the fourth anime film, GeGeGe no Kitarō: Dai-Kaijū.
In this adaptation, he is actually a friend of Kitarō, and one of the 47 Yōkai Warriors. He's also a member of the South Asian Yōkai Five (南方妖怪五人衆), along with Asanbosam, Yashi-Otoshi, Chinpo, and Langsuyar.
He appears in the second ending of the sixth anime adaptation, GET A NOTE.
Powers and Abilities
Enhanced Flexibility: As a snake, Akamata is very flexible, and is capable of coiling around his targets to bind them.
47 Warrior Power Activation: When he was chosen to be one of the 47 Warriors, he transferred Kitarō his power, and Kitarō's internal electricity formed a shape of a giant serpent.
According to Shinto belief, it's one of a group of three gods: Akamata (アカマタ, Red Face), Kuromata (クロマタ, Black Face), and Shiromata (シロマタ, White Face). Akamata and Kuromata are said to be husband-and-wife, and Shiromata is their child. The term "Mata" in this case refers to the masks that the Gods would wear. It hails from the Yaeyama Islands in the Okinawa Prefecture. Very little is known about the Akamata, as the myth surrounding the deity is shrouded in secrecy. Non-islanders aren't allowed to take photos or see the ceremony in which these Gods are summoned, making information on it scarce. Akamata is also sometimes depicted as a female serpent-yōkai.
- When Akamata first debuted in Yōkai Army in 1968, Okinawa was not part of Japan, but was instead a territory of the United States until 1972. This is likely the reason Akamata was initially classified as a South Asian Yokai.
|Yōkai Army||Akamata • Yashi-Otoshi • Chinpo|
|Vampire Gang||Langsuyar • Asanbosam • Penanggalan • Shina-Yasha|
|Others||Jeeta • Pii • Tubuan • Yōka|