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The first GeGeGe no Kitarō anime was aired from January 3, 1968 to March 30, 1969. It ran for 65 episodes and is the only anime to be produced in black & white. Like all of the subsequent Kitarō anime, it was produced by Toei Animation and aired on Fuji Television.


Aside from toning down darker elements and some social commentary, every episode is a quite faithful adaptation of the original manga. Most episode focused on stories about Kitarō aiding humans in need of his skills or thwarting the plans of evil Yōkai who threaten to torment humanity. Kitarō's personality was also made more friendly and likable. The anime was so popular that Kitarō became a popular children's hero and it created the Yōkai boom of the 1970s.

The music was written and composed by Taku Izumi, who would go on to major songwriter in the world of Japanese music. He also wrote the music to the opening and ending theme songs, which were often used as background music in the show (as well as the following 1971 anime). Furthermore, voice actors Kazuo Kumakura and Midori Katō were brought in to perform the theme songs thanks to Izumi, Kumakura due to their personal friendship and Katō because she performed many of the commercial jingles he wrote at the time. The theme song record sold over 300,000 copies.[1]

The role of Kitarō was performed by Masako Nozawa. It was her first starring role, and she would go on to become one of the biggest names in Japanese voice acting. Each episode featured a different preview narrator and displayed the episode titles in a different font style, a trait shared only with the 1971 anime.

This anime also started the idea of Kitarō's allies coming to GeGeGe Forest to meet with him as well as the idea of the Kitarō Family.

Because the series was black and white it has rarely been rebroadcasted despite it's popularity, although it did get a rebroadcast in the 1980s.

Theme Songs

  1. GeGeGe no Kitarō - Kazuo Kumakura
  1. Karan Koron no Uta - Midori Katō
  2. Kitarō Nai Nai Ondo - Kazuo Kumakura (Ep. 27, 28, 31, 32)
  3. Kitarō Olympic - Kazuo Kumakura (Ep. 41~42)


Main Cast
Masako Nozawa Isamu Tanonaka Chikao Ohtsuka
Masako Nozawa
Isamu Tanonaka
Chikao Ōtsuka
Recurring Cast
NoPicAvailable Ichirou Nagai
Yōko Ogushi
Ichirō Nagai

Main Cast Notes

Guest Cast


# Title Original airdate Written by Directed by Animation director Yōkai




  1. 長田暁二『昭和の童謡アラカルト―戦後編』ぎょうせい、1985年、187頁。ISBN 4324001243
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