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Mannen-Dake (万年竹, lit. ten thousand years bamboo, rough. eternal bamboo), commonly referred to as Yōkai Mannen-Dake (妖怪万年竹) is a bamboo yōkai. It is regularly depicted as an ancient yōkai living for thousands of years.
In the manga, Takekiri-Danuki is a known partner of the bamboo yōkai.
The Mannen-Dake is in most cases depicted as a gigantic, static bamboo. He has been, however, shown at times with more humanoid features.
In the 2018 anime, Mannen-Dake is a bamboo tree of tremendous size. He has a wide stem, where his internodes start as yellow-green at the base where it eventually gradients to green the higher it goes and is shorter, compared to normal bamboo. Between these internodes are thick nodes where the foliage sprouts out, some having green leaves. At the base, an abundant amount of roots cover the ground.
The Mannen-Dake is not per se a bad yōkai but is characteristically displayed as being highly territorial. He is usually seen developing a close bond to certain humans, and upon their demise will try to protect their residences resorting to otherwise unnatural aggression to do so.
Powers and Abilities
Being the ancient yōkai he is, the Mannen-Dake is a powerful being, one that even Kitarō has had to handle with care.
- Bamboo People Conversion: Through unknown means, the Mannen-Dake can turn humans into humanoid bamboos which serve as his army of sorts. These bamboo people can, in turn, transform other humans and add them to their kin, thus multiplying their numbers. Even yokai are also susceptible to this as seen with Nezumi-Otoko. When a person is turned into a bamboo person, the Mannen-Dake absorbs its soul, and when these are released those transformed return to their original form.
- Yōkai Power: The Mannen-Dake has great yōkai power. As seen during the fourth anime, he can expel a sufficient amount of it to catapult Kitarō with great force.