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Memories of the Yōka is the 20th episode of the 2018 GeGeGe no Kitarō anime.

Cast

Main
Recurring
Guest

Synopsis

One day, Mana and her mother go to visit Toshiko, Mana's hospitalized great aunt. When they arrived at the hospital, Toshiko asked if they could check on the flowers at her home. When they reached the house, Mana was surprised by the sight. Bright red flowers were in bloom everywhere; from the garden to the walls and the roof of the house. Mana sent pictures of these mysterious flowers to Neko-Musume. While Mana listened to stories about her great aunt from her mother, Kitarō and the others soon arrived. Medama-Oyaji explained that these flowers were called Yōka and bloom from yōkai activity or spiritual power. Why are they at Toshiko's house? Mana joins Kitarō and the others as the head toward a southern island to discover the Yōka's origins.

Plot

Mana starts running through a jungle, hearing voices of men at war. She drops to her knees as something or someone approaches her.

Earlier, Mana is at home, thinking of what to research for her summer project, when her mother gets a call about Aunt Toshiko collapsing, asking if Mana if she is free. They ride a train to visit her in Chiba, where Junko explains to her daughter about Toshiko. When they arrive at her hospital room, Toshiko and Junko have a conversation, when the former asks Mana if she is studying. When Mana replies, Toshiko states that she hates it when people do not give straight answers, wanting a simple yes or no. Junko goes to get clothes for Toshiko, who complains, saying that she can do it herself. Junko asks if there is anything she can do for her, Toshiko sees the dragonflies outside, noting that it is almost obon season, so she asks them to check on the flowers. Junko and Mana arrive at Toshiko's home where the flowers are, when Mana sees a bush of red colored flowers. Meanwhile Kitarō and his father are trying to find information about Nanashi, but find nothing. Neko-Musume calls them from outside, giving them snacks from Sunakake-Babaa, Medama-Oyaji asks her if she is checking on Mana frequently, just after he says that Neko-Musume receives photos from Mana of where she is, including the flowers.

Mana tries to find what kind of flowers they are, but fails, her mother states that even she cannot identify them and that they bloom during obon season, though she has never seen so many at once. While cleaning, Junko finds a photo of a young Toshiko with her sweetheart, Soujiro, who promised Toshiko that they would get married. However one day he suddenly disappeared, promising to return, Toshiko believed him and waited, but he never came back. Mana is disgusted that he just left, Junko agreeing, but thinks there may have been a reason why, noting that 1942 was the year the Pacific War started. Mana's phone rings and later finds Kitarō and Neko-Musume looking at the flowers. Medama-Oyaji explains that they are called Yōka, flowers that bloom from yōkai activity or spirit power, making Mana question why they are at Toshiko's house. Kitarō does not sense any malicious presence, noting that they may have come from the south. The winds blow and Mana feels a presence, remembering Toshiko's request, as Medama-Oyaji states that they will start traveling the next morning, Mana wanting to join them. The next day, they go on a Clam boat being steered by Kawauso. Kitarō asks if she really wants to come, Mana explaining that she wants to know more about the flowers, having asked her parents for her research project. Nezumi-Otoko joins them as well, which Neko-Musume asks why he is coming and he simply states that he is bored.

They go to many islands that all have Yōka flourishing, but cannot find the source, until they reach an island of New Guinea, where Kitarō is sure of it. Mana spots a grave on a cliff, finding that it is written with Japanese letters. Medama-Oyaji reads it is for the fallen Japanese soldiers during World War II, asking Mana if she had learned it in school. Kitarō explains that Japan tried to expand against America, France and other countries that are now considered friends in the current age. His father noting that it is probably hard for her generation to understand, Nezumi-Otoko also noting how awful those times were. Mana having thought Japan was invaded and lost as Medama-Oyaji tells her that Japan also invaded other countries and that memories of the war from 70 years ago are fading. They find a Japanese forestry company, asking if the foreman has seen the Yōka in the forest, sending him in a panicked state, Nezumi-Otoko presumes that he is cursed and introduces himself as a yōkai consultant. The foreman explains that ever since they found the flowers in the forest, terrifying sounds have been heard every night.

At night they camp at the forestry grounds, when Mana feels something wrong, that since she is far from Japan and is on an island that Japanese soldiers fought. She goes in the jungle to pee, when she hears footsteps, airplane noises are heard, making the others believe it is an air raid, but find nothing that would cause it, realizing that it is only the sound. The foreman is terrified and his men are cowering, sputtering that it is the curse of the Tubuan, making him explain that they tried to disturb the sacred tree. Neko-Musume comes, alerting Kitarō that she cannot find Mana. In the jungle Mana is running, hearing the same noises, stopping and seeing more footprints before running again. She trips and hears the footsteps. The noise starts to quiet down and she looks at the footprints, thinking that they are just following her. From the perspective of the spirit of the footsteps, it sees three small beings on a branch. Mana believes that it is Beto-Beto-san and tries to send him off. It continues forward, but stops a few steps after Mana, making her think that it is not him, where it then turns to her, where she suspects that it wants her to follow it somewhere.

She follows and finds a field full of Yōka around a tall tree, noticing that the footsteps have disappeared. Kitarō arrives with Neko-Musume and states that the place is the source of the Yōka. They find something covered by the roots of the tree, they remove it and find the skeleton of Japanese soldiers. The foreman reveals that they found them when they dug up the roots, they called the company, who said that exporting the trees is a must and if they are in the way then they should throw them. Mana and Nezumi-Otoko scolds him for desecrating their ancestors who fought in the Pacific War. Medama-Oyaji states that the Tubuan took pity and protected their remains. Mana asks about the Tubuan, which Medama-Oyaji tells her that they are ancient spirits that live there and the surrounding islands. Normally they would not harm people, but must have felt intimidated by those who disturbed the remains and used the sound of war, their most terrifying experience. Mana decides to thank them and they disappear. She asks about the footprints, which Kitarō explains that the power that created the Yōka is from the letters that is held by one of the soldiers, noting that it is sealed. Medama-Oyaji finds it strange that the it has not rotted away, as Mana sees the name of her great aunt written on it, and sees her lover's name on the other side, realizing that the soldier is Soujiro. Medama-Oyaji guesses that the power from his feelings had took root in it. By morning a grave is made, Medama-Oyaji believes that Soujiro's feeling, that he died before saying something, is what lead to Yōka being born and rode the winds faraway to Japan, making that year's blooming to be a final message, sensing that the place would be lost. Mana prays and understands that lots of people really fought and died there.

They leave and Mana brings the letter to her great aunt, where she reads it and it explains that Soujiro's parents were strict about lineage and would not allow their marriage. He did not give up, angering his parents who enlisted him in the army. Before he could tell her, he was sent to a far away battlefield. He wrote so many letters that he had not been able to send, promising to return. This causes Toshiko to shed a tear, making her believe he really did come back and thanks him, having a brief moment of her younger self seeing Soujiro. Mana then decides to research about the Pacific War, going to libraries and visiting those who remember about it. She reads her report to her class, saying that they cannot afford to forget and that they should never forget about the war.

Characters in order of appearance

  1. Mana Inuyama
  2. Junko Inuyama
  3. Toshiko Sawada (First appearance)
  4. Yōka (First appearance)
  5. Medama-Oyaji
  6. Kitarō
  7. Neko-Musume
  8. Nezumi-Otoko
  9. Kawauso
  10. Kariman Foresty Foreman (First appearance)
  11. Soujiro (First appearance)
  12. Tubuan (First appearance)
  13. Mrs. Ogata
  14. Mr. Ogata

Trivia

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GeGeGe no Kitarō 2018 Episodes
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