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- Not to be confused with Ōkamuro.
Tantanbō's body is nothing but a giant head. He has a mop of shaggy hair covering his forehead and the back of his head, with a pointy bump of flesh growing out of the middle on top. He has an animalistic nose and cleft lip and a very thin mustache on his upper lip. He has big round eyes and has a case of hypertropia.
In the third and fourth anime, his skin is dark green, with white hair in the third and lime green in the 4th. In the fifth anime, his skin is red and his hair is brown.
Tantanbō is the leader of the Yōkai Castle gang, over Kamaitachi and Futakuchi-Onna (and Miage-Nyūdō in the spacial version of the fourth anime adaptation). His plan is to kidnap human children and transform them into yōkai in order to turn Japan into a Yōkai Kingdom. He crushes Kitarō as thin as a carpet, but Kitarō controls Nezumi-Otoko (who is wearing his chanchanko) and makes him put a rope seal around Yōkai Castle, turning the castle and Tantanbō into stone.
Shonen Magazine / First Anime
He appears in the third episode of the first anime adaption, Yōkai Castle.
In the first anime adaption, his name was Yaniyanibō (やにやに坊, lit. mucus-mucus monk).
Tantanbō is unsealed as a stone shrine is knocked over during construction, where he and the others cause havoc by making the construction machinery go haywire. He abducts a boy after he leaves school, taking him to the Yōkai Castle. After the Yōkai Castle rises from the ground, he watches the outside from one of the higher floors, his glowing eyes noticed upon by Kitarō. Within the castle, he orders Nezumi-Otoko to abduct as many human children as he can and bring them there. Explaining that children are easier to turn into Yōkai than adults. Immediately they hear the clip-clop of Kitarō, Tantanbō encounters him behind a ladder and welcomes him. He spits out blue saliva trying to immobilize and eventually succeeding as the Yōkai boy tries to escape. He leaves Nezumi-Otoko with the petrified Kitarō. Later Kamaitachi brings the children to him, having tried to escape, Tantanbō decides to petrify them. Soon the rat Yōkai arrives warning that Kitarō has entered the castle, though Tantanbō comments that Futakuchi-Onna probably ate him by now. Afterward, he orders Nezumi-Otoko to abduct more children, suddenly he hears the crying of a baby, asking the rat Yōkai if he abducted babies. Nezumi-Otoko denies and goes to check. Before long Kitarō tries to find him, where Tantanbō attacks him and tells him not to get in the way of his mission. The Yōkai boy asks why he is doing this to the humans, where Tantanbō responds that they have grown arrogant, exclaiming that he can not forgive their conceitedness. He appears from the floor and asks Kitarō to work for him and to stop siding with the humans. He rejects and Tantanbō attacks him in retaliation. Sunakake-Babaa and Nurikabe arrive to aid Kitarō, where the Yōkai boy stops Tantanbō with his Chanchanko and stumbling as he falls into a hole. He later, exclaims in terror as the castle sinks into the ground.
In the GeGeGe no Kitarō: Saikyō Yōkai Gundan! Nippon Jōriku!!, a small Tantanbō was briefly seen to participate the Yōkai-Human friendly bon dance festival.
He appears in both episode #66 and 67 of the fourth anime adaption, Ominous Clouds! Yōkai Castle (Part 1) and Ominous Clouds! Yōkai Castle (Part 2). He has original motivation again, but this time also kidnaps adults. He is defeated when Kitarō kicks one his geta through him, deflating his body.
Another individual was seen in the first ending.
He appears in episode #61 of the fifth anime adaption, Tantanbō of the Yōkai Castle. In this version, he is working with Nurarihyon, who is going along with him to get the control box for Yōkai Castle. Nurarihyon and Kamaitachi take the control box and leave Tantanbō to face Kitarō alone. He is defeated when he is set on fire and jumped from the castle.
He appears in the third episode of the sixth anime adaption, Tantanbō's Yōkai Castle. In this version, he awoke along with Kamaitachi and Futakuchi-Onna after being sealed along with the Yōkai Castle.
After the trio saw that humans have polluted, twisted, and wounded the world as they pleased, they believed the world did not need humans. They kidnapped 13 children, one of which was Mana, to resurrect the Yōkai Castle and create a world only of Yōkai. He was defeated by Kitarō when he got shot by a finger bullet.
Powers and Abilities
Mucus Manipulation: Tantabō's body is able to produce a large amount of mucus, normally coming in the form of phlegm and spitting it out from his mouth. It comes out in a ring shape, following its target, sticking to and suffocates them. In the 1968 anime, it is instead Rheum that he flings to his target. Within the 1985 anime, he spits out glowing blue saliva, where it quickly hardens into stone after encasing his target. In the 2007 anime, he is able to grab what he wants with his saliva, making it act as an appendage. He is also capable of using it as an adhesive, leaving his victims to hang upside-down.
Concrete Control: In the 2018 anime, humans leveled a mountain and used the materials from it in construction sites; the stone that had sealed them was broken and mixed with those materials. This gave him the ability to control concrete and travel anywhere the humans used the shards.
Invincibility: Within certain conditions such as during nighttime (fourth anime) and the condition of Yōkai Castle (sixth anime), he and his fellow yōkai were physically invincible.
Petrifying Gaze: He is able to petrify his targets by staring at them, where his eyes glow blue. This also shrinks them to a more carriable size.
Telekinesis: In 1985 anime, He can telekinetically carry his victims after encasing them in his phlegm.
Levitation: In the 1968 and 1985 anime, Tantabō is able to float and hover above the ground as well as fly back to the castle.
Light Generation: Tantanbō is able to emit light from his eyes, in a fashion similar to a flashlight. It is bright enough for him to be seen from the ground while he is high up in the Yōkai Castle.
Whirlwind: In the 1996 anime, all the members of the trio were seen to move swiftly to a distant location in seconds.
- In the 1985 anime, a smaller Tantanbō was seen at the end of the GeGeGe no Kitarō: Saikyō Yōkai Gundan! Nippon Jōriku!! as a friend to Kitarō and humans, while the Tantanbō appeared in the final episode as a foe resembled more of the Tantanbō appeared in the first episode based on their sizes and holding grudges against Kitarō.
|Main||Nurarihyon (leader) • Shu-no-Bon • Jakotsu-Babaa|
|Monday Dramaland||Miage-Nyūdō • Nobiagari • Okkamuro • Amikiri • Vampire Elite|
|The Demon Flute||Sakurako • Yadōkai • Nupperabō • Kawazaru|
|1985 Anime||Chinpo • Guwagoze • Oboro-Guruma • Tsujigami • Raijū • Kowai • Oiteke-Bori • Grass Kamaitachi • Okuri-Chōchin • Ashi-Arai • Nururibō|
|1996 Anime||Momon-Jii • Backbeard • Kōmori-Neko • Grimalkin • Viy • Giant • Youaltepuztli • Ustrel • Poltergeist • Golem|
|2007 Anime||Kamaitachi • Kyūso • Kani-Bōzu • Dodomeki • Mashiro • Yōkai Castle|
|2008 film||Nure-Onna • Yasha • Satori • Te-no-Me • Gasha-Dokuro|
|2018 Anime||Neko-Sennin • Nuppeppō • Tsuchi-Korobi|