''Ge, ge, ge ge ge no ge--!''

''[=GeGeGe=] no Kitarō'' is a well-known (in Japan) manga and anime that is largely credited for bringing back knowledge of traditional yōkai and folktales to modern generations. Written by Shigeru Mizuki, it was originally known as ''Manga/HakabaKitaro'' (Kitaro of the Graveyard). The story focuses on the adventures of yōkai boy Kitaro, who fights for peace between the yōkai and humans using a variety of strange abilities and tools. "Ge ge ge no ge" is a sound effect meant to represent ghostly laughter.

That's the simple explanation. The reality is that if you've never heard of this series, it's because it doesn't often show up in Western media because it is ''just plain weird.'' The weirdness starts off with Kitaro himself: a "ghost boy" who is missing one eye. The empty socket is usually covered by his hair, and usually houses Medama-Oyaji (Papa Eye), literally an [[FacelessEye eyeball with a body]], who is also his father. (Yes, really.) Kitaro also has remote-controlled geta sandals, a detachable hand, and a spiky hair vest which he can use to attack enemies, as well as a few other abilities.

Other characters in the main ensemble include a half-human half-yōkai filthy rodent, a CatGirl who can transform into a much more monstrous form, the sand yōkai woman who runs an apartment, an absent-minded elderly yōkai who can turn himself to stone, a sentient strip of white cloth, and a large yōkai shaped like a wall.

The original manga ran for about ten years, between 1960 and 1969, and multiple versions and adaptations have been written since, developing a rather different canon as the series progressed. (Kitaro especially is much weirder and much less child-friendly in the original.) The different anime versions have been running more or less from 1968 to the present, with the most recent series to start in 2018. It has also been adapted into multiple live-action versions and video games, as well as earning a place in several theme parks, like Fujikyu Highland. The creator's hometown of Sakaiminato has also been marked with multiple statues of the various characters in recognition of the series' influence.

The series is finally available in English, courtesy of [[https://www.drawnandquarterly.com/kitaro Drawn and Quarterly]].

!!Tropes exhibited in at least one version of this series include:

* AntiHero: Believe it or not, Kitaro and Medama-Oyaji were this in the beginning as seen in 'Kitaro Night Tales', which basically follows ''Hakaba Kitaro'''s storyline with a few deviations here and there. Kitaro was a very creepy child who mostly cared about his father, pretty girls and making money to survive; he was, more or less, a younger Nezumi Otoko. Medama-Oyaji tricked Mizuki into falling down a hole to Hell when the man called the cops on them. This can be seen as a bit of DisproportionateRetribution since Mizuki raised Kitaro from infancy despite his creepy nature. Thankfully, they showed him the way back to the world of the living.
** Nezumi Otoko is this on a good day, when he's not plotting something horrible. He'll sometimes save Kitaro's life, even when it's not to his benefit, and he has a soft spot for pretty girls and will try to impress them anyway he can. Other times though, he's a VillainProtagonist.
* AuthorAvatar: When Mizuki addresses the audience directly, it's through Nezumi-Otoko. Even outside of this series.
* AnimalJingoism: Neko Musume and Nezumi Otoko are cat and rat, and therefore she attacks him when things go awry.
* ArtEvolution: The most obvious sign is Neko-Musume, who was progressively drawn less pudgy and had her hairstyle changed from a bowlcut to a more natural-looking short cut that also went from [[AdaptationDyeJob black to red]]. Compare the drawings in the picture above to [[http://www.fujitv.co.jp/b_hp/kitaro/kitaro_chara.html the 2007 Character Roster]] and [[https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-01-18/new-gegege-no-kitaro-anime-announced-for-dragon-ball-super-timeslot/.126626 the 2018 design]] for yourself.
* BadassInANiceSuit: Generally the easiest way to notice when Nezumi-Otoko thinks he struck it big.
* BreathWeapon: A lot of ''yōkai'' have these. On a similar note, Nezumi-Otoko's halitosis can subdue people.
* CameBackWrong: Medama-Oyaji died at the very beginning of the series, but when Kitaro emerged from his mother's grave (long story) concern for the newborn son (again, long story) resurrects him... however the only part of the body that hadn't decayed by that point was his left eye, which formed into the Medama-Oyaji that everyone is familiar with. This grisly origin of both Medama and Kitaro can be viewed in the much darker ''Hakaba Kitaro'''s first episode. Although Hakaba is a mostly separate continuity to Gegege, Kitaro's origin in both is essentially the same.
* CatGirl: Neko-Musume, natch.
* {{Chickification}}: Neko-Musume in the 2000's series was a heavy subject of this. While still capable of holding on her own and being scary, her girly side was much more notorious. Her wardrobe also saw a [[{{UnlimitedWardrobe}} massive upgrade on variety]]. The role of her crush on Kitaro was also heavier than other incarnations, at points bordering on slightly [[{{Flanderization}} flanderizing]] her.
* ChickMagnet: A minor case, but Kitaro had shades of this in the 80's version.
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: Kitaro's vest and sandals.
* ContinuityNod: The third episode of the 2007 series is basically a rematch with the Yasha, a soul-eating musical yōkai that the gang faced in the 1986 series.
** The 1968 series too. Episode 2, in fact.
** In the brief flashback, the animation seems to be intentionally made to look retroactively black and white, similar to the 1968 visuals.
* CreepyChild: Kitaro, specially in the original manga and ''Hakaba Kitaro''. Neko-Musume counts too.
** Neko Musume, who is a cute little assassin of the wicked.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The 2008 anime ''Manga/HakabaKitaro'' took the series back to its horror roots and away from kid friendliness.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Some of the friendlier spirits, Kitaro most prominently.
* DirtyCoward: Nezumi-Otoko, for a more literal interpretation than most.
** He is in fact a [[LovableCoward Lovable]] CowardlySidekick. TheHero had his ass saved by him plenty of times.
** Usually from situations Nezumi-Otoko had caused by his greed and cowardice in the first place, naturally.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Some of the more irritable yōkai are all about this.
* {{Dracula}}: Four generations of Dracula have featured throughout the manga and animes: the original Dracula, Dracula II, Dracula III and Dracula IV.
* EyeScream: Kitaro's father lives in his eye socket.
* FacelessEye: Medama-Oyaji and Backbeard
* {{Fartillery}}: About the only ability of note that Nezumi-Otoko possesses in addition to halitosis.
* {{Greed}}: The dictionary would have Nezumi-Otoko's picture next to the word.
* GreenAesop: Sort of, several of the episodes have humans' abuse of the environment anger the local nature yōkai.
* HalfHumanHybrid: In the 2007 series, Sunakake Baba explains this as reason for Nezumi-Otoko's questionable relationship with other yōkai and his penchant for dabbling in human society. He himself brings it up in the 1968 series.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Nezumi-Otoko can always be trusted to be untrustworthy, in the older series more than the more recent ones.
%%* HonestJohnsDealership
* {{Immortality}}: The Youkai are all immortal beings, although just how immortal is often up for grabs. Although Kitaro can survive all sorts of seemingly death insured fates, and even be regenerated or resurrected if the need calls for it...it does seem sometimes that Youkai ''can'' be killed. Kitaro's race was killed off ''somehow'' after all. The specifics however are never really explained.
* ImmortalImmaturity: Although Kitaro sometimes shows wisdom and sense far beyond his appearance, he often displays very childlike impulses and feelings. Nezumi Otoko, Neko Musume, and other "childlike" Youkai have all displayed this quality at times as well.
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: Not quite twenty, but Kitaro was born the old-fashioned way (albeit out of his dead mother's grave), then aged from being an infant to a pre-teen adolescent who's remained that way ever since. Certain works of disputable canon have poked at the idea of Kitaro physically aging to adulthood though, and although it's established that he's immortal, it's never been specified whether or not Kitaro is meant to be a child forever, or if maybe his race (The Yurei Zoku or "Ghost Tribe") simply age far slower appearance wise.
* ImpactSilhouette: Nezumi Otoko leaves this behind after spotting a cat.
* {{Karakasa}}: The ''karakasa'' appears as a minor character, although its appearance varies wildly between versions.
* LighterAndSofter: Most of the adaptations. The 1980s anime in particular, which made the few times someone actually ''died'' in that version much more shocking.
* LimitedWardrobe: Self-explanatory, Kitaro and co outfits don't change within the various series.
** Occasionally averted by Nezumi-Otoko's penchant for [[BadassInANiceSuit suiting up]] when the smell of success is in the air, and Neko-Musume in the 2007 series with dabbling in various fashions.
* LivingForeverIsAwesome: The very theme song in all its incarnations over the decades explicitly says that the Youkai never die, in such a way to make it sound like a ton of fun! However there's also many instances of this trope's opposite, located below.
* MagicalDatabase: One of these becomes a plot point in an episode when it turns out the encyclopedia of {{yokai}} some kids have doesn't contain the MonsterOfTheWeek and it goes on a rampage in revenge for being left out.
* MagicCarpet: Ittan Momen acts like one, rather than just flying around and choking people to death like in the original myths.
%%* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: Neko Musume
* MutualKill: Dracula IV and the Ox-demon (Otoroshi) kill each other over the human they were planning to eat.
* TheNoseless: Dracula IV after Nezumi-Otoko accidentally snatched his nose off trying to get at Medama-Oyagi.
* ObliviousToLove: Kitaro has absolutely no idea whatsoever that Neko Musume loves him.
* PeekaBangs: Kitaro. It's because he's only got one eye.
* PokemonSpeak: Nurikabe (at least in the 80s series).
* PrehensileHair:
** Kitaro's hair can be used as a rope. The Yasha in each series is a strangling hair monster.
** The Otoroshi also has this kind of hair.
* ProgressivelyPrettier: In the 2000s series, Cat Girl goes from a gangly, weird-looking... thing with a bowl cut and mouth full of needle-like teeth to a pretty girl with an attractive, if tomboyishly scruffy hairstyle, CuteLittleFangs and the figure of a ballerina. She's also red-haired now for some reason, too.
* PsychoForHire: Neko Musume, the most trusted Yokai punish wicked humans. Kitaro employs her to threaten Nezumi Otoko to stop his latest scam should he get dragged off to hell by a more uncompromising Yokai.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Kitaro looks like a human child no older than 8 to 12 years, but in the 2007 movie he is revealed to be 350 years old.
* SecondEpisodeIntroduction: In the 1968 series, Nezumi Otoko doesn't appear until Episode 2.
* SoulJar: In most appearances, the Yasha kept stolen souls inside ''balloons''.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: The 80s anime brought a human girl to the main cast as the Girly Girl Counterpart to the rather boyish Neko Musume.
* UnscrupulousHero: Kitaro every once in a while, such as the fact that in one episode, he causes a vampire and his ''human'' assistant to burn themselves to death inside their own shack.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Despite the cast's generally okay attitude to living forever, as they have each other, with Kitaro in particular this sentiment occasionally rears its ugly head. A few times, even in the live action movies, Kitaro has shown a quiet but very apparent longing to have human friends and love...but is often stopped, sometimes by his father behind his back, by the notion that outliving friends or a love is just too painful for Youkai and is generally avoided. This has led to many scenes of Kitaro walking lonesomely away from humans he had just helped, or staring longingly at a world he can never really be a part of.
* YouDirtyRat: Nezumi Otoko
%%* {{Youkai}}