告白 ~ 46-50%
ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 58 pages
Today I read two stories from ゲゲゲの鬼太郎, both from start to finish! I know, not that impressive, but I tended to always stop halfway for the day for one reason or another, so that’s a welcome change. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been a few days since I last read 鬼太郎, but I really liked both of them, and didn’t feel they were childish at all.
The plot of the two stories, in case you're interested (spoilers of course)
In the first story, a huge monster (looking like something between a crab and a tick, with a demon head) emerges from the sea and terrorizes a quiet fishing village. The firemen try to capture it and the local policeman tries to shoot it to no avail. Kitaro, who happens to be there, strangles it with his magic hair. The monster transforms to a local fisherman who had disappeared and dies. Just then, Kotaro himself starts transforming into the monster. The villagers flee to the local 神社 and pray for days on end, until a foreign Hindu god appears. He has dealt with the monster before. He instructs it to crawl to the local volcano, and it tumbles into the crater. A mysterious gas rises, and the God captures it in a bag, while a disheveled Kitaro climbs out of the volcano. The monster was actually a parasitic gas that would enter a host’s body and transform it into the monster form. When the body died, the gas would enter the body of whoever was closest. The God instructed the villagers to dig a whole, buried the bag with the gas, and built a mound on top, as a signal for people to never tamper with it.
In the second story, an island’s inhabitants are preparing a girl for the annual sacrifice to the 髪様 (yes, that’s the kanji for hair, not god). The girl confides to her crow friend, who flies to Kotaro to seek help. He gets Nezumi Otoko instead, and he frees the girl hoping for a monetary reward. The 髪様 is not pleased however, nor his hairy eyeball servant. Trapping Nezumi Otoko into a magic mirror, he then asks the villagers for either the girl who escaped or a hundred people. The girl is nowhere to be found, and the villagers don’t know what to do. When the 髪様’s request isn’t fulfilled by the deadline he had set, everyone in the village gets a severe headache, then their hair spontaneously leaves their heads, and they’re suddenly all bald. Two of them try to leave the island to ask for help, but the (live) hair balls capsize their boat. They are captive to the hair monsters. The one who -ironically- manages to ask for help is the girl who was about to be sacrificed - she was carried to Kitaro’s by her friend crow and his pals. She also calls the Defense forces and they go together with Kitaro by helicopter. There is an epic fight between the (now bald) soldiers and the hair monster (all the hairs combined into one huge aggressive tangle of hair), and of course the soldiers are losing. Meanwhile, Kitaro’s hair leaves his head too, but then returns, and now Kitaro knows what to do. He finds the magic mirror and breaks it, freeing Nezumi Otoko. Then he goes to the village where the soldiers are celebrating their victory, and brings them the now powerless 髪様. He took his powers from the magic mirror, and is now just a harmless, live bundle of hair (that had been hiding, appropriately, under floorboards). With everything resolved, the crows bring the girl back to the now peaceful island.
Monsters, gods and fights
無神論者 - atheist (not a word I expected to learn from a yokai manga for kids!)
噴火口 - volcanic crater
寄生 - parasitism
生贄 - sacrifice (to the gods), scapegoat
山分け - equal division of profits
禿げ頭 - bald head
半鐘 - fire alarm (“half bell”?)
This kanji was used throughout the story instead of 船. Here the furigana make it obvious what it is, but elsewhere it was せん and it was driving me crazy, I couldn’t find it in the dictionary.
I also reached the halfway mark in 告白! I really wanted to keep reading, but had to stop myself - there are other things to do too, even though they’re not as fun.