Maybe you’re familiar with the popular video game and anime franchise Yokai Watch. It’s a series that combines the addictive qualities of Pokemon with the traditional ghostly lore of Japanese yokai monster stories.
But maybe you didn’t realize the “real OG,” if you will, when it comes to cutesy renditions of traditional Japanese ghosts is the manga and anime franchise GeGeGe no Kitaro. Going strong since the 1960s, Kitaro is a beloved series in Japan that tells the tale of a ghostly boy fighting for peace between humans and ghouls, like a Japanese ghost-flavored X-Men.
The series is especially cherished in the author’s hometown in Tottori, but Kitaro mania extends as far as Tokyo proper, where a Kitaro-themed cafe exists. Of course, our ghost-obsessed Japanese writer felt compelled to make a pilgrimage recently.