It’s pretty obvious that Halloween is upon us. The signs are all pointing to the 31st. Haunted Houses are opening up across the country, the stores are stocking their candy aisles and Universal Studios is getting ready for their annual tradition of Halloween Horror Nights. Well they are not the only ones, because our friends in Japan have something special planned as well.
Universal Studios Japan is creating a haunted attraction of its own that will take a dive into the world of anime. And guess what is behind it ? None other than Gegege no Kitaro, one of the most beloved franchises in the East that follows a spooky story of it’s own.
Gegege no Kitarô first started off in 1960 by mangaka Shigeru Mizuki. It focuses on a young man dealing with a number of specters or ghosts while trying to come to an understanding of the history of his clan appropriately named the Ghost Tribe. If you need a little history or a brief synopsis of the story, here you go.
“Meet Kitaro. He’s just like any other boy, except for a few small differences: he only has one eye, his hair is an antenna that senses paranormal activity, his geta sandals are jet-powered, and he can blend into his surroundings like a chameleon. Oh, and he’s a yokai (spirit monster)! With all the offbeat humor of an Addams Family story, Kitaro is a lighthearted romp in which the bad guys always get what’s coming to them.”
This started a line of anime series, movies, and live-action feature-length films. So needless to say this horror-comedy certainly makes for a worthy addition to Universal Studios Japan and the Halloween season.
This isn’t the first anime addition to the theme park, Universal Studios in the East has had various takes on the world of anime at its park including some of the most famous ones like, Attack On Titan, Sailor Moon, One Piece, Detective Conan, Neon Genesis Evangelion and more. Even though the last time we saw this anime series was in 2020, I find it hard to believe that this is the last time that we’ll see Kitaro in action.
Now we know that over in the United States, Universal always goes big with Halloween. In the past we have seen several haunted attractions based on some of the biggest scary movie properties around, including the likes of Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Haunting on Hill House, and The Exorcist to name a few. And with every year something new is added or changed. Can Japan top this? They certainly are no strangers to the horror genre.
What are some anime properties you would like to see turned into a new Halloween tradition? Better yet what about bringing some of these anime concepts to the states for some real universal horror nights? ( see what I did there) Hopefully this attraction grows and we can get some footage or pictures of this very unique attraction. I for one love seeing how Halloween is celebrated around the world, when and if it is.