Spooky Kitaro 4 (lost Animax Asia English dub of anime series; late 2000s)
An image from a TV bumper for Spooky Kitaro 4, provided by the official Animax Asia YouTube channel.
Spooky Kitaro 4, sometimes simply abbreviated to Spooky Kitaro, is the name of the English dub of the fourth Gegege no Kitaro anime produced by the TV company Animax Asia. Despite airing on a popular network, very little is known about the dub, including the names of most voice actors and those who were involved during production. The entire dub is lost, with only a TV bumper and a few still images having surfaced online.
A synopsis of the anime is provided by Animax Asia’s official website:
"Kitaro is an adorable young boy who has returned from the dead as a "yokai". When he discovers that the human world is in peril from evil beings bent on destroying it, he embarks on a journey to help save the human world. Possessing special powers - needle hairs that act as weapons, antenna hairs for detecting spiritual activities, magic wooden sandals and no fear of death. Kitaro will travel to the human world whenever he receives a letter from a troubled human. Fortunately, Kitaro is not alone on this journey. Standing with him in his battles is his father, a human struck by a strange disease that caused his body to wither away, reducing him to simply an eyeball with a tiny body, as well as his friends and loyal companions, who lend him a helping hand in his adventures. Watch the mystery unfold as Kitaro strives to stop the evil beings from harming the human world."
One notable change is that both Kitaro and his father were once human and were transformed into yokai, which differs from the original source material. It is unknown why this change was made, though it may have been for localization purposes.
The fourth Gegege no Kitaro series finished with 114 episodes, with each running at 25 minutes long. Sources online claim that Animax Asia chose to skip nearly the entire first half of the series, and start dubbing at episode 48. Episodes 58, 101, 102, and 103 were also not dubbed due to unknown reasons. This would leave the series with 52 episodes, which other sources confirm is correct. Images have surfaced of episode 57 with the Animax Asia watermark in the top righthand corner, leaving more credence to this theory.
Cast & Crew
Many of the cast and crew involved with the dub are unknown. Sarah Hauser is credited as the voice of Kitaro, with Michael Pizzuto credited as Kitaro’s father, Medama Oyaji. (Though his name is shortened to simply Oyaji) Voice Actress Emily Woo Zeller has a voice credit for Spooky Kitaro listed on her website, but it is unknown what character she voiced.
The dub premiered on Animax Asia on September 23rd, 2009, and aired from Mondays to Fridays at 7:30pm. Although no clips of the dub have surfaced online, a television bumper was uploaded by the official Animax Asia website on September 8th, 2009, and has been provided below. Rumors of episodes once being circulated online have surfaced, although it’s hard to confirm or deny these claims, as none of these episodes were archived.
As of the time of writing, no episodes have surfaced online, and the dub is considered completely lost.
Spooky Kitaro 5
Spooky Kitaro 5, Animax Asia’s dub of the fifth Gegege no Kitaro anime, has even less information provided online, and thus does not warrant its own article. However, it does deserve being mentioned here. It premiered on November 10th, 2010 in Malaysia and in the Philippines. Much like Spooky Kitaro 4, no clips of the dub have surfaced online. There’s no cast and crew information available, and all that has surfaced are promotional images. It’s unknown how many episodes were dubbed, and if any episodes were omitted from the dubbing process like with Spooky Kitaro 4.
- Animax Asia’s archived website that provides a synopsis for Spooky Kitaro 4. Retrieved 12 Jun '20
- Information on Spooky Kitaro 4 episodes from Anisearch. Retrieved 13 Jun '20
- An anime website confirming that Spooky Kitaro 4 only contained 52 episodes. Retrieved 13 Jun '20
- Information on cast and crew who worked on the dub from the Anime News Network. Retrieved 13 Jun '20
- Website of Voice Actress Emily Woo Zeller Retrieved 13 Jun '20
- A Facebook post by Animax Asia about Spooky Kitaro 4. Retrieved 12 Jun '20
- A tweet from Animax Asia about the premiere of Spooky Kitaro 5. Retrieved 13 Jun '20
- A collection of promotional images for Spooky Kitaro 5. Retrieved 13 Jun '20