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Obake Nighter (おばけナイター) is a GeGeGe no Kitarō story that first appeared as a chapter of the Shonen Magazine run. It has been adapted for the 1968, 1985, and 1996 anime versions of "Gegege no Kitarō".

Characters

Plot

                                                            NOTE: This section focuses on the original manga plot.

A young boy named Donpei finds a baseball bat in the middle of a cemetery. Though he sees a name, Kitarō, written on it, he thinks nothing of it and takes the bat home. He uses it in a baseball game and hits nothing but home runs. When his teammates question him about his sudden skill, he realizes it must be the bat. His team uses the bat to win every game and soon becomes so famous that even major league teams from America are interested in them. One night Kitarō arrives in Donpei's room looking for his bat. Donpei says he'd rather die than give up the bat, so Medama-Oyaji comes up with an idea: Donpei can keep the bat if he and his team can beat Kitarō's Yōkai team in a night game in the cemetery. But if his team loses, they all must go to Hell. The team agrees, confident that the bat will get them through the game. On the night of the game, however, they learn that Kitarō's team possesses a baseball that will always avoid the special bat. When Donpei's team complains that the Yōkai team is cheating, Kitarō agrees to give up the ball if they give up the bat. Donpei's team reluctantly agrees and thee special bat and ball are fed to Hyakume, the game's umpire. The playing field is evened only momentarily though, as even when Donpei's team hits the ball, the gigantic Mammoth-otoko easily catches. Just as everything seems hopeless, the sun comes up and the Yōkai team retreats from the light. Kitarō decides to call it a draw and let's the kids keep their lives, though he'll still be taking the bat.

Remakes

Manga

  • Bokura Picture Book - Yōkai Bat (妖怪バットの巻)
  • Yochien - The Tale of the Obake Baseball Game (おばけやきゅうたいかいのおはなし)
  • Shigeru Mizuki's Obake School Picture Book - Obake Baseball Team (おばけ野球チーム)

Anime

Episode 1 - Obake Nighter (aired January 3, 1968)

One day, a young boy named Donpei finds a baseball bat in a cemetery. It has strange writings on it and makes an eerie sound when it swings, but it hits home runs 100% of the time. He uses it in his little league game and hits nothing but home runs. During the game, a stray ball hits Kitaro on the head, who was napping nearby. As Donpei's team celebrates his magic bat, Kitaro approaches them and asks where they found the bat. The kids claim that Donpei has had it for 10 years and Kitaro decides to leave the matter alone. He later learns that the bat was a special bat Hyakume Boy borrowed from Kiba-gurui, and that Kiba-gurui wants it back. Kitaro and Medama-Oyaji travel to Hell and is confronted by Kiba-gurui and Chibi-san who are concerned that the bat will cause problems in the human world. Kiba-gurui wants to take the bat back by force himself, but Kitaro wishes to handle it. The two fight, with Kitaro quickly subduing Kiba-gurui with his chanchanko, and Chibi-san allows Kitaro to handle things. Meanwhile, the kids have become so famous for home run streaks that even major league teams are interested in them. One night Kitarō arrives in Donpei's room looking for the bat. Donpei calls Kitaro a thief, but Kitaro points out that Donpei is the thief and reveals that the strange writings on the bat read "Yōkai Team". Donpei says he'd rather die than give up the bat, so Kitaro comes up with an idea: Donpei can keep the bat if he and his team can beat Kitarō's Yōkai team in a night game in the cemetery. But if his team loses, they all must go to Hell. The team agrees, confident that the bat will get them through the game. On the night of the game, however, they learn that Kitarō's team possesses a baseball that will always avoid the special bat. When Donpei's team complains that the Yōkai team is cheating, Kitarō agrees to give up the ball if they give up the bat. Donpei's team reluctantly agrees and the special bat and ball are set aside. The playing field is evened only momentarily though, as the Yōkai Team keeps using their powers to keep the edge. Kitaro tries to stall the game so the kids can live, but to no avail. Just as everything seems hopeless, the sun comes up and the Yōkai team retreats from the light. The umpire, Chibi-san, decides to call it a draw and let's the kids keep their lives, though he'll still be taking the bat. The kids thank the Yōkai and run for their lives. Some time later, Donpei's team wins the National little League game on their own. Kitaro watches their victory parade from the graveyard before walking away.

Episode 26 - Obake Nighter (aired April 5, 1986)

Movie 2 - Obake Nighter (released March 8, 1997)

Trivia

  • This is the first episode of the 1968 anime (making it the first episode of the franchise). And also the 26th episode of the 1985 anime.
  • The 1996 version was made as a theatrical film.

Gallery

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