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Nezumi-Otoko
Tumblr p2s1tyuuwm1tnahllo3 1280
2018 anime art
Name
Japanese ねずみ男
English Ratman
Profile
Species Half-Yōkai
Gender Male
Age Over 300
Height 160cm
Weight 49kg
Abilities Bad breath
Flatulence attack
Slaps
Affiliation Whoever pays him the most
Kitarō Family
Other Information
Likes Money
Food
The occult
Dislikes Good deeds
Neko-Musume
Degree Lazy Studies, Bizarre University, Filth Department
Last Bathed? Long before you were born, kid
Pride Ridiculously high
Pride (when in danger) Nonexistent
First Appearance
Manga The Boarding House (1960)
Anime Series 1 Episode 2 (1968)
Portrayals
see Cast
[v · t · e]

Nezumi-Otoko (ねずみ男, "Rat Man") is a rodent-like half-yōkai and member of the Kitarō Family. He is Kitarō's self-proclaimed best friend and a notorious trickster. Born to a human and a yōkai, he constantly tries to con members of both races, but almost always gets his comeuppance.

Like Medama-Oyaji, he is an original character created by Shigeru Mizuki.

His nickname is BiBiBi no Nezumi-Otoko (ビビビのねずみ男). The phrase BiBiBi derives from the sound effect binta (slap in the face), but in the 5th anime it is implied to come from the sound Nezumi-Otoko makes as his whiskers tremble whenever he comes across a possible money-making scheme.


Nezumi-Otoko

Nezumi-Otoko (by Shigeru Mizuki)

Cast

Appearance

Nezumi-Otoko looks human except he has whiskers and buck teeth. He wears a long brownish cloak which fits him pretty well. He has a small patch of hair on the tip of his head. Underneath his robe he wears a loincloth and his skin is covered with ringworms and scabs.

Early on, his face was a little different and his head was shorter, protruding forward. His bangs stuck out from underneath his hood.

Overview

Nezumi-Otoko is Kitarō's troublesome and loathsome friend. He is the filthiest man in Japan and claims to have never bathed once in his life, although he has actually been seen bathing a number of times. Because of this, his body is covered with ringworms and welts. His breath is quite foul, and it is said he can drop a fly from 10 meters away with one breath. He is a self-proclaimed graduate of the Bizarre University's Filthy Department and a lover of the occult. He boasts of receiving a doctorate in "Lazy Studies," but whether any of this is true is never made clear. He has also claimed that he actually attended the same Yōkai Academy as Kitarō.

Background

While it is assumed he was born of a human and a yōkai, he has been depicted living on an island inhabited only by rats, implying his parents may be a human and a rat.

In GeGeGe no Kitarō: Jigoku Hen, he gets lost between the human world and the spirit world and ends up discovering a "Nezumi-Otoko World". It is revealed that "Nezumi-Otoko" is merely a general term used for his kind in this world, and that his real name is "Peke Peke Nezumi" (根頭見ペケペケ , Nezumi Peke Peke). In the manga he also meets his mother here, though in the anime she turns out to be Nurarihyon's minion Sasori-Onna in disguise. Whether these facts apply to the main story is unknown.

First Appearance

He first appeared in the Hakaba Kitarō rental manga in the story "The Boarding House." Originally depicted as Dracula IV's minion, while searching for a new home for his master he came across the boarding house run by Yasha and the possessed Kitarō. At that same time, he also found an unconscious Medama-Oyaji, cooked him in tempura, and fed him to his master. Since then he has found himself opposing Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji many times, usually quickly giving up after feeling Kitarō's Spirit Lightning.

In the remake Odoro-Odoro vs. Vampire, he disappears long before the end of the story.

Nezumi-Otoko's first meeting with Kitarō and Medama Oyaji has been depicted the 2 following ways:

  • In "An Odd Fellow," right after Medama Oyaji gives Kitarō the chanchanko, Nezumi-Otoko suddenly appears and claims to be a celebrity in the occult world who is always training his knowledge. In the anime version this scene occurs in Episode 2 before they meet at the boarding house. In the manga, Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji believe his claims, while in the anime they don't.
  • In Novel GeGeGe no Kitarō, he first appears in The Birth of Kitarō right after Kitarō leaves home. He steals a fish from Neko-Musume and runs away, establishing that he already knows her and Sunakake-Babaa before meeting Kitarō.

Mizuki on Nezumi-Otoko

In the anime he is a regular character from the beginning, first appearing in Episode 2: Yasha of the 1st series. The despicable Nezumi-Otoko was Shigeru Mizuki's own favorite character, and as such appeared in many of his other non-Kitarō stories. In interviews, Mizuki usually answered questions regarding his favorite character immediately with "Nezumi-Otoko", and also mentioned that he didn't have any other favorites out of the Kitarō Family or his other yōkai characters.

Regarding Nezumi-Otoko's role in the story, Mizuki has said "Kitarō is a fool. Because he is an ally of justice, because he is like Superman [...] he never has thoughts along the lines of money meaning happiness. Because of this, if Nezumi-Otoko doesn't appear, the stories won't unfold steadily."

Originally Mizuki didn't want to write about an ally of justice type hero, at first he wanted Kitarō to have a strong hint of social satire. But at the request of his editors, Mizuki went against his own vision and gradually changed the series into a hero manga with super powers and more yōkai battles. So Mizuki decided to increase Nezumi-Otoko's appearances and have him constantly criticize the other characters as a way to express his own viewpoint. During the Shukan Jitsuwa run, there were also stories that focused entirely on Nezumi-Otoko, with Kitarō and Medama Oyaji only appearing for a couple of scenes or not at all.

Reception

As one of the three main characters, Nezumi-Otoko is featured in several other media and on merchandise. As mentioned above (see Mizuki on Nezumi-Otoko), he was Shigeru Mizuki's favorite character and appears in many of his non-Kitarō stories. Many of these stories were collected in a special manga collection entitled "Nezumi-Otoko no Bouken" (ねずみ男の冒険, The Adventures of Nezumi-Otoko). The official website for the 1968 anime DVD collection includes a list of the "3 Best Nezumi-Otoko Schemes" episodes.

He has 3 statues at Shigeru Mizuki Road, more than any character other than Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji, as well as one outside of Shigeru Mizuki Museum of him, Kitarō, and Mizuki himself sitting at a desk. The Kitarō-themed Yonago Station is nicknamed the Nezumi-Otoko Station and features a train covered in pictures of him (although, other trains at the station feature Kitarō, Neko-Musume, and group pictures as well).

In the opening animation for the 1985 anime, Nezumi-Otoko is depicted as the lead singer of a yōkai band with the other members of the Kitarō Family performing the famous opening theme (however, the song itself is performed by Yoshi Ikuzō rather than Nezumi-Otoko's voice actor Kei Tomiyama). In addition, despite his reduced role in the 2007 anime, he is referenced in The 50 Kaitens' version of the opening theme when the lead singer screams "Oh, here comes Nezumi-Otoko!" right before the instrumental break.

Image Songs

Trivia

  • In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Ratman.
  • In the 2007 anime, he and Neko-Musume were chosen to help Kitaro find the other 47 Yōkai Warriors.
  • Nezumi Otoko narrates Mizuki's Showa historical manga series.
  • Nezumi-Otoko cannot swim.
  • Nezumi-Otoko's favorite book is The Theory of Poverty.
  • According to the 80's anime, Nezumi Otoko is severely tone deaf.
  • Nezumi Otoko has been known to seek medical advice from veterinarians rather then a medical doctor.
  • Nezumi Otoko makes a cameo as a French solider in Mizuki's Hitler manga.

Navigation

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See also
47 Yōkai Warriors
v  d  e
Yōkai Baseball Team