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|Full Name|| Sunakake-Babaa (Japanese)|
The Sand Witch (English)
- TV Drama
- Video Games
- Live-action Movies
The original Sunakake-Babaa is an invisible sand-throwing spirit from the folklore of the Nara Prefecture.
Sunakake-Babaa resembles and old woman with large eyes and wearing a kimono. She has long hair with a single long lock of her bangs between her eyes. She appears to have specks of sand all over her face and eyes. According to Amabie, who once got up in her face, her skin feels rough.
Sunakake-Babaa first appeared in a cameo in the rental manga story A Walk to Hell and made her official debut in the Shonen Magazine story The Great Yōkai War. Her first appearance in the 1st anime was in Ep. 7, though her appearance is quite different. In both the manga and anime version of The Great Yōkai War, she dies during the battle with the Western yōkai. In the manga version her cause of death is unknown, but her corpse is seen after she was lead to the enemy lair by the Witch. In the anime version she is killed by the Dracula. She later reappears without any explanation as to how she was revived (Ep. 24) and became a recurring character.
Sunakake-Babaa is one of Kitarō's main allies and also acts as a guardian to him alongside Medama-Oyaji. By the 3rd anime she is said to be 2800 years old, though in Ep. 107 her age is given as 1200. She claims to have gone along on Empress Jingu's invasion of Korea in the 3rd century. The live action films also establish her as several centuries old.
Her fighting tactics include throwing sand, often mixed with special ingredients to give it certain effects. She also possesses a powerful slap. She is also quite skilled at potions, medicine and soothsaying. In the story Kamanari, she has the ability to recieve telepathic messages from Medama-Oyaji by extending her hair like an antenna.
Although she can be grouchy and quick-tempered, at heart she is a kind soul who is revered by the younger yōkai. Her sense of justice is strong and she will act without regard for her own safety to save others. Although a yōkai on the side of justice, she is not very fond of humans and will often speak ill of them. There are several episodes where she harshly describes humans as greedy and dangerous, such as Akuma Bael (2nd anime, Ep. 33) and The Yōkai Yokochō Cruise to Hell (5th anime, Ep. 34). However, she has been shown to act kindly to human children, such as in Kitarō's World Obake Tour and the live-action films.
She is usually hard at work studying black magic and potions while also managing the Yōkai Apartment. Several yōkai live in the apartment, such as Konaki-Jijii, and during the Shonen Sunday run most of the main cast lives there, including Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji. She also allows yōkai who have lost their homes to stay at the apartment. Because she is very tight with money, she can be merciless when it comes to collecting rent. The rent is not cheap, but she is willing to work out deals in exchange for rent, such as 5 years worth of Iriomote star sand from Kawauso or any umbrellas she likes from Kasa-Bake's collection for 3 years. Yobuko is allowed to work off his rent by doing odd jobs for her. She is also lenient toward yōkai who are working but make little income. In the 5th anime, she instead runs an apartment on Yōkai Yokochō.
Becuse she has lived since ancient times, she gets along best with elderly yōkai such as Medama-Oyaji and Konaki-Jijii. She is particularly close to Konaki-Jijii and they are often seen together, leading to fan speculation that they are a couple or maybe even married. During the real world yōkai pop culture boom (started by the Kitarō series itself), she and Konaki-Jijii spent some time performing as a comedy duo on TV. In the 5th anime, she acts as a sub-leader to the main cast beneath Medama-Oyaji. In the 4th anime, she possesses an old-fashioned type of yōkai pride, declaring in Ep. 62 that "if yōkai were ever to drive cars, the world would end".
Sunakake-Babaa has at least 2 distant relatives, the Central Asian sand yōkai Ekiseru (Kitarō's World Obake Tour) and the German Sandman (The Newest GeGeGe no Kitarō), though both of them appeared as antagonists against Kitarō. She did not appear during Sandman's story.
- Tornado summoning
- Yōkai Energy Seal
- Fire Proof Sand
- Sand Seal
- Sand Drum
- Sand Barrier
- Yōkai Ball
- Detox Smoke
- Yōkai Glue
- Yōkai Extract
- Yōkai Life Potion
- Youth Massage
Other Techniques and Tools
- Yōkai Glue
- Yōkai Gum
- Sealing Jars
- Yōkai Magnifying Glass
- Obaba Parachute
- Yōkai Energy
Her face changed every time she appeared, alternating between 4 different designs. It appears she may not have had an official design, as her clothes and the size of her eyes often changed as well. Her design used in the 2nd anime was first used in Ep. 29. She only appeared 13 times, but aspects of her character, like her medical and soothsaying skills, were established here.
Her more familiar personality is established here, as well as her running the Yōkai Apartment. Her appearances have greatly increased to the point she is practically a regular character. Her eyes are reddish-brown with white irises and black pupils. Her hair is white, her skin is tan and her kimono is lavender.
She begins regularly using non-sand techniques such as yōkai medicine and soothsaying. Her role as a surrogate mother to Kitarō is emphasized here. In Ep. 107, she tells Konaki-Jijii that she has never cared about romance, not even when she was younger. Her eyes are white with black pupils, the most human they've ever appeared (not counting some her 60s designs). From here on, her kimono belt has a checkered design on it. Her kimono is lavender and her belt is pink and purple. Her hair is white and her skin is peach.
Her backstory is changed to that she was once human but turned into a yōkai at human. As a young human woman she had a romance with a fisherman, and there are a number of times where enemies try to sway her by promising to reunite her with him or restore her youth. In Ep. 21, her young form is shown in silhouette. According to Medama-Oyaji (Ep. 27), she is over 500 years old. She is much more motherly than normal, regularly cooking for the Yōkai Apartment inhabitants. When she tries to testify on Kitarō's behalf in The Great Yōkai Trial, Yagyō-san declares that she is "like a mother to Kitarō" and therefore cannot serve as a witness. In the final episode, she makes a doll for Kitarō modeled after his mother. She also has more comedic moments, such as disguising as a school girl with heavy make-up or posing as a geisha (alongside Nezumi-Otoko). She and Konaki-Jijii work well together in dire situations and are rarely seen in apart in such scenes.
Her appearance is mostly different from other adaptations. Her eyes are white with purple irises, her hair is gray and her skin is pink. Her kimono is white and her belt is magenta and black.
She once again runs an apartment building, located on Yōkai Yokochō under the name Yōkai Tenement House. The building is falling apart and she wishes to renovate, but because her tenants are usually behind on rent she is always far from achieving this goal. Because Neko-Musume is the one who dotes on Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji this time around, Sunakake-Babaa is able to devote herself entirely to her other duties. She is still shown to tend to Kitarō, however, and seemed to watch over him when he was younger. Though grouchy she can be seen as a "mother hen" type, with Kawauso even remarking "she's a nag but we'd be lost without her, she's like our mother". Even the more troublesome and selfish Amabie receives both strictness and affection from her, and Amabie in turn affectionatley refers to her as "Granny". She collects sand from various locations for mixing together and selling, and she will often allow her tenants to help her collect sand in lieu of rent. She also mixes the sands together to create medicine, though her role as a witch doctor is given to Ido-Sennin and Yagyō-san this time. She has an interest in South Asian cultures and wishes to one day visit the Yōkai Polynesian Center. Because Kitarō tends to solve problems either alone or with only one ally this time around, Sunakake-Babaa sees less action than in previous adaptations. She is, however, chosen as the Nara Prefecture representative of the 47 Yōkai Warriors.
Her appearance is closer to her 2nd anime appearance. She has red eyes with yellow irises, pale tan skin and a light lavender kimono. Her hair is a gray, her belt is red and black, and she has purple socks, the first time her socks were a color other than white.
Her appearance is mostly similar to her 5th anime appearance. She has red eyes with blue irises, pink skin and gray hair. Her kimono is lavender and her belt is yellow and magenta.
- Her favorite foods are bat liver, bamboo leaves and bamboo shoots.
- In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, she is referred to as The Sand Witch.
- In the 2007 anime version, she is the 2nd of the chosen 47 Yōkai Warriors of Japan. She's the representative of the Nara Prefecture. And her mark is located on her left hand.