how cool is this theme song!
“yokai ningen bem” was my favorite animation when i was little. the title “yokai ningen” means monster human (yokai is pronounced “yoh-kai”.)
it was aired between 1968 ~ 1969. i wasn’t born at that time, but i watched re-runs. i really liked this great opening theme and the darkness of the story. especially the part in the theme song saying, “i want to become a human soon! (gasha~~n) ” stuck in my mind. powerful.
the main characters are bem, bera, and bero. they were born out of one cell in the dark and soundless world. they’re not a family. nobody knows where they were born. they are not humans, nor animals. they are monster-humans, who couldn’t become true humans. despite their monstrous appearances, blood of justice is running in their bodies!
they end up finding a big port city at the end of asia. in the city with a long history and culture, humans are foolishly destroying its beautiful nature. they notice a sinister atmosphere, so decide to stay. they fight against monsters that will attack humans.
sometimes, they find out some humans are actually dirtier than monsters. sometimes, they are abused by the humans they have protected just because they are ugly monsters. even then, they don’t cease to fight against monsters in order to protect humans. in their hearts, there’s only one belief: if they continue to do the right thing, someday they’ll be able to become humans….
the darkness really got me. i found it very attractive to live in the shadow and to suffer from unfortunate destinies. it didn’t strike me as just a scary horror animation. the story was really unfortunate and touching.
nowadays japanimation is very popular in north america. that’s nice, but i loathe anime that characters have big shiny eyes and incredibly long legs, like this or this. i i find it really really annoying and disturbingly ugly… it makes me want to scoop my eyeballs out and soak them in bleach for a couple of days.
we live hiding in the dark
we are monster humans
our beast-like bodies that we can’t show to humans
“i want to become human soon!”
blow away our dark destiny
“bem, bera, bero!” (gasha~~n)
by the way, the phrase “i want to become human soon” is “hayaku ningen ni naritai” in japanese. just another useful japanese phrase to remember :)
director: noboru ishiguro
song: honey nights