The Three-Eyed One

I created this page on a whim to supplement the lack of Mittsume ga Tooru information in English out there. I hope that by spreading a little of the Sharaku love, more people can come to enjoy this series. :)

Mittsume ga Tooru (the official English translation is The Three-Eyed One, sometimes fan-translated as Here Comes Three-Eyes, and occasionally spelled Mit-sume or Mitsume ga Tooru) is a shounen manga created by Tezuka Osamu, famous for Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy), Black Jack, Jungle Emperor (Kimba the White Lion) and dozens of other influential titles. It was first published in 1974 in Shounen Magazine and ran (initially monthly, then weekly) until 1978. An animated special, Prince in the Devile Island, was created in 1985 and a 48-episode anime ran between autumn 1990 and 1991, debuting two years after Tezuka's death. In Japan, Mittsume remains one of Tezuka's more prominent works, though the series is almost unknown in English-speaking countries.

Mittsume ga Tooru is the story of Sharaku Housuke, a dreamy, childlike junior high schooler with a baby face and limited attention span. He wears an x-shaped bandage on his forehead and has to be constantly kept out of trouble by his friend and classmate, the tomboyish Wato Chiyoko. Sharaku, however, has a secret that not even he is aware of: he is the final descendant of the three-eyed race of super-intelligent magical beings, and under the bandage his third eye is hidden. When the bandage is removed, he is revealed to be a genius, self-absorbed, arrogant sociopath bent on taking over the world. However, when his third eye is covered again, this personality subsides and he becomes slow-witted and immature, with no memory of his other self. For Sharaku's sake and the safety of everyone he interacts with, the third eye must be kept covered at all times...but, of course, it's not. Through accident or design, Sharaku's evil side comes out again and again.

The manga, initially spanning 13 tankoubon and then downsized to 8 thicker volumes in the late 1990s, features prominently the electric relationship between main characters Sharaku and Wato. When his eye is sealed, Wato acts as Sharaku's babysitter, companion and rescuer from bullies and his own naive curiosity. When his eye is unsealed, however, something deeper is revealed between them. The Three-Eyed One (whom Wato in early volumes refers to as 'Mittsume-kun') displays interest in Wato and, on several occasions, tells her he loves her. Wato, in turn, is attracted to Sharaku's darker side, despite her wariness of his real goals for the rest of the human race. Repeatedly, the Three-Eyed One expresses his intent to spare her when he does away with the rest of humanity - his goal is to repopulate society with their offspring.

Sharaku's other aim is to find himself a suitable mother figure. After his Three-Eyed mother brought him to the doorstep of archaeologist Dr. Kenmochi, she is struck by a bolt of lightning and killed. Sharaku is thus raised by Kenmochi from infancy, and his docile side treats Wato like a mother. However, Sharaku's dark side seems to be more interested in Wato as a lover (or at least as his possession, as her refers to her on numerous occasions) and searches for someone else to assume the mother role. In an early chapter he culls potential women from a local club to be possible candidates to take his missing parent's place. He has also invented devices to convert a human into a Three-Eyed for this purpose.

In the meantime, though, Three-Eyed Sharaku often finds himself getting his father, his classmates, Higeoyagi (the owner of the local ramen shop and another surrogate father to him), Wato and her own family out of the messes they find themselves in, against his better interests. His inherant powers include psychokinesis and the ability to build complicated machines out of junk in a matter of moments, and he can call upon an ancient Three-Eyed relic, the Red Condor, for additional power. In order to release his potential he uses the following incantation:

"abutoru damuraru omunisu nomunisu beru es horimaku"

The exact meaning of the phrase is unclear; it is written on the Red Condor's museum display case in the Three-Eyed language in chapter 2, which Sharaku reads aloud, causing the weapon to come to him.

The anime version, created twelve years after the manga's end, is significantly watered down for a younger audience. The sexual tension between Wato and Sharaku is omitted, and Sharaku's personality and actions are made to seem much less malicious. In general, the anime version of Sharaku is much less darker, though also appears much more maniacal in comparison to his ruthless manga self. However, the anime episodes are for the most part linked directly to manga counterparts, and despite changes it was well-recieved, becoming one of the more popular shounen animes of the early 90s.

   

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