Anpanman (アンパンマン?), written by Takashi Yanase, a Japanese writer of children's stories, is one of the most popular anime cartoon series for young children in Japan. It is produced by Nippon Television and Tokyo Movie Shinsha. Each animated cartoon is approximately 20 to 24 minutes long split into 2 episodes of approximately 10 to 12 minutes each.
Yanase has been writing Anpanman since 1968. The television series called Soreike! Anpanman (それいけ!アンパンマン Go! Anpanman?) has been on the air in Japan since 1988. 1,065 episodes has been created as of January 14, 2011.
As of September 26, 2006, Anpanman's books have collectively sold over 50 million copies in Japan.
In 2005, according to research by Bandai, Anpanman is the most popular fictional character from age 0 to 12 years in Japan. He particularly appeals to the younger end of that age group. Heavily merchandised, the Anpanman characters appear on virtually every imaginable children's product, from clothes to video games to toys to snack foods.
Yanase became inspired by the idea of Anpanman while struggling to survive as a soldier in World War II. Many times he became faced with the prospect of starvation, which made him dream about eating Anpan, a bean-jam filled pastry.
Kōichi Yamadera and Mika Kanai, the voice actors for Cheese and Melonpanna respectively, were married. This is also translated in a way to the cartoon as Cheese spends most of his time in Melonpanna's company in the episodes she's in. Yamadera also does voices for recurring characters in the show, such as Kamameshidon. They divorced in Spring of 2006.
The series spawned a short lived spin-off show after one of the more popular recurring characters on the show, Omusubiman.
In each episode, Anpanman fights with Baikinman and helps the people of the town. He always goes on patrol in the area around the house of Uncle Jam. He is a symbol of justice, fighting for the cause of justice every day. Anpanman has a long history and new characters are frequently introduced, keeping the series fresh. In 2009, Anpanman became the verified Guinness World Record Holder for the highest number of characters in an animated franchise; as of March 27, 1,768 characters have appeared in the first 980 episodes of the TV series and the first 20 Anpanman films.
- Anpanman (アンパンマン Anpanman?)
- Voiced by: Keiko Toda
- The main character of the anime, whose head is a bun made by Uncle Jam. His name comes from the fact that he is a man with a head made of bread (Japanese: pan, a loanword from the Portuguese word meaning "bread") that is filled with Red bean paste (Japanese: an) called an anpan. He doesn't need to eat or drink to sustain himself and has never been seen eating. It is believed the bean jam in his head gives him sustenance. His weakness is water or anything that makes his head dirty. He regains his health and strength when Jam Ojisan bakes him a new head and it is placed on his shoulders. Anpanman's damaged head, with Xs in his eyes, flies off his shoulders once a new baked head lands. He was created when a shooting star landed in Uncle Jam's oven while he was baking. He has two special attacks called: An-punch and An-kick (with stronger variations of both). When Anpanman comes across a starving creature or person, he lets the unfortunate creature or person eat part of his head. He also has super hearing in that he can respond to anyone that calls his name out in distress from anywhere in the world.
- Uncle Jam (ジャムおじさん Jam Ojisan?)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Masuoka
- The father of Anpanman, and a very kind baker. A skilled cook with knowledge of nearly everything in the world.
- Batako-san (バタコさん Batako-san?)
- Voiced by: Rei Sakuma
- Assistant to Uncle Jam. She's dedicated and hard working, but sometimes forgetful. Her Japanese name means "Butter Girl". She makes and mends the capes Anpanman and the other heroes use to fly with.
- Baikinman (ばいきんまん?)
- Voiced by: Ryusei Nakao
- The villain from "Germ World" is the leader of the Viruses. His Japanese name means "Germ Man". His ambition is to destroy Anpanman and turn the planet into another "Germ World", yet he is perfectly content to play tricks, steal, and bully those weaker than him. He and Anpanman were born at the same time, making them physical representations of moral dualism. He has a weakness to soap, which shrinks him to the size of a fly. He constructs machines and thinks of intricate plans to counteract Anpanman's strength. When defeated, his catchphrase is "Bye-baikiiin!"
- Dokin-chan (ドキンちゃん?)
- Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru
- Baikinman's female partner in crime. She is selfish, demanding, childish, and greedy, but sometimes shows kindness. She has a crush on Shokupanman. Her Japanese name is a combination of "Doki", the Japanese onomatopoeia for a quickly beating heart, "baikin" (meaning "germ"), and the diminutive/affectionate suffix "-chan".
- Meanspiders (かびるんるん Kabirunrun?)
- These are Baikinman's little henchmen. They can rot Anpanman's head with mildew/mold (Japanese: kabi).
- Cheese (チーズ Chiizu?)
- Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera
- A dog that lives in bread factory. He became a loyal friend after Anpanman saved his life in the manga. In the anime, a young Anpanman feeds Cheese, who is starving, a part of his head as a part of his very first patrol and became inseparable afterwards. Cheese tends be an effective sidekick when he's around.
- Shokupanman (しょくぱんまん?)
- Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto
- A friend of Anpanman. His head is made from sliced white bread (Japanese: shoku pan). He is handsome and level-headed and kind, but narcissistic. Tends to be the thinker of the trio. His job when not helping Anpanman is serving lunch to the schoolchildren. Dokin-chan has a crush on him. Wields the Shoku-punch and Shoku-kick, which are similar to Anpanman's fighting techniques. He also has a multi-functional delivery van known as the Shokupanman-go with many implements to help avoid trouble.
- Currybreadman (カレーパンマン KoftaCurry?, Currypanman)
- Voiced by: Michiyo Yanagisawa
- Another of Anpanman's friends. His head is made from Curry (curry filled bread in Japanese anime). He is quick tempered and hot-headed on the surface, but gives way to a kind and sentimental interior. Tends to be the strongman of the trio. Wields the Curry-punch and Curry-kick, which are similar to Anpanman's fighting techniques. He can also use the hot curry concealed in his head as a weapon, using it to burn the bad guys' eyes.
- Melonpanna (メロンパンナ Meronpanna?)
- Voiced by: Mika Kanai
- Anpanman's friend. Her head is made from melon bread. She is extremely softhearted, being caring and sensitive, and is sometimes clever. When she's in trouble, she usually needs Anpanman or somebody else to save her, or if there is no one available, she calls out for her sister, Rollinggirl. Sometimes she likes hanging out with Cheese. Her special attack, the Melo-Melo Punch, makes bad guys woozy with affection or awakens others from deep sleep.
- Rollpanna (ロールパンナ Rollpanna?)
- Voiced by: Mina Tominaga
- Melonpanna's older sister who has two hearts: A red one of goodness, and thanks to Baikinman, a blue one of evil. The sight of Anpanman can trigger her evil heart while the sight of Melonpanna can trigger her good one. She started out in the series as a loner at Baikinman's beck and call, but she broke from his power and wanders the world doing good deeds, but stays away from others for fear of what she would do if her black heart is triggered. Her nickname is "The tragic heroine". Uses a gymnastics ribbon as her main weapon. She can use it to wrap up her enemies or cause tornadoes.
- Creampanda (クリームパンダ Creampanda?)
- Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa
- The youngest of Anpanman's friends and the foster brother of Melongirl and Rollinggirl. His head made from a cream bun and his eyes that looks like those of a panda's. Despite his immaturity and relative weakness as compared to Anpanman and his hero friends, he is courageous, protective of his friends, and has a "never say die" attitude. His immature character causes him to sometimes get into petty squabbles and competitions of one-upsmanship with the other younger characters on the show. Because his head resembles a hand, he has a special headbutt attack called the "Guu-Choki-Panchi" (Guu-Choki-Pa means Rock, Scissors, Paper in English). Relatively powerful when it connects, it fails to connect more often than not.
- Horrorman (ホラーマン Horrorman?)
- Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki
- A skeleton who often works with Baikinman and Dokin-chan. Although he seems scary on the outside, he is very weak and often falls to pieces. He is neither a hero or a villian. His special attack is the Bone Boomerang, where he takes off one of his bones and throws it. He is also in love with Dokin-chan and often stalks her. He often says "Hora" in most of his sentences.
There has been a total of 22 Anpanman movies with each movie having the same general plot - A person (usually a princess) comes from a foreign land. Baikinman unlocks some dark secret and controls a weapon or monster able to polymorph people. And with the help of the aforementioned person, Anpanman defeats the said weapon or monster. Sometimes the person dies, but is brought back to life by a tearful song from the characters.
- March 11, 1989: Soreike! Anpanman: Shining Star's Tear (それいけ! アンパンマン キラキラ星の涙 Soreike! Anpanman Kirakira Boshi no Namida?)
- July 14, 1990: Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman's Counterattack (それいけ! アンパンマン ばいきんまんの逆襲 Soreike! Anpanman Baikinman no Gyakushū?)
- July 20, 1991: Soreike! Anpanman: Fly! Fly! Chibigon! (それいけ! アンパンマン とべ! とべ! ちびごん Soreike! Anpanman Tobe! Tobe! Chibigon?)
- March 14, 1992: Soreike! Anpanman: The Secret of Building Block Castle (それいけ! アンパンマン つみき城のひみつ Soreike! Anpanman Tsumiki-jō no Himitsu?)
- July 17, 1993: Soreike! Anpanman: Nosshi the Dinosaur's Big Adventure (それいけ!アンパンマン 恐竜ノッシーの大冒険 Soreike! Anpanman Kyōryū Nosshī no Daibōken?)
- July 16, 1994: Soreike! Anpanman: Lyrical Magical Witch's School (それいけ! アンパンマン リリカル☆マジカルまほうの学校 Soreike! Anpanman Ririkaru Majikaru Mahō no Gakkō?)
- July 29, 1995: Soreike! Anpanman: Let's Defeat the Haunted Ship! (それいけ! アンパンマン ゆうれい船をやっつけろ!! Soreike! Anpanman Yūreifune o Yattsukero!!?)
- July 13, 1996: Soreike! Anpanman: The Flying Picture Book and the Glass Shoes (それいけ! アンパンマン 空とぶ絵本とガラスの靴 Soreike! Anpanman Soratobu Ehon to Garasu no Kutsu?)
- July 28, 1997: Soreike! Anpanman: The Pyramid of the Rainbow (それいけ! アンパンマン 虹のピラミッド Soreike! Anpanman Niji no Piramiddo?)
- July 25, 1998: Soreike! Anpanman: Palm of the Hand to the Sun (それいけ! アンパンマン てのひらを太陽に Soreike! Anpanman Tenohira o Taiyō ni?)
- July 24, 1999: Soreike! Anpanman: When the Flower of Courage Opens (それいけ! アンパンマン 勇気の花がひらくとき Soreike! Anpanman Yūki no Hana ga Hiraku Toki?)
- July 29, 2000: Soreike! Anpanman: Tears of the Mermaid Princess (それいけ! アンパンマン 人魚姫のなみだ Soreike! Anpanman Ningyohime no Namida?)
- July 14, 2001: Soreike! Anpanman: Gomira's Star (それいけ! アンパンマン ゴミラの星 Soreike! Anpanman Gomira no Hoshi?)
- July 13, 2002: Soreike! Anpanman: The Secret of Roll and Roura's Floating Castle (それいけ! アンパンマン ロールとローラ うきぐも城のひみつ Soreike! Anpanman Rōru to Rōra Ukigumo-jō no Himitsu?)
- July 12, 2003: Soreike! Anpanman: Rubii's Wish (それいけ!アンパンマン ルビーの願い Soreike! Anpanman Rubī no Negai?)
- July 17, 2004: Soreike! Anpanman: Nyanii of the Country of Dream Cats (それいけ!アンパンマン 夢猫の国のニャニイ Soreike! Anpanman Yumeneko no Kuni no Nyanii?)
- July 16, 2005: Soreike! Anpanman: Hapii's Big Adventure (それいけ!アンパンマン ハピーの大冒険 Soreike! Anpanman Hapī no Daibōken?)
- July 15, 2006: Soreike! Anpanman: Dori of the Star of Life (それいけ! アンパンマン いのちの星のドーリィ Soreike! Anpanman Inochi no Hoshi no Dōri?)
- July 14, 2007: Soreike! Anpanman: Purun the Bubble King (それいけ!アンパンマン シャボン玉のプルン Soreike! Anpanman Shabon-Ō no Purun?)
- July 12, 2008: Soreike! Anpanman: Fairy Rinrin's Secret (それいけ!アンパンマン 妖精リンリンのひみつ Soreike! Anpanman Yōsei Rinrin no Himitsu?)
- July 4, 2009: Soreike! Anpanman: Dadandan and the Twin Stars (それいけ!アンパンマン だだんだんとふたごの星 Soreike! Anpanman Dadandan to Futago no Hoshi?)
- July 10, 2010: Soreike! Anpanman: Blacknose and the Magical Song (それいけ!アンパンマン ブラックノーズと魔法の歌 Soreike! Anpanman Burakku Nōzu to Mahō no Uta?)
These are short subject Anpanman anime of around 24 minutes that were shown in conjunction with the full length movies above. The shorts made in 1989 and 1993 are the only ones made not involving the world of Anpanman.
- Robotan and Onegai Samia Don (ロボタン おねがい!サミアどん) 1989
- Soreike! Anpanman: Omusubiman (それいけ! アンパンマン おむすびまん) 1990
- Soreike! Anpanman: Dokinchan's Doki Doki Calendar (それいけ! アンパンマン ドキンちゃんのドキドキカレンダー) 1991
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Funny Friends (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとゆかいな仲間たち) 1992
- Kaiketsu Zorori: "The Wizard's Apprentice" and "Find the Great Pirate Treasure" (かいけつゾロリ まほう使いのでし 大かいぞくの宝さがし) 1993
- Soreike! Anpanman: Everyone Get Together! Anpanman World (それいけ! アンパンマン みんな集まれ! アンパンマンワールド) 1994
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman on Hapii's Birthday (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとハッピーおたんじょう日) 1995
- Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman and the San-"Bai" Punch (それいけ! アンパンマン ばいきんまんと3ばいパンチ) 1996
- Soreike! Anpanman: We're Heroes (それいけ! アンパンマン ぼくらはヒーロー) 1997
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Strange Friends (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとおかしな仲間) 1998
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Fun Friends (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとたのしい仲間たち) 1999
- Soreike! Anpanman: Yakisobapanman and Burakkusabotenman (それいけ! アンパンマン やきそばパンマンとブラックサボテンマン) 2000
- Soreike! Anpanman: The Amazing Naganegiman and Yakisobapanman (それいけ! アンパンマン 怪傑ナガネギマンとやきそばパンマン) 2001
- Soreike! Anpanman: Tekkanomakichan and Gold Kamameshidon (それいけ! アンパンマン 鉄火のマキちゃんと金のかまめしどん) 2002
- Soreike! Anpanman: The Amazing Naganegiman and Princess Doremi (それいけ! アンパンマン 怪傑ナガネギマンとドレミ姫) 2003
- Soreike! Anpanman: Tsukiko and Shiratama: Heartracing Dancing (それいけ! アンパンマン つきことしらたま〜ときめきダンシング〜) 2004
- Soreike! Anpanman: Snow Black and Motemote Baikinman (それいけ! アンパンマン くろゆき姫とモテモテばいきんまん) 2005
- Soreike! Anpanman: Kokinchan and the Blue Tears (それいけ! アンパンマン コキンちゃんとあおいなみだ) 2006
- Soreike! Anpanman: Horāman and Horāhorako (それいけ! アンパンマン ホラーマンとホラーホラコ) 2007
- Oeka Kids: Anpanman to Oekaki Shiyou!!
- Oeka Kids: Anpanman no Hiragana Daisuki
- Soreike! Anpanman - Minna de Hiking Game!
- Kids Station: Soreike! Anpanman
- Kids Station: Soreike! Anpanman 2: Anpanman to Daibouken
- Kids Station: Soreike! Anpanman 3
- Kids Station: Oshaberi Oekaki Soreike! Anpanman
Game Boy Color
- Soreike! Anpanman: Fushigi na Nikoniko Album
- Soreike! Anpanman: 5tsu no Tou no Ousama
- Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman no Daisakusen
- Anpanpan to Asobo: Aiueo Kyoushitsu
- Anpanman to Asobo: ABC Kyoushitsu
- Anpanman to Touch de Waku Waku Training
- Anpanman to Asobu: Aiueo Kyoushitsu DX
- Anpanman Niko Niko Party
- Soreike! Anpanman Eigo to Nakayoshi Youchiende ABC
- Soreike! Anpanman Eigo to Nakayoshi 2 Tanoshii Kaanibaru
- Soreike! Anpanman - Anpanman to Kotoba Asobi
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman to Suuji Asobi
- Gakken Anpanman to Chinou Appu!
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman no Chie no Waarudo
- Soreike! Anpanman Hajimete Asobu Pico Soft: Anpanman Noiro-Kazu-Katachi Nuriemo Dekichauzo!
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman no Hitori de Dekichatta!
- Soreike! Anpanman no Gemu de Asobou Anpanman
- Soreike! Anpanman no Ohanashi Daisuki Anpanman
- Soreike! Anpanman no Medarin Pikku Waarudo
- Soreike! Anpanman no Minna de Kyousou Anpanman!
- Soreike! Anpanman no Medarin Pikku Waarudo 2
- Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman to Denwa de Asobou!
- Soreike! Anpanman - Anpanman to Tanoshii Drive!
- Anpanman no Hajimete Mouse Pico with Anpanman to Pasokon renshuu!
- Anpanman Pico Wakuwaku Pan Koujou
Advanced Pico Beena
- Soreike! Anpanman hajimete kaketa yo! Oboeta yo! Hiragana katakana ~gojūon bōdo kinō-tsuki~
- Shoku Iku shirīzu 1 Soreike! Anpanman: sukikirainai ko genki na ko!
- Anpanman no wakuwaku gēmu oekaki
- Anpanman o sagase!
- Soreike! Anpanman kādo de tanoshiku ♪ ABC
- Soreike! Anpanman dokidoki! Resukyū doraibu ~ kānabi-tsuki ~
- Soreike! Anpanman o mise ga ippai! TV de oryōri tsukutchao
- Soreike! Anpanman poppukōn kōji ~you (shodai)
- Soreike! Anpanman: Picnic de Obenkyou
Anpanman in other countries
- In the Arab World, it is known as "ar-ragheef al'ajeeb" (الرغيف العجيب), or wonder loaf.
- In India, it started on Pogo in 2009 and is broadcast as "Anpanman Breadman".
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- ↑ "Anpanman's series of books have exceeded 50 million", September 25, 2006 update. Shinbunka(Japanese language)
- ↑ Bandai Kodomo Enquête Report Vol.118, June 2005 (Japanese language, PDF file)
- ↑ Japan Zone - Entertainment News from Japan
- ↑ "Anpanman Gets Guinness World Record for Most Characters (Updated)". Anime News Network. July 15, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2009.