PaRappa the Rapper (パラッパラッパ PaRappa Rappa?) is a 2001 Japanese anime series aimed towards children in Japan that consists of 30 episodes. It features the rapping dog PaRappa and his friends in different adventures. Unlike the game, there's very little rap incorporated into the series' soundtrack (whereas the game was focused only on rapping).
Rodney Greenblat, the original creator of PaRappa the Rapper, only designed the characters of Matt Major and Paula Fox for the show. He had nothing to do with the plot, as he had found out that it was a kids-oriented show meant to sell PaRappa merchandise. Originally, he, along with the company, were to make a teenage/young adults-oriented show (which featured Lammy, Ma-San, along with a few other characters) meant for the target audience, which was teenagers, at the time.
The storyline seems to be set after either of the two PaRappa the Rapper games and UmJammer Lammy took place because MilkCan is never seen in the series. It could just be a different universe, though. Katy also never speaks of Milkcan (although she is shown with a bass in the opening), and Parappa's father's car looks the same before Parappa accidentally crashes it (this can be seen in Episode 1). The characters go to school and (as far as Parappa is involved) have a house which is easily found overhead in Parappa Town. Although his house can be seen, the various locations that were in the video game are no longer around (seemingly as if they never existed). The anime also doesn't explain how Chop Chop Master Onion lost his dojo (the reason is revealed in a cutscene in UmJammer Lammy), or why Lammy, Ma-San, and Joe-Chin have not appeared. However, characters from the sequels such as Chief Puddle and Hairdresser Octopus do make their appearances.
On another note, Parappa and Sunny's relationship seems to be very close, and as the episodes go by seems to get closer, climaxing at episode 28 out of 30 where it becomes almost blatant that they are more than just friends. The anime seems to be about how he bonds with Sunny instead of actually trying to win her heart all the time, until the latter episodes at least. They seem to be just very good friends at first. Although things shift at times in episodes(especially the latter episodes towards the final 3), for example episode 28, The Heart Does Not Pass!, blatant signs of a greater intimate relationship can be seen. It is blatantly apparent by the end of the anime's reign that Sunny and PaRappa were more than just friends in the end.
P.J. is the DJ at Club Fun. In episode 4, Parappa is surprised to know this and he may have asked P.J. to be his DJ. This could possibly be how they started off before the game took place.
Katy is into poems rather than singing. She has as much as a stronger role in the series as Parappa and Sunny only seems to be around whenever Katy is. There is little to no mention of anything about the other characters of the game, however Parappa's father is seen more often.
The first season of the anime, seems to be made up of 15 episodes and the rest of the 15 episodes are the second, during the second season, the story changes, but not by much, this meaning the Opening, Ending, Character Roster and Background development
The series uses 4 pieces of theme music. The 1st opening theme is called "「LOVE TOGETHER パラッパラッパー～MIX～」(Love Together ~PaRappa Rappa MIX~)", and is sung by Nona Reeves. It carries a late 70s funk-pop groove. Aspects of the game are incorporated into the intro as it shows Parappa and his friends in a 2-dimensional paper format. It is used for the first 15 episodes. The second opening theme is called "Attitude" and is sung by Crystal Kay. The theme is very much different than the first intro. It goes with a modern type j-pop theme, and the characters appeal more 3-dimensional. Interesting to note is that characters from the PaRappa games, many of which aren't seen in the series itself, appear in this opening. It is used for episodes 16-30.
The first ending song is called "SCHOOL GIRL" and is sung by BENNIE K. It is used for the first 15 episodes. The 2nd ending song is called "Ieroo Baruun 「イエローバルーン」(Yellow Balloon)" and is sung by Chara. It is used for episodes 16-30.
- On December 2. 2001 an Original Soundtrack of this anime (PaRappa Rappa Stage Volume 1) was made for Japanese retail only, many songs of this soundtrack are original score, remixed versions from the game or game songs directly taken from the game, this CD also has a second disk which is sold separately. Furthermore, the Song Love Together is a Remix from the Original Version, Nona Reeves was also in this song but the original version had a much more remixed style of its own with a much more hip hop beat to it.
Various new characters enter during the course of the anime; they made an appearance in all of the show's episodes, although they aren't in any of the games.
- Parappa Rappa (the main hero)
- Sunny Funny (the girl that Parappa is in love with, that eventually during the later episodes returns that love and becomes his girlfriend)
- Katy Kat (friend of Parappa)
- P.J. Berri (Parappa's close friend and possibly sidekick, he is also a D.J. who works at Club Fun)
- Matt Major (P.J. Berri and Parappa's closest friend, P.J. and Matt are the first to meet in Club Fun, but this isn't seen and also he's a country singer)
- Paula Fox (at first, she was Katy's rival,now Katy and Sunny's best friend)
- Chop Chop Master Onion (a karate master who is a good friend of PaRappa)
- Gaster (the antagonist of the series)
- Groover (Gaster's sidekick)
- Dorothy (an old lady who was once a dancer)
- Lloyd (a simple extra character)
- Vicky Bahan (a Friend of Matt's who's a singer, he is half African-English and half Japanese.)
The Rappa Family
- Papa Parappa Rappa (he has a stronger appearance in this series)
- Pinto Rappa (Parappa's little sister)
- Boxy Boy (created by Parappa's father to help Parappa when he is in trouble)
- Uee (a strange figure that lives in Pinto's lunch box; it can do things like hold extra items for Pinto, and assist her in many ways like waking Parappa; Uee is something of a secret that for some reason Pinto won't tell anyone about)
The Major Family
- Marge Major-Carrey (Matt's older and only sister who used to be a singer)
- Mac Major (Matt's older brother who is a pro tennis player)
- Mark Major (Matt's younger brother who is the same age as Parappa and likes to sing)
- Max Major (Matt's younger brother who is the same age as Pinto and too shy to do anything yet)
- Edward Carrey (Marge's husband who is a journalist)
- Mairè Rox-Major (Mac's wife who is also a pro tennis player)
- Casey Major (Matt's niece and Mac & Mairè's baby daughter)
- 1. "The Initial P!! (イニシャルはP/Inisharu Wa P)"
In the first episode, Parappa attempts to reconcile two different promises he made to two different friends. First, he told his buddy P.J. and P.J.'s friend Matt that he'd play basketball with them on this particular day, but also told Katy and Sunny that he'd go with them to Sister Gon's garage sale. Things get worse when Paula shows up and angers Katy by questioning her fashion sense. Gaster also further ruins Parappa's day by stealing his bike and the money from Sister Gon's garage sale.
- 2. "The Theater Stage is Broken (劇場がこわされる)"
Dorothy, who happens to be Katy's friend, wants to become a dancer once again; however, she feels that she cannot because she is old. Katy and her friends find out that the theater is about to be taken down, so Parappa and his friends fix everything up for Dorothy to have one last dance on stage.
- 3. "A Tiring Class Change... (疲れる授業だな…)"
A new teacher has appeared and has just started a new class, but he's shy and doesn't want to teach. Matt figures out a way to help by seeking the help of Boxy Boy. Matt, P.J., and Parappa start to cure their teacher of his fright—but instead, he turns crazy and goes after Parappa and his friends.
- 4. "So This is Love? (それって恋のため息?/Sorette koi no tameni?)"
Paula goes to a club only to find a mysterious DJ, whom she falls in love with. Soon after, she starts to dream more and more about him, and eventually learns that the DJ is P.J. At first she won't admit to liking him, but then tries to set up a date with him to see if she truly loves him.
- 5. "Being Completely Nude Everywhere (ほとんど裸だね)"
Parappa and his friends decide to go on a nice picnic together; that is, until they find a pendant which causes them to move through time, getting them into all sorts of trouble. They meet and befriend a goblin and help him find the love of the girl he loves, who looks an awful lot like Sunny.
- 6. "Let's go for the dishes!(何皿でもいけるよね)
Parappa and friends visit a sushi shop, unknowing that is really a cover-up by Gaster and Groover to steal the next door bank's money. Through some unfortunate consequences, the money ends up getting blown up. Now Parappa and company have to do all they can to keep all the bank's customers calm whilst a new shipment on money comes in.
- 7. "Bourgeoisie (ブルジョアだねぇ/Burujyoa danee)"
Parappa and the gang try to help Chief Puddle win the heart of the girl of his dreams. But when her father forbids them from being together, she runs away, and gets trapped in a wildfire at the park. While Puddle attempts to save her, PaRappa and co. attempt to put out the fire.
- 8. "Anyone Found (誰にも見つかるな)"
Parappa, PJ, and Matt are secretly building a rocket ship and plan on going to outer space until Sunny finds out and tells Katy and Paula.
- 9. "It's Too Early to Give Up! (諦めるのは早いって!)"
The annual PaRappa Town dance is coming up, and PaRappa is determined to ask if Sunny will go to it with him, but his attempts to ask her out don't go as planned. To make things worse, at the Dance, Gaster and Gruber secretly rob everyone blind, and fail.
- 10. "Fragrant of the Banana (バナナの匂いがする)"
Parappa's favorite Baseball player, Schimdt, comes to town. But before he can even ask for an autograph, Schimdt is kidnapped by Gaster and Gruber. Parappa, PJ, and Matt attempt a rescue mission.
- 11. "That Was Considerably Heavy (かなりヘビーだったね/Kanari hebii dattane)"
- 12. "Is it Scary? (もしかして怖いの?/Moshikashite kowaii no?)"
When a gaggle of ghosts drag Sunny to an old, spooky mansion, Parappa and friends must face their fears and rescue her.
- 13. "ACHO! ACHO! (アチョ!アチョ～!/Accho! Accho!)"
PaRappa and friends scramble to clean up the Fruits Dojo when Chop Chop Master Onion returns to town after a long training journey. However, when he gets back, the dojo falls down, so Chop Chop forces his students to clean up the dojo and to do an impromptu karate lesson, which showed that he was around the world to learn specific techniques. After much pestering from Paula, Chop Chop shows her to do "the Kilimangyro Chop". As she runs home, her friends follow her and find out that she learned it to she could slice oranges to make marmalade.
- 14. "For Whom Do You Vote? (ねぇ誰に投票する?)"
School elections are coming up, and both Paula and Matt are on the ballot
- 15. "It's my fault... (ボクのせいだ…/Boku no seida...)"
Gaster and Gruber steal Boxy Boy in hopes of using it to their advantage. But Parappa gets everyone in Parappa town to chase down the duo and get Boxy boy back.
- 16. "We Must Show Attribute (ボクが稼いでみせる)"
When Parappa accidentally wrecks a nearby shop, he needs to find a way to earn $300 to pay for the repairs. Luckily, PJ, Sunny, Katy, Paula, and Matt decide to help him out.
- 17. "The Center of Attention (注目の的なのよ)"
Katy wants to show off her new wedding dress designs, but no one aside from her friends seem to notice, until Gaster and Gruber show up with a deep sea plot. When they kidnap Katy, Parappa and the gang are lead on a high-speed water chase.
- 18. "SaltSalt (シオシオだ/ SHIO SHIO DA)"
After saving a flower from a bust street, and replanting it in the park, Sunny learns of another one of Gaster and Gruber's plot. In the midst of this incident, a weird pollen is spreading across town, and every flower in town is starting to droop.
- 19. "At Full Speed! PJ! (ぶっとばしてよPJ!/Buttobashite yo PJ!)"
While the gang tries to make the best of things when a hurricane hits Parappa Town , PJ prepares for a DJ contest. Meanwhile, Gaster and Gruber plot to trap the entire town inside Club Fun.
- 20. "I'm Spectacular! (いいねスペクタクル～!/Iine supekutakuru~)
- 21. "PaRappa Town Hero! (警官ジョナサンにお任せを!) "
Parappa and co. help Jonas, a police dog, look for his Chief's missing cat Juila, who Gaster has found and is determined to make his pet.
- 22. "Ah, we saw a dinosaur here! (あ、恐竜がこっち見た)
A sports day is being held at the school, and one of the competitors prooves to be quite intimidating. While in a close race, Parappa gets help from his little sister's pet.
- 23. "Fleaswallow's Dilemma (サーファーな風情)"
Prince Fleaswallow says he is waiting for Catherine, so PaRappa and friends go look for her, but it seems they have no luck doing so. Meanwhile, Fleaswallow teaches PaRappa how to surf
- 24. "Now! Where's out director? (ナウ!監督達どこか?)
Chop Chop Master Onion thinks he's going to become a movie star, but it's another one of Gaster's evil plans, which PaRappa quickly discovers and foils. However, to keep their sensei's dream alive, PaRappa and the gang try to make a movie themselves.
- 25. "Did you say you didn't sleep!?(眠れないだってぇ?!/Nemurenai dattee?)
After catching a cold from Gaster, PJ can't sleep, which has an adverse effect on him. What's worse, he starts to grow larger every time he eats. After being sucked into PJ's little world (via his nose), PaRappa and co. try to expunge the Gaster Virus and save their friend.
- 26. "Muscle Pain Tomorrow!(明日はきっと筋肉痛)
- 27. "Today does also have a nice flavour (今日もナイスフレーバー/Kyo mo naisu fureebaa)
Impressed by Hairdresser Octopus's new car, Parappa decides to try it out for himself, resulting in getting chased all the way to the clouds.
- 28. "A heart is the pass(ハートは渡さない!)
Parappa and Sunny finally have their chance to be together at a Christmas party. But when Sunny's heart becomes stolen by a jealous witch, Parappa tries to get it back with help from his friends, Santa Claus, and (reluctantly) Gaster and Gruber.
- 29. "It's PJ and his friends (PJとは友達なんです/PJ to wa tomodachi nandesu!)"
- 30. "Parappa, give the hat back! (パラッパ帽をくれ!)"
After caring for a couple of birds, Parappa finds that his hat was used as their nest, and that it has four bird eggs inside it the next day. After the eggs hatch, Parappa and the gang must find someone to care for the baby birds. In the meantime, Parappa's hat becomes a fashion statement across town.