Synonyms: Soreike! Anpanman, Go! Anpanman, Anpanman TV
Status: Currently Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 1988 to ?
24 min. per episode
G - All Ages
L represents licensing company
Score: 6.671 (scored by 215 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisOne night, a Star of Life falls down the chimney of a bakery nestled deep in the forest, causing the dough in the oven to come to life. The dough becomes Anpanman, a superhero made of anpan (a sweet roll with bean jam filling). Together with his friends, Anpanman fights his rival Baikinman and helps the malnourished.
Related AnimeSide story: Sore Ike! Anpanman: Black Nose to Mahou no Uta, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Niji no Pyramid, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Ningyo Hime no Namida, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Kyouryuu Nosshii no Daibouken, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Tobe! Tobe! Chibigon, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Yuurei Sen wo Yattsukero!!, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Tsumiki Shiro no Himitsu, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Sora Tobu Ehon to Glass no Kutsu, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Baikinman no Gyakushuu, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Sukue! Kokorin to Kiseki no Hoshi, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Utatte Teasobi! Anpanman to Mori no Takara, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Ruby no Negai, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Yomigaere Bananajima, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Anpanman to Christmas no Hoshi, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Franken-Robo-kun's Surprised Christmas, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Sing! Dance! Everybody's Christmas, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Dadandan to Futago no Hoshi, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Happy no Daibouken, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Roll to Laura - Ukigumojou no Himitsu, Minna de Teasobi: Anpanman to Itazura Obake, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Tobase! Kibou no Handkerchief, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Inochi no Hoshi no Dolly, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Omusubiman, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Tekka no Maki-chan to Kin no Kamameshidon, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Minami no Umi wo Sukue!, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Shabondama no Purun, Sore Ike! Anpanman: Tenohira wo Taiyou ni, Yakisobapanman to Black Sabotenman
Other: Anpanman to Hajime yo! Iro, Kazu, Katachi Wakarukana Iro, Katachi
Characters & Voice Actors
Anpanman is a staple name among Japanese pre-schoolers, an all-time classic that has now celebrated 25 years in airing. And just yesterday, its creator, Takashi Yanase, passed away, aged 94. And yet there isn't a single review on this site. It would be understandable that no one thought it necessary to review what is clearly a children's (make that very young children's) programme in a site like this. But, seeing the significance of the occasion, I thought it would be fitting that someone review it.
Now, it is important to understand that reviewing a children-oriented programme is an entirely different task altogether. Their expectations, and the kind of things that they derive enjoyment from, are so far-removed from what we as relatively grown-ups (or for that matter, compared to even the preadolescents who may frequent this site) are naturally attentive to. In other words, it is easy to get so many things wrong while trying to design a programme for children. Try and come up with a self-congratulatingly clever story, only to find that many kids don't care for your love's labours. Try to present instead a sappy and patronising setting, and kids instinctively reject it. And yet, the late Takashi Yanase found just the right chord, just the kind of themes and motifs that children truly respond to, and played that chord for 25 years in ever-new ways, and along the way setting the Guinness World Record for most number of new characters ever introduced in an ongoing children's animated series.
I'm probably starting to sound rather hagiographic here (though I think that was a rather important point to be made there), so let me get to some specifics. Now, some parameters we're all familiar with, and yet others we need to consider from the kids' standpoint. But just so it isn't trying on your patience, let me start with the familiar ones:
Firstly, the artwork.There is something about the simplicity of the design that seems to strike the right note even today. Notice especially those snow-capped peaks in the distance: just notice the fresh, crisp feel it lends to the whole environment - someone's been doing something very, very right there. Remember, this style has been carried over from 1988, when it was fresh and new. And yet, even today in the world of CGI and what have you, there is an undeniably fresh feel about it. Just take a look for yourself if you don't believe me.
The characterisations are pretty simple and well-defined. In the context of a show like this, it means that they are reliable in that warmly familiar manner. And of course, should things ever get boring, there's a new guest star for the day, bringing with them a whole new kind of adventure for our perishable consumable hero and his team. Now this is where the knack for knowing the very-young sensibilities comes in. A characterisation that could seem rather dull and unimaginative to us often has a "hidden" appeal to the young mind, a certain something that most of us can't quite perceive. And conversely, something we might think is awfully clever might prove to be rather dull and uninteresting for the kid. Now this I'm bringing up again in the context of inventing new characters and adventures, and the sheer quantities in which they seem to be "churned out" for this particular series. To the adult, many of these may seem rather formulaic and unoriginal, but there seems to be another "secret ingredient" as it were, one that seems to pass most of our notices, that seems to consistently strike the right chord with the youngest of the viewers. Also keep in mind that, to the five-year-old, everything around him or her is fresh and new.
Now regarding the voice characterisations, I can't much comment on the Japanese version, but the English dub did stay with me for one reason: it seems to have been dabbled with a little, there definitely seem to have been some liberties taken - for one, there's the wise-cracking narrator. His very presence is highly suspect, something that may have been added entirely by a very bored creative team. I suspect it could be for the benefit of hapless babysitters. Nothing too snide there, no nasty undercurrents of any sort, nothing that even the most hard-nosed censor could reasonably object to - but sometimes the narrator's sense of timing and delivery is so uncanny, I suspect it might even force a chuckle out of a surly caretaker - a remarkable feat for a mere "children's programme".
All this is well and good, but to keep at this for twenty-five years becomes a creatively tiresome prospect for even the most seasoned of veterans. And its creator could be called that in the most literal sense. Even so, it is still a remarkable feat that the series has managed to continuously re-invent itself, and stay fresh as ever in 2013 just as it was way back in the 80's. And this, I think, is what makes Anpanman a very special landmark in the anime world. And deserve a review. read more
Opening Theme"Anpanman no March" by Dreaming
Ending Theme#01: "Yuuki Rin Rin" by Dreaming (October 1988 ~)
#02: "Christmas no Tani" by Dreaming (April 1989 ~ April 1991)
#03: "Anpanman Taisou" by CHA-CHA-CHA (December 1991 ~ February 1993)
#04: "Anpanman Taisou" by Dreaming (March 1993 ~ March 2010)
#05: "Sun Sun Taisou" by Dreaming (October 1994 ~ March 2010)
#06: "Niji o Tsukuru Uta" by Rainbow Fukuzawa and Sutatan Tai (May 1997 ~ April 2003)more
#07: "DoReMiFa Anpanman" by Dreaming (April 2003 ~ March 2010)
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