Dr. Slump creates a little android girl, Arale, who is very stong, happy, and totally common senseless. They live in Penguin Village where the strangest things happen (e.g., the dawn is announced by a little pig wearing a basquee).
Before Akira Toriyama created the battle manga Dragon Ball that was adapted to an anime, he made the Dr. Slump gag manga, also adapted to an anime. The manga was very popular in Japan, so of course an anime adaptation was made.
Unlike Dragon Ball, which is an action-adventure anime with an overarching plot, Dr. Slump is an episodic comedy anime. So anything can happen in an episode. As a comedy, it doesn't fail to make me smile. Arale is likeable, and has catchphrases. Senbei is easily the funniest character in the show. He's a pervert, and he is in love with Arale's teacher Yamabuke. Akane,
Peasuke and Taro are troublemakers, but are all likeable.
The art is the best thing about the show. The characters look similar to Dragon Ball characters and I've always admired the art style of Akira Toriyama's works. The animation is fine. The sound is above average. The music is lively and gets you in the mood. But when the characters talk, it sounds low quality for today's standard, probably because it's a very old anime. Senbei tends to shout a little too much, and characters tend to fall down in embarassment a lot of times.
From what I've seen, I've enjoyed it so far. The gags are funny and I like the art style. But the anime hasn't aged as well as Dragon Ball. Definitely a must-watch for Dragon Ball fans.
While there isn't an official English sub for this anime as it was never brought to the West, there are still a number of multilingual fan subs out there, with one faithful ongoing English sub (oddly titled shiteatersubs) that's, as of November 8 2017, at the 61st episode. They have a long way to go and I wish them the best of luck and give them my sincerest thanks, for I would not have found this hidden gem of an anime if it weren't for them.
Before Goku from Dragon Ball, there was Arale from Dr. Slump, Akira Toriyama's first published manga and anime series. Arale
is a robot girl with a bubbly personality, endless spirit and lungs that won't quit. She processes super strength, super intelligence (despite having the mind of a naive 13-year-old), and is basically invincible to any harm except low fuel. She was invented by genius scientist Dr. Slump, a somewhat pervy, hopeless romantic bachelor who originally wanted her to serve him with house duties as a sister would, much to his dismay in regards to Arale's spastic, child-like behavior. The series revolves around their wacky adventures, including, but not limited to, Arale fitting in with the town and her school friends, traveling through space and time and Dr. Slump trying to win over the school's blonde teacher, Midori Yamabuki. Many other episodes revolve around the show's large cast of characters, all who get caught in Arale's dangerous antics, but she's loved by the town regardless due to her lively and positive personality.
This is a full-on gag series in its purest form. Do not expect anything but going into this. The fourth wall's constantly broken, Dr. Slump's inventions and other various anomalies break the rules of reality, Akira Toriyama inserts himself in this series every chance he gets, and nobody can die.
This series is insanely charming. From the organic animation to the fun characters, this was a series made with a lot of love for the source material. Arale herself can be endearing at times, but her genuine happiness and child-like wonder is very infectious. Slump himself is, unfortunately, quite relatable, you can understand his life struggles. Not to mention this series definitely succeeds in being a gag anime, with likable humor and an interesting "Japanese" aesthetic, as this series has a heavy emphasis of Japanese culture and customs, which might explain it's difficulty in localization.
There's not much else to say than this anime does its job in the best way. There's always fun to be had in Penguin Island, a place full of funny and likable idiots, even the smart ones. Join cute Arale, someone who can give One Punch Man Saitama a run for his money, as she brings constant destruction and danger to her town and everyone around her, hilarity and adventure ensues. Don't be dissuaded by this show's kid-friendly tone either, this show can get dirty sometimes lol.