Tag Archives: Japanese cartoon

I Want To Be A Human Soon

1 Oct

Have you ever heard of the Japanese アニメ (cartoon) called 「妖怪人間べム」 (“Monster Man Bemu”)?

It’s basically about three kind 妖怪 (monsters) who want to be human. They learn that they can become human if they protect humans from other evil monsters.

The three kind monsters, 「べム」 (“Bemu”), 「ベラ」 (“Bera”), and 「べロ」 (“Bero”) are frightening-looking monsters but they are able to assume a humanoid form…but even so, they still look like monsters.
And for that reason, they aren’t accepted by most humans. Most people judge them by their physical appearance rather than their character. That is an underlying theme of this series.

This series originally aired on TV in Japan in the late-60’s…before my wife and I were born but we’ve seen re-runs of it.
A well-known line from this show is 「早く人間になりたい!」 (“I want to be a human soon!”)…it can even be heard in the show’s opening theme song.

Here is a YouTube clip of this show’s opening and closing theme songs:

New Ghibli movie

18 Aug

Do you know the Japanese animation studio 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios)?

It is the movie studio of master animator 宮崎駿 (Hayao Miyazaki).

This is the studio that released classic Japanese cartoon movies such as 「崖の上のポニョ」 (Ponyo On The Cliff), 「となりのトトロ」 (My Neighbor Totoro), 「もののけ姫」 (Princess Mononoke), 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Spirited Away), and 「ハウルの動く城」 (Howl’s Moving Castle).

「千と千尋の神隠し」 ("Spirited Away")

Well, 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios) has released a new movie in Japan last month.
It’s called 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (“Arietti The Borrower“).

「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 ("Arietti The Borrower")

The movie is based on the children’s story “The Borrowers” about a family of tiny people that live in a house of a “normal sized” family…and they “borrow” small things from the house, such as a wrist watch to use as a clock. And they’re discovered by the boy that lives in the house.

The original story took place in England, I believe. But the Ghibli movie version takes place in Tokyo.

Here’s a trailer for 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (“Arietti The Borrower“):

Have you ever watched a 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios) movie?
Which one is your favorite?


5 Apr

Do you know 「ドラえもん」 (“Doraemon“)?

He’s the namesake of a great long-running Japanese anime / manga created by the late artist Fujiko F. Fujio.

In this story, an elementary school age boy named Nobi Nobita is lazy and always tries to get out of work and study.
One day, a blue robot cat with no ears appears in his room (through his dresser drawer) and tells Nobita that he’s there to help him not ruin his future.

The robot cat’s name is Doraemon. He got his name because of his love for the Japanese bean-filled snack どら焼き (“dorayaki“).

Doraemon enjoying dorayaki

Doraemon tells Nobita that he was sent from 22nd century by Nobita’s great-great-great grandson because the family is struggling with many financial hardships that are all due to Nobita’s laziness.

Nobita asks who his future wife will be, expecting the answer to be his cute neighbor Shizuka whom he has a crush on…but is shocked when Doraemon tells him he will marry the neighbor bully’s chubby younger sister Jaiko.

Doraemon also explains that he used to be a yellow robot cat with ears (just like his sister Dorami)…but a rat chewed his ears off and Doraemon cried about it.
His tears washed his yellow paint off.
That’s why he’s blue and has no ears…and it’s also why he has a paralyzing fear of rats.

Doraemon was yellow and had ears...until a mouse bit them off.

In the story’s adventures, Nobita always has a problem which is often the result of his laziness, such as an upcoming exam at school that he didn’t study for, or the local bully Gian and his rich, spoiled sidekick Suneo beating him up.

After which, Doraemon always gives Nobita some sound advice that would help him…but Nobita always wants a quick, easy solution to his dilemma.
So Doraemon will reluctantly lend Nobita one of the countless gadgets from the future that he carries in the pouch on his stomach.

Doraemon’s most famous gadgets include the 「どこでもドア」 (“Go Anywhere Door”) which can magically transport the user to any chosen location, 「タケコプター」 (“Bamboo Helicopter”) which lets the wearer fly, and the “Small Light” that shrinks whatever the light shines on.

There’s always a moral to the story when Nobita learns that laziness and lying don’t pay.

Doraemon and friends (Gian, Shizuka, Nobita and Suneo)

In Japan, you can find Doraemon‘s likeness on all kinds of things such as toys, neckties, blankets, lunchboxes, dorayaki snacks, etc.

Even the guitar company ESP has a “Doraemon guitar” and “Doraemon guitar picks”.

ESP "Doraemon" guitar

ESP "Doraemon" guitar picks

In 2008, Doraemon was made the “Japanese Cartoon Ambassador” to promote Japanese anime and manga around the world.

Doraemon (with Nobi Nobita) becoming Japan's Cartoon Ambassador in a ceremony with Japan's Foreign Minister in 2008.

Anyways, on 2011 September 3 the “Fujiko F. Fujio Museum” will open in 川崎 (Kawasaki, Japan) south of Tokyo.

This museum will feature the artwork by this artist who created  “Doraemon” and another staple of Japanese pop-culture: 「オバケのQ太郎」 (“Q-Taro the Ghost“).

「オバケのQ太郎」 ("Q-Taro the Ghost")

Have you ever watched a “Doraemon” anime or read the manga? How about 「オバケのQ太郎」 (“Q-Taro the Ghost“)?

Shin-chan’s creator is missing

19 Sep

Do you know the Japanese cartoon 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (“Crayon Shin-chan“)?

It was created in 1990 (the year I came to Japan) by 臼井義人 (Yoshito Usui).

It’s about a mischievous kindergarten-age boy named Shinnosuke, nicknamed “Shin-chan”.
Shin-chan and his family and friends live in 埼玉県春日部 (Kasukabe, Saitama, Japan) near Tokyo…which is where 臼井義人 (Yoshito Usui) lives.

Some of the characters in the show are Shin-chan and his friends and classmates in his kindergarten, including the bossy Nene-chan who likes to force the boys to “play house” with her, and the principal of the kindergarten who looks and acts like he used to be a mobster in the Japanese mafia, as well as Shin-chans mother, father, younger sister and their dog.

I found out that 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (“Crayon Shin-chan“) is shown around the world in many countries, including America…but that it’s usually edited alot due to Shin-chan‘s habit of playfully exposing himself and speaking impolitely.
I heard that many countries even edit out the fact that Shinnosuke often flirts with pretty young women and that his father likes to drink beer.
After all that editing, I wonder what’s left of the cartoon? 😉

I watched the show on TV last night. Did you see it?
It was about the adventure Shin-chan and his father had when they went grocery shopping together and couldn’t find the key to the father’s bicycle when they were ready to go home.
It was pretty funny.

Well, the creator of the 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (“Crayon Shin-chan“) cartoon, 臼井義人 (Yoshito Usui), told his family that he was going hiking in the mountains in Gunma Prefecture last weekend.
He has been missing since then.
The police have been searching for him since last Monday.
He’s been missing for nearly a week now…but hopefully they can find him safe.

Anpanman in the Guinness Book

28 Jul

There’s a very popular children’s cartoon character in Japan called 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“).


2009 has been a big year for 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) and for his artist Takashi Yanase.

This year, Takashi Yanase turned 90 years old, he’s been a professional artist for 60 years, the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) comic started 40 years ago, and the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) television series started 20 years ago. (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this).
And now, 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) is in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the “Most Characters In A Single Animated Series“.

「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) has over 2000 characters, but the Guinness Book only recognized 1768 characters…which still sets the record as the most characters.

Here are some of the main ones:

anpanman-fullMy kids grew up watching 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“). It’s a wonderful cartoon for kids!

Have you ever watched 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“)? I like 「バイキンマン」 (Baikinman), 「ホラーマン」 (Horror-man), and 「だいこんやくしゃ」 (Daikonyakusha) best.

Click here to see my post about the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) Exhibit we went to last Spring.