Ichiro (一郎) is a minor character appearing sporadically in the Osomatsu-kun manga, and created by Fujio Akatsuka.
He appeared from the Shonen Sunday run of the manga up to small cameos in the early Shonen King run of the 1970s. He originated from the series Otasuke-kun, and appears throughout Akatsuka's works.
Throughout his existence as part of the Akatsuka Star System, Ichiro is set as a somewhat foolish, unfortunate boy. He usually plays the part of a sidekick to lead characters, going along with the escapades.
When not featured aside a lead or recurring character in a title, he often pops up in gatherings or as a guest to be involved as the butt of a joke.
A clear prototype to Ichiro did in fact appear in -kun long before his debut in Otasuke and formal appearances in the series, in being a silly young boy Osomatsu was forced to get along with in "The Sextuplets Get Adopted". The boy's identical father would also see eventual re-use himself, as a clothing store owner much later on in "Snatch that Runaway Thief!".
Personality & Characteristics
Ichiro has a lanky figure, and a visibly smooth head which is depicted with sparse hairs arranged in a fringe around his eyes. This is not necessarily meant to be baldness, at least in his earlier depictions (as he winds up with his head shaved in a gag), but more suggestive of a bowlcut; a similar style appears in caricatures of a young Akatsuka. However, with art evolution and later gags, this pattern does seem to be a suggested baldness and meant to evoke the idea of a taro vegetable.
He has a long, jutting beak-like shape to his mouth and so is often depicted in profile, with it usually open and moving. This was changed in his 1990s redesign; instead, his face changes to be smoother and his nose goes from being round to a more triangular shape like that of Chibita. The hairs around his head become arranged more like the style seen on Dekapan.
He is most often seen wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt, a floppy tie, and a pair of short shorts, making for a very distinctive and recognizable outfit compared to other children.
Ichiro is characterized as more of a "fool" type character, not being very intelligent and having to be assisted by others or being vulnerable to pranks. This is seen in an early -kun appearance where he is easily tricked by Chibita's dentist scam and bullied by the other boy. He is nonetheless energetic, and is willing to take part in a scheme (be it trading places with a similar homeless boy, or attempting to disguise himself as a cat to round up cats).
He is fond of cats, and can be seen carrying his pet cat Mike around or having him strapped to his back as if transporting a baby. He will even bring the cat on a vacation or to a bathhouse.
He is the son of a company president, making him the next in line for the role when he is old enough to take of the business. He is able to successfully assume this role in certain scenarios, where he is depicted as an adult or thrust into the role as a child.
When his father is away, he is often assisted by Otasuke and travels with him on his exploits, or he is seen interacting with Bokeo and Hatabō. He is otherwise one of the common neighborhood children in Akatsuka works, seen freely roaming the streets and appearing at events among the other residents.
Ichiro first showed up as a background character in the "40 Thieves" chapter, and then as an unnamed associate of Osomatsu, as he attempted to pursue a pair of criminals in the next week's chapter. The two would be joined by Chibita in the adventure. He would next be used in aged-up, adult roles as either a figure of authority, criminal, or random bystander, before popping back up in his usual role of a young boy.
He is mainly present in gathering scenes from this point on, although he sometimes stands out better when as a friend of Osomatsu or Chibita. When the sextuplets fought against the sharp-toothed Chibita in retaliation for his dental scam, Ichiro cheered them from the sidelines. His attempt to feed Chibita a candy that would rot the sharp teeth wound up being seen by Osomatsu later, and proved to be instrumental in their later idea to defeat him.
Specific chapter appearances
- "Osomatsu and the 40 Thieves" (おそ松と40人の盗賊): Debut in -kun. Gets beaten up by the thieves.
- "A Scammer Comes to Town!"(インチキ野郎町へくる!): Alongside Chibita and Osomatsu.
- "It's Not Easy to be a Hitchhiker" (ヒッチハイクもらくじゃない): Seen as a policeman assisting the sextuplets.
- "The Biggest Fight on Paper" (紙上最大のなぐりこみ): Seen in the frontispiece, and in the fight scene (having his pants pulled down and farting).
- "Blame it on Osomatsu" (みんなおそ松がわるいのよ): Briefly seen as a hospital visitor in the background.
- (むしばのお子さまカムカムよ!): As Chibita's victim, who gets his teeth ruined.
- "Chibita's Head is the Best in the World" (チビ太のおつむは世界一): As part of an annoyed audience at a movie theater.
- (キーコとひこうバイオリン): In an audience of kids that find an advertisement for Osomatsu as a musician. He and Otasuke's brother Tamao are later seen among the people crashing the stage.
- "Gama Oil and a Doctor's Assistant" (ガマの油とお医者の助手): Appears in a crowd of children with the sextuplets at the beginning.
- "Osomatsu Western Oden Duel" (おそ松ウェスタンおでんの決闘): Seen as a cowboy riding through town in the opening spread.
- "A Student Hat with a Key" (かぎのかかった学生帽): As part of a 6th grade class with Totoko, the sextuplets, and Chibita.
- "Prince Chibil's Tokyo Holiday" (チビル王子の東京の休日): As a businessman that owns a local mall.
- "A Samurai's Thousand Tribulations" (旅のしばいは侍千びき): Depicted eating oden alongside Chibita and sextuplets.
- "Chibita! Be a Child of Dekapan!" (チビ太！デカパンの子どもになれ): At a bathhouse with his father, cat, and Tamao.
- "How About a Cake on this Silent Night?" (きよしこの夜 ケーキはいかが): Seen at the gathering for the cake alongside Otasuke.
- "Musical Momotaro" (ミュージカル桃太郎): Seen among the gathering of dancing oni.
- "Osomatsu's Family is Targeted" (ねらわれたおそ松一家): A cat resembling Ichiro is seen among Chibita's cat army.
- "Master Chibita Who Lost Money" (おカネにまけたチビ太さま): Appears among a group of children receiving money from Chibita.
- "Parody Version of Treasure Island" (パロディ版だよ 宝島): Among the kids at the Treasure Island theme park; Otasuke and Tamao also appear.
- "Captain Mom" (キャプテンかあちゃん): Appears as a pirate, along with Tamao.
- "Sheeh's Forced Sales" (シェーのおしうり): Seen among people that Iyami attempts to sell items to.
- "Favor to Iyami-sensei" (ヒイキのイヤミ先生): As one of Iyami's students.
- "Iyami's 10 Million Yen" (イヤミの1000万円): Depicted as another friend of Chibita and Hatabō.
Osomatsu-kun (1966 anime)
Ichiro's most notable role comes in "See Dr. Chibita For Tooth Decay", adapting his manga appearance. He is also shown to be one of the character faces present in the final shot of the first ending theme, making him one of the few non-Osomatsu characters to be represented there.
His voice actress went uncredited in the episode, but may have been Keiko Yamamoto.
- As a noteworthy character utilized by Akatsuka in many of his 60s series, Ichiro could either have his name changed for a role as well (eg: becoming "San-chan" in Songo-kun), or would have smaller offshoots and lookalikes emerge from his very design. Another offshoot would be the crow tengu Karaten in Karappe of the Wind, who is essentially Ichiro if he were an actual birdman with a beak for a mouth.