The first anime adaptation of Osomatsu-kun aired from February 5, 1966 to March 25, 1967 on NET (now TV Asahi). It was produced by Mainichi Broadcasting System, with Childrens Corner handling animation for the first 25 episodes and Studio Zero for the rest.
This marked Osomatsu-kun as the first Akatsuka work to be adapted into animated format.
An Osomatsu-kun anime was originally considered to be developed in 1965, but such a project became delayed in its process due to poor working conditions of Studio Zero at the time. In addition, stakeholders from MBS had already offered to adapt the anime and had slated for Childrens Corner to be the production studio.
The finished result, which would ultimately start broadcast in February 1966, wound up involving both animation studios for the halves of the show.
This adaptation was closer to the Shonen Sunday manga that was running at the time, in comparison to the second TV adaptation. However, there were some adjustments made to the adaptations of stories; Iyami and Chibita were written into earlier plots, taking the places of random guest characters. Other characters like Hatabō were also added, and the original punchlines could also be removed or entirely altered. Other newly-created gags would also be put into the episode to replace material, or to add in extra slapstick.
Most episodes were divided into two unrelated shorts, although there were cases where two-part stories would be featured. Some later episodes would also contain only one new short, opting to rebroadcast an earlier story along with it. Towards the end of the run, perhaps due to budget or other reasons in wrapping it up, some airing slots (including the final three) entirely consisted of rerun segments.
In memoirs by Kunio Nagatani, he had claimed that Fujio Akatsuka disliked the early episodes produced by Childrens Corner, due to the inexperienced animators that resulted in a lot of off-model moments. Due to his claims, it was believed this is why Studio Zero took control for the later half of the series, along with Akatsuka giving the proposal for "Chibita the Safe-Cracker" to be adapted as a two-parter. However, it is also to note that at the time of the series' production, Akatsuka was also credited as being the story supervisor as well as being the one to give final approval on the animation retakes for episodes, indicating he had involvement from the start.
Besides the Osomatsu-kun manga serialized in the Shogakukan magazines, some chapters of the manga Kantaro (serialized in Shueisha's Shonen Book) were adapted and rewritten to be episodes about Chibita, as both characters were identical and Chibita was becoming popular. In some cases, the segments would wind up having the other -kun characters incorporated as well. The story of "Great Car Race of the Century", which appeared as an extra feature in Weekly Shonen Sunday, was also adapted into an episode ("The Grand Prix Annihilation Race").
After the series was rebroadcast on Tokyo Channel 12 (now TV Tokyo) in the early 1970s, the film masters went missing and were believed lost or destroyed. The reels to the series were found in a MBS Senrioka warehouse in 1990, and it has seen home video release on VHS and DVD since.
Characters that appear in the 1966 anime
Main and Recurring:
- Chikako (of Ohana-chan, Akko-chan's Got a Secret!, and others)
- Jajako (non-speaking, of Jajako-chan)
- Ichiro (of Otasuke-kun, Songo-kun, and others)
- Bokeo (of Nonsensical NO.1)
And many more...
- Osomatsu- Midori Kato
- Karamatsu, Choromatsu- Keiko Yamamoto
- Ichimatsu, Todomatsu- Haruko Kitahama
- Jyushimatsu- Mie Azuma
- Totoko- Fuyumi Shiraishi, Kazuko Sawada (episode 4, 27-32)
- Iyami- Kyoji Kobayashi
- Chibita- Kazue Tagami (1-25), Yoko Mizugaki (26-38, 40, 41, 43, 50), Kazuko Sawada (39-finale)
- Mother- Mitsuko Aso (1-25), Takako Kondo (27-finale)
- Father- Joji Yanami (1-25), Kyoji Kobayashi (27-28), Yasuaki Suzuki (29-finale)
- Hatabō- Midori Kato
- Dekapan- Takuzo Kamiyama (1-25), Setsuo Wakui (26-finale)
- Dayōn- Takuzo Kamiyama (episode 1), Hiroshi Otake (all other appearances)
- Additional Voices by- Tadashi Nakamura, Hiroshi Masuoka, Kinryū Arimoto, Toshio Kitayama, Mari Kitagawa, Kiyoshi Komiyama, Akira Shimada, Kumiko Morikawa, Shinsuke Chikaishi, Gen Nakajima
The sextuplets' actors were not consistent through the full series run, save for those of Osomatsu and Jyushimatsu (see "Trivia" for more).
Hatabo's actress was incorrectly believed to be Takako Sasuga due to the book "TV Anime Memories of 25 Years" claiming such, however the book was later found to have many unsourced claims or mistakes with credits. The character was never credited in the series, with the exception of episode 21.
- Original manga, Supervision- Fujio Akatsuka
- Director, Production Chief- Makoto Nagasawa
- Music- Urahito Watanabe (1-25), Keitaro Miho (26-finale)
- Planning and Production- Mainichi Broadcasting System, Childrens Corner (1-25), Studio Zero (26-finale)
- Marumiya (Curry Powder)
- Kobito (Chocolate)
"Osomatsu-kun Song" (おそ松くんのうた)
Lyrics- Fujio Akatsuka/ Composer - Urahito Watanabe/Singers- Mitsuko Aso, Midori Kato, Keiko Yamamoto, Haruko Kitahama, Mie Azuma, Kazue Tagami, Kyoji Kobayashi
Used as the opening for episodes 1-25.
"Osomatsu-kun Song 2" (おそ松くんのうた 2)
Lyrics- Fujio Akatsuka/ Composer - Keitaro Miho/ Singer- Makoto Fujita
Used as the opening for the remainder of the series.
Instrumental versions of both themes are used for the ending credits in their respective portions of the series, however the first ending sequence does contain a set of lyrics missing from the full record release of "Osomatsu-kun Song". These lyrics, sung by the sextuplets and Iyami, relate to Iyami as a character.
List of Episodes
- Main article: Osomatsu-kun (1966)/List of episodes
- The sextuplets' voices sometimes change over the run of the series, depending on the availability of the actresses for a given episode (see also Cases of Understudying and Replacements in Osomatsu-kun). Fuyumi Shiraishi is shown to have occasionally understudied for Karamatsu and in turn, Keiko Yamamoto and Mari Kitagawa had also covered the dual roles of Ichimatsu and Todomatsu.
- In some early stages, Keiko Yamamoto was left absent from the credits while she was actually present, with the alias "Emiko Suzuki" appearing instead and attributed to Karamatsu (while she voiced both him and Choromatsu). Her usage of the alias came about due to already being cast for the lead of Fight! Osper and not being able to be credited as another lead role at the time
- Ataro DVD-BOX 3 commentary.