February 13, 1988 - December 30, 1989
It was the first Akatsuka work to be adapted by Pierrot, and came about as a joint venture between the company, Fuji TV, and Yomiko Advertising.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Characters that appear in the 1988 anime
- 3 Cast
- 4 Staff
- 5 Episode List
- 6 Theme Songs
- 7 Other Animated Content
- 8 Overseas Broadcast and Adaptations
- 9 Trivia
- 10 External Links
- 11 Gallery
- 12 References
The late 1980s became the site of an "Akatsuka boom" in adaptations, in part due to Fujio Pro collaborating with Kodansha, Fuji TV, and Yomiko in a media-mix venture: While a revival manga would be launched for each series, a corresponding anime adaptation would air on television. This stood in competition to Shogakukan's "Fujiko Fujio boom" initiative in the 1980s.
Osomatsu-kun would be the first of the works to receive this treatment, although Akatsuka was not involved in overseeing its production, stating that it would be the staff's job to tell their story while he would tell his with the manga. A pilot film was produced by Pierrot, loosely adapting the first chapter of the manga ("Burglars Startled by Sextuplets!") along with including previews of other material. This can be seen in early promotional images and merchandise for the show, although as the actual series was produced, the choice was made for Iyami and Chibita to be prioritized, as they had been in the manga since the middle of the Shonen Sunday run.
Writers specializing in surreal comedy were hired for the adaptation, including Yoshio Urasawa. A number of these writers had their experience with gag anime via Tatsunoko Productions works such as The Genie Family and the Time Bokan franchise.
In addition to the other changes made for this adaptation, pop-culture references of the 1980s were included:
- Choromatsu references the comedy duo Somenosuke Sometaro in episode 14, while sticking out his teeth to mimic them.
- Hikaru Genji is referenced in episode 23 as a boy band that Totoko and Iyami both love, while the sextuplets attempt to emulate their roller-skating in episode 41.
- Totoko can be heard to use the idol Noriko Sakai's "Nori-P" style slang in her dialogue. She also sings Seiko Matsuda's "Sweet Memories" in episode 41.
- The idol Kumiko Goto is name-dropped at times, and the character of Kinko from the manga was renamed and remodeled as "Kumiko" as an homage to her, along with being described as "the new neighborhood idol".
- TV show personality Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and her show "The Best Ten" are parodied in the Greetings from the Watermelon Planet movie and episode 69. The hentai Cream Lemon is also referenced via an in-joke in the same episode, with the protagonist Ami Nonomura's name being seen as an idol on the latest singles list.
- Iyami briefly runs into the stand-up duo Ucchan Nancchan in episode 80.
Relationships with other Akatsuka works
The first 19 episodes of the anime feature the "Police Officer with the Connected Eyes" and Rerere no oji-san from Genius Bakabon as side characters, before they were retired from usage likely due to plans to adapt that series later on. Nyarome, Kemunpas, and Beshi from Extraordinary Ataro were also used in bit roles, often providing exposition.
A later policeman character, identifying himself once as Katsumi Yatsugashira but named in scripts as "Kaoru-chan", was the same Kaoru-chan from Bakabon (though here it was his doll that received the "Kaoru-chan" name, and overt indications of his sexuality or any cross-dressing hobby were toned down).
The town where the sextuplets live was never exactly specified in the early manga, though it was mentioned to be the Shimo-Ochiai area of Shinjuku ward in the '80s relaunch. In this adaptation, their home is instead described as Akatsuka District (Akatsuka-dai) in an unspecified part of Tokyo, which the BomBom "Burst of Laughter World" guide also used. This is in a sense a precursor to Osomatsu-san's Akatsuka Ward (Akatsuka-ku). The elementary school the characters attend is also named after their creator, as opposed to the generic placeholder names of "XX Elementary" or "OO Elementary".
After this anime wrapped its production and broadcast, Pierrot's Heisei Genius Bakabon would start airing the week after. Many production staff members had transferred to that series, along with it sharing some of the voice cast.
There would be occasional cameos of characters from -kun in the Bakabon series, most notably Chibita popping up in non-speaking cameos and Totoko being briefly seen as part of Bakabon's class at Akatsuka Elementary. These cameos would ultimately either have the characters existing in the same world as the Bakabon cast, or refer to them directly as fiction in a meta sense (eg: Papa playing an Osomatsu video game, Bakabon owning an Osomatsu puzzle, etc.)
Characters that appear in the 1988 anime
Main and Recurring:
- Nyarome (of Extraordinary Ataro)
- Beshi (of Extraordinary Ataro)
- Kemunpas (of Extraordinary Ataro)
- The Police Officer with the Connected Eyes (of The Genius Bakabon, episodes 1-19)
- Kaoru (of The Genius Bakabon, episodes 21-86)
- Rerere no Oji-san (of The Genius Bakabon, episodes 1-19)
- Dog of Night (of The Genius Bakabon)
Model sheets for the series also indicate Unagi-Inu ("Eel-dog") from Bakabon was originally considered to appear, but in the end he only appeared as a single gag in an impact frame. Some Akatsuka characters that originally appeared in the manga, like Jajako, can be seen as episodic guests while episode 4 features various Stars in a crowd scene.
Early merchandise and promotional art that was based off of the designs from the pilot film also depicted a large brown crocodile with the cast, who is never a presence in the series (though a somewhat different brown crocodile does appear at the end of "What Happens at the Inn Stays at the Inn" to menace Iyami and the boys).
- Osomatsu - Yō Inoue
- Iyami- Kaneta Kimotsuki
- Chibita- Mayumi Tanaka
- Hatabō, Karamatsu- Mari Mashiba
- Mother, Ichimatsu*- Mari Yokoo
- Totoko, Jyushimatsu- Naoko Matsui
- Choromatsu- Rica Matsumoto
- Todomatsu- Megumi Hayashibara
- Father, Beshi- Tetsuo Mizutori
- Dekapan- Toru Ohira
- Dayōn, Kemunpas- Takuzo Kamiyama, Kenichi Ogata (episodes 80-83)
- Police Officers, Nyarome, Rerere- Shigeru Chiba
- Original manga- Fujio Akatsuka
- Manga published in- Comic Bombom, TV Magazine, Fun Kindergarten, Otomodachi (Kodansha)
- Planning - Kazuo Shimamura (Yomiko)
- Director- Akira Shigino
- Series Composition- Hiroyuki Hoshiyama (uncredited)
- Character Design - Yoshiyuki Kishi
- Art Director- Shichiro Kobayashi (1-35), Setsuko Ishizu (36-86)
- Storyboards- Akira Shigino, Hidehito Ueda, Takashi Watanabe, Hajime Nishi, Motosuke Takahashi, Harumi Tamano, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, Kazunori Mizuno, Yutaka Kagawa, Hiroshi Aoyama, Masami Shimoda, Hiroki Sato
- Animation Direction- Hiroshi Kawabata, Masami Abe, Yoshiyuki Kishi, Katsuhiko Yamazaki, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Yoshiaki Matsuda, Takenori Mihara, Takashi Saijo, Motosuke Takahashi, Akira Watanabe, Tsuneo Ninomiya, Saburo Masutani, Yumiko Suda, Seiichi Nodate, Kazunori Mizuno, Masami Shimoda
- Color Designer- Kazuko Murakami (1-86), Hideo Uetani (4, 9) Yuko Nishikawa (6, 11, 16), Youko Suyou (13, 18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 31, 38, 44), Mika Iwami (3,36,42, 43,45,47,49, 50,53,55,58,60,63,66,68,71,73)
- Special Effects- Kenji Ikeda (1,5,37,67-73), Makoto Nishiyama (2), Masahiro Murakami (3,7, 8,10,12-15,17-36,38-66,74-86), Takashi Maekawa (4,9), Yoshitaka Kumai (6, 11, 16)
- Backgrounds- Kobayashi Production (early period), Studio Jack (later period)
- Director of Photography- Hirokata Takahashi
- Filming- Takahashi Production, Takashi Shirakami, Toshiyuki Fukushima
- Developing- Tokyo Laboratory
- Title Design- Hideki Sugizawa
- Editing- Hajime Taniguchi, Haruhiko Kuriyagawa
- Sound Director- Kan Mizumoto
- Sound Production- Zac Promotion
- Sound Engineer- Ryou Narukiyo
- Sound Effects- Shoji Kato (Anime Sound)
- Recording- Seion Studio
- Music- Yusuke Honma
- Music Production- Columbia Records, Fuji Pacific Music Publishing
- Producers- Yuji Nunokawa (Studio Pierrot), Kenji Shimizu (Fuji TV), Kyotaro Kimura (Yomiko)
- Assistant Producer- Masahiro Suzuki
- Production Desk- Minoru Yoshimoto (1-4, 6-32), Ken Ogino (5, 33-86)
- Screenplay- Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, Yoshio Urasawa, Sukehiro Tomita, Keiji Terui, Miho Maruo, Isao Shizuya, Kazuhisa Sakaguchi, Kazuhito Hisajima, Yutaka Hiroota
- Screenplay Progress- Kazuhisa Sakaguchi
- Setting Progress- Kazunori Mizuno
- Animation Production- Studio Pierrot
- Animation Cooperation- E&G World (4), Magic Bus (6, 11, 16)
- Opening and Ending Animation Director- Tsutomu Shibayama
- Opening and Ending Animation Illustration- Yumiko Suda
- Opening and Ending Art Director- Shichiro Kobayashi
- Production - Fuji TV, Yomiko, Studio Pierrot
- Broadcaster- Fuji TV
- Morinaga (Candy)
- TOMY (Toys)
- Marumiya (Curry)
- Marushin Foods (Sausages)
- Kodansha (Manga)
- Acecook (Ramen)
- SEGA (Video Games)
- Main article: Osomatsu-kun (1988)/List of episodes
"Traditional Osomatsu Song" (正調 おそ松節)
Lyrics- Yasushi Akimoto/Composer- Akira Mitake/Singer- Takashi Hosokawa
The opening theme used for all episodes and most of the outside works related to this adaptation (save for the Bakabon crossover). The lyrics heard in the TV-sized version refer to the plight of a salaryman father, while the later stanzas refer to the mother and the dumb children of the family. The family is inferred to be the Matsunos, although the animation for the opening sequence has Iyami playing out the part of the salaryman.
The song can be heard referenced at points by the characters, with them either singing portions or the sextuplets' father quoting the "Your dad is, your dad is-!?" lyric. The series ends with a parody of this tune in episode 86, with the lyrics tailored to be about living in the United States.
"Osomatsu-kun Ondo" (おそ松くん音頭)
Lyrics- Yukinoji Mori/Composer- Daizaburou Nakayama/Singer- Takashi Hosokawa
The ending theme for all episodes and related works.
The lyrics revolve around how even if some aspects of characters change, such as the sextuplets switching clothes, they still remain the same. An order close to the finalized birth order for the brothers is given in the song, save for Jyushimatsu falling last (instead of Todomatsu).
Other Animated Content
Note: All of these features except the traffic safety short have been re-released on the 2011 Fujio Akatsuka movie and OVA DVD collection.
New Years' Eve Special
Main article: Osomatsu-kun: Go For It! Chibita's Oni War
This special episode aired December 31, 1988 on Fuji TV. It features the cast re-enacting old fairy tales, particularly that of the Momotaro legend. In the plot, Chibita must save Princess Totoko from the oni that have abducted her.
Main article: Osomatsu-kun: Greetings from the Watermelon Planet
A short episode-length feature film titled Osomatsu-kun: Greetings from the Watermelon Planet! was screened at the Toei Manga Movie Festival on March 18, 1989.
It loosely adapts "The Watermelon Planet Appears" from the Shonen Sunday run of the manga, with the Watermelon Aliens attempting a takeover of Earth.
It was screened alongside films of Toei's Saint Seiya and Akko-chan, both which received parodies in the short along with a Kamen Rider reference. The working title of the film, as seen in scripts on Mandarake Auctions, was originally "Full of Summer! Full of Watermelon!"
Traffic Safety Film
In 1989, a 15-minute short film titled Boy Traffic Officer Osomatsu-kun (おそ松くんの少年交通お巡りさん) was produced by Studio Pierrot for teaching children about traffic safety.
It has not been released in any home media, likely due to its educational film status.
Main article: Osomatsu-kun: Iyami Alone in the Wind
Nearly a year after the wrap-up of the anime series, an OVA adapting the "Iyami Alone in the Wind" story from the manga was released on VHS on August 25, 1990.
It had originally been planned as an episode of the TV run and would have aired in the 78th slot, but was halted and pushed back with the plans to end the show. Instead, "God, Make My Wish Come True!" aired in its original slated place.
Main article: Bakabon and Osomatsu: The 3000 Mile Quest for Curry
In October 1991, Pierrot would produce a 2-part TV special crossing over both its Osomatsu-kun and Heisei Genius Bakabon series, "Bakabon and Osomatsu: The 3000 Mile Quest for Curry" (バカボン・おそ松のカレーをたずねて三千里)
The characters meet in a re-enactment of "Journey to the West", with Chibita playing the monkey king Son Goku as he had before in the series. However, as Toei now owned the rights to the Ataro characters, Nyarome, Kemunpas, and Beshi are entirely absent from the plot.
Overseas Broadcast and Adaptations
This version of Osomatsu-kun has been imported overseas and experienced varying levels of success and recognition. The adaptations only apply to the TV series, as the specials fall under separate licenses and were either unable to be acquired or there was a lack of interest in doing so.
A Cantonese-dubbed version, titled 我係西瓜刨 (Ngo hai Sai gwaa paau, "I am Sai gwaa paau"), was broadcast on Asia Television in 1990. The title refers to Iyami, who was renamed Sai gwaa paau ("Watermelon Slice") in the dub and marketed as the lead character.
He was named such due to his overbite, similarly to the Hong Kong film actor who had such a stage name. The sextuplets are referred to by him as the "six insects" (六虫).
In 1996, JET TV Taiwan broadcast a Mandarin Chinese dub under the title 小松君 (Xiǎo-sōng jūn/"Komatsu-kun").
Main article: Cosas de Locos
The series was licensed in 2005 by Jonu Media, along with Heisei Genius Bakabon and Rerere's Genius Bakabon as a package deal with Pierrot. The three series were combined into one 156-episode program, re-titled "Cosas de Locos" ("Crazy Things") for the Castilian market. A Galician version called "Cousas de Tolos", a Basque version "Zoroak Zoro", and a Valencian version "Coses de Grillats" were produced simultaneously.
The overall humor of the series was often localized to better appeal to Spaniards, with celebrity references being changed to be more recognizable. Some characters also underwent name changes to either make puns off of their design, or to insert Spanish adult innuendo. Other than this, many characters' names stayed intact.
The dub has since been released on four DVD box-sets, with both the Castilian Spanish and Japanese audio tracks available.
A Hindi dub commenced airing on Hungama TV on March 28, 2011.
Main article: The Yuk Family's Sextuplets
A Korean dub, 육가네6쌍둥이("The Yuk Family's Sextuplets") was aired on Cartoon Network Korea starting in June 2012, and has been rerun sporadically since.
All 86 episodes were translated, although due to the historical issues between Japan and Korea and the anime airing on a childrens' network, the adaptation underwent paint edits and censorship to localize it for the network's standards as well as adapt it into a fully Korean format. All of the characters are renamed as well.
Although no English-dubbed version exists, the licensor Discotek Media acquired the 1988 series for streaming service in January 2018 to test the waters for a potential home video release.
The stream of the show contains the life lessons given by Iyami at the end of each episode, and appears to have been based from film used for the recent rebroadcast of the series on Chiba Television through 2016-2017.
This subtitled edition was uploaded to Crunchyroll in May 2019, with all 86 episodes available for the USA and Canada, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.
- Although Mari Yokoo is credited for Ichimatsu in later episodes where he has notable speaking parts and is considered his standard actress due to such, there are many times in the series in which the character is voiced by other actresses of the sextuplets (save for Inoue). Moreover, there are times when other sextuplets will be covered by the actress of another within the series, due to their usual actress already covering for another role or for other reasons. See the article Cases of Understudying and Replacements in Osomatsu-kun for further information.
- Despite times when the actresses would have notable screentime as their characters in episodes, it was common for Matsumoto and Hayashibara to be left as "additional voices" in the credits, especially in the early period. There were also instances in which they would be credited as their usual sextuplets (Choromatsu, Todomatsu) despite voicing others in an episode, or even if Matsumoto was understudied as hers.