Rerere no Oji-san (レレレのおじさん) is an odd neighborhood street-sweeper, originating from The Genius Bakabon and appearing notably in the first 19 episodes of Osomatsu-kun (1988) before the Bakabon characters were phased out.
Rerere's name comes from his tendency to say Re re re? (rather than are (あれ?)), when confused about the countless shenanigans going on.
When he initially appeared in the Bakabon series, he was given the tentative name of The "Are you Going Out?" Oji-san (Odekake desu ka? Oji-san), for his common question of asking people if they were going out somewhere. This name could still be seen at times in some 1970s materials, though the Rerere name remains the standard one to this day.
His character design was inspired by the art style of Shigeru Sugiura, who Akatsuka was fond of. Rerere's facial expressions and hand gestures are evident of Sugiura's character type, and similar yet different sorts of Sugiura-esque characters had also appeared prior to his debut in some Akatsuka works (including -kun itself).
Personality & Characteristics
Rerere is a bald old man with no visible nose and long ears that extend slightly off of his head. The horizontal lines above his mouth are in fact his very mustache. He has at least three large teeth in total; two on the top row, and one on the bottom.
He commonly dresses in a yukata and geta sandals, and has his trusty broom with him. His yukata is usually depicted as yellow in the Bakabon anime adaptations and in most color art, though in the case of the 1988 -kun show, it was colored a deep green.
The earliest appearances of Rerere in the Bakabon series did not have him with a decided face yet, though his desig would steadily evolve to the accepted look.
When seen as a younger man in flashbacks about his life, Rerere had a full head of black hair and wore a yellow business suit.
Rerere is an easy-going, leisurely man who spends his time sweeping the streets of the town and neighborhoods. He is usually a kind, generous sort, but will show no mercy on those who litter or interfere with his hard work in cleaning the town.
When it comes to -kun itself though, he is just there to ask people about where they are going and to mind his business in sweeping or to get confused.
As told in one chapter of Bakabon, Rerere was married to a woman many years ago. Through their relationship, she managed to birth 25 young children (specifically five sets of quintuplets) who were all a handful and noisy.
In the present, she is deceased, leaving him all alone as the children had all since grown up and become independent.
As mentioned, the above backstory shows no more than 25 offspring for Rerere, who wound up being the reason why he had to make a habit of sweeping often, be it cleaning up their messes or sweeping them out the door to send them off to school.
Although, even outside this telling, an earlier appearance had Rerere with an identical elementary school-aged son in the present day, who had his own broom as well.
Rerere's twin brother, who has eyes and a mouth shaped like the "yo" katakana. He dresses in a suit. Even with their differences, the two can still be mistaken for one another.
- An identical brother for Rerere named Rururu was created as a local mascot for the Astel Japan company
- One of the Dayon Tribe members in episode 23 of -san bears some of Rerere's characteristics and fashion as an in-joke, leading to the question of if Rerere had been ingested by the man.
Rerere no Oji-san/Gallery