Totoko Yowai (
Her name derives from the word for "weak", yowai (弱井) as well as a childish word for fish, "toto" (トト).
An older counterpart of Totoko also exists as part of the cast in the 2015-2016 spinoff anime Osomatsu-san.
Totoko is a young girl living in the same neighborhood as the sextuplets, and is usually set as the daughter of the local fishmonger. Yet with the intentional lack of continuity between manga stories, the above setting is not always in play and she may sometimes be the daughter of another character.
Sometimes her age and very personality may vary through different stories and media as well. For instance, in the final story of the Shonen Sunday run of the manga, she is shown to be an adult secretary of Dekapan.
Her first appearance in the Osomatsu-kun series happened more than a month after the debut of Akatsuka's newer series Akko-chan's Got a Secret! in Ribon, along with its identical protagonist that Akatsuka re-used the design of for her. According to Akatsuka, this is because when he drew a gentle face for the character, the rest of Akko's design wound up naturally being recycled.
At the very time of Totoko's creation, Akatsuka's assistant in -kun had also happened to have been his wife Tomoko. As her name was reflected in the characters of Moko in Akko-chan and in Tomoko in O-chan's Eleven Friends, with both running in the same interval, Totoko's name may have also been inspired by her but altered to fit the "fishmonger's daughter" setting.
Personality & Characteristics
Totoko is slender and somewhat taller than the sextuplets, as is the case of various Akatsuka heroines' proportions. She wears her hair tied back into a pair of pigtails, and her hair at the top of her head rests in a large swell (depicted alternatively as a bouffant or bun, or actually as part of her skull in a 1988 episode) with a headband worn over it. The color of her headband and ribbons vary depending on the artwork, but it is common to see the headband depicted as red or pink and the ribbons as yellow. The color of her hair is usually black in the manga, but can be depicted a deep brown like in the 1988 series and in -san.
In the -kun manga and the 1966 anime, she can be seen in a variety of dresses and jumper skirts. The 1988 series often has her wearing a deep reddish-pink jumper skirt over a lighter pink blouse.
In the original manga, Totoko is a kind-hearted, serious and friendly sort of girl, but with very little patience for being let down or having to deal with the sextuplets' trouble. When angered, she shows her tomboyish side and gets violent, showcasing her "body blow". Her more violent temper gradually subsided to where she was more often depicted as an ordinary girl above the sextuplets, though still capable of getting frustrated and jealous.
By the third run in the 1980s, Totoko is depicted as a heroine but also capable of joining in on the sextuplets' bullying of Iyami, and committing other chaotic acts, such as scamming men and attempting to skip out on a restaurant bill under the false name of "Secret of Akko-chan". Her language also becomes rougher.
She is noted to be quite terrible at cooking, though she is said to be good at school work.
1988 anime adaptation
However, this specific animated series presents somewhat of a departure in her characterization: Although depicted milder in the earlier episodes, the series more often wound up depicting her as a vain, greedier, selfish girl fixated on money and glory. As a result, this often put her in a more comic relief type of role. A writer for the show named Kazuhisa Sakaguchi would recall the Yomiko producer Kyotaro Kimura being keen on redoing her character at the meetings for developing the show, with him stating that "Totoko seems to have an absolutely terrible personality" in his perception of the original manga and as basis for why it was okay to portray her even more over-the-top. The casting of Naoko Matsui in the role sealed this fate, as Matsui was told by Kimura that Totoko would be the closest to her type, and the character's wild and unpredictable nature grew more as the staff tailored her to the usual type of girls Matsui was known to play.
While seen as a grade-schooler or to be assumed as such in most stories in that version, she is at times also depicted owning her own businesses or appearing to be aged up somewhat in professions such as a nurse, stewardess, or hostess. She lives to be complimented, and in one instance plays along with Iyami's feelings for her so she can get the money from his winning lottery ticket. She takes being ignored by the sextuplets even worse than she does in previous incarnations, becoming vengeful and finding her position as a "#1 idol" threatened. She's also depicted as going as far as to attempt to murder the sextuplets if she feels wronged and spurned by them, as seen in "Sextuplets Squared!".
Although this becomes the main type of setting for that version of Totoko, there are occasional episodes that depict her as more true to the manga and a more innocent character type, such as in "Chibita the Safe-Cracker" and "White Christmas of the Skyline", the latter depicting her as a singer who must regain her confidence. There are also episodes in which she may bear both a more heroic slant as well as a mischievous personality, such as "The Tomboy Princess of Dekapan Castle" and "Totoko, the Riddling Genius".
To go with the trends of the 1980s in Japan, she is at one point shown as a fan of the boy band Hikaru Genji. She also incorporates "Nori-P language" (used by the idol Noriko Sakai) into her dialogue.
Teenager (-san movie)
By age 18, Totoko attempted to wear her hair loose and fashion a more mature, respectable image for herself as a high schooler. Her hair is shown to reach down to her back, and be considerably straight when not worn up, though she still retained a pink headband. Like most classmates, she wore the usual Akatsuka High uniform of a blazer and plaid skirt.
The teenage Totoko is a gentle, humble young woman who appears to bear no traces of a tomboyish self and is the highly-respected idol of the school, being both beautiful and smart. However, deep down, this is only a pretense; Totoko actually loathes having to be a people-pleaser and having to be perfect in all her subjects, and will privately scream and vent such sorrow. She is bitter over the idea of being a "heroine" and merely wants to be cute and be able to do what she wants.
After some paradoxical events occur in the past "world of memories", this Totoko is transformed into a monster and only appeased and set on her usual path by being reminded she can be herself and simply nothing but cute, not having to put in effort to do in anything else.
Although Totoko retains her hairstyle and headband, she now wears a long-sleeve magenta turtleneck top and a green and yellow plaid mini-skirt, along with pink high heels. However, she can also wear other fashion on occasions, usually being pink with the exception of her given idol uniform.
When attempting to be a fish idol, she wears a blue dress with octopus tentacles dangling from its skirt, and an actual hollowed-out fish as her mask. This costume can be a burden at times as it involves real sea life and will rot, causing a horrible smell.
Totoko is still the love interest of the brothers, and like her 1988 counterpart she is still selfish and wants attention from others.
Starting in This is Totoko, she becomes a fish idol for her parents' fish shop. This would become a significant part of Totoko's character, as some appearances have her as an idol. In Episode 4B, she not only calls the brothers (besides Choromatsu, who is her manager in the episode), but the townspeople and the press so that she can tell them that since she is becoming an idol, she needs people to buy her unsold tickets for her concert.
In Totoko's Dream, it is revealed that she only wanted to become an idol just so she can become popular, brag to others about her popularity, and have fanboys, which shows her selfish personality. Part of her personality may have been due to the fact, that she was brought up spoiled and that she lives to be called cute and praised just for her looks and no real talent.
However, in "Totoko's Big Panic", she attempts to go through some kind of character development, learning that things won't always be handed out to her anymore, just because she's cute, and now that she's older. However, that is derailed once she gets bored of being in Singapore and returns home, initially appearing concerned for Osomatsu before reverting to her usual ways in "Osomatsu-san, Such as it Was".
In the season 2 skit "Totoko's Challenge", she participated in an eating contest because as she said in her own words, "I'm not so shallow that I get lost in my own beauty.", while trying to correct herself on thinking of the other women as "ugly commoners" but "powerful opponents". Still, her jealousy does continue especially when she sees a form of competition, interpreting the sextuplets' casual enjoyment of their time with a girl as being betrayal. She also still operates on wanting to be praised and seen as cute, as she reminds everyone in the final season 2 episode when beating up oni.
In the movie, though she doesn't appear to have any job, all other alumni (save for a pair of bitter, ugly jealous women) are satisfied by her beauty and cuteness, constantly complimenting her to which she can only reply "I know". She is instantly cognizant of the jealousy of the ugly girls as well, asking them from across the room "Did you say something, uglies?" to their shock.
Main article: The Sextuplets
Totoko is idolized by all the sextuplets, who compete against each other for her affection and attention. This leads to the other five being sabotaged by Osomatsu in one early manga story, who "wins" but is then punched out by Totoko for having ruined her day of fun. The sextuplets like to do what they can to please her, but often wind up frustrating her anyway by some means and wind up beaten up or snubbed for it.
Still, there are times that they can get along fine enough, but they may never get to know which one of them Totoko truly likes out of all of them (if any). Attempts to impress her may backfire severely and end in humiliation or chaos. When it comes to anything one-on-one, it is Osomatsu that will often be seen with her in later instances.
Totoko is sometimes the object of the sextuplets' eye, but can also be a hindrance, annoyance, or outright threat as needed by the storyline. She can effortlessly trick them and get them to adore her, but in the instance of encountering their clones in "Sextuplets Squared!" and even after seeing what the deal was, she refuses to stop her attempts at comically murdering the boys with grenades and keeps up the chase.
In the plot of "Iyami after 40 Years", she is depicted as conning herself into a marriage with the businessman Dayon out of her desperation to be married at age 50. But she confesses to Osomatsu that she wished she could have married him instead, before being unable to remember which sextuplet he was in her youth and what he'd bring her when sick. Osomatsu is shown to mutter "It was good to have never married Totoko" to himself afterwards, though he seems sympathetic to her plight.
In the -san adaptation, the sextuplets still carry their crush for Totoko. Even though Totoko doesn't see them in a romantic sense and outright refuses any of their desperate advances, she does get jealous when they won't pay attention to her and instead show favor to the rental girlfriends (Iyami and Chibita) or in the meta-commentary in the recap episode when she notes how Osomatsu seemed to like the baristas. She also goes out of her way to crash in Todomatsu's "Totty Wagon" in the Iyami Kart race, causing the two girls he brought along to be violently ejected.
Any thoughts of violence against other women are toned down in season 2 however, and when she sees the boys doting on Kinko Inuyama (Osomatsu-san) instead of her in Episode 41, she is more angered at them than Kinko but keeps asking and wondering "Who is Kin-chan?" Eventually, the two girls appear to become good friends anyway.
Main article: Chibita
She gets along well with Chibita in some stories, showing kindness to him where the sextuplets wouldn't, and Chibita in turn has feelings for her. But sometimes she too is a victim of Chibita, such as when he rigs her prize bike so she'd crash and break her leg all over again.
There are times where Chibita may come out the victor of her feelings, such as in a 3rd run story where he manages to buy a teddy bear for her and impress her or when the sextuplets' and Iyami's attempt to ruin his date with her backfires. Yet sometimes, even he won't be the one to win her over.
In the 1988 show, Totoko attempts to cheer him up on one of the occasions of him being bullied by the six, yet only gives backhanded compliments about his baldness and inferior looks. But in some settings, such as the Wild West tale and "White Christmas in the Skyline", she is a heroine grateful to help out or to be assisted by him in any way when she's in a pinch.
Main article: Iyami
Totoko is not often shown around Iyami much in the original manga, though she is once depicted as part of his dancing harem in "The Seat of Shigetaro Iyami" and Okiku is strongly suggested to be a role played by her in "Iyami Alone in the Wind".
By the 1980s run, however, Iyami is shown to have lewd feelings for the young girl and attempting to woo her on sporadic occasions by taking her on a date or lusting after her in his mind (to the point where he and Chibita even attempt to transform into copies of her to pervert her image for the sextuplets).
This also happens at points in the 1988 anime. Initially, it starts with Iyami flipping her skirt under the disguise of Dekapan in committing lewd acts, but he is then shown to suggestively appreciate the idea of Totoko being his primadonna for his ballet show, or wanting her to come to his laboratory for a date. Notably however, in "Watch Out for the Wild Iyami!", the starving and desperate Iyami craves to bite a young girl's butt, and sets out to make Totoko his prey. Another occasion has Iyami, disguised as an old woman, grope Totoko and flirt with her only to beaten up for being a "perverted granny".
The situation is also flipped around for episode 19, where Totoko is shown to bear feelings for Iyami as her teacher and attempt to praise and flirt with him in order to assure her good grades, while Iyami himself seems disturbed by her unsubtle nature.
Yet when Iyami has won the lottery, Totoko uses her sly ways to agree to becoming his wife only as it'd mean she'd get a lot of money, but the two and Chibita wind up in despair when they arrive to claim their money a moment too late.
Main article: Yowai Family
The family members below appear in the earlier chapters of the manga, and consist mainly of her parents and an elder brother. Yet as the format changed, Totoko's brother and mother vanished, and it would only be a father that was seen as family in later stories such as "Chibita the Safe-Cracker".
In other much later manga instances, Totoko would be set as the daughter of Dekapan or another random male character (either unseen or shown) for whatever plot was needed in a story. The 1988 guide by Kodansha establishes the fishmonger family as being present, along with a pro-boxer brother, though none of these characters ever made it into the actual manga relaunch.
The second animated adaptation wound up having no consistent family setting for Totoko itself; at times defaulting to having her be the daughter of Dekapan or Dayon in certain scenarios, while episode 19 and the Watermelon Planet movie have her as the only child of a rich couple that live in a mansion in the neighborhood. Its adaptation of "Chibita the Safe-Cracker" does have a fishmonger father appear, as in the manga, although the fish shop is renamed to be "Totoko's Fish" (this theme continues for when she's depicted as owning her own businesses).
Main article: Totoko's Father
Totoko's (usual) father is very adoring and appreciative of his daughter, and relies on her to help with the fish store. In the original "Chibita the Safe-Cracker", both he and Totoko become distraught when Osomatsu and Choromatsu are locked in the safe, but he surmises there's little any of them can do to break the boys out.
In the remake of the chapter, he is redesigned to be more super-deformed and is now terrified of his very daughter being locked in the safe. He is grateful to Chibita when she is rescued.
Main article: Totoko's Mother
Totoko's mother has a high pride in her daughter's cute side, to the point where she only ever focuses on her daughter's words and actions in the school's Urashima Taro play, but will faint and become upset when she sees her daughter being violent and remark on how it's so terrible.
She is last ever seen in the -kun series when assisting her daughter in a wheelchair after she'd injured her ankle.
Brother (Fighting Yowai)
Main article: Fighting Yowai
Her strength and body blow ability are said to have been inherited from this young man, who is 10 years her senior and goes by the boxing alias "Fighting Yowai". She attempts to get the sextuplets to masquerade as him in a boxing match, due to perceived similarities in their appearance, but it goes off disastrously.
A later chapter where Fighting Yowai actually appears revolves around her getting the sextuplets to convince her brother to return home, as he aims to set out on his own (but in actuality wishes to live off of the Matsunos) instead of staying home to eventually inherit the fish store. In this story, we can see that her older brother has his own sly ways and will not be deterred by his sister's wishes, and even uses the fact she secretly finds Osomatsu "charming" against her (she insists it to be a lie, but eventually admits and regrets she ever thought that to be the case about the boy) as a way to make Osomatsu do as he pleases.
But while Fighting Yowai may be physically strong and have his own kind of tough will, he is weak to the thoughts of his mother and is a timid guy at heart.
Though the first appearance of a grandfather showed him to be an ordinary old man being assisted by Totoko on walking out in the town, a later and more memorable grandfather character was depicted as a former soldier still bearing a very nationalistic and combat-oriented mindset. He uses this to aid the brothers in rounding up Chibita's cats and trapping them. His dentures will fly out of his mouth when angered or shocked.
The second "grandfather" design and character was in fact used previously in the series as an angry old man in the neighborhood, and this man would re-appear late in the series with a military mindset but no clear familial connection to Totoko.
Main article: Nyaa Hashimoto
She is seen to have a rivalry with the popular idol in -san, where they can barely tolerate each other at all and get into fights as seen in Jyushimatsu and the Dolphin.
However, in the past memories laid out in the movie, it is shown that a much younger Nyaa-chan idolized the teenage Totoko and gave her a letter of appreciation.
She is shown to have the character of Moko as a friend at a brief point in the early manga, likely as that shout-out to Akatsuka's Akko-chan series, and briefly references "friends" she'd like to sell the miniature sextuplets to in the 1988 show. However, she is not often shown with a consistent circle of friends outside the existing main cast, and any schoolmates that can be discerned in -kun tend to be nameless and nondescript.
In -san, Totoko states she has no friends, but only enemies jealous of her. Still, when it comes to friends or acquaintances she knew well when younger, "Totoko's Big Panic" shows her to know a Busumi, and other women known as "Babumi", "Debuyo", "Desuyo", and "Dokyue" are shown on Busumi's Facebook feed of others they knew from school. The movie shows her to have had Dobusu, Norimoto, and Uehara in her clique.
"Osomatsu-kun Grows Up"
25 years after the events of -kun, a possible future scenario is given for Totoko in this Big Comic advertisement for Sapporo Black beer.
She has married an unidentified man, whose back is turned to the audience, though it is pointedly revealed that he is not one of the sextuplets or Chibita. Osomatsu-kun has now become a cartoon show, which Totoko's young son enjoys. Totoko reminisces on how she had relationships with each sextuplet before meeting her ideal husband:
- She noticed that Choromatsu's eyes would quickly dart back and forth (chorochoro) to other girls, which resulted in their split.
- Next, she tried dating Karamatsu, but found him too "empty-headed" (karappo).
- She only felt anxiety when dating Ichimatsu, which lead her to break up with him next.
- Jyushimatsu left her feeling on the fence, but this relationship also did not go too much further.
- With Osomatsu, she found his own sexual performance to be "poor" and found it humiliating.
- In the end (todo no tsumari), she finally dated Todomatsu without a hitch, but then notes that they broke up just as fast.
After the last breakup, she began dating another guy she had known in the neighborhood since her youth, and they successfully married and had their son. Totoko mentions that she plans to get pregnant with a second child soon, though she is enjoying the Sapporo Black beer in the meantime.
Totoko's son is shown to have similar eyes and a haircut to the sextuplets', but this can be chalked up to him being a fan of them as well as there being characters with similar yet different features (and not necessarily any implications of infidelity).
Usage in the Star System
Due to Totoko and Akko's identical appearances, it may oftentimes be ambiguous which one of them is intended to appear as a guest unless a name is stated or other hints are given. There are times when Totoko may be the girl intended, though there are many times when it is Akko fulfilling the same purpose.
The Genius Bakabon
Totoko makes a brief appearance alongside Dekapan when Bakabon and Papa travel back in time to the Meiji Restoration. She is also used in the role of Princess Yayuyo in the "Aihue Kingdom" story.
In the main manga, Totoko only appears in cameos in the crossover stories involving -kun and other series like Bakabon.
However, the 1969 Toei show opted to extend her role some more in its usage of other Star System characters, being a young girl that would be the friend and/or love interest of Ataro. However, her usage was also very plot-dependent, and one Edo-era episode depicts her as the younger sister of a samurai Iyami. Totoko appears in color in the second opening to the series, being protected by Ataro and then running to give Dekoppachi a flower later on.
As the 1990 anime adaptation wound up handled by Toei once more, while Studio Pierrot had still rights to the Osomatsu characters, a character named Momoko was created to be a recurring part of the cast and serve a similar purpose of being Ataro's "girlfriend". Though her design was clearly inspired by Totoko, she was drawn to have a much shorter, childish appearance and be Ataro's own height.
The Fujio Pro revival manga that ran alongside this anime also included Momoko in a few select chapters, though her personality was written to be more identical to Totoko (where Momoko was a simple, gentle young girl) and her design is virtually the same to that of both her and Akko. This in turn created a third heroine to their "same face" dynamic, though she was never used for anything else afterward.
Oh! Great Jailbreak
Totoko appears in this crossover one-shot to visit Chibita while he's trapped in the jail that Papa has imprisoned him and other characters in.
Let's La Gon
Totoko appears as a princess in one of the Edo-era stories in this series.
Wanpei and Mo-chan
Totoko can be seen studying alongside five of the sextuplets at their house.
The Great Stupid Detective Kogoro Hakuchi
Totoko appears at a club alongside other Akatsuka characters.
Totoko and Akko appear alongside one another in the frontispiece to a chapter about lookalikes, with both naming themselves for the audience. However, only Akko ever features beyond this gag in any appearances in the series.
Specific Alternate roles in "Osomatsu-san"
In "Jyushimatsu Festival"
In "Period Drama Osomatsu-san"
Schoolmatsu Delinquent Girl
New Employee Totoko
Fraudulent Doctor T
Totoko was portrayed by Junko Hori in the second sonosheet album, but she did not carry over to the anime adaptation. Instead, she was usually voiced by Fuyumi Shiraishi, with Kazuko Sawada understudying in episodes 4 and 27 through 31.
Naoko Matsui would consistently voice Totoko through the 1988 series, and would reprise her for all media related to it such as specials and games.
In -san, she was recast anew with Aya Endo performing the role.
Note: Full names in other Southeast Asian dubs are listed in the Eastern standard order.
Totoko appears with these names in dubbing and translations of the franchise outside of Japan.
|Cantonese (Hong Kong)||JyuJyuZi (魚魚子)||"Fish".|
|Mandarin (Taiwan)||Duoduozi (多多子)||"Many Child".|
|Mandarin (PRC)||Miaozi (妙子)||"Wonderful Child".|
|Castilian Spanish||Tetoko Metoko||Derived from two phrases meaning "I touch you" and "I touch myself".|
|Korean||Yeon Kkot-ji (연꽃지)||"Lotus Flower".|
The renaming in South Korea only applies to the Osomatsu-kun dub aired in 2012, and not the dub of -san where her name is retained.
Totoko/1966 Anime Episode Appearances
Totoko/1988 Anime Episode Appearances
ESP Kitty (mentioned)
The Calming Osomatsu (non-speaking role)
- Due to the variations in settings with Totoko and the 1988 anime barely reflecting her family, the "Yowai" surname was not seen referenced in either of the earlier adaptations. Her surname was re-introduced in -san. It is first shown on her idol billboard in Episode 8B, reading "7th Yowai Totoko Solo Live".
- At the same time, due to the fact that the Yowai family were barely in her settings after a certain point of the manga and her name is mostly often given as just "Totoko" by Fujio Pro, there are some readers that would want to dispute the idea of "Yowai" being her regular surname due to the fact that Akatsuka's settings for characters can vary by story and need. The Burst of Laughter World guide itself does not give her surname, but does keep the setting of her fishmonger parents and pro-boxer brother intact in her profile.
- Though Totoko and Akko are indeed the same character design template, to the point where they infamously never really appear in the same series together (save for the aforementioned opening gag in Reading Dai-sensei), Akatsuka had angrily refuted the idea of them being the same entity in commentary to the -kun manga in 1989. However, it is also said that he made remarks to the effect of "Totoko equals Akko" in his life (perhaps in relation to how she was designed), and it can be noted how Akko in some appearances outside her own series is treated in the same way that Totoko would be by other -kun characters. The Koredeiinoda FAQ treats them as separate characters that just happen to look identical, and an illustration by Katta Yoshi for Akatsuka's 80th anniversary depicts Totoko and Akko startled to see each others' similar faces.
- Osomatsu-kun volume 1, chapter 10 "We'll Do Anything in 6 Rounds" (なんでもやるよ６回戦), eBookJapan.
- Animage, August 1988 issue, Tokuma Shoten
- Osomatsu-kun volume 4, chapter 12 "I Won't Lose to the Sextuplets!" (六つ子なんかにまけないぞ), eBookJapan.
- Osomatsu-kun volume 3, chapter 1 (トンカチビタレント), eBookJapan.
- Osomatsu-kun volume 3, chapter 7 "It's a Problem Whether You're a Child or an Adult" (おとなか 子どもか それが問題だ), eBookJapan.
- Osomatsu-kun volume 2, chapter 7 "Let's Face Off Against the Weak and Old" (相手はヨボヨボだるんでいこう), eBookJapan.
- Osomatsu-kun volume 9, chapter 1 "Attack! The Wild Cat Strategy" (とつげきーっ！ノラネコ作戦), eBookJapan.
- Osomatsu-kun volume 4, chapter 1 "It's All Fine Until You Take Off His Hat" (帽子をとったらはいそれまでよ), eBookJapan.