Anime / Mokku of the Oak Tree

Kashi no Ki Mokku (known as Pinocchio: The Series in the Western world) is an anime adaptation of the story of Pinocchio, made by Tatsunoko Productions. It ran for 52 episodes in 1972 on Fuji Television. In 1990, Saban Entertainment adapted the series into English. This version ran on HBO in 1992 and all over the world via Fox Kids. Another dub was made in the mid-80s, this time of several episodes cut together into movie form. This version was made by Harmony Gold.

Unlike the Disney version, this version is far more like Carlo Collodi's original story, which was rather dark. In one infamous episode Pinocchio tries to kill a boy and take his heart to become human. Pinocchio himself was characterized as being prone to all the flaws of humanity, and he had to learn how to overcome them.

This anime contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Pinocchio breaks into a boy's bedroom at night and almost kills him before the boy's parents stop him.
  • Anti-Villain: In the Japanese version, the cat that convinces Pinocchio to kill a boy was avenging the death of her child, which the boy took his anger out on and killed.
  • Bowdlerize: The aforementioned episode where Pinocchio nearly commits murder had so much cut from the Saban dub that it ran several minutes short.
    • The way the episode is cut makes it seem like they fully dubbed the uncut version but they left the dubbed dialogue unchanged when they censored it, as Johnny somehow knows Pinocchio is trying to take his heart without Pinocchio telling him and the part where Johnny's father calls him a good-for-nothing as part of a Secret Test of Character where he pretended to let Pinocchio kill him and Johnny's father explaining why he put them through the Secret Test of Character were still left in even though said Secret Test of Character was cut.
    • The death of the cricket was cut, though the cricket is still stated to be dead later.
    • Episode 6 also has Pinnochio's schoolmates being attacked by wolves after attempting to use the cross against them, and some of the soldiers used guns to shoot the wolves in the uncut version, then after that there's a scene where the fathers of Pinnochio's schoolmates crying, though dialogue in the English dub implies their death.
    • Any scene that shows physical violence (i.e.: thrown down, slapped, whipped) is also cut.
  • Butt-Monkey: Being a live toy puppet isn't easy when you are Pinnochio. He would constantly get tormented, persecuted, bullied, humiliated, tricked, ridiculed, and beaten.
  • Cats Are Mean: In the episode where Pinocchio almost kills a kid to steal his heart, a cat is the one who gives him the idea in the first place.
    • In the original version, she was getting revenge on the kid because he killed her child, but she still smiled at him getting hurt and crying before he did that.
  • The Conscience: The Cricket, of course. Much as in the original book, he died in the beginning of the series and appeared as a ghost after that.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Pinocchio attempts to remove a boy's heart with a chisel.
  • Darker and Edgier: Considered to be more darker than the Disney and Nippon Animation ones.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the English dub, the cat that tried to get Johnny killed claimed he once threw a rock at her, though she could have been lying.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The cricket is accidentally crushed by a mallet, with its insides frothing out of its mouth. In the dub, the part where the cricket falls over dead was cut.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in episode 5, where a kitten is killed onscreen.
  • Karma Houdini: Pinnocchio's schoolmates who uses him, tourtures him, and gets him in trouble, are never seen receiving their comeuppance.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Many kids often pick on Pinocchio in the beginning of the show.
  • Killed Offscreen: The Cricket in the English dub.
  • Knight Templar: The soldiers who are hunting down Pinocchio and Geppetto believing Geppetto to be a sorcerer and Pinocchio to be some kind of demon. They don't even relent when they clearly see Pinocchio helping others in the town.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Pinocchio get this in an episode when he is forced to be adopted by a Nobleman and becomes the Prince, but becomes a huge Jerkass to his servants and randomly riding down any person who gets in his way, laughing at the horror, indignity and danger inflicted upon others for his personal amusement. But then gets punished by the blue fairy and turns his nose into a tree. And his stepfather who could not stop laughing at Pinocchio kicks him out, and the people he tormented comes back to plan on killing him but is saved by his real father.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Willie and Jack, and Charlie the mouse who lives in Geppettos house are special mentions most of the things they did almost risked Pinnocchios life.
  • Papa Wolf: When Pinocchio attempts to kill a boy to take his heart, the boy's father attempts to kill Pinocchio in retaliation.
  • Pinocchio Nose: As is common to all versions of the story. It wasn't used very often, though.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Look back to the Laser-Guided Karma trope.