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Shin-chan, or Crayon Shin-chan, is a long running Japanese anime and manga series created by the late Yoshito Usui. It follows the misadventures of Shinnosuke "Shin" Nohara and his family and friends.Among several dubs into English is a considerably more profane Gag Dub produced by Funimation that aired on [adult swim]; as it deliberately deviates from the original both in tone and plot, examples specific to it are listed in a separate section. Now on Hulu (though rated TV-MA, so you'll need an account to watch it).
Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Vitello dub uses this, making it seem more kid friendly than it really is, but not shying away from showing Shin-Chan's naked buttocks.
Art Evolution: The series has undergone a noticeable change in character designs since the comic started in 1992. The art shift is extremely noticeable in the dub, where they don't run episodes in any particular production order. Rather, for the sake of the Gag Dub, they just looked through numerous episodes and chose ones they wanted to work with. Even for episodes that are aired in the order relating to the storylines (such as the Apartment or Kendo story arcs), a more primitive design comes back once in a while.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Italian dub often changes the names of some characters with Japanese-sounding names which are actually Italian descriptions of their job, attitude or appearance. For example, once a fat guy was called "Namasa Dekili" ("Una massa di chili", "A big mass of kilos")
Author Avatar: Yoshito Usui has not one, not two, but three of them! First is mangaka Usuto Yoshii, who always has the misfortune of being bugged by Shin-chan, often resulting in delays is his manga publications. Second is a one shot character called Toyo Ishiuto who was once bugged by Shin-chan, but it inspired her to write the Show Within a ShowEnpitsu Shin-chan ("Pencil Shin-chan"). Third doubles also as a Creator Cameo in the fifth movie where Usui himself appears as a young man who likes to sing karaoke, and near the end of the movie ends up being punched in the face by an angry Hiro. Ouch.
Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: Subverted in the manga which has a series of AU short stories where the titular character grows up and becomes a cab driver. One of his lady passengers disappears mid-ride, leaving only a puddle of cold water on the seat. Much to said the ghost/passenger's exasperation, instead of realizing that she is a ghost, he just becomes angry that the passenger ran off without paying and peed on the seat.
Big Damn Movie: While your usual Crayon Shin-chan episode is about Shin's Wacky Hijinks, either in his hometown of Kasukabe, or parodying a fairytale or sci-fi, the movies take a step further with Shin saving the world from outlandish villains, with the help of his family or his friends, while still managing to keep the wacky spirit of the TV series.
Brother-Sister Incest: In an episode, Hima becomes infatuated by a handsome package delivery man. When Shin arrives, Hima snaps, thinking he's the delivery man, and goes after her brother to forcefully steal a kiss from him! Shin's (and Hima's, after realizing who she was kissing) reaction? PRICELESS!
Another episode has them taking a bath together, and he mentions that "he'll get naked with her", disturbing Mitzi. Later, he starts showing unusual concern for the size of her breasts when she's older, disturbing Mitzi even further.
In everybody eyes (particularly with the mothers) , Hazama is seen as this.
To say nothing of Shin Chan himself. In almost every sport based chapters, he usually performs something that a child of his age is not capable of, causing several amount of people to surround him, praising his performance, or asking him to teach them.
Cloudcuckoolander: Boo takes the cake, though Shin intentionally becomes one to annoy his friends.
Comic-Book Time: They never age. Shin-chan has gone from being an eighties kid, then a nineties kid, and currently 2000s kid. According to a 2010 episode, which it itself is out of canon by now, he was born 12 years after the manga started.
Cross Over: A ten-minute short has Shin meet the cast of Kamen Rider Den-O (early in its run; Urataros hadn't even appeared yet!) and becoming Kamen Rider Shin-O in order to help save his mother from an Imagin.
Darker and Edgier: The movies in general, as they typically throw the Nohara family into a trying situation, and then mix in a liberal amount of Adult Fear and Fridge Horror. The 18th movie, for example, shows that not terribly long after the present day, a meteor strike wipes out Tokyo as well as a large part of Japan and severely affects the climate, forcing surviving future inhabitants to constantly wear cold-weather clothing when outdoors.
Future Badass: Every main character in the 18th movie Super-Dimension! The Storm Called My Bride... eventually, but only Future!Shin-chan and Future!Bou-chan start out this way. Future!Himawari, of all people, despite being referred to as a civil servant, grew up to become a cop.
Get It Over With: Happiness Bunny wishes for death, but alas, it was not meant to be.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: The writers for the English dub identify this as existing in the original Japanese version in the commentary for an episode involving Action Bastard and a vibrating "back massager." Specifically, the part where Lollipop shows up with it and seems to have trouble walking. And then uses it on Action Kamen's groin.
Goggles Do Something Unusual: Glasses here has the ability to change personalities, it shows in Miss Katz and once on Masao (when he took Principal Ench's glasses by accident}
Fumie is either: The female model that Shin-chan likes to watch in her magazines, or the name of Keiko's (Misae's friend) niece who babysat Shin a couple of times. The coincidence has been brought up the first time she appeared.
Hitoshi is either: One of the bullies from kindergarten; or the name of Keiko's baby child.
Ogin is either: The teenage member of Saitama's Crimson Scorpions; or the barefootkunoichi agent from special episode 6.
Atsuko is either: the weather newslady who Shin-chan likes to watch on TV; or Atsuko Kutsuzoko (Summer in the Funimation dub) from Falling Apartments.
Shinobu is either: The college student who has the misfortune of being fired from every part time job because of Shin-chan; or Shinobu Kandadori, Nanako's college friend.
One episode even revolved around Mitzi's secret admiration for a new show called Super Biker Ryuu and its title character. At the end, a newspaper had the following news: "Super Biker Ryuu, a favorite among housewives!" (On the [adult swim] version, the headline was, "Desperate Women, Pitiful Lives.")
Bit of truth in television. Live-action superhero shows like Kamen Rider and Ultraman now hire extremely good-looking male actors to play the male characters to appeal to the mother fan-base. The kids watch for the action and the mothers watch for the male actors.
Playing with Fire: The Flamer, who has what are at one point described as "mutant fire powers."
Plot Tailored to the Party: The 17th movie, "Howl! Kasukabe Wild Kingdom", has Shin-chan's friends turned into animal versions of themselves, and they discover that their new forms give them an edge in battle (Rabbits can hear well and kick like mofos', Armadillos can bounce around very effectively, and bats can apparently scream good)... But Kazama-kun is turned into a Penguin, and is therefore useless for the entire battle. Until a crapton of water nearly drowns his friends, at which point he shows that penguins are quite fast underwater, leaving a vortex the size of a 747 in his wake.
Shin-chan for Nanako Ōhara. While Shin usually goes after girls who are older than he, Nanako is special to him.
In episode 225c, a high school student sent a love letter to Ms. Matsuzaka/Ms. Katz, and later after finding out that he needs to get better grades at school, and that he already has a female friend, the teacher asks the kindergarten principal and Sihn-chan to pose as her husband and child respectively in front of him to set him back on track.
Retail Riot: Mitzy often finds herself beating the crap out of other women just to get her hands on anything on sale. One time, it was over bulk-packaged eggs. Most of them ended up smashed on the ground during the chaos.
Significant Anagram: In the second movie, Shin-chan meets a prince who is identical to him. His name: Sunnokeshi (anagram of Shinnosuke).
Slice of Life: When it's not about Shinnosuke's antics, then it's this.
Shotacon: Parodied in an extended spoof of sports based "High School" shows. Shin only wishes the women he met had this fetish.
Shout-Out: Lots, considering the long run of the series. For example, Penny has a crush on a student called Kazuo. She daydreams about him and accidentally calls Kazuo to Maso/Masao. Kazuo and Masao...
Souvenir Land: In Episode 138-C, where Shin-chan and family go to Action Land. They take a picture with MimitchiMouse, and they wait in a long line for the roller coaster while Shin and Misae are distracted by an Action Kamen parade.
Spaghetti Kiss: One episode has a drunk Miss Katz seeing Shin has a handsome grown man through her beer goggles and trying to do this with him, only with pocky.
Three-Teacher School: Temporarily bumped to four during The Flamer's arc. When it was revealed he would be fired, the kids lampshaded the fact that Miss Katz rarely appears to teach them and suggested firing her in Flamer's place.
Toilet Humor: Sometimes Shin's dialog is just "Farty poop fart fart" or something like that.
True Companions: The Kasukabe Defense Organization, consisting of Shin and friends.
Unmoving Plaid: Principal Ench's pants. The English dub added some in-jokes.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Shin-chan and Georgie. Shin loves to tease him, and Georgie wants to get away from Shin when he does, but deep down, they're the closest friends and do care for each other. Penny and Ai just as well.
Wham Episode: Volume 47. Miss Ume falling into depression and became suicidal after her boyfriend died from a terrorist bombing attack on an Africa excavation trip. Made more tragic as he was planning to propose to her when he returned.
Wham Line: Fighting his final foe, and having completed two separate power-ups, Kantam Robo declares that he's "sick and tired of powering up just to continue a bloodbath"note Kantam is a Defector from Decadence from the robot-controlled future and his penultimate foes were his family, then basically self-destructs with his wife to destroy President Gilgiros.
Adaptation Expansion: Many of the backstories for certain characters have been greatly changed and expanded to be more comedic. Most notably is principal Enzo, who in the original is by all accounts just really a nice guy with a run-of-the-mill background. Principal Ench on the other hand...
Black Comedy: Among many examples, the frequent mention of Penny's sister Caitlin in the Gag Dub who "Lives in the lake now..."
Mitzi: (to Shin) You know, if we were in China right now, you'd be in a dumpster.
Brawn Hilda: Nanako's German roommate Griselda. She claims her muscle mass was mostly a result of the rhinoceros hormones.
Break the Haughty: Georgie in season three, when the economy wipes out his family's fortune. In particular, episode 66.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The dub likes to do this now and then. One episode is even titled "Stop Referencing The Show!"
Miss Polly is almost always constantly horny. She goes so far as to do research on other adults ("I don't mind if it's small. It's actually better for anal"), and it's implied that she rapes Principal Ench in numerous kinky ways, gets it on with a very willing Mr. K, and tries to get both Miss Katz and Miss Anderson in on the action. Miss Katz realizes her life sucks so much that she eventually submits to the idea of just letting Polly do whatever she wants with her.
Christmas Cake: Miss Katz's love life eventually gets the best of her as she realizes how alone she really is. After learning how much Penny's abusive father reflects her life, she states that Penny is the only person she knows who's life sucks worse than hers.
She was once forced to buy a literal family-sized Christmas Cake to keep appearances.
Crazy Awesome: In-universe, Kenta really IS crazy, but he's a good Kendo instructor because of it.
Crazy Homeless People: Kenta, the crazy Kendo instructor, who was abandoned at an orphanage by his father when he was young. He really is a lunatic who feels his ultimate purpose in life is to find Dildor, the Chosen One destined to defeat the evil Slutteress. He's convinced that Shin is Dildor, and persuades him to learn Kendo. Shin decides to go with it just for the entertainment, but actually learns and becomes rather well trained in the process.
His father has been living just down the street from Kenta's "Dojo of Destiny (A.K.A. Leet)" for his entire life.
Delivery Stork: When playing house with Shin, Ai declares to Penny that she's pregnant. "Shin and I French-kissed and then the stork came down and knocked me up!"
Domestic Abuse/Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Mr. Milfer is constantly stated to be a drunk who beats Penny and Mrs. Milfer all the time. Once he stops drinkings, he becomes a much nicer person, but they're so used to it that actually miss it, because Penny thinks that's how he's supposed to act while Mrs. Milfer misses the incredibly violent sex they always had.
Dub Name Change: Applied a bit differently than most other foreigns dubs of the show, as instead of the whole cast getting western names there are general three different categories (with a few examples):
Characters with no name change: Ai, Yonro, Nanako
Characters who have the shortened version of their original name treated as their full name: Shinnosuke->Shin, Hiroshi->Hiro, Himawari->Hima
Characters with entirely different names: Toru Kazuma->Georgie Prescott, Nene Sakurada->Penny Milfer, Enzo->Bernoulli Ench. These examples are often done because the character's backgrounds, nationality included, are entirely different which crosses this trope over with Race Lift. Pretty much the entire cast was Japanese in the original version, but Ench is half-Peruvian, half-Roma while Georgie is stated to be an American living in Japan because his dad is a diplomat.
End of Series Awareness: The final episode of season 3 starts right away in "The Bitzi Saga Conclusion: Alternate Ending", when Mitzi starts talking back to the Lemony Narrator. All of this happens while the episode keeps rolling.
Narrator: Boy, this show's been swearing more this season. That's either a sign that the Supes support it.. o-or don't care about it! Hey Zach! We're not getting canceled, are we!? ADR Director Zach Bolton: Nah, they got like 600 of these in Japan. We'll be doing this for years!
The rest of the episode just shatters what remains of the 4th wall with nothing but talk of whether Shin-Chan as a series will be cancelled or renewed for a 4th season. Numerous call-backs to previous characters, plot lines, and numerous Take Thats, Shout Outs, and parodies all over the place.
Fiction 500: Ai's family is often mentioned to do many decadent and insanely illegal things with their money, including making children fight to the death for entertainment and feeding their dog steaks made from orphans.
Foregone Conclusion: In a flashback episode when Shin was a baby, Hiro was in a happy marriage with Mitzi and expected to reach the top of the corporate ladder by the time Shin was in kindergarten. It's a little sad to see how his life spiraled downward.
Gag Dub: Probably one of the more extreme examples out there: dialogue, characters, and even the plots of most episodes are entirely rewritten in ways that subvert the originals and adds a tremendous amount of profane humor. The order and continuity of episodes isn't even the same, as the writers pick and choose a small numbers of episodes of the show from whenever in it's long-running history they want.
Intrepid Reporter: Mitzi's sister Bitzi claims to be a photographer who ended up getting mixed up with the affairs of third-world hell holes like Africa and Burma. Because of it, she got addicted to drugs and is now trying to kick her habit. She was especially fond of Brown-Brown, which is mixing Cocaine with gunpowder...
Hiro: Well, this inspirational music tells me we made it through the storm.
Love Hurts: In one episode, Penny sinks into a deep depression because her dad was taking anger management courses and no longer inflicted injuries on his family. Penny thinks it meant he stopped loving her, because she's never known otherwise.
Manipulative Bastard: Shin has a way with toying with people's emotions. Quite often, the only reason people stick around him is because they'd feel horrible if they didn't. His meddling is intentional, and sometimes he just says the right audaciously stupid thing to make others worry about him because they know he can't be trusted. It's almost a form of coercion, and he's aware of what he's doing. For example, in one episode, Miss Katz has to walk Shin home because his parents weren't home and couldn't pick him up from school. Miss Katz wanted to leave because she had other things to tend to, but Shin manipulated her to stay.
Shin: Are you just going to leave me all alone? Miss Katz: Sorry, but I have to get going to my date. Shin: But what will the Press think when they see you walking away right before the fire? Miss Katz:GOD-DAMN YOU, SHIN!
Initially implied to be the case with Ken Nakatomi and Bernie Ota, a pair of detectives, who rent an apartment near the Noharas' as part of an investigation and claim to be a gay couple to cover up in the episode "Stakeout of the Closet". Subverted, because about halfway through their first appearance it becomes increasingly obvious that they both are gay and in denial. In a later episode, their Inner Monologue reveals that they both secretly love each other. They reappear in the third season, both aware of and completely open their feeling for each other.
Mushroom Samba: When Shin ends up eating a 'shroom, his parents have no idea that that's even tripping out because everything he says is perfectly within his realm of imagination anyway.
No Sense of Personal Space: Shin-chan does this to Georgie, much to his annoyance. Even one time, Shin-chan entered Georgie's bathroom, while he was still using it!
Shin and Hiro: To be a man you must have honor! Honor and a peeeeeniiiiiiis!
Running Gagged: Penny's dad was VERY abusive. However, one late season 2 episode has her dad going to therapy and becoming a good father. It takes her an episode to realize not all Love Hurts. Even after a 2+ years break, the writers seemed to have kept this.
Strawman Political: Georgie is a straw conservative played to a ridiculous extreme, being unable to go more than a few sentences without thanking Reagan or calling someone a communist/socialist. He's even part of a "Very Young Republicans" club.
Tastes Like Purple: When Principal Ench gets hit in the head by a dodgeball, he remarks that he can smell colors.
Theme Tune Cameo: In the Gag Dub, the characters frequently hum along to the background music of the scene. In a couple episodes, they outright sing the ending theme.
Third-Person Person: Ai starts talking this way once she reappears in the third season. Amusingly, this is slightly obscured by the fact that her name is homophonic with the pronoun "I", leading to odd sentences that sound like something along the lines of "I is taking a walk."
Throw the Dog a Bone: Miss Polly waited in line at a donut shop to get a "Kream-splosion". If she didn't get one, she'd relapse into her sex craze and everyone would suffer. The customer in front of her bought the last one, and she feared the worst, but the store restocked them. She wanted to buy them all, but every other woman standing in line protested.
Too Dumb to Live: Boo's mental faculties are frequently shown to be potentially, directly lethal. In "The High School Years" episodes when Boo gets knocked out during a boxing match from one punch to the head and he just stands there and doesn't move. The announcer declares "Victory by Technical Manslaughter" for his opponent. Boo continues to show up for the rest of the episode, but they insist that Boo is a ghost (he's not). In other episodes, Shin suggests that Boo tends to stare up at the rain with his mouth open, and that he thinks he earns points in dodgeball by just standing there and letting everyone peg him with the ball.
Un-Cancelled: Two years after not being renewed for TV broadcast, a third season was made specifically for online broadcast and DVD release. Several jokes are made regarding the "two-year summer vacation".
We Want Our Jerk Back: Played with rather viciously as Mrs. Milfer and Penny both sorely wish their husband/father was a violent alcoholic because they missed the physical abuse. Mrs. Mifler at least realizes there's something wrong with her (and she's seek therapy if she could afford it) but Penny continues trying to find someone who will beat her up.