Kaiketsu Zorori is a series of Japanese children's books. It features a humanoid fox named Zorori and his two boar disciples Ishishi and Noshishi as they travel around the land and attempt to complete Zorori's three life-long goals: 1) Become known as the Prankster King; 2) Build (or find, buy, or steal) Zorori Castle; and 3) Find a beautiful bride to become Zorori's queen (princesses preferred, but not required). While these are his own goals, he's also doing these things to make his late mother proud.Zorori sees himself as a Villain Protagonist and will constantly state that he has no interest in doing the right thing, but his love of family is so great that if another's family unity is threatened he will do his best to bring that family back together, even if he winds up getting the short end of the deal. Other times when playing a prank or getting the better of someone is the focus of the episode, the prank will either backfire or the scheme will benefit the target instead of Zorori. There was also a second, very well-made 2006 movie based on the then-recent TV series.After a 1993 movie that adapted two of Zorori's stories, a television series with a different animation style was produced in 2004 and released as Kaiketsu Zorori. Two more series were released soon after the first under the title Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori.A Fan Sub of the television series can be found here.Not to be confused with Zorua or Zoroark.
Subverted with the two-part episode featuring the video game princess Myan (the one with the crowning moment of heartwarming). Unfortunately, she had to return to the video game world and he couldn't go without being unable to return to his own world.
All The Worlds Are A Stage: The Legendary Prank King's castle, as well as its elaborate entrance, has many traps referencing the King's handiwork that Zorori encountered throughout the third series, including a broken gag machine, a very familiar plank, and a plywood cut-out castle.
Apocalypse How: threatened with Class X via giant meteorite at the end of the second series.
Becoming the Mask: Zorori disguises himself as a woman in order to fool the police. A police officer falls in love with his female persona and keeps her at the police station in order to protect her from, ironically, Zorori. Since he can't get away without revealing who he is, Zorori eventually gives up and decides that the moment he's married to the police officer he will become 'her'.
Berserk Button: Ishishi and Noshishi don't like it when you call one of them by the wrong name.
Big Eater: Ishishi and Noshishi and Zorori to some extent.
Bodyguard Crush: In series 3, Inu Taku states that he and his fiancé Cindy Clawhyord fell in love during his time as her bodyguard.
Boring Return Journey: In series 3, it takes 23 episodes to find the Minus Electric Eel. After they find it, the pond it was in has an underwater current tunnel that takes them right back to the Ghost Forest where they started.
Call Back: In series 3 to the series 1 finale. "But we've already gone to Hell."
Canon Foreigner: Gaon is in none of the original Zorori books and was created for the animated series.
Chekhov's Gun: Youkai-sensai gives Zorori a Duke Bururu card as a gift for helping some elderly monsters get their swing back. Six episodes later, it's discovered that there's only two such cards in the world and they're worth a fortune.
Chekhov's Boomerang: The magic rod that appeared early in the first series returns as the Grum Rod that Nelly seeks early in the second series, in the hands of recurring villain Tiger.
In the third series, aliens have stolen Santa's suit!
Clip Show: The first episode of the second series sums up the entire first series for new watchers with the pretense of Ishishi and Noshishi trying to cheer Zorori up. They end up resorting to rapid-fire oyiji gags.
An interesting variation in the fourth closing of the first series, which played for the last six episodes. During the song, a representative image and several Deliberately Monochrome screencaps of previous episodes were shown, starting with the current episode and counting back every six episodes (although they were, of course, shown in episode order). After all six sequences, every episode appeared once (except for the first episode, which appeared three times).
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Duke Bururu, a candy mogul that holds contests with practically impossible win conditions to increase sales. When Zorori actually manages to find the loophole and win the contest, leave it to Bururu to find another loophole to keep him from getting the prize he's expecting.
The Bururu Bank charges customers, with interest, for the small services in the bank such as magazines and the water fountain that would be free in any other bank. And withdrawing money requires collecting stuff like the wrappers and cups from Bururu's assorted sweets.
Admission to the Bururu Art Museum is free with a flyer... up to the front desk. You have to buy Bururu brand snack food to see the exhibits, and pay cash to leave. How is he getting away with all this?! At least he's never a Karma Houdini...
The Gyuugyuu Electronics company set up a weather control machine to superheat a town so they could sell them their expensive air conditioners.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Inu Taku in the third series has studied Zorori and the boars' M.O. very thoroughly in order to ensure that Zorori gets prison for life this time. He sees straight through the boars' Paper-Thin Disguises and manages to preemptively thwart Zorori's nightly escape by mecha.
Deus ex Machina: The red plane made and piloted by Zorori's father generally serves this role when it appears.
Does Not Like Shoes: Zorori and the boars are like the only characters in the whole series that don't normally wear shoes (with the exception of his Kaiketsu Zorori outfit).
Forgotten Phlebotinum: The NajouNajou Spinner, despite Najou making it being able to produce question-answering riddles even when he isn't present and still in Zorori's possession, is completely absent in the third series.
Great Escape: In the first series, Zorori and the boars are imprisoned in an Alcatraz. It ends up taking two escape attempts to break out.
Heel Face Door Slam: Roger is in no mood to listen to Dapon's claims of atonement when he goes to turn himself in. Thankfully, eventually subverted when it is Roger's testimony that keeps Dapon out of prison in his trial.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Dapon is ultimately defeated at the end of the Magical Forest arc by getting blasted with his own anti-wizard missiles.
"...but don't call me a hero. I'm not fit to be one. I'm just Zorori."
Incredibly Lame Pun: The Bukkura Koita gets its power from this. Incredibly Lame Puns have the power to freeze people and objects in Zorori's World, a reference to how puns (dajare) often awkwardly silence an entire room due to its cringy-ness, causing the atmosphere to feel "cold".
For the sheer scope of just how many characters are in this show, look no further than the end of the first series opening, which notably contains damn near every character that appears in both series! (Admittingly the designs in the title don't match how they eventually appear in the show proper every time, such as Nelly, but they are undeniably the same characters.)
Even more packed than that is the last shot of the second series opening, which completely fills the screen using just the character HEADS! You can even see all of Zorori's and the boars' different disguises in there!
Medium Awareness: At the end of episode 19, Zorori comments about his fans and then points at screen.
Zorori: At this rate, fans of pranks from around the world, and Zorori fans are going to be disappointed. [points at screen] Keep watching, everyone! I'll escape this prison and give everyone a big surprise! Please wait for it!
At episode 20, while fighting the antagonist, he asks for a time out and turns to the screen:
Zorori: Kaiketsu Zorori viewers. What will a hero like me do in such a pinch?
Mythology Gag: When Zorori is arrested and imprisoned, the warden says he intends to teach the bad out of Zorori and by the end of his sentence, he'd be an outstanding citizen writing children's books.
Name's the Same: Those who have read Ruby Quest may find it amusing when the third series includes a white rabbit bit character named Ruby. This one, however, is a Kaitou as opposed to a mutated psychic.
Nice Hat: Zorori, although Gaon and Arthur qualify too.
Ninja: Gorimaru and Sarumaru, monkey ninjas that pursue Zorori and the boars for paying up their debt to their ninja school.
Noodle Incident: Zorori apparently had developed something of a trickster reputation before the start of the series, as he's recognized by Ishishi and Noshishi, and later Youkai-sensai, when they first meet.
Oddly Named Sequel: As the description states, the second series has the inverted subtitle (supertitle?) "Majime ni Fumajime," which according to Zorori-Project translates to "Seriously Kidding," describing Zorori's chosen career as a prankster.
The alien civilization that tried to invade Earth apparently has riddles as an important part of their culture. One of Zorori's duties in the event he married their princess is thinking up a million new riddles every day.
While cursed with Pokémon Speak, Najou's translator only results in riddles, requiring Zorori and his associates to solve the riddle in order to find out what to do next.
Robot Maid: Meiko-san, who's too much of a cute drama queen for you to resist eating the ginormous piles of food she cooks. Zorori eventually manages to program moderation into her and sends her back to where she was built. Turns out she was built by the scientists known as the Legendary Prank King, as they run into her again at their castle laboratory and she serves as the judge of Zorori and her creators' invention battle.
The Treachery of Images: When Zorori wins "this sports car" from eating Duke Bururu Ice Cream Bars, Bururu gives him a tricycle with a towing flatbed, surrounding by four wooden walls (with seeing flaps in front), one wall of which is made from the portion of the billboard the car is pictured on. The crowd watching turns on Bururu for Loophole Abuse while Zorori, while disappointed, still blasts off happily in the tricycle using Ishishi and Noshishi's farts.
The castle in the Children's Country amusement park in the third series is a very convincing plywood cut-out.
So is the "floating" part of the Legendary Prank King's castle.
Treachery of words also shows up. The prize for getting the celebrity that can't laugh to laugh is a mystery bag. By which they mean just the bag, with nothing in it.
To Be a Master: One of Zorori's goals is to become known as the Prankster King. The overall Story Arc in the third series makes this a forefront point with the introduction of a mysterious antagonist calling himself the "Legendary Prank King." Turns out he only exists as a rumor.
Triang Relations: Type 5 in the second series with Zorori attracted to Milly, while Milly is (or seems to be) attracted to Roger. By the end of the series, Milly and Roger have hooked up, leaving Zorori once again out in the cold.