Manga: Chibi Maruko-chan
Chibi Maruko-chan is a popular manga and anime series in Japan about a 9-year-old girl that lives with her family in pre-Internet era Shimizu (which is today part of Shizuoka). The main character is Momoko Sakura, named after the author's pen name, whose nickname is Maruko or Maruchan. She lives with her family of 6, to include big sister, father, mother, and paternal grandfather and grandmother, in old Shimizu-shi, today part of Shizuoka-shi.It is an example of Shoujo. In Japan, it is broadcast weekly on Sundays at 1800 on Fuji TV. In the United States and Canada, starting January 8, 2012, it is broadcast weekly (in Japanese) on Sundays at 1845 Eastern Time on TV Japan, which you can get on Dish Network in the U.S. and on certain local cable services in both the U.S. and Canada.
Chibi Maruko-chan provides examples of:
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Tomozou, Maruko's doting grandfather. He can sometimes do weird things that nobody understands, like imitate Maruko or that one time when he wrote "Work hard Japan!" on the flag Maruko was making for the white team for her school's sports day. There are times like when Maruko's sister was saying she doesn't use her head in class, Tomozou responded saying that when he puts on a "hachimaki" (Japanese bandana), he uses his head. Maruko seems to have inherited it to a lesser extent, with her strong tendency to daydream or to even go into a daze. There was one episode about how Maruko could be absent-minded and showed that Maruko doesn't know what she thinks about when she goes into a daze. Also, her friend Noguchi and definitely Noguchi's grandfather.
- Deadpan Snarker: The narrator Keaton Yamada, particularly when commenting on one of Maruko and her grandpa's wild schemes.
- Hair Decorations: When Maruko dresses up, she will usually go out either with a ribbon tied into a bow or with her hair arranged like Mickey Mouse ears.
- In-Series Nickname: Momoko Sakura is called Maruko, meaning "round child", pretty much to the exclusion of her actual given name.
- Lemony Narrator: Keaton Yamada for the win.
- Odango Hair: When Maruko dressed up to go to the Momoe-chan concert, she had her mother do her hair in this style.
- Slice of Life
- Sliding Scale of Anime Obscurity: Level 5. This series is actually quite popular in Japan, achieving in 1990 the 2nd highest TV anime ratings in Japanese history (behind only Astro Boy and the Japanese dub of Tiny Toon Adventures), beating out even Sazae-san's record, and even today new episodes are being produced and frequently rate number 2 (behind Sazae-san) in the ratings for TV anime. In contrast, the series seems to be virtually unheard of among Western anime fans. It's not difficult to find on the Internet, however....
- Stoic Spectacles: Maruko's classmate Nagayama, who wears glasses and is very smart, but well-liked by Maruko and others, calmly explaining various phenomena of the natural world ranging from rainbows to the asteroid that crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula. Inverted with Maruo, another of Maruko's classmates, the neurotic, obsessive class government council member in whose glasses on the anime and manga versions you can see swirls.
- The Illegible: Hanawa (the rich boy) and Yamada (the ADHD boy) in Maruko's class both have pretty bad handwriting.
- The Short Guy with Glasses: Nagayama.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Maruko is the tomboy, and her best friend Tamae is the girly girl. Maruko is lazy, talks in a more gender neutral manner, sometimes hangs out with just the boys doing stuff, and does not do a lot to maintain her appearance most of the time. Tamae is proper, punctual, and feminine in her speech and mannerisms. Nevertheless, they are both social people who can be assertive when they need to be.