Hakushon Daimaō (loosely translated as "Achoo the Demon King", also known as The Genie Family) is a comedy anime made by Tatsunoko Production (known outside Japan for Speed Racer). It ran from October 5, 1969, to September 27, 1970, and it lasted 52 episodes.
It tells the story of a 20th-century Japanese boy named Kan who finds an ancient bottle that contains two genies (the titular Hakushon Daimaō and his daughter Akubi) who are brought out and grant wishes whenever somebody sneezes or yawns nearby. Unfortunately, Hakushon is clumsy, and is often combined with Kan-chan's occasional selfishness as well as Akubi's tendency to cause mischief. As a result, Hilarity Ensues.
It got an English dub by Saban called Bob in a Bottle, but unfortunately it never caught on, and this series is now incredibly obscure in the U.S. It's still very popular in Japan, Mexico and Europe though. Another English dub called The Sneezing Magician was made for Cartoon Network's Asian feed in the late 90s.
The main character appeared in the Japanese version of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, but unfortunately, he had to be removed from the international version due to licensing issues.
Akubi, the daughter, was able to get spotlight in a 2019 crossover movie with Monster Strike, titled Pandora and Akubi. There she gets to travel with that game's Medusa as they go through the desert, with a host of other Tatsunoko and Monster Strike characters along for the ride.
It was later confirmed that there will be a new show airing in 2020, celebrating the original show's 50th anniversary. Plotwise, it also takes place 50 years after the original, with the genies finding themselves with Kantaro, the grandson of Kan. VIZ Media has picked the license up and it'll stream on Crunchyroll.
This show provides examples of:
- Amusing Injuries: Usually suffered by both Kan-chan and Hakushon.
- Belly Dancer: A troupe of them perform for Hakushon and friends when they visit the genie homeland. Kan-chan is smitten with the dancers and dances with them until an upset Akubi uses her magic to change them all into a monster.
- Benevolent Genie: Hakushon tries to be this, but he usually messes up due to his own extreme clumsiness.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Hakushon's daughter Akubi, who lives with her father in the bottle.
- Bully Bulldog: Bullko, a dog who always chases Kan-chan.
- Butt Biter: Bullko, the bulldog, did this to both Kan-chan and Hakushon, complete with underwear exposure and in Kan's case, complete butt exposure twice.
- Cinderella Circumstances: One episode was a Cinderella parody.
- The Ditz: Hakushon.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Kan-chan's parents had no qualms about spanking him.
- Dub Name Change:
- In Bob in a Bottle, Hakushon, Akubi and Kan-chan were renamed Bob, Ilana and Joey respectively.
- In Japanese, Kan is called "Kan-chan" because he's a kid. The Sneezing Magician English dub kept this without explanation while dropping all other honorifics, thus making his name sound like "Kanchan", though that probably wasn't the intention.
- Ending Theme: Starting with episode 14, the opening and ending themes switched places (The original ending theme became the opening theme, and vice versa)
- Fat Idiot: Hakushon.
- Gag Series: Focused on humor except for the Sudden Downer Ending.
- Gang of Bullies: A trio of them frequently harassed Kan-chan.
- Genie in a Bottle: Two, actually. They're summoned depending on whether the nearest person sneezes (Hakushon) or yawns (Akubi).
- Jackass Genie: Akubi may not be evil, but she is mischievous and so deliberately twists people's wishes to mess with them.
- Love Interest: Kan-chan has a crush on Yuriko.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: Zigzagged; while Kan-chan technically owned the genie bottle, Hakushon and Akubi would grant the wishes of whoever sneezed or yawned, whether or not it was Kan-chan. Local bulldog Bullko exploits this in one episode, swiping the bottle from Kan-chan and then sneezing to summon Hakushon to grant all his wishes.
- Magical Land: One episode has Hakushon and Akubi taking Kan-chan, his schoolmates and even the bulldog to their homeland of genies. Hilarity Ensues when the bully trio decides to steal some of the genie treasures.
- Market-Based Title: The Italian dub of Hakushon was called Il Mago Pancione, which loosely translates to "the Fat Magician".
- Meaningful Name: "Hakushon" is Japanese onomatopoeia for sneezing, while "Akubi" means yawn. Thus they were renamed Achoo and Yawn in the Sneezing Magician dub.
- Spin Off Spring: Akubi got two, one in 2001 and the other one in 2006, called Yobarete, Tobidete! Akubi-chan and Akubi Girl respectively. They both had remarkably similar premises about Akubi befriending a young girl, though the second had a romantic subplot while the first one was free of romance.
- Sudden Downer Ending / Drama Bomb Finale: Hakushon and Akubi are forced to leave the Earth for 100 years. Hakushon is okay with just waiting it out until he can be with Kan-chan again, until it's pointed out that Kan-chan won't be around after all that time. Kan-chan thus tries his best not to sneeze and yawn but to no avail, and they're sucked into their bottle one last time. Then despite Kan-chan's efforts, the bottle floats away into the sky.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Hakushon loves to eat hanbāgu, known as "Hamburg steak" or "Salisbury steak" outside Japan. The English version translated this as "hamburgers", which is technically correct since "hamburger steak" is another variation of the term, despite "hamburger" by itself usually connoting a sandwich made using the hamburger "steak", really patty. The Italian dub Il Mago Pancione changed it to polpette, meaning Italian meatballs.