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Anime / Ojarumaru

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Ojarumaru is an anime series that follows the daily adventures of a 5-year-old Heian era prince named Ojarumaru Sakanoue who accidentally time-warps to modern day Japan and lives with Kazuma Tamura's family after being invited to live there by Tomio (also known as "Tommy"), Kazuma's grandfather.

While Ojarumaru befriends many of the citizens, animals, and insects that live in Moonlight Town and discovers many new things he has never seen before in his time period, three oni siblings, Aobee, Kisuke, and Akane (who are also known as the "Oni Child Trio") constantly pester him into returning a powerful scepter he stole from their father, Great King Enma, which he uses in order to judge the dead. The oni try many, many times to retrieve it, but all their attempts fail in the end.

The series was originally created by Rin Inumaru in 1993, as a manga that was serialized in Shogakukan's Ciao magazine.note  It eventually was adapted into an anime in 1998 (directed by Akitaro Daichi), and has been running ever since on NHK E-Tele, becoming their second longest-running anime (just behind Nintama Rantarou) and the third longest-running anime of all time (behind the aforementioned Nintama Rantarou and Sazae-san), currently having over 1,800 episodes produced up until this day.


Not to be confused with Ojamajo Doremi.

This series provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Many of the later episodes tend to focus on other characters besides Ojarumaru, Denbo, and Kazuma. One of the most popular episodes focused on a recurring character is 14th series episode 6 in which the God of Poverty transforms Okorinbou and Nikorinbou into half human, half guardian dogs as a punishment for talking negatively about it behind its back. Both of them decide to take advantage of their rather adorable transformation by opening up an outdoor cafe at the Mangan Shrine called the "Dog Mimi Cafe" in a bid to make enough money to get the shrine out of poverty.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": There is a cow named Ushinote  and a turtle named Kame note .
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  • Accidental Misnaming: Maeda never seems to pronounce anyone's names correctly. Hoshino Papa always mispronounces Ojarumaru's name as "Ojamaru". Despite Hoshino correcting him, Papa instantly forgets how to pronounce Ojarumaru's name correctly the next episode the Hoshino family appear in.
  • Akanbe: Ojarumaru does this to the Kooni Trio in 1st series episodes 2 and 14 to express his refusal to return the scepter. He then does it to Iwashimizu in episode 16.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • Art Evolution:
    • The series has gone through this over the years. Ojarumaru's mouth became smaller, Kisuke's always-shut eyes became smaller, and some of the character's faces, most notably the main characters, were modified to look cuter. The animation has also improved, along with the character outlines being drawn thinner since the 3rd series.
    • Strangely, whenever Aobee, Kisuke, and Akane do their union sequence in later episodes, their old designs are re-used for some reason.
  • Art Shift: Happens in the vast majority of the episodes that place the characters in parodies of Japanese and international folktales, or stories that take place in different scenarios. While the character designs are retained, softer colors are used and the characters have purple-colored outlines.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 121 focuses on Ojarumaru, Denbo, Kazuma, Kin-chan, Komachi, and Ken going to the beach and having a great time.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Ojarumaru gets upset whenever anyone takes his pudding away.
    • Call Kisuke a chick and he'll shout "Kii-kun isn't a chick, pppii!"
    • Messing with Kazuma's rock collection isn't a good idea. Ojarumaru discovered this when he sat on top of it in 1st series episode 12.
  • Big Eater: Kin-chan. Most of the time whenever he appears, he has a lollipop in his hand. However, he hates eating vegetables.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The oni children; Aobee is blue, Kisuke is yellow, and Akane is red.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: These occur frequently during the 1st series. Episodes afterward use them less frequently to the point of eventually becoming extremely rare.
  • Couch Gag: In the 5th series ending theme, Acchi Muite Hoi de ojaru, the direction Ojarumaru points at whenever he sings "Hoi" near the end of the theme note  is different per episode of the 5th series.
  • Dancing Theme:
    • "Purin Sanka" has the characters dancing to the theme while holding their own plate of pudding. "Purin de ojaru" recycles this animation, except for a different background.
    • "Kooni Trio no Theme" has the Oni Child Trio dancing to their theme while Ojarumaru frustratingly tries stealing the spotlight. Near the end of it, the Oni Child Trio stop dancing to chase after Ojarumaru.
    • "Acchi Muite Hoi de ojaru" has Ojarumaru, Denbo, Kazuma, the Oni Child Trio, Komachi, Kin-chan, Okame, Kimi-chan, Kame, Tome, Katapi, and the God of Poverty dancing to the bouncy rhythm of the theme.
    • "Warera Gekkou Chou Chicchai Mono Club" has the Moonlight Town Tiny Things Club members (except for Ojarumaru) dancing to the marching rhythm of the theme.
    • "Denbo no Bunbun Fushi" doesn't having any characters dancing, but it's a dance-worthy theme.
    • "Sankyukkyu Dancing" has Ojarumaru (in various outfits) and at one point, the Oni Child Trio dancing to the theme.
    • "Hatsukoi wa Minora Nai" has 16 Ojarumarus in an AKB48-esque outfitnote  dancing to the fast-paced rhythm of the theme.
    • "Wakaran" has a couple sequences of Usui dancing to the theme.
    • "Mihatenu Yume" has a couple sequences of Hoshino, Ken, Kanbutsu, the Haunted House Director, and Kawakaminote  dancing to the theme.
    • "Purin Sanka ~20th à la mode edition" has a couple sequences of the characters dancing in the same fashion as the original theme, "Purin Sanka".
    • "Kono Michi Ashita e" doesn't have any characters dancing, but it sure gives you the urge to dance 20s style.
    • At the beginning of Yada na~ Ii na~, Enma's oni assistants are seen dancing to the bouncy rhythm of the theme while holding trash bags.
  • Dub Name Change: In many countries, the series is renamed as Prince Mackaroo, and many of the characters are renamed with more Western names, among them the following:
    • Obviously Ojarumaru's name is changed to Prince Mackaroo to match the alternate title.
    • Kazuma is renamed Cozmo.
    • Denbo is changed to Cyber-fly.
    • The Oni Child Trio as a whole are called the Scamps, with each individual oni's name also being changed (Aobee is Blue-Joe, Kisuke is Khakie, and Akane is Scarlet).
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Ending themes 2-10, 21, 23, and 24 are sung by the characters. The series took a break from this trope for ending themes 11-20, however, when ending 18 was reused for the 16th series, it was sung by Ojarumaru, Kazuma, and Denbo instead of music artist Chopiiin.
  • Edutainment Game: There was one for the Sega Pico and the Nintendo DS.
  • Extremely Short Intro Sequence: The opening themes in the Filipino and Thai dubs are only five seconds long.
  • Face Fault: The characters do this sometimes.
  • Festival Episode: 19th series episode 33 is set during a summer festival.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Ojarumaru was originally from the Heian period, but accidentally sent himself to modern-day Japan by falling through the Moon Hole while being pursued by Great King Enma, who wanted his scepter back from the prince.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Enma switches bodies with Kisuke note , Akane note , Aobee note , Denbo note , Denboko note , the scepter note , Ojarumaru himself note , and Ai note  in order to get the scepter back into his possession in Enma World. All of these attempts go awry, of course!
  • Gigantic Moon: At the end of the intro, the time of day changes to night and a massive-sized moon appears to distinguish the silhouettes of Ojarumaru, his wagon, and Cow who is pulling the vehicle.
  • Happily Married:
    • Ojarumaru's parents and Kazuma's parents, Ai and Makoto. Kin-chan's parents, Komachi's parents, and Hoshino's parents.
    • Honda and Asako meet each other in 1st series episode 81 and became a married couple.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Kisuke is an oni, but looks enough like a chick that he is often mistaken for one, much to his dismay.
    Kisuke: Kii-kun isn't a chick, ppii!
  • Iconic Item: An odd variation. Yes, Ojarumaru always carries around a pink scepter, but it's not actually his; he stole it from Great King Enma, who sent out his children to to get it back for him.
  • Informed Species: It's almost never brought up anywhere, but Ojarumaru is apparently a fairy; in Series 1 episode 1, King Enma calls him a "fairy brat", and NHK's official description of the same episode refers to him as a "fairy aristocratic child". However, Ojarumaru does not display any traits one would normally associate with fairies and he could easily pass for a normal human otherwise.
  • Insomnia Episode: In Series 13 episode 9, Ojarumaru finds himself unable to sleep and asks Kazuma to sing him a lullaby. The lullabies he sings, as well as the ones that are sung by other characters who are pulled into the problem, keep failing to satisfy Ojarumaru.
  • Meaningful Name: The series has plenty of these.
    • Ojarumaru most likely comes from his Verbal Tic, "de ojaru", and "maru", a suffix for names of males.
    • Aobee comes from "aoi" meaning "blue" and "bee", a suffix for names of males.
    • Kisuke comes from "kiiroi" meaning "yellow" and "high-pitched voice" note  and "suke", a suffix for names of males.
    • Akane comes from "akai", meaning "red".
    • Okorinbou comes from "okoru", meaning "to get angry".
    • Nikorinbou comes from "nikoniko", an onomatopoeia of "smilingly".
    • Princess Okame most likely comes from "okame", meaning "plain woman".
    • Komachi Ono possibly comes from the Japanese waka poet, Ono no Komachi.
    • Kobayashi Tea comes from the Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa.
    • Kanae possibly comes from "kaneru", meaning "to grant something (such as a wish)".
    • Hoshino possibly comes from "hoshi", meaning "star".
    • Kame comes from "kame", meaning "turtle".
  • Missing Mom: Makoto's mother, Sayuri, (also known as "Sally"). It's implied that she passed away some time before the series even starts, since she doesn't appear in any episodes with her husband, Tommy. She is only seen in old photos and flashbacks.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Ken works a different part-time job in every new episode he's seen. The in-universe explanation is that his clumsy nature constantly gets him fired.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: The series has been running for over two decades, and yet Ojarumaru and the other characters do not look like they've aged at all.
  • Robot Buddy: Tommy has made many of these. Just to name a few, there's the "Mechanical Laundry Doll" (which can do laundry), the "Mechanical Music Doll" (which makes people behave in a certain mood depending on the music it plays), and the "Mechanical Dessert Doll" (which produces many different desserts).
  • Robot Me: In episode 152, Tommy makes an Ojarumaru robot called the "Mechanical Ojaru Doll" in order to help Aobee return Great King Enma's scepter from Ojarumaru. However, the plan fails by the end of the episode. The Mechanical Ojaru Doll appears again in episode 174 in which it gets sent by Tommy over to Kazuma's house. Ojarumaru befriends it and spends the remainder of the episode together with it.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Kazuma first appears in Series 1 episode 2.
  • Sick Episode: In 2nd series episode 90, Kazuma gets a fever and Ojarumaru decides to go back to the Heian era in order to find a medicinal plant that will cure him.
  • Signature Laugh: Ojarumaru's "Hoho" and "Ojahoho".
  • Sleep Cute: In a non-romantic example of this trope, Ojarumaru and Kazuma are seen doing this twice. The first time in episode 900 and the second time in episode 1284.
  • Story Arc: Although a majority of the episodes are episodic, small story arcs occur over the course of the series.
    • Episodes 1-3 of the 1st series follow Ojarumaru's arrival at Moonlight Town and eventual reunion with Denbo, while outsmarting the Kooni Trio.
    • Episodes 5, 10, and 15 of the 7th series follow Usui trying to get a yonkoma serialized in the Moonlight Town Tiny Things Club's newspaper.
    • Episodes 2, 11, 21, 31, and 76 of the 9th series follow the journey of Ojarumaru, Denbo, Tommy, and Ken through outer space.
    • Episodes 36-40 of the 17th series follow the journey of Kazuma, Kin-chan, Komachi, and Iwashimizu through strange lands to rescue Ojarumaru, who suddenly disappeared during a camping trip.
  • Sugar Bowl: The Heian era and Moonlight Town fit this trope. The only threat that ever happens in Moonlight Town are just the Hoshino family's benign attempts at taking over Earth.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Due to Ojarumaru's fear of water, he can't swim.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: In 22nd series episode 25, Denbo, Kame, and Tome spend quite some time in the Moonlit Night Pond searching for Enma's scepter with no effect other than echoey underwater voices. Denbo is only equipped with a small straw, which somehow allows him to breathe air deep in the pond. Somewhat justified with Kame and Tome as some turtle species can spend longs periods of time underwater by absorbing oxygen from the water.
  • The Song Remains the Same: The Cantonese and Philippine dubs leave the opening note  and ending themes in Japanese.
  • Terrible Trio: The three oni children are considered the series antagonists since they want to take back the scepter from Ojarumaru and give it back to their father, with Ojarumaru being completely uninterested in returning it.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Denboko would look exactly like Denbo if not for her eyelashes and ribbon.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In episode 3, Aobee, Kisuke, and Akane do this in the disguise of a deliverer in order to get inside the Tamura family's house. Funnily enough, Kazuma seemingly falls for the disguise while Ojarumaru doesn't.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Ojarumaru loves eating pudding.
    • Denbo seems fond of onigiri.
    • Kin-chan loves eating lollipops.
    • Makoto loves drinking beer.
    • Usui loves drinking tea.