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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) currently having over 1400 episodes produced up until this day.

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This series provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Many of the recurring characters and antagonists get at least a couple episodes starring them. The most popular one is episode 1176 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 order to make money. Everything goes well until the God of Poverty decides to transform them back into guardian dogs.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": There is a cow named...Cow note . Considering that all the other animal and insect characters actually have a distinct name, it's quite odd that Cow lacks one.
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  • Accidental Misnaming: Maeda never seems to pronounce anyone's names correctly. Hoshino Papa always mispronounces Ojarumaru's name as "Ojamaru". His son then tries to correct him, but he seems to instantly forget how to pronounce Ojarumaru's name correctly the next episode the Hoshino family appear in.
  • 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 more 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 all the episodes that are centered on Japanese and Western folktales or stories that take place in different scenarios. While the character designs are retained, softer colors are used and the character outlines are colored.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 121 focuses on Ojarumaru, Denbo, Kazuma, Kin-chan, Komachi, and Ken going to the beach and having a great time.
  • Big Eater: Kin-chan. Most of the time whenever he appears, he has a lollipop in his hand. However, he hates eating vegetables.
  • Couch Gag: In the 6th 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: Ending themes 1, 2 note , 4, 6, and 16.
  • Dub Name Change: In many countries, the series is renamed as "Prince Mackaroo", and many of the characters (including Ojarumaru) are renamed with more western names.
  • "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.
  • "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!
  • Happily Married: Ojarumaru's parents and Kazuma's parents, Ai and Makoto. Kin-chan's parents, Komachi's parents, and Hoshino's parents.
    • Honda-sensei and Asako met each other in episode 81 and became a married couple for the remainder of the series.
  • Hot-Blooded: Honda-sensei.
  • 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.
  • Nice Hat: Ojarumaru and his father wear tate-eboshi caps. Not only are they capable of storing any object, but also warp people to alternate worlds! Asako wears a red cap with the letter "A" on it, while Marie wears a purple hat with feathers on it.
    • Episode 201 focuses on Ojarumaru and his friends wondering what's inside Marie's hat.
  • 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.
  • Sick Episode: In episode 180, 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.
  • 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, all of which end up failing anyway.
  • The Song Remains the Same: The Cantonese and Philippine dubs leave the opening note  and ending themes in Japanese.
  • 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. He loves it so much that he cries whenever he is unable to eat it (whether it gets taken away from him, or it drops on the floor, etc.).
    • Denbo seems fond of onigiri.
    • Kin-chan loves eating lollipops.
    • Makoto loves drinking beer.
    • Usui loves drinking tea.

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