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Anime / Tama & Friends

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Created by consumer electronics giant Sony (of all institutions), Tama & Friends is a long running series of anime shorts, movies, and occasional games.

Living on Third Street is Tama, an adorable kitty with a smiley face on his head and an incurable wanderlust. Often running off to explore the town, he's joined by his best friend, a timid but kind-hearted pooch named Pochi. He's also accompanied by the rest of his crew, idol of Third Street Momo, mischievous Tora, wayward stray Nora, young Koma, sleep prone Beh, athlete Kuro, and laid-back Gon. The group is sometimes joined, when not tormented, by the mean but secretly softhearted Bull.

Has received several anime adaptations:

  • Tama & Friends: Third Street Story: A series of 7 15-minute shorts released by Sony between 1988 and 1990.
  • Tama of Third Street: Do You Know My Tama?: A 28-episode full series running from 1993 to 1994. Was licensed and dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment and briefly aired in syndication as Tama And Friends in 2001.
  • Tama of 3rd Street: Please! Search for Momo-chan!!: OVA film released in 1993.
  • Tama and Friends: Search For It! The Magic Puni-Puni Stone: 26-episode series released in 2006. Group TAC's last involvement with the franchise before going under.
  • Tama and Friends: Uchi no Tama Shirimasen ka?: A series of 1-minute web shorts, running from 2016 to 2018 with 104 shorts in total.
  • Uchitama?! Have you seen my Tama?: Anime adaptation from Studio MAPPA, released during the Winter 2020 anime season.

Tama & Friends Tropes:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Received two in the US version that only lasted 13 episodes.
  • Ambiguous Gender: It is unknown whether Kai, the cat Tama and his friends meet in episode seven of Have You Seen My Tama, is a boy or a girl.
  • Cats Hate Water: Tama clearly wasn't too crazy about baths in episode 5 of Have you seen my Tama?, but decides to get over it to accompany his friends to the bathhouse for Pet Day. His feline friends, Beh and Tora, didn't seem to mind getting wet. Koma's owner runs the bathhouse, so of course, she's okay with baths. Nora, however, don't like getting wet, though he doesn't admit it.
  • Christmas Episode: Tama & Friends: Third Street Story had one where Tama and his friends (minus Momo, who hasn't been introduced in this series) meet Santa and go on a sleigh ride with him and help deliver presents.
  • Chuunibyou: Bull is this in ''Have You Seen My Tama?" He refers to himself as "Bull: Dark King of Destruction" and is always posing and talking about what a terrible delinquent he is. The other characters generally have absolutely no idea what he's talking about and after the first episode they stop taking him seriously and start ignoring him whenever he gets like that.
  • Cute Approaches Camera: Tama does this in Tama & Friends: Third Street Story when he realizes his owner Takeshi has turned into a cat, and we see this from Takeshi's point of view. Tama's eyes fill up the screen, and he then licks the camera.
    • A more literal example happens in episode 6. Momo's owner Emi is using a new video camera purchased by her parents. When she and Takeshi use it to film the antics of all the animals at the Third Street park, Tama and Momo approach the camera lens. At first Emi warns them not to get too close, but decides their faces look cute up close anyway.
  • Cute Kitten: Tama obviously, as well as Momo, Koma, and Nora.
  • Darker and Edgier: Tama of Third Street: Do You Know My Tama? had a couple of moments of this:
    • Most noticeable is the episode where Nora's origin is revealed. We learn of the unfortunate death of his previous owner and later in the episode, the gang finds a small kitten freezing to death and try to save it. The episode has a Downer Ending where the kitten doesn't survive. Episode eight of Have you seen my Tama? (which was a remake of this episode) provided a happier ending, thankfully.
    • There was also a Very Special Episode focusing on a little girl and her dog Shiro who ended up getting tragically killed by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings which served as the deadly real-life climax of World War II in 1945. The bombings cause Shiro to become an Inugami (dog demon) that haunts an old dog collar Pochi wears at one point.
  • Free-Range Pets: The pets of Third Street freely wander without their owners.
  • Furry Reminder: Have you seen my Tama? has the characters as kemonomimis when they're talking, but they retain their animal natures like the cats climbing on top of things or being distracted by passing butterflies and the dogs sniffing each other when they meet.
  • Intellectual Animal: The third street pets are smart enough to know proper etiquette for Japanese bathhouses and look up pictures on social media sites. On the other hand, none of them knows how to open a can.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Have you seen my Tama? switches up the usual Talking Animal formula, and portrays the Third Street pets as humans with animal ears and tails when they're talking.
  • Love Triangle: Both Tama and Bull have a crush on Momo, though Momo is clearly more interested in Tama.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: Have You Seen My Tama? does this to the entire cast when they're talking.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: During Have you seen my Tama?:
    "Tama's lost again."
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Tama and Friends: Search For It! The Magic Puni-Puni Stone is totally different from the other Tama series put out. The characters were upgraded to Funny Animals who lived in a kingdom, and the series genre changed to high Fantasy.
  • Protagonist and Friends: Tama & Friends.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Some music cues were reused from The Mr. Men Show (the 1997 US/Canadian dub of Mr. Men and Little Miss).
  • Ridiculously Canine Robot: Leo in episode nine of Have You Seen My Tama? He's an Aibo dog robot from Sony, but he's effectively able to act as a real dog aside from having Stat-O-Vision (that measures cuteness) and the ability to take pictures with his eye and upload them via wifi. None of the pets have any trouble talking to him and his owner lets him roam the neighborhood like a real dog.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Momo and Koma.
  • The Voiceless: During the Tama & Friends: Third Street Story series, none of the Third Street pets speak. They just meow and bark.