Kiteretsu Daihyakka is a Science Fiction manga created by Fujiko Fujio in 1974. Adopting the same basic formula set by Doraemon, the child-friendly comic strip continued until 1977, after which it was adapted into animated form by Studio Gallop in 1988. Broadcast for a total of six years on Fuji TV, the anime expanded the original storyline considerably, developing an extended romance arc as the principal characters matured. The cartoon finished up on June 9, 1996, having completed 331 episodes and one TV special.
The series' premise recycled elements of several earlier Fujio projects, particularly the everyboy hero with a magical helper. In this case, however, the usual character dynamic was reversed, with the protagonist being a child prodigy and the Robot Buddy being an incompetent twit.
At the outset of the story, young Eiichi Kite has been experimenting with various ingenious devices, all of which cause massive property damage when activated. Frustrated to the point of surrender, Eiichi takes heart when he learns that one of his ancestors was the Japanese Da Vinci (ie a brilliant engineer who constructed flying machines during the Edo period).
Investigating further into his family's history, Eiichi stumbles over an ancient manuscript - Kiteretsu's Encyclopedia - and discovers that his ancestor invented considerably more than bamboo hang-gliders. Using the codex, Eiichi successfully constructs a small (but completely useless) robot named Korosuke. Hilarity Ensues as the pair join forces to bring Kiteretsu's designs to life...with predictably catastrophic consequences.
The series is known in Spain as an amusingly anachronistic example of the old practice of linking an anime to another in order to capitalize on its popularity. In this case, Kiteretsu was retitled "Kiteresu, Nobita's Smartest Cousin", and the dub stated Eiichi was loosely related to the Nobi family, making it part of a Shared Universe with Doraemon.
This work provides examples of:
- Applied Phlebotinum: Like Doraemon's four-dimensional pocket, Kiteretsu's Encyclopedia is an unending source of miraculous gadgets.
- Animated Adaptation: The animated version ran considerably longer than the original manga, resulting in stronger plotlines and character development.
- Art Evolution: A considerable amount during the anime's eight year run. Starting out rushed and rather cartoonish, the artwork grew progressively more sophisticated with each passing year.
- Bad Future: Largely averted in this case; it's established early on that Eiichi is destined to marry Miyoko. The opening to the final season even shows Miyo-chan dressing up in a bridal gown.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted to some degree, due to Japan's more relaxed attitude to child nudity. As in most Fujio collaborations, bathing scenes were fairly common, especially where Miyoko was concerned.
- Boring, but Practical: Totally averted. Everything Eiichi builds is exciting but impractical.
- Bamboo Technology: To the nth degree; all of Kiteretsu's designs are based on pre-industrial materials, allowing Eiichi to devise time machines from wooden planks and coconut shells.
- Book Dumb: Maybe. While Eiichi is an engineering genius, it's suggested that he's only an average student.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Kaoru, aka Buta (Gorilla), the neighborhood bully. There's always one in every Fujio series, usually with soft spot for lost puppies and helpless babies.
- Butt-Monkey: Korosuke for the most part. In contrast to Doraemon, Koro-chan usually takes the fall when one of Eiichi's experiments malfunctions.
- Canon Foreigner: The anime adaptation added several characters who were never in the original manga, such as Buta Gorilla's parents.
- Expy: All the main characters are pretty much expies of the Doraemon cast: Eiichi with Nobita, Korosuke with Doraemon, Tongari with Suneo, Buta Gorilla with Gian, and Miyoko with Shizuka. The roles are switched with Eiichi and Korosuke, however, with Eiichi being the smart one while Korosuke is the ditz.
- Grand Finale: Both the manga and the anime had a finale, although how it went out was different:
- In the manga Eiichi's mother threw out the Encyclopedias, fearing he wasn't studying enough. They managed to recover one page, which showed how to make a device that can smell a thing you're looking for. Kiteretsu wasn't successful and decides to quit making stuff.
- In the anime a thief enters the home and steals the encyclopedias, thinking they're valuable. Unfortunately the thief wasn't wearing the glasses and though it was just a bunch of blank pages so he threw it in a passing garbage truck. So Kiteretsu and gang decides to travel back in time to get the books straight from his ancestor, whom they come across (but ill). It was then revealed that Korosuke was actually a recreation of the ancestor's dead son. Unfortunately it turned out that he is wanted by the army of samurai and must escape. Eiichi helps him escape through a teleportation tape, but just before he does Korosuke announces that he's staying behind to look after his "dad". Eiichi agrees, and they both agree not to say goodbye, saying that they will meet again in the future. The two escape as Eiichi and the gang returns to their time.
- Panty Shot: Miyoko sometimes. Usually Played for Laughs.
- Replaced the Theme Tune: The show switched the opening theme song with the closing song (and vice versa).
- Robot Buddy: Korosuke.
- Romance Arc: Eiichi and Miyoko, more or less from day one. Interesting to note that Miyo-chan became a Breakout Character in the anime, indicating how important the relationship had become to the general storyline.
- Verbal Tic: Korosuke ends his sentences with "nari".