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Manga / Kiteretsu Daihyakka

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Doraemon and Nobita with their personalities flipped.

Kiteretsu Daihyakka is a Science Fiction manga created by Fujiko Fujio in 1974. Adopting the same basic formula set by Doraemon, the child-friendly manga continued until 1977, after which it was adapted into an anime by Studio Gallop in 1988. Broadcast for a total of eight 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 young everyman hero with a Robot Buddy. In Kiteretsu Daihyakka, however, the personalities of the two main leads were swapped, with the human boy being a child prodigy and the robot being bumbling.

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.

This work provides examples of:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: Like Doraemon's four-dimensional pocket, Kiteretsu's Encyclopedia is an unending source of miraculous gadgets.
  • Adaptation Expansion: 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Totally everything Eiichi builds is this.
  • 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: Implied and downplayed. While Eiichi is an engineering genius outside of school, it is suggested that he earns only average grades in the classroom.
  • 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.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: Buta Gorilla has this dynamic with either Korosuke or Tongari.
  • Butt-Monkey:
  • Canon Foreigner: The anime adaptation added several characters who were never in the original manga, such as Kaoru's parents.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Kaoru doesn't like being called Buta Gorilla by anyone else other than his friends.
  • Expy: All of the five main characters are clearly based on the main Doraemon cast:
    • Eiichi - Nobita
    • Korosuke - Doraemon
    • Tongari - Suneo
    • Buta Gorilla - Gian
    • Miyoko - Shizuka
    • The roles are switched with Eiichi and Korosuke, with Eiichi being the genius and Korosuke being the dim-witted Butt-Monkey.
    • In Spain, Kiteretsu was retitled "Kiteretsu, Nobita's Smart Cousin", and the dub stated that Eiichi was loosely related to the Nobi family, making it part of a Shared Universe with Doraemon.
  • 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 thought it was just a bunch of blank pages so he threw it in a passing garbage truck. So Eiichi and gang decide 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 return to their time.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Tongari regularly does this whenever he gets scared and is a Mama's Boy to boot, which is helped by being Suneo's Expy. Deconstructed in one episode, where his teacher lectures to his mother that this is a problem for kids his age, so she reluctantly teaches him to be independent from her.
  • Malaproper: Kaoru has a habit of mixing up words, which is a Running Gag in the anime.
  • 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.
  • Trademark Favourite Food:
    • Korosuke really likes croquettes.
    • Vegetables, for Buta Gorilla.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: The anime features living plesiosaurs that eat vegetables and weeds. Real-life plesiosaurs are carnivores.
  • Verbal Tic: Korosuke ends his sentences with "nari".