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Manga / Moretsu Ataro

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Because some kids need to be tricked into eating vegetables.note 
Moretsu Ataro (もーれつア太郎 Extraordinary Atarō, sometimes incorrectly translated as Furious Atarō) is a Shounen manga by Fujio Akatsuka that ran in Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1967 to 1970. It revolves around a young orphan named Ataro who lives in the Showa period of Japan. After his dad falls off a tree while attempting to retrieve a balloon for a little girl, Ataro inherits his vegetable/grocery stand. Often joined by his former delinquent buddy Dekkopachi, an alley cat named Nyarome, and even the ghost of his own father, X-goro (pronounced Batsugoro). The occasional antagonist is a soft-hearted mob boss named Kokoro no Boss who runs a gang with his two followers, Kopun A and Kopun B (both of whom are brothers). Boss (implied to be part-Tanuki-part-man) has never had his species explicitly stated, and is referred to by lore as “a mystery”. His rival, Butamatsu, (no relation to Akatsuka's OTHER matsus) a former yakuza member, runs a gang of pigs.

It's a plot reminiscent of your average Studio Ghibli film, but all possible drama from this set up is thrown out the window once the series gets overthrown by the Funny Animals.

It has had two anime adaptations, both by Toei Animation.

Moretsu Ataro shows examples of:

  • Cats Are Mean: Nyarome, to an extent. He is shown to steal vegetables and be an all-around jerk sometimes.
  • Crossover: Episode 74 of the 1969 series prominently feature characters from Osomatsu-kun, plus Papa in Tensai Bakabon (his first animated appearance before his own show in 1971).
    • A non-Akatsuka crossover happened in the final episode of the 1969-70 anime, where Kokoro no Boss is seen talking to Zeni Geba, a manga character created by George Akiyama that ran in the same magazine as Ataro, Shonen Sunday.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best - X-Goro, Ataro's wise ghost dad.
  • Funny Animals: Kokoro no Boss and all his raccoon lackeys.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Admit it, a talking, trouble making, womanizing cat is as marketable as you can get.
  • Series Mascot: Nyarome, Beshi, and Kemunpasu. Given that they're talking animals in an otherwise serious set up, this was inevitable.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For the 1990 anime, the Police Officer from the original was replaced by a similar character due to Studio Pierrot having the animation rights to the character at the time.