Created in 1973 by Takashi Yanase, Anpanman is one of the most beloved and famous characters in Japan. According to research done by Bandai, he is the most popular character for 10 consecutive years among the 0-12 year old audience. Each episode lasts approximately 24 minutes divided into two parts.
It has been broadcast since 1988 until today. The figure of Anpanman it is widely used commercially, mainly in children's products. From clothes, toys, video games and even food. By 2006, Anpanman books together have sold more than 50 million copies in Japan.
In August 2009, the program reached 1000 episodes. This hero highlights many values of Japanese culture, especially the collective work. Anpanman not only saves people, but teaches lessons on solidarity and friendship. Many even say that Anpanman is a beautiful representation of the Japanese's willingness to help in the face of adversity.
A little of Anpanman's history
The name of our hero comes from anpan, that is, a cookie with sweet beans inside. In the manga, Anpanman was raised by a very skilled anpan baker named Jan Ojisam. He created a world of bread, in which all beings there were empowered to protect and help people.
Anpanman does not need to feed, as his head is already made of sweet bean dumpling. His "kryptonite" is water or anything that makes his head dirty. But when that happens the baker remakes Anpanman's head and even adds powers and improvements.
As every hero has his villain, Anpanman is no different. Coming from Planet Germ, Baikinman aims to destroy Anpanman and his friends. Its goal is to spread germs and bacteria in the world.
But, in order to combat this villain's atrocities, Anpanman has the help of some friends. All of these also have the shape and characteristics of food. For example, one of them is the Currypanman, name of the famous dish karé.
Another is the Melopanna, with melopan (Sweet bread shaped like a Japanese melon). Its main power is to paralyze enemies with affection. Shokupanman, being a loaf of bread.
The creator Takashi Yanase influenced the period he lived in Second World War. Where he and other people often went hungry. So much so that Anpanman and his friends take pieces of their own heads to feed people in need of food.
There are many works that report and show the difficulties of the Japanese in war periods. In Anpanman's stories we see mainly the problems related to the lack of water and food. The heroes of this story do not accept to see anyone in need.
Curiosities about Anpanman
- The Korean band BTS made a song using the how pun the hero Anpanman, even performed using clothes characteristic of the characters;
- Takashi Yanase, the story's creator served as a soldier in World War II. He often went hungry and wanted to eat an Anpan, hence the name of the hero;
- Anpanman joined the Guinness World Record as the animation franchise with the most characters: 1768;
- TakashiYanase, creator of the character, died on October 13, 2013 of heart failure;
- The creator of the manga One Punch Man was inspired by this work to create its main character Saitama;
I hope you enjoyed this short article talking a little about one of the most popular characters among children in Japan. Did you know Ampanman? What do you think of the character?