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The "Anpanman Train", Matsuyama, April 2002
(Go! Anpanman)
Genre Children's
TV anime
Soreike! Anpanman
Director Akinori Nagaoka & Shunji Ôga
Studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Network Japan NTV HK:ATV
Original run October 3, 1988 – ongoing
Author Takashi Yanase
Demographic Children
Original run 1968 – ongoing
Anime and Manga Portal

Anpanman (アンパンマン Anpanman?), written by Takashi Yanase, a Japanese writer of children's stories, is one of the most popular anime cartoon series for young children in Japan. It is produced by Nippon Television Network Corporation. Each animated cartoon is approximately 24 minutes long split into 2 episodes of approximately 12 minutes each.

Yanase has been writing Anpanman since 1968. The television series called Soreike! Anpanman (それいけ!アンパンマン Go! Anpanman?) has been on the air in Japan since 1988.

As of September 26, 2006, Anpanman's books have collectively sold over 50 million copies in Japan.[1]

In 2005, according to research by Bandai, Anpanman is the most popular fictional character from age 0 to 12 years in Japan.[2] He particularly appeals to the younger end of that age group. Heavily merchandised, the Anpanman characters appear on virtually every imaginable children's product, from clothes to video games to toys to snack foods.

Yanase became inspired by the idea of Anpanman while struggling to survive as a soldier in World War II. He many times became faced with the prospect of starvation which made him dream about eating a bean-jam filled pastry called Anpan.



In each episode, Anpanman fights with Baikinman and helps the people of the town. He always goes on patrol in the area around the house of Jam Ojisan. He is a symbol of justice, fighting for the cause of justice every day. Anpanman has a long history and new characters are frequently introduced, keeping the series fresh. In 2009, Anpanman became the verified Guinness World Record Holder for the highest number of characters in an animated franchise; as of March 27, 1,768 characters have appeared in the first 980 episodes of the TV series and the first 20 Anpanman films.[3]

Name Japanese name Voice actor Description Techniques/Abilities
Anpanman アンパンマン Keiko Toda He is the main character of the anime, whose head is a bun made by Jam Ojisan. His name comes from the fact that he is a man with a head made of bread (Japanese: pan, a loanword from the Portuguese word meaning "bread") that is filled with bean jam (Japanese: an) called an anpan. His weakness is water or anything that makes his head dirty. He regains his health and strength when Jam Ojisan bakes him a new head and it is placed on his shoulders. Anpanman's damaged head, with Xs in his eyes, flies off his shoulders once a new baked head lands. He was created when a shooting star landed in Jam Ojisan's oven while he was baking. He has two special attacks called: An-punch and An-kick (with stronger variations of both). When Anpanman comes across a starving creature or person, he lets the unfortunate creature or person eat part of his head. He also has super hearing in that he can respond to anyone that calls his name out in distress from anywhere in the world.
Jam Ojisan ジャムおじさん Hiroshi Masuoka The father of Anpanman, and a very kind baker. His name means "Uncle Jam". A skilled cook with knowledge of nearly everything in the world.
Batako バタコ Rei Sakuma Assistant to Jam Ojisan. She's dedicated and hard working, but sometimes forgetful. Her name means "Butter Girl". She makes and mends the capes Anpanman and the other heroes use to fly with.
Baikinman ばいきんまん Ryūsei Nakao The villain from "Germ World" is the leader of the Viruses. His name means "Germ Man". His ambition is to destroy Anpanman and turn the planet into another "Germ World", yet he is perfectly content to play tricks, steal, and bully those weaker than him. He and Anpanman were born at the same time, making them physical representations of moral dualism. He has a weakness to soap, which shrinks him to the size of a fly. He constructs machines and thinks of intricate plans to counteract Anpanman's strength.
Dokin(-chan) ドキンちゃん Hiromi Tsuru Baikinman's female partner in crime. She is selfish, demanding, childish, and greedy, but sometimes shows kindness. She has a crush on Shokupanman. Her name is a combination of the onomatopoeia for a quickly beating heart, "Doki", and the diminutive/affectionate suffix "-chan". When she was first introduced to the show, her name was simply "Dokin", but over the course of the show, the "-chan" suffix became a permanent and official part of her name.
Kabirunrun かびるんるん unknown These are Baikinman's little henchmen. They can rot Anpanman's head with mildew/mold (Japanese: kabi).
Cheese チーズ Kōichi Yamadera Jam Ojisan's dog. He became a loyal friend after Anpanman saved his life in the manga. In the anime, a young Anpanman feeds Cheese, who is starving, a part of his head as a part of his very first patrol and became inseparable afterwards. Cheese tends be an effective sidekick when he's around.
Shokupanman しょくぱんまん Sumi Shimamoto A friend of Anpanman. His head is made from sliced white bread (Japanese: shoku pan). He is level-headed and kind, but narcissistic. Tends to be the thinker of the trio. His job when not helping Anpanman is serving lunch to the schoolchildren. Wields the Shoku-punch and Shoku-kick, which are similar to Anpanman's fighting techniques. He also has a multi-functional delivery van known as the Shokupanman-go with many implements to help avoid trouble.
Currypanman カレーパンマン Michiyo Yanagisawa Another of Anpanman's friends. His head is made from curry filled bread. He is quick tempered and hot-headed on the surface, but gives way to a kind and sentimental interior. Tends to be the strongman of the trio. Wields the Curry-punch and Curry-kick, which are similar to Anpanman's fighting techniques. He can also use the hot curry concealed in his head as a weapon, using it to burn the bad guys' eyes.
Melonpanna メロンパンナ Mika Kanai Anpanman's friend. Her head is made from melon bread. She is extremely softhearted, being caring and sensitive, and is sometimes clever. When she's in trouble, she usually needs Anpanman or somebody else to save her, or if there is no one available, she calls out for her sister, Rollpanna. Sometimes she likes hanging out with Cheese. Her special attack, the Melo-Melo Punch, makes bad guys woozy with affection or awakens others from deep sleep.
Rollpanna ロールパンナ Miina Tominaga Melonpanna's older sister who has two hearts: A red one of goodness, and thanks to Baikinman, a black one of evil. The sight of Anpanman can trigger her evil heart while the sight of Melonpanna can trigger her good one. She started out in the series as a loner at Baikinman's beck and call, but she broke from his power and wanders the world doing good deeds, but stays away from others for fear of what she would do if her black heart is triggered. Her nickname is "The tragic heroine". Uses a gymnastics ribbon as her main weapon. She can use it to wrap up her enemies or cause tornadoes.
Creampanda クリームパンダ Miki Nagasawa The youngest of Anpanman's friends and the foster brother of Melonpanna and Rollpanna. His head made from a cream bun and his eyes that looks like those of a panda's. Despite his immaturity and relative weakness as compared to Anpanman and his hero friends, he is courageous, protective of his friends, and has a "never say die" attitude. His immature character causes him to sometimes get into petty squabbles and competitions of one-upsmanship with the other younger characters on the show. Because his head resembles a hand, he has a special headbutt attack called the "Guu-Choki-Panchi" (Guu-Choki-Pa means Rock, Scissors, Paper in English). Relatively powerful when it connects, it fails to connect more often than not.



  • Soreike! Anpanman: Shining Star's Tear (それいけ! アンパンマン キラキラ星の涙) 1989
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman's Counterattack (それいけ! アンパンマン ばいきんまんの逆襲) 1990
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Fly! Fly! Chibigon! (それいけ! アンパンマン とべ! とべ! ちびごん) 1991
  • Soreike! Anpanman: The Secret of Building Block Castle (それいけ! アンパンマン つみき城のひみつ) 1992
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Nosshi the Dinosaur's Big Adventure (恐竜ノッシーの大冒険) 1993
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Lyrical Magical Witch's School (リリカル☆マジカルまほうの学校) 1994
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Let's Defeat the Ghost Ship! (それいけ! アンパンマン ゆうれい船をやっつけろ!!) 1995
  • Soreike! Anpanman: The Flying Picture Book and the Glass Shoes (それいけ! アンパンマン 空とぶ絵本とガラスの靴) 1996
  • Soreike! Anpanman: The Pyramid of the Rainbow (それいけ! アンパンマン 虹のピラミッド) 1997
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Palm of the Hand to the Sun (それいけ! アンパンマン てのひらを太陽に) 1998
  • Soreike! Anpanman: When the Flower of Courage Opens (それいけ! アンパンマン 勇気の花がひらくとき) 1999
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Tears of the Mermaid Princess (それいけ! アンパンマン 人魚姫のなみだ) 2000
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Gomira's Star (それいけ! アンパンマン ゴミラの星) 2001
  • Soreike! Anpanman: The Secret of Roll and Roura's Floating Castle (それいけ! アンパンマン ロールとローラ うきぐも城のひみつ) 2002
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Rubii's Wish (ルビーの願い) 2003
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Nyanii of the Country of Dream Cats (夢猫の国のニャニイ) 2004
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Hapii's Big Adventure (ハピーの大冒険) 2005
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Dorii of the Star of Life (それいけ! アンパンマン いのちの星のドーリィ) 2006
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Purun of Bubbles (シャボン玉のプルン) 2007
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Fairy Rinrin's Secret (それいけ!アンパンマン 妖精リンリンのひみつ) 2008

Animated shorts

These are short subject Anpanman anime of around 24 minutes that were shown in conjunction with the full length movies above. The shorts made in 1989 and 1993 are the only ones made not involving the world of Anpanman.

  • Robotan and Onegai Samia Don (ロボタン おねがい!サミアどん) 1989
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Omusubiman (それいけ! アンパンマン おむすびまん) 1990
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Dokinchan's Doki Doki Calendar (それいけ! アンパンマン ドキンちゃんのドキドキカレンダー) 1991
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Funny Friends (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとゆかいな仲間たち) 1992
  • Kaiketsu Zorori: "The Wizard's Apprentice" and "Find the Great Pirate Treasure" (かいけつゾロリ まほう使いのでし 大かいぞくの宝さがし) 1993
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Everyone Get Together! Anpanman World (それいけ! アンパンマン みんな集まれ! アンパンマンワールド) 1994
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman on Hapii's Birthday (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとハッピーおたんじょう日) 1995
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman and the San-"Bai" Punch (それいけ! アンパンマン ばいきんまんと3ばいパンチ) 1996
  • Soreike! Anpanman: We're Heroes (それいけ! アンパンマン ぼくらはヒーロー) 1997
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Strange Friends (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとおかしな仲間) 1998
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Fun Friends (それいけ! アンパンマン アンパンマンとたのしい仲間たち) 1999
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Yakisobapanman and Burakkusabotenman (それいけ! アンパンマン やきそばパンマンとブラックサボテンマン) 2000
  • Soreike! Anpanman: The Amazing Naganegiman and Yakisobapanman (それいけ! アンパンマン 怪傑ナガネギマンとやきそばパンマン) 2001
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Tekkanomakichan and Gold Kamameshidon (それいけ! アンパンマン 鉄火のマキちゃんと金のかまめしどん) 2002
  • Soreike! Anpanman: The Amazing Naganegiman and Princess Doremi (それいけ! アンパンマン 怪傑ナガネギマンとドレミ姫) 2003
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Tsukiko and Shiratama: Heartracing Dancing (それいけ! アンパンマン つきことしらたま~ときめきダンシング~) 2004
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Snow Black and Motemote Baikinman (それいけ! アンパンマン くろゆき姫とモテモテばいきんまん) 2005
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Kokinchan and the Blue Tears (それいけ! アンパンマン コキンちゃんとあおいなみだ) 2006
  • Soreike! Anpanman: Horāman and Horāhorako (それいけ! アンパンマン ホラーマンとホラーホラコ) 2007

Notes of interest

  • Kōichi Yamadera and Mika Kanai, the voice actors for Cheese and Melonpanna respectively, were married. This is also translated in a way to the cartoon as Cheese spends most of his time in Melonpanna's company in the episodes she's in. Yamadera also does voices for recurring characters in the show, such as Kamameshidon. They divorced in Spring of 2006[4].
  • Spawned a short lived spin-off show after one of the more popular recurring characters on the show, Omusubiman.
  • Outer Space in Anpanman episodes and movies are breatheable and hospitable environments.
  • Anpanman doesn't need food or drink to sustain himself and has never been seen eating. It is believed the bean jam in his head gives him sustenance.
  • Anpanman movies usually follow the same general plotline - A person (usually a princess) comes from a foreign land or planet not previously mentioned, Baikinman unlocks some dark secret and controls a weapon or monster able to polymorph people, and with the help of the aforementioned person, Anpanman destroys said weapon/monster. Sometimes the person dies, but is brought back to life with a tearful song from the characters.

Anpanman in other countries

  • In South Korean television, it is known as “Narara Hoppangmaen” (hangul: 날아라 호빵맨).
  • In China, it is known as "面包超人(miànbâochâorén)".
  • In the Arab World, it is known as "ar-ragheef al'ajeeb" (الرغيف العجيب), or wonder loaf.
  • In India, it is started on Pogo in 2009 and is broadcast as "Anpanman Breadman".


  1. ^ "Anpanman's series of books have exceeded 50 million", September 25, 2006 update. Shinbunka(Japanese language)
  2. ^ Bandai Kodomo Enquête Report Vol.118, June 2005 (Japanese language,PDF file)
  3. ^ "Anpanman Gets Guinness World Record for Most Characters (Updated)". Anime News Network. July 15, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  4. ^ Japan Zone - Entertainment News from Japan

External links

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