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Chibi Maruko-chan Gets 1-Hour Anime Special to Commemorate Film, 25th Anniversary

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Guest stars from December 23 film to appear in TV anime special on December 27

A new anime special commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chibi Maruko-chan television anime series will air on December 27. The special is also commemorating the opening of the Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan: Italia kara Kita Shōnen (working English title: Chibi Maruko Chan -A Boy from Italy-) film on December 23.

The special, titled "Chibi Maruko-chan ~Arigatō! Anime 25 Shūnen & Eiga Kōkai Kinen Sakura Momoko Gensaku 1-jikan SP~" (Chibi Maruko-chan ~Thank You! 25-Year Anime Anniversary & Film Opening Commemoration: Momoko Sakura's Original Work 1-Hour Special~), will feature the guest cast from the upcoming film:

Taishi Nakagawa as Andrea, a boy from Italy
Hitori Gekidan as Shin, a boy from India
Papaya Suzuki as Nepu, a boy from Hawaii
Naomi Watanabe as Julia, a girl from Brazil
Rola as Xin Ni, a girl from Hong Kong

The special will adapt two stories based on Sakura's original work: "Maruko, Ofuro de Uta wo Utau" (Maruko, Sings a Song in the Bath) and "Tama-chan, Daisuki" (Tama, I Love You). The special will also feature famous scenes from both of the TV anime series.

Additionally, on December 6, December 13, and December 20, Fuji TV will rebroadcast episodes based on Sakura's original work.

Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan: Italia kara Kita Shōnen is the first new anime film for Momoko Sakura's Chibi Maruko-chan manga in 23 years. The film features six children from around the world who visit Maruko's town. One of them, an Italian boy named Andrea, confesses his love to Maruko and tries to court her. The film will also follow Maruko and her classmates as they travel to Kyoto and Osaka.

Sakura herself is in charge of the film's script. Jun Takagi (Chibi Maruko-chan television anime, Legend of the Condor Hero) is directing the film at Nippon Animation, and Fuji Television is producing the film. TOHO will distribute the film.

Sakura serialized the original manga in Ribon from 1986 to 1996. The manga has approximately 32 million copies in print. She launched a four-panel version in a Japanese newspaper in 2007, and she ended that version in 2011.

The original manga inspired the Chibi Maruko-chan television anime that is consistently the #2 rated anime series after Sazae-san. The first anime series ran from 1990 to 1992, and the ongoing second series premiered in 1995. The 1,000th television anime episode aired in 2012, and the show now has more than 1,100 episodes.

The manga has also inspired several live-action specials and television series.

Source: Comic Natalie

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