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Chibi Maruko-chan Anime Delays New Episodes Due to COVID-19

posted on by Egan Loo
Japan's #3 TV anime to rerun episodes based on original manga starting on May 3

The official website for the Chibi Maruko-chan anime announced on Saturday that the broadcast of new anime episodes has been suspended for the time being, to prioritize the countermeasures against the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Over the next three weeks starting on May 3, the anime will air "Haru no Sakura Momoko Matsuri" (Momoko Sakura's Spring Festival), a rerun of episodes based on popular stories from Momoko Sakura's original manga.

The original Chibi Maruko-chan manga inspired a television anime that is almost consistently the #3 rated television anime series after Sazae-san and Detective Conan. (Chibi Maruko-chan airs on Fuji TV on Sundays at 6:00 p.m., right before Sazae-san at 6:30 p.m.) The first anime series ran from 1990 to 1992, and the ongoing second series premiered in 1995.

The manga's creator Momoko Sakura passed away due to breast cancer at the age of 53 in August 2018. She serialized the manga in Shueisha's Ribon magazine from 1986 to 1996. The comedy manga, which follows the everyday life of a third-grade schoolgirl, has about 32 million copies in print. Sakura launched a four-panel version in a Japanese newspaper in 2007, and she ended that version in 2011.

The Chibi Maruko-chan manga is getting new chapters drawn by Sakura Production, which is staffed by long-time assistants of Sakura. The manga is running irregularly in Ribon. The first chapter, titled "Halloween Party o Yarō no Maki" ('Let's Throw a Halloween Party' Chapter), debuted on October 3 last year. The chapter is based on a script written by Sakura for the manga's television anime — thus honoring Sakura's wish to turn scripts she wrote for the anime into manga.

Voice actress Midori Kato reported on April 2 that the Sazae-san anime halted voice recording sessions indefinitely due to concerns over COVID-19. Kato voices the titular Sazae Fuguta on the show. (Kato stated at the time that she was healthy.)

Source: Chibi Maruko-chan anime's website


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