Keaton Yamada Steps Down as Chibi Maruko-chan Anime's Narrator in March 2021
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Fuji TV revealed on Saturday that Keaton Yamada, who voices the narrator for the Chibi Maruko-chan anime, will step down from the role in March 2021. The last episode featuring his voice will air on March 28.
Yamada (75) has been voicing the narrator for the anime since it first aired in 1990. Yamada himself made the request to step down. The anime's staff will hold an audition for his successor. Yamada has also voiced roles in numerous other anime, such as The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, The Rose of Versailles, Android Kikaider - The Animation, Cyborg 009, Getter Robo, Master Keaton, and Galaxy Express 999, among many others.
The anime had suspended the broadcast of new anime episodes on May 3 to prioritize the countermeasures against the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). New episodes started airing again on June 21.
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.