Nintama Rantarou - The Anime
The animated series Nintama Rantarou has been produced by NHK (the Japanese public broadcasting network) since 1993, and is again being shown daily. I believe there are 11 seasons of television episodes, as of the year 2004. Some of these have been released in three different sets of video tapes by Pony Canyon and in two DVD boxes by Geneon. The first set of videos is 22 tapes long, and includes 4 approximately 11 minute long episodes per tape (except the last tape, which has two full episodes followed by filler material). The second set of videos is 20 tapes, with 6 episodes per tape. However, these episodes are shorter format episodes, about 7 minutes each. The third and final set of videos is 9 tapes long, and includes 9 episodes per tape, as well as a bonus music video (Nin Nin Nintama Ondo). There is also an excellent movie from 1996 that I highly recommend.
The DVD boxes released so far include all the episodes listed in the first part of the episode guide. Unfortunately, they don't include the ending credits sequence "Dancing Junk". Apparently, there are also two missing episodes which are supposed to be released in the next set of dvds in spring of 2005.
DVD box 1
This is the image of each side of the dvd box for the first set of four dvds. These have the first 24 episodes (48 stories) of Nintama Rantarou as listed in the episode guide below.
DVD box 2
This is the image of each side of the dvd box for the second set of four dvds. These have the next 21 episodes (43 stories including the overview episodes) of Nintama Rantarou. The order is slightly different than that below, as they are in broadcast order. This means that the overview episodes are in the middle instead of at the end. Episodes 26 and 28 are not included, have likely not been seen since they were originally broadcast. This box also includes a booklet with character and episode information, as well as several interviews including one with Takayama Minami.
Episode Guide part 1 - Nintama Rantarou (Complete!!)
The anime series also has a very strong cast of voice actors. The main role of Rantarou is done by Takayama Minami, and Kirimaru is done by the fantastic Tanaka Mayumi. Doi-sensei is done by the ever-popular Seki Toshihiko.
Voice Actors - A list of most of the major voice actors in the series
The most notable differences between the manga and anime can be summed up in two words - Hemuhemu and Shige-chan. In the anime, Hemuhemu is a very important character, but in the manga he's entirely different (see the character description for more information). There are a number of television episodes in which Hemuhemu is a pivotal character. And it's strange, but I like Hemuhemu in the anime. Usually made-for-anime characters are dull, but IMHO Hemuhemu has a real niche in the series. Despite being a dog, he's obviously one of the most intelligent and competent characters in the show, something that the other characters even recognize. And most importantly, he's the perfect companion for Gakuenchou. It seems very appropriate whenever the two of them are together in the series. Hemuhemu is one of those rare finds - a character generated by the anime writers that actually works. The other main difference, Shige-chan, appears to be a character created entirely for the anime, to give the kunoichi an extra person and match them up with Rantaro, Kirimaru, and Shinbei. In fact, the kunoichi overall have much more important parts in the anime. Shige-chan's primary role is to be a friend to Shinbei, and help him blow his nose. To the best of my knowledge, Shige-chan does not exist in the manga.
This concludes the anime lesson. Please return to the list of classes and begin your next lesson.