Anpanman is a Japanese children's superhero picture book series. It was written by Takashi Yanase. It ran from 1973 until the author's death in 2013. Anpanman is one of the most popular anime series for young children. Anpanman is a superhero with an anpan (a red bean paste filled pastry) for a head. He protects the world from an evil anthropomorphic germ named Baikinman.
Anpanman patrols around the house of Uncle Jam everyday. Anpanman gives starving creatures or people a part of his head, fights with Baikinman and saves people. Anpanman regains his health and strength when he gets a new head. Uncle Jam bakes him a new head. Anpanman has two special attacks; An-punch and An-kick.
Anpanman has a long story and the author increases new characters to keep the series fresh. It holds the Guinness World Record for the most characters in an animated franchise. There are a total of 1768 characters in the first 980 episodes. There are additional bread heroes, for example Currypanman and Shokupanman.
The Anpanman picture book series which debuted in October 1973 has published over 150 picture books under different series labels. These were written and illustrated by Takashi Yanase until his death. Animation by TMS Entertainment entitled Soreike! Anpanman consists of a single episode. Over 1300 episodes broadcasted since October 3, 1988. A total of 32 full-length films have been released and these have the same general plot. Moreover, Animation shorts, Christmas specials and video games have been produced.
There are 5 Anpanman museums such as the Yokohama Anpanman Children's Museum & Mall. They are dedicated to Anpanman. In addition, there is the Yanase Takashi Memorial Hall dedicated to himself. Overseas Anpanman shop opened at the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi shopping mall in Taipei. Anpanman inspired the manga and anime series One-Punch Man. Moreover, a song, "Anpanman" was released by BTS (K-pop group).
According to research by Bandai in 2011, Anpanman was voted the most popular fictional character among people ages 0 to 12 in Japan fpr 10 years in a row. Over 50 million copies of Anpanman books had been sold in Japan. By the time Takashi Yanase died in 2013, the Anpanman picture book had sold 68 million copies. Anpanman books had sold more than 80 million copies as of February 2019.
- Alex Mateo (February 29, 2020). "NYCC Metaverse Event Lists 10 Anpanman Films Set to Stream on Tubi". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
- Nizza Risan (January 22, 2021). "Anpanman: The Children's Show That Inspired One-Punch Man". CBR. Retrieved February 9, 2021.