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|Ebichu Minds the House|
Ebichu DVD Cover by Gainax
|Written by||Risa Itō|
|Magazine||Manga Action Pizazz|
|Original run||1991 – ongoing|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Makoto Moriwaki|
|Original run||August 1, 1999 – October 1, 1999|
Oruchuban Ebichu (おるちゅばんエビちゅ?, lit. Ebichu Minds the House) is a manga series by Risa Itō that was published by Futabasha Publishers. It later became an anime produced by Gainax, but animated by Group TAC. It first aired as six eight-minute episodes in 1999 as one third of the show Modern Love's Silliness. Ebichu is very adult in nature, and its explicit violence, innuendo, and sexual intercourse scenes could only be shown on DirecTV Japan. The uncut version of the series is only found on DVD. The show is done in a simplistic art style, and its sexual content is played for laughs rather than for fanservice.
Most episodes follow Ebichu, a talking hamster devoted to her oft-indifferent owner, who is only identified as OL ("Office Lady"), a single 28-year-old (this is her age in the original manga series while she is 25-year-old in the anime series) who doles out cynical commentary and the occasional beating on the rodent. Ebichu tends to take this in stride with endless praise and compliments. Such abuse is usually caused by Ebichu's almost disturbing lack of tact or propriety, which often embarrasses her master in front of other people. Ebichu often attempts to correct OL's bad decisions, such as her berating of OL's obnoxious and untrustworthy boyfriend Ebichu nicknamed Kaishounachi (worthless man).
- Ebichu (エビちゅ?) Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi
- A hamster who looks after her owner's house. She often lacks tact and embarrasses her owner, often getting punished as a result. During nighttime, she leads the secret alter-ego Ebichuman who goes around giving people sex advice. Ebichu likes camembert cheese and rum raisin ice cream.
- OL (Office Lady) (ご主人ちゃま Goshujin-chama?) Voiced by: Michie Tomizawa
- Ebichu's owner who smokes, drinks, and constantly beats Ebichu.
- Kaishonachi (かいしょなち?, lit. Worthless man) Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki
- OL's boyfriend who is constantly cheating on her, but is easily forgiven.
- Maa-kun (マァくん?) Voiced by: Mitsuo Iwata
- A soft spoken man who seems to have developed a sexual attraction towards Ebichu, often trying to get his girlfriend to partake in his fetish.
The origin of the anime came about during voice recording sessions for Neon Genesis Evangelion. Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice actress for the character of Misato Katsuragi, would read the Ebichu manga in between takes and laugh at the humor. She would show others what she was reading and eventually it was decided that the series was worth animating. As a result, she was selected to voice the title character of housekeeping hamster Ebichu. Also, in Neon Genesis Evangelion, the character Misato drinks cans of Ebisu-brand beer. In one episode, though, the beer cans are labeled "Ebichu Ichiban" across the top with a small picture of a hamster with one white ear and one brown ear (as Ebichu), although the colorations are the wrong way around. (The brown ear is on the right on the beer, but Ebichu's brown ear is on the left.)
Ebichu is sometimes joked by fans to be the complete polar opposite of Hamtaro, a popular children's anime featuring a hamster in more wholesome adventures.
The opening theme of the series is "Nande Kana" (なんでかな?, "Wondering") performed by Kotono Mitsuishi. The ending theme, shared with the other shows in the Modern Love's Silliness block is "Kumokumo Gake ni Konma Takeyafu" (くもくもがけにこんまたけやふ?) by Minami Karasuyama 6th Street Production.