Cover art from the second volume of Perman
|Genre||Comedy, Magical boy|
|Written by||Fujiko F Fujio|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||1967 – 1968|
|Anime television series|
|Original run||2 April 1967 – 14 April 1968|
|Written by||Fujiko F. Fujio|
|Original run||1983 – 1986|
|Perman: The Birdman Has Arrived!!|
|Directed by||Shin'ichi Suzuki|
|Released||12 March 1983|
|Anime television series|
|English network|| Sonic-Nickelodeon
|Original run||4 April 1983 – 2 July 1985|
|Episodes||526 + 3 specials|
|Ninja Hattori-kun + Perman: ESP Wars|
|Directed by||Masuji Harada|
|Released||17 March 1984|
|Ninja Hattori-kun + Perman: Ninja Beast Jippō vs. Miracle Egg|
|Directed by||Masuji Harada|
|Released||16 March 1985|
|Pa-Pa-Pa the Movie: Perman|
|Directed by||Ayumu Watanabe|
|Released||8 March 2003|
|Pa-Pa-Pa the Movie: Perman: Tako de Pon! Ashi wa Pon!|
|Directed by||Ayumu Watanabe|
|Released||6 March 2004|
Perman (パーマン Pāman?), by Fujiko F Fujio, is a Japanese manga and anime about a clumsy boy, Mitsuo Suwa, who is chosen to apprentice to a powerful superhero. Although created as a parody of Superman (the name "Perman" is based on "Superman" without the "Su"), the character's creators appear to have distanced themselves from this origin story. In the comic-essay "Passionate Days of Perman" (PARマンの情熱的な日々), Fujiko Fujio claims the name is actually a reference to the "par" concept in golf. In addition, due to copyright concerns, the name of Mitsuo's boss was later changed from "Superman" to "Birdman". It is also a comic series in Ninja Hattori-kun; Kenichi really enjoys reading them.
The first series was serialized in Shōnen Sunday and other magazines from 1967 to 1968, and the second was serialized in CoroCoro Comic from 1983 to 1986. The first anime series was first produced in black and white in 1967. It was remade in color in 1983 and films were released in 1983, 1984, 1985, 2003 and 2004 along with Doraemon films.
Superman (later "Birdman") gives a clumsy human boy, Mitsuo Suwa, three items to help him as Paman, Superman/Birdman's apprentice:
- A helmet which multiplies the wearer's physical strength by 6600,
- A cape that allows the wearer to fly at a speed of 119 km/h,
- A badge which enables the wearer to communicate with other Perman and to breathe underwater,
In addition, he gives him a copy-robot which transforms into an identical clone to help him keep his secret identity during missions. However, if his secret identity becomes known to others, his brain will be destroyed for betraying the secret of Perman. This penalty is reduced to being turned into an animal in later chapters of the manga and in the anime.
Mitsuo begins by rescuing people who are victims of crimes or disasters, so as Paman he is admired. He is, however, often troubled by his dual life as a both brilliant superhero and as an unrewarded ordinary boy. He wishes to abandon his role as Perman, but he continues to be Paman out of a desire to help people caught in disasters.
Soon, he meets other Pamen and teams with them. The other Pamen are:
- Paman 2: A monkey named Buuby
- Paman 3: A girl named Perko/Sumire Hosino
- Paman 4: A boy named Peryan
- Paman 5: A baby boy named Kōichi
In the end of the original story, he achieves the status of Superman and leaves to a planet for Supermen to become a superhero team. He returns shortly later. In the TV series, he stays on earth his whole life.
These are the characters in the anime/manga series Perman.
Perman and his fellows
- Mitsuo Suwa (須羽満夫 (ミツ夫, みつ夫) Suwa Mitsuo?) (aka Perman #1) - The main character in the series, Mitsuo is the rebellious 11-year-old boy chosen as the first Perman. Of the five known Perman, he has had the most close calls to having his secret identity made known (and his cover blown). He hates studying, being grounded by his mother (the former two traits shared with Nobita Nobi of Doraemon, another of Fujiko's works), ghosts, and cockroaches (the insects were once used in a scheme by the ZenAkuRen). He has a crush on Michiko and often quarrels with Perko. He is a big fan of the singer Sumire Hoshino, who, unbeknownst to anyone, actually is Perman 3. Mitsuo seems to be very lazy sometimes. Voiced by: Katsue Miwa.
- Booby (aka Perman #2) - Booby, though a chimpanzee and therefore not human, let alone a man, is officially referred to as "Perman #2". He is highly intelligent, but because he cannot speak human language, he often uses objects and gestures to get his point across. He is Mitsuo's favourite sidekick. Voiced by: Hiroshi Ōtake.
- Sumire Hoshino (星野スミレ Hoshino Sumire?) (aka Perman #3 or Perko) - Although Sumire is a girl, she is officially addressed as "Perman #3"; however, her teammates often call her called "Perko". Her secret identity, which she never reveals even to her teammates, is a famous child star. She feels freer when she is Perko because, as the child star Sumire, she is always treated as a celebrity everywhere she goes. In her superhero guise, she is tomboyish and headstrong, quarreling with Mitsuo and sometimes with Michiko. But she later falls in love with Mitsuo, revealing herself only to him in the final chapter. Sumire, as an older actress, also makes significant cameo appearances in two chapters of Doraemon, telling Nobita about a faraway lover whose return she is waiting for (in volume 19 and 24 of Doraemon). Voiced by: Yōko Kuri (1st), Eiko Masuyama (2nd~).
- Hōzen Ōyama (大山法善 Ōyama Hōzen?) (aka Perman #4 or Peryan) - The little Buddhist monk who lives in Osaka. He is very pragmatic and this sometimes pits him against the other Pāmen. His pragmatic attitude saves the Permen from many of their tribulations. Voiced by: Yoshihisa Kamo (1st), Kaneta Kimotsuki (2nd~).
- Kōichi Yamada (山田浩一 Yamada Kōichi?) (aka Perman #5 or Pābō (パー坊 "baby Perman"?)) - Nicknamed "Kō-chan", he is the fifth and youngest member of the team. He saw Mitsuo as Perman #1 on one occasion, and was made a Perman to preserve Mitsuo's secret identity. The first anime and manga series had several appearances by Kōichi, but he is nonexistent in the second versions of either series. In addition, all but one chapter in the current manga volumes (a Christmas special) with an appearance by him has been omitted. Voiced by: Fuyumi Shiraishi.
- Superman (aka Birdman) - One of the Supermen, the guardians of the universe. His name is Superman in early series, but he is renamed Birdman in later series to avoid violating the copyright of DC. Despite this, his appearance completely differs from the original Superman. Voiced by: Akira Shimada (1st), Yoshito Yasuhara (2nd~).
- Copy-robots - Androids which are given to Permen from Superman to help keep their secret. Each one transforms into a clone of the person who pushes a button on its nose. The memories of that copy robot can also be transferred to the original person by placing both foreheads against each other. In the first series, the robot had a red nose that remained visible even after the transformation, and they often were deactivated by well-meaning people trying to wipe their noses clean. The duplication procedure also copies whatever clothing or items that are on the activator's person, which landed Mitsuo in trouble on a few occasions for abusing this property. These made a cameo in the Doraemon series as one of his many gadgets from the future.
Friends and family
- Michiko "Mitchan" Sawada (沢田ミチ子 Sawada Michiko?) - Mitsuo's classmate who has a crush on Pāman. She views Pāko as a rival, and at times clashes with her (with Mitsuo in the middle). Voiced by: Kyōko Emi (1st), Masako Miura (2nd~).
- Sabu (サブ?) - Mitsuo's short-statured classmate often seen with Kabao. Voiced by: Michiko Nomura (1st), Shigeru Chiba (2nd~).
- Kabao (カバ夫?) - Mitsuo's another classmates. He is a neighborhood bully. He often picks on Mitsuo, but is a big fan of Pāman, often begging him to make him the next member. (This is similar to Flash Thompson from the Spider-Man series, who often picks on Peter Parker, but idolizes Spider-Man - Parker's superhero identity.) Together with Sabu, he was tricked by a foreign scientist into stealing Mitsuo's Pāman equipment Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki (1st), Kiyonobu Suzuki (2nd~).
- Haruzō Mie (三重晴三 Mie Haruzō?) - Another of Mitsuo's classmates, from a wealthy family—in fact, his name can be read as "displaying vanity (見栄張るぞ?)". In one episode, he borrows the Pāman items from Mitsuo, only to have them stolen by a dangerous criminal. Voiced by: Mie Suzuki (2nd~).
- Mr. and Mrs. Mantarō Suwa (須羽満太郎 Suwa Mantarō?) - Mitsuo's parents (his mother is unnamed in the series). Mantarō is often seen as easygoing, but will discipline his son responsibly. His mother (often prompted by his sister Ganko) usually scolds Mitsuo for getting into trouble. Voiced by: Hisashi Katsuta/Takako Kondō (1st), Kan Tokumaru/Akiko Tsuboi (2nd~).
- Ganko Suwa (須羽がん子 Suwa Ganko?) - Ganko is Mitsuo's younger sister. As her given name can be read as "stubborn (頑固?)", Ganko is likewise headstrong and obstinate, although she is more known for tattling on Mitsuo to their mother. Voiced by: Masako Sugaya (1st), Yuri Nashiwa (2nd~).
- Senmensō (怪盗千面相 Kaitō Senmensō?) - A gentleman-thief who is an expert in disguise and jailbreak, and arguably Pāman's most cunning opponent. His skill in escaping is due to his love of the thrill of breaking out of prison, and a chapter in the early manga demonstrates that he can't stand the ease of escaping from minimum security. In his first appearance, he was ruthless enough to try to kill Mitsuo, however he later helped Pāman capture the man behind a rash of purse-snatchings, because the thief had robbed the owner of his favorite ramen restaurant. He is a lover of fine art, which Pāyan uses to his advantage in a museum heist. Voiced by: ? (1st), Mugihito (2nd~).
- Japanese League of Evildoers (全日本悪者連盟 Zen Nippon Akusha Renmei?) (aka ZenAkuRen (全悪連?) ZenGyadoRen (全ギャド連?)) - The Japanese 'bad-man league', the guild which organizes thieves and burglars in Japan. Despite their schemes to destroy Pāman, they are always defeated.
- Don Ishikawa (ドン石川?) - The leader of the ZenGyadoRen. Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (3rd~).
- Saien Mado (魔土災炎 Mado Saien?) - An evil genius who is the science adviser of ZenGyadoRen and offers them many unusual technologies. As with Haruzō and Ganko, his name can be read in a different way; in his case, it sounds very similar to "mad scientist". Voiced by: Shūichi Ikeda (3rd~).
The second anime series was broadcast on TV Asahi from April 4, 1983 to July 2, 1985. It has been aired in several other countries. In Hong Kong, it is aired under the title 神奇小子 and was dubbed in Cantonese and broadcast by ATV Home in 1984. It has also been aired in Taiwan under the name 小超人 and China. In India (on the station Nickelodeon India and Sonic (TV channel)), the anime is released as Perman, dubbed in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi. In Indonesia, Paman was released as P-man, dubbed in Bahasa Indonesia and broadcast on RCTI was moved aired form Lativi (now tvOne) is a play start form sign-on. In Italy, it is aired under the Superkid eroe bambino. It was aired in the 1980s. In a few countries of Spanish-speaking Latin America it was released as "El Hombre Par," dubbed in Spanish. In Brazil it was released as "Super Dinamo," dubbed in Portuguese. In Malaysia, it was broadcast under the title Perman and dubbed in Malay. Aired on TV2 in the early 2000s and later on TV9 since 2009. In Nepal, it is aired on NTV as Hamro perman. In South Korea it aired as Super Boy Perman (슈퍼 꼬마 퍼맨). In Thailand it aired as ปาร์แมน and was broadcast on MCOT Modernine, Truevisions and Army TV Channel 5. In Vietnam it's known as Cậu bé siêu nhân. In the Philippines, it aired on Cartoon Network as Adventures of Perman.