Bikkuriman

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Bikkuriman
ビックリマン
Anime television series
Directed by Mitsuru Aoyama
Music by Takanori Arisawa
Studio Toei Animation
Original network Asahi Broadcasting
Original run October 11, 1987 April 2, 1989
Episodes 75
Anime film
Bikkuriman: Taiichiji Seima Taisen
Studio Toei Animation
Released March 12, 1988
Runtime 30 minutes
Anime film
Bikkuriman: Moen Zone no Himitsu
Studio Toei Animation
Released July 9, 1988
Runtime 45 minutes
Anime television series
Shin Bikkuriman
Directed by Yukio Kaizawa
Written by Hajime Satsuki
Shigeru Yanagigawa
Sukehiro Tomita
Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi
Studio Toei Animation
Original network Asahi Broadcasting
Original run April 19, 1989 August 26, 1990
Episodes 72
Anime television series
Super Bikkuriman
Directed by Yukio Kaizawa
Music by Takanori Arisawa
Studio Toei Animation
Original network Asahi Broadcasting
Original run May 17, 1992 April 4, 1993
Episodes 44
Anime television series
Bikkuriman 2000
Directed by Yusuke Yamamoto
Written by Fumihiko Shimo
Studio Studio Comet
Original network TV Tokyo
Original run November 1, 1999 February 26, 2001
Episodes 68
Anime television series
Happy Lucky Bikkuriman
Directed by Tsuyoshi Koga
Produced by Yasuhiko Nukaga
Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Music by Yoshichika Inomata
Youichirou Honda
Studio Toei Animation
Original network BS Asahi, TV Asahi
Original run October 15, 2006 September 30, 2007
Episodes 46
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Bikkuriman (ビックリマン) is a line of wafer snacks produced by Lotte, made notable for the randomly assorted bonus stickers included inside each snack. First released in 1977, Bikkuriman (ビックリマン, “Surprise Man”) become wildly popular in Japan with the introduction of the Akuma vs Tenshi Seal (悪魔VS天使シール, Devil vs Angel Seal) series of stickers, leading to a prolific amount of media tie-ins.

History[edit]

Bikkuriman is a chocolate and peanut wafer snack made by Lotte that sold for 30 yen at the time of its introduction. Originally, the pack-in stickers were called “Dokkiri Seal” (どっきりシール, “Shocking Seal). Each seal featured a realistic image on a clear background, with the intention of using them for pranks or gags (broken glass, clothing tears, fake wall switches, etc.) By the 1980s, the Seals began featuring individual gag-based characters with a theme that united a particular set of Seals. These style of stickers would remain for the first 9 sets of Seal releases.

In August of 1985, Lotte released the first of the Akuma vs Tenshi Seal series. While remaining the same humorous art style of the earlier series, the Akuma vs Tenshi Seals featured characters based on assorted mythological, folklore, and even metaphorical sources engaging in an overarching story-line. Akin to the Mars Attacks trading card series from America, the battle between the Tenshi and Akuma is told on the back of each sticker, with the plot progressing with each new set. Each set was divided into several themed tiers featuring a Tenshi, Akuma, and an Omamori (お守り, "Protector"), with an ultra-rare "Head" seal that serves as the main character of its particular set. The Head Seals were typically printed with a prism or holographic holofoil to set them apart from the Tenshi's metallic silver or gold backing, the clear backgrounds of the Omamori and the multi-colored backgrounds of the Akuma. The rarity of the early Akuma vs Tenshi seals were, in order: Head, Tenshi, Omamori, Akuma.

These stickers were a huge success, leading to a multitude of media tie-ins. The original Bikkuriman anime series, created by Toei Animation, aired from October 11, 1987 to April 2, 1989.[1] Sequels include Shin Bikkuriman and Super Bikkuriman. Two Bikkuriman video games were made for the PC Engine console in Japan.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the stickers led to trouble for the series. The zeal for trying to obtain Head Seals would lead children to buy Bikkuriman in mass quantities, retrieve the stickers inside, and simply throw away the snack. This, along with the fact that children and collectors were willing to pay high amounts of money for the rarer cards, led to parent groups expressing concern of possible gambling undertones to the stickers. This led to action by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission, and the number of Head Seals per pack was increased from the average 4 to 24 individual Seals.

Heads List[edit]

  • 1st Dan Head - Super Zeus
  • 2nd Dan Head - Shaman Kahn
  • 3rd Dan Head - Super Devil
  • 4th Dan Head - Satan Maria
  • 5th Dan Head - St. Phoenix
  • 6th Dan Head - Shiso Jura
  • 7th Dan Head - Black Zues
  • 8th Dan Head - Herachrist
  • 9th Dan Head - Busogata Phoenix
  • 10th Dan Head - Masho Nero

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bikkuriman." Toei Animation. Retrieved on April 2, 2009.

External links[edit]