Dokonjō Gaeru

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Dokonjō Gaeru
Dokonjo Gaeru.jpg
Cover art from the Dokonjō Gaeru special DVD box release
Genre Comedy, Slice of life
Written by Yasumi Yoshizawa
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
Original run July 27, 1970June 14, 1976
Volumes 27
Anime television series
Directed by Tadao Nagahama
Produced by Yutaka Fujioka
Music by Kenjiro Hirose
Studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Original network TBS
English network
Original run October 7, 1972September 28, 1974
Episodes 103 (206 sequences)
Anime television series
New Dokonjō Gaeru
Music by Reijiro Koroku
Studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Original network Nippon Television
Original run September 7, 1981March 29, 1982
Episodes 30
Television drama
Directed by Shintaro Sugawara
Shunsuke Kariyama
Written by Yoshikazu Okada
Original network NTV
Original run July 11, 2015September 19, 2015
Episodes 10
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Dokonjō Gaeru (ど根性ガエル, The Gutsy Frog[1]) is a comedy manga series created and illustrated by Yasumi Yoshizawa. It was officially serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from July 27, 1970 to June 14, 1976, collected into 27 tankōbon volumes. Two anime adaptations of the manga were produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, the first aired from October 7, 1972 to September 28, 1974 and the second aired from September 7, 1981 to March 29, 1982. A movie was directed by Tsutomu Shibayama and was aired on NTV on March 20, 1982. A live-action sequel was also aired on NTV from July 11, 2015 until September 19, 2015. The anime aired subtitled in the U.S. on California's UTB.[2]


While frog Pyonkichi is hopping in an empty lot in Nerima, Tokyo's Shakujii Park, middle schooler Hiroshi trips over a rock and squashes him. However, Pyonkichi is reborn as an imprint on the front of Hiroshi's shirt and now gives him advice and commentary on his life.


  • Pyonkichi (ピョン吉): Voiced by: Sachiko Chijimatsu, Voiced by Hikari Mitsushima. A frog who is crushed by Hiroshi, but his spirit lives on as a talking frog on his shirt, becoming a Flat Surface Frog (平面ガエル, Heimen Gaeru). Because said shirt is Hiroshi's only good shirt, he is always forced to travel around and interact with Hiroshi. They are equally obstinate and gluttonous and are always arguing like siblings. He is capable of jumping around and forcing Hiroshi to come along with him.
  • Hiroshi (ひろし): Voiced by: Masako Nozawa Played by Kenichi Matsuyama. The middle schooler who fell on Pyonkichi. He is never seen without his sunglasses, which he wears perched on his head. Though his school has a uniform policy, he is, for some reason, allowed to wear his one good shirt.
  • Kyoko Yoshizawa (吉沢 京子, Yoshizawa Kyouko): Voiced by: Yōko Kuri, New: Atsushi TomiiKaoru Kurosu, CM: Chinami Nishimura, Played by Atsuko Maeda. Hiroshi's girlfriend. She is the daughter of a rather wealthy family, yet is a strong minded girl who will stand up for herself and participate in pranks. She initially pretends to dislike Hiroshi but becomes friends with him after he meets Pyonkichi, whom she believes is a cute shirt design.
  • Gorou (五郎): Voiced by: Kazue Takahashi, New: Junko Hori, Played by Ryo Katsuji. Hiroshi's sidekick. Despite his diminutive size, he is actually only a year younger than Hiroshi, who he addresses as senpai.
  • Imotaro Gorira (五利良 イモ太郎, Gorira Imotarou): Voiced by: Kazuya Tatekabe, New: Kyūji Aozora. The school bully, and Hiroshi's rival for Kyoko's attention.
  • Yujiro Nomura (野村 裕次郎, Nomura Yuujirou): Voiced by: Tetsuo MizutoriIsao Sakuma, New: Kōji Aozora
  • Umesaburo Sagawa (佐川 梅三郎, Sagawa Umesaburou): Voiced by: Kazuo Harada, New: Keiichi Nanba, Played by Ken Mitsuishi. Addressed as "Ume" by everyone, he is an earnest young man who works as a sushi chef. Having grown up at the local orphanage, he cares deeply for the children there and plays Santa for them every Christmas. He is very much in love with Miss Yoshiko, which puts him at odds with Mr. Minami.
  • Shinpachi Goto (後藤 新八, Gotou Shinpachi): Voiced by: Keiko Yamamoto. The new boy at school, he is completely selfish and rude towards everyone. Umesaburo initially believes that Shimpachi's bad behavior is because his family is extremely poor, but it turns out that his family is actually rather wealthy and of high social standing.
  • Sakura (): Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki
  • Yoshiko Yamanaka (山中 ヨシ子, Yamanaka Yoshiko): Voiced by: Reiko Mutō, New: Keiko Toda, Played by Yuri Shirahane. The English teacher at Hiroshi's school. Both Umesaburo and Mr. Minami are in love with her, which annoys her.
  • Kuniko Obayashi (大林 くに子, Oobayashi Kuniko): Voiced by: Eiko Masuyama. Hiroshi's childhood sweetheart. It was she who gave him the sunglasses that he wears constantly. Kuniko is a flirtatious girl who charms all the boys, saving most of her attention for Hiroshi, which, naturally, does not sit well with Kyoko.
  • Machida (町田): Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai, Played by Denden. A teacher at Hiroshi's school. He references his 25 years' teaching experience in nearly every episode of the anime.
  • Yoshio Minami (南 よし雄, Minami Yoshio): Voiced by: Shūsei Nakamura, New: Hideyuki Tanaka. Another teacher at Hiroshi's school. He is constantly dueling with Umesaburo for Yoshiko's affection. He is proud of his car, the Buran-go, and often offers to drive Yoshiko around in it.
  • Misako Watanabe (渡辺 みさ子, Watanabe Misako): Voiced by: Kazuko Sawada. Goro's girlfriend.
  • Kaa-chan (母ちゃん): Voiced by: Noriko Ohara, New: Shō Saitō, Played by Hiroko Yakushimaru. Hiroshi's long-suffering mother. Because Hiroshi's father is deceased, she is the money earner for the family, working as a tailor and seamstress out of the modest home where she and Hiroshi live.
  • Pyonko (ピョン子): Voiced by: Eiko Masuyama. Pyonkichi's girlfriend, before he ended up flattened onto Hiroshi's shirt. Pyonkichi reluctantly breaks up with her because, now that he is a two-dimensional frog stuck to Hiroshi's shirt, he feels like he cannot give her the life she deserves.
  • Sushi Restaurant Owner: Voiced by: Masashi AmenomoriOsamu Kobayashi, New: Kenichi Ogata.
  • Sankakubei (三角兵衛): Voiced by: Kei Tomiyama


In 2005, Japanese television network TV Asahi conducted a "Top 100" nationwide survey; Dokonjō Gaeru placed 100th.[3] In 2006, TV Asahi conducted an online poll for the top one hundred anime, and Dokonjō Gaeru placed 56th in the "Celebrity List".[4] In 2013, animator Masaaki Yuasa recommended among other anime, Dokonjō Gaeru, highlighting episodes 145 and 146.[5]

The series also became popular in Latin American countries, dubbed in Spanish under the title La rana valiente, with most character names unchanged from the Japanese except Pyonkichi's to Raponchi.

In 2013, an American TV-movie remake of The Gutsy Frog was reported to be in development, presumably as a pilot for a new TV series.[6] The pilot film was to contain both live action and CGI animation and to feature a cast including Frankie Jonas as "Frankie" (Hiroshi) as well as Maxwell Perry Cotton, Mischa Barton, and others, and features both American and Japanese names among the production staff[7] although TMS is not reported to be involved in the remake.

As of October 2014, the original anime is airing in Los Angeles, California, on a Japanese-language digital HD-2 side channel of KSCI-TV.[8]

A live-action dorama version of the story is set to premiere in Japan in July 2015 on Nippon TV. The new TV series, set to air Saturdays at 9pm Japan time, will be set in 2015 Japan and feature a grown-up Hiroshi and Kyoko and a computer-generated Pyonkichi. The cast of the live-action version will include Kenichi Matsuyama as Hiroshi and former AKB48 singer Atsuko Maeda as Kyoko.[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime, Part 2". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved April 12, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Japan's Favorite TV Anime". Anime News Network. October 13, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ghost in the Shell Director Oshii Praises Kick-Heart in Ad". Anime News Network. September 8, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mischa Barton working with Jonas Brother, making movies". KABC-TV Los Angeles; from Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Gutsy Frog (2013) at Internet Movie Database". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Gutsy Frog at UTB Hollywood (English)". UTB 18.2 (KSCI). Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ Ex-AKB48 Atsuko Maeda to Play Heroine Kyoko in "Dokonjo Gaeru" TV Drama Adaptation,, 28 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.

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