|Ebichu Minds the House|
Ebichu DVD cover by Gainax
|Written by||Risa Itō|
|Magazine||Manga Action Pizazz|
|Original run||1991 – 2008|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Makoto Moriwaki|
|Studio||Group TAC, Gainax|
|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 comedy, 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 comedic value rather than for fanservice.
The story follows Ebichu, a talking hamster devoted to her oft-indifferent owner, who she calls Goshujin-chama ("Master") and is only identified as OL ("Office Lady"), a single 28-year-old (she is 25-year-old in the anime series) who doles out cynical commentary and the occasional beating on the rodent. 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 tends to take this in stride with endless praise and compliments of her master. Ebichu often attempts to correct OL's bad decisions, such as her berating of OL's obnoxious, immature and untrustworthy boyfriend that Ebichu nicknamed Kaishounachi (worthless man).
- Ebichu (エビちゅ) Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (三石琴乃)
- 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 (富沢美智恵)
- Ebichu's owner who smokes, drinks, longs to be married, and constantly beats Ebichu.
- Kaishounachi (かいしょなち, lit. Worthless man) Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (関智一)
- OL's boyfriend who is constantly cheating on her, but is easily forgiven. He gets easily turned on and off.
- Maa-kun (マァくん) Voiced by: Mitsuo Iwata (岩田光央)
- A soft spoken man who developed a sexual attraction towards Ebichu, often trying to get his girlfriend to partake in his fetish.
- Watanabe-san (渡辺さん) or Hanabataki-san (花畑さん) Voiced by: Kae Araki (荒木 香恵)
- A friend of Goshujin-chama and a good housekeeper. She is often viewed as surrounded by flowers which Ebichu always comments on while the others try to ignore it.
- Mother of OL (ご主人ちゃま母親 Mother of OL)
- Mother of Goshujin-chama. She worries for her daughter.
- Kobayashi-San (小林さん) and Lady Kobayashi (小林婦人)
- Newly married couple. Moved to next door to Goshujin-chama and Ebichu in the apartment complex they live in.
Characters that do not appear in the TV and animated versions.
- Dobuyosi Kun (どぶ吉くん)
- A normal mouse and a friend of Ebichu. He is jealous of Ebichu's popularity.
- Tanukio (タヌキオ)
- A raccoon whose testicles shrink every time he lies.
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).
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.
- "Higepiyo 4-Panel Manga from Ebichu Creator Gets Anime (Updated)". Anime News Network. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2014.