|Hidemaru the Soccer Boy|
|Written by||Makoto Mizobuchi|
|Original run||November 28, 2002 – May 28, 2003|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yoshihiro Takamoto|
|Produced by||Takeshi Sasamura (TV Tokyo)|
|Written by||Hideo Takayashiki|
|Music by||Yuko Fukushima|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 6, 2002 – September 28, 2002|
Forza! Hidemaru (Japanese: フォルツァ!ひでまる Hepburn: Forutsa! Hidemaru) is a 26 episode anime series produced by NAS and aired on TV Tokyo. It is based on Hidemaru The Soccer Boy (ひでまる the soccer boy), a Corocoro Comic manga series by the author Makoto Mizobuchi, produced by "Sunny Side Up". Enoki Films licensed the series as Forza! Mario, and NAS refers to the series by that name on its English website. The series, about a boy who wants to play soccer, aired in 2002, the year of the FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea.
Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, the authors of The Anime Encyclopedia, Revised & Expanded Edition: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, wrote that the series "seems far out of its time in the early 21st century" but "the very young audience sees" the sports tropes "with fresh eyes."
Clements and McCarthy stated that the cast consists of "wacky animals in sports getup" with a fox, two fat hippopotamus girls, dogs, horses, and rabbits.
- Hidemaru (ひでまる) / Mario - The main character, Hidemaru is a dog. His voice actress is Mayumi Asano.
- Sen-no-Joe (千の丞 Sen no Jō) - An old man who gives advice to Hidemaru on how to play the game. He had previously coached a team but lost the enthusiasm after the end of that team. His voice actor is Masaharu Satō.
- Nana (ナナ) - Sen-no-Joe's granddaughter. Enoki Films described her as the "Madonna of the team." Her voice actress is Sakura Nogawa.
- Rey (レイ Rei) - The team's cheerleader. Her voice actress is Masa Kimura (木村 美佐 Kimura Masa).
- Joe (ジョー Jō) - Described by Enoki Films as a "‘cool' and affected sportsman." His voice actor is Daisuke Kishio.
- Kaizer (カイザー Kaizā) - The son of the owner of Club No. 1 (クラブNO.1 Kurabu No. 1) and the captain of that club. His voice actor is Kentarō Itō.
- Riki (リキ)
- Miki (ミキ) and Mika (ミカ) - Two hippo girls
- Flora (フローラ Furōra) - A rich wolf girl who is madly in love with Joe, and finances the team in order to be allowed to join as a cheerleader.
- Jūbei (十兵衛)
- Kiyoshirō (清四郎)
- Gengorō (源五郎) and Hanjirō (半次郎)
- Ranmaru (蘭丸)
- Kyūtarō (キュータロウ)
- Dorufu (ドルフ)
- Inokuma (イノクマ)
- Kakunoshin (角の進)
- Kintarō (金太郎)
- Bison (バイソン Baison)
- Yanosuke (八の助) and Kunosuke (九の助)
- Clements, Jonathan and Helen McCarthy. The Anime Encyclopedia, Revised & Expanded Edition: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917. Stone Bridge Press, November 6, 2012. ISBN 1611725151, 9781611725155. page unstated (Google Books PT 291)
- "Forza! Mario." Enoki Films. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
- "TV programs(by genre)" (Archive). NAS. Retrieved on April 4, 2014.
- "Feature: The game of life" (Archive) Metropolis. Retrieved on March 24, 2014. "The phenomenon continues to grow with nakata.net TV, a weekly soccer program on SkyPerfecTV; nakata.net Mobile, a mobile phone service that transmits voice and text messages from Nakata; nakata.net kids, the online home of soccer-playing cartoon dog Hidemaru; and club.nakata.net, a members-only site for Japanese fans with about 8,000 subscribers."
- "スタッフ＆キャスト" (Staff & Cast) (). Forza! Hidemaru at TV Tokyo. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
- "アニメワールド" (Archive) Hidemaru Official Website. December 8, 2003. Retrieved on March 25, 2014.