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Hamtaro cover.jpg
Cover of the first children's book featuring Hamtaro.
(Tottoko Hamutarō[1])
GenreAdventure, comedy, slice of life
Written byRitsuko Kawai
Published byShogakukan
Original run19972000
Original video animation
Directed byTomomi Mochizuki
Produced byKazuhiko Kurokawa
Tadahito Matsumoto
Written byTomomi Mochizuki
Music byMotoyoshi Iwasaki
StudioTMS Entertainment
Released1 August 1999
Anime television series
Directed byOsamu Nabeshima
Written byShinzo Fujita
Yoshiyuki Suga
Miho Maruo
Atsuhiro Tomioka
Fumihiko Shimo
Koji Miura
Toshiyasu Nagata
Michiru Shimada[2]
Music byMotoyoshi Iwasaki (JP)
Tom Keenlyside
John Mitchell
David Iris (U.S.)
StudioTMS Entertainment
Licensed by
Viz Media
Original networkTV Tokyo
English network
YTV (2002–2005)
TV3 (2003)
GMA Network
TV5 (2009–2010)
Fox Kids (2002–2004)
CBS (Nick Jr. on CBS) (2001-2002, 2004-2006) (Nick on CBS) (2002-2007) KOL Secret Slumber Party (2006-2007)
Original run 7 July 2000 31 March 2006
Episodes296 (Japanese)
105 (English) (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Directed byOsamu Nabeshima (1,4)
Kazuhiro Ochi (2,3)
Written byMichiru Shimada (1)
Tomoko Konparu (2)
Kouji Miura (3,4)
Music byMotoyoshi Iwasaki
StudioTMS Entertainment
Released 6 August 2001 6 August 2004
Episodes4 (List of episodes)
Anime film series
Directed byOsamu Dezaki
Produced byMasato Matsumoto
Yuoh Sekita
Written byOsamu Dezaki (1)
Michiru Shimada (1, 2)
Tomoko Konparu (3, 4)
Music byMotoyoshi Iwasaki
StudioTMS Entertainment
Released 15 December 2001 23 December 2004
Runtime50 minutes each
Films4 (List of films)
Anime television series
Trotting Hamtaro Hai!
Directed byOsamu Nabeshima
Written byYoshiyuki Suga
Music byMotoyoshi Iwasaki
StudioTMS Entertainment
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run 5 April 2006 26 March 2008
Episodes77 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Trotting Hamtaro Dechu!
Directed byOsamu Nabeshima
StudioTMS Entertainment
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run 2 April 2011 30 March 2013
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Hamtaro, known in Japan as Trotting Hamtaro (とっとこハム太郎, Tottoko Hamutarō), is a Japanese manga and storybook series created and illustrated by Ritsuko Kawai about a hamster. The manga is serialized in Shogakukan's all-girl's magazine Ciao in 1997, focusing on a hamster named Hamtaro who has a variety of adventures with other hamsters, known as "Ham-Hams" ("Hamuchans" in the Japanese version). Viz Media published the manga adaptations and storybooks in English.[3][4]

Multiple anime adaptations were produced by TMS Entertainment and aired on TV Tokyo. The first series was dubbed in English by The Ocean Group.


The series revolves around a hamster named Hamtaro, who is owned by a 10-year-old girl named Hiroko Haruna (Laura Haruna in the English dub). Curious by nature, he ventures out each day to make friends and go on adventures with a clan of fellow hamster friends known as The Ham-Hams. The Ham-Hams meet at a special clubhouse built by Boss ("Taisho").



There are three manga about Hamtaro, A Home for Hamtaro, Hamtaro Gets Lost, and Jealous Hamtaro. In the first two, Hamtaro's owner is named Yukari while in the latter, her name is Amy.


In Japan, Hamtaro aired three anime series, released four movies, several specials, many video game/DVD releases and merchandise. By 2001, the franchise had generated $2.5 billion in merchandise sales.[5] The success was paralleled in the United States, however, with only the first series, some special episodes, three video games (though two others were released in Europe), and limited merchandise. On 23 February 2011, it was announced that Hamtaro would be receiving a series titled Tottoko Hamtaro Dechu.[6]


The Hamtaro franchise has multiple video game titles with independent storylines. These titles include adventure and educational games that can be found for PC, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance (GBA), and the Nintendo DS consoles.

Title Platform Release Date
Tottoko Hamtaro: Tomodachi Daisakusen Dechu Game Boy Color[7] JP: 8 September 2000[7]
Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! Game Boy Color JP: 21 April 2001

NA: 28 October 2002

Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak Game Boy Advance JP: 3 May 2002[8]

NA: 8 April 2003[8]

Hamtaro: Wake Up Snoozer! PC/Mac 1 October 2003
Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue Game Boy Advance 22 May 2003
Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games Game Boy Advance 26 July 2004
Tottoko Hamtaro: Nazo Nazo Q Kumonoue no ? Jou Nintendo DS 1 December 2005
Hi Hamtaro! Little Hamsters Big Adventure Nintendo DS 23 September 2008

In popular culture[edit]

On 26 July 2020, a group of more than 2.000 protesters in Bangkok called the Free Youth Movement, led a protest against the government of Thailand which involved singing the theme song for "Hamtaro" with modified lyrics to say "The most delicious food is taxpayers’ money. [...]Dissolve the parliament! Dissolve the parliament! Dissolve the parliament!"[9] Other student protests during the same week have continued using Hamtaro as a symbol for the government's "feasting on taxpayer's money," and have involved groups running in circles, as if in hamster wheels, while singing the modified version of the jingle.[10][11]


  1. ^ Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia. California: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 1-933330-10-4.
  2. ^ "テレビ東京・あにてれ とっとこハム太郎" (in Japanese). tv-tokyo.co.jp. Retrieved 29 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Hamtaro Gets Lost and Other Stories (The Adventures of Hamtaro, Vol. 2) Amazon.com
  4. ^ The Adventures of Hamtaro, Vol. 3: Jealous Hamtaro and Other Stories Amazon.com
  5. ^ Macdonald, Christopher (20 May 2002). "Hamtaro Launch Event". Anime News Network. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Tottoko Hamtarō Dechu TV Anime to Premiere in April".
  7. ^ a b "【GBC20周年企画(2)】いちばん売れたゲームボーイカラー専用ソフトは『遊☆戯☆王DM4』! では2位は? GBC専用ソフト販売ランキングTOP10! - ファミ通.com". ファミ通.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak (2002) Game Boy Advance release dates - MobyGames". MobyGames. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  9. ^ "'Delicious taxes': Thai protesters use Japanese cartoon hamster to mock government". Reuters. 26 July 2020. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Hamster hero? How a Japanese cartoon became Thai youth protesters' symbol". Reuters. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  11. ^ Tan, Yvette (1 August 2020). "Why young people are protesting in Thailand". BBC News. Retrieved 2 August 2020.

External links[edit]