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Hamtaro's English Logo
(Tottoko Hamutarō[1])
Genre Adventure, Comedy
Written by Ritsuko Kawai
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Ciao
Original run 1997 – ongoing
Anime television series
Directed by Osamu Nabeshima
Studio ShoPro Entertainment
TMS Entertainment
Licensed by
The Ocean Group (2002–2004)
Network TV Tokyo (2000–2006)
English network
Cartoon Network (2003)
Nick Jr. (2004–2006)
YTV (2002–2005)
TV3 (2003)
GMA Network
TV5 Philippines (2009–2010)
BEAM Channel 31 (Episode 1 only, 2011)
Fox Kids (2002–2004)
Cartoon Network (2002–2004)
Original run July 7, 2000March 31, 2006
Episodes 296 (Japanese), 105 (English) (List of episodes)
Anime and Manga portal

Hamtaro (とっとこハム太郎 Tottoko Hamutarō?, "Trotting Hamtaro") is a Japanese children's manga and storybook series created and illustrated by Ritsuko Kawai. 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.[2][3]

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


The series revolves around an anthropomorphic hamster named Hamtaro, who is owned by a 10-year-old girl named Laura Haruna (Hiroko Haruna or "Roko-chan" in the Japanese version). 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").


See List of Hamtaro characters


People magazine named this show "[the] Hottest new thing in Hollywood!" due to its rise in popularity among audiences of all ages.

In Japan, Hamtaro aired five anime series', released four movies, several specials, many video game/DVD releases and merchandise. The success was not 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. In 2004, Hamtaro was cancelled in the United States to air the new Gundam series and Dragon Ball Z. On 23 February 2011, it was announced that Hamtaro would be receiving a new series titled Tottoko Hamutaro Dechu.[4] However, upon airing on 2 April 2011 at 9 a.m., it was found to be the original show rehashed with a new intro and new borders. "Tottoko Hamutaro Dechu" was broadcast for the final time in Japan on Saturday, 30 March 2013.[citation needed]

Licensed products[edit]

Hamtaro plush from Hasbro
  • Shogakukan: Ritsuko Kawai's books, other Hamtaro related titles, Japanese videos/DVDs
  • Toho (Toho Co., Ltd.): Distribution of all 4 movies
  • Columbia Music Entertainment: Japanese music CDs
  • Anime Video Comics: Launched in 2008 with no website. Summit Entertainment, an owner company of Anime Video Comics, releases some episodes.
  • Epoch Co., Ltd.: Plushies, collectible toy lines, interactive toys, standalone electronic games (for the Japanese/Asian market only; can also be found in some import stores in North America and Europe)
  • Hasbro: Plushies, collectible toy line
  • The Learning Company: Hamtaro: Wake Up Snoozer! for the IBM PC/PC compatibles/Apple Macintosh
  • Nintendo: video games:
  • Sega: Arcade painting game, Sega Pico titles (Japanese market only), Cocopad titles (Japanese market only)
    • For the Nintendo Wii U: Hamtaro: Team Racers.
  • Natsume: Tottoko Hamtaro Ham Ham Challenge Atsumare Hai Nintendo DS game (Released as Hi! Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Challenge! in the US/Europe)
  • Banpresto: Arcade kiddie ride
  • Smuckers: Smucker's Snackers
  • VIZ Media (North America): books, English-language comics, videos/DVDs
  • Chuang Yi (Singapore): books, English-language comics
  • Seiko: Limited edition watches
  • Daewon Media: All market character products from Japan and United States
  • The Ambition Company released a spoken word CD of Hamtaro produced by Steve Deakin-Davies

International broadcast[edit]


External links[edit]