Cover of the second manga volume featuring Booby (left), Mitsuo Suwa (center), and Sumire Hoshino (right) in their Perman personas.
|Written by||Fujiko Fujio|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||1967 – 1968|
|Anime television series|
|Music by||Hiroshi Tsutsui|
|Original run||April 2, 1967 – April 14, 1968|
|Written by||Fujiko F. Fujio|
|Original run||1983 – 1986|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Sasagawa|
|Music by||Akihiko Takashima|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original run||April 4, 1983 – July 2, 1987|
|Episodes||526 + 3 specials|
|Perman: Enban o Torikaese!!|
|Released||December 14, 1990|
|Perman Part 2: Himitsu Kessha Madoodan o Taose!|
|Released||December 20, 1991|
Perman (Japanese: パーマン Hepburn: Pāman) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the manga artist duo Fujiko Fujio about a clumsy boy, Mitsuo Suwa, who is chosen to apprentice to a powerful superhero. The first manga series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1967 to 1968, and the second was serialized in CoroCoro Comic from 1983 to 1986. The first anime series was first produced in black and white in 1967. The second anime series was made in color in 1983 and films were released in 1983, 1984, 1985, 2003 and 2004.
The story follows a boy named Mitsuo Suwa who meets an alien named Superman, later renamed Birdman. The alien is part of a group that maintains peace in the galaxy and recruits Mitsuo to become a Perman. Mitsuo is given three items, a helmet which multiplies the wearer's physical strength and serves as a mask, a cape that allows the wearer to fly and run with great speed, and a badge which enables the wearer to breathe underwater and to communicate with Permans that he later meets. The alien instructs Mitsuo that if a Perman's identity becomes known to others, their brain will be destroyed—which is reduced to being turned into an animal in later chapters. To help keep Mitsuo's secret identity, the alien gives Mitsuo a doppelganger robot called copy-robot who takes Mitsuo's place when he is Perman.
- Mitsuo Suwa (須羽満夫 (ミツ夫 みつ夫) Suwa Mitsuo) / Perman 1
- Mitsuo is the rebellious 11-year-old boy chosen as the first Perman. He is the leader of the Permans. Of the five known Perman, he has had the most close calls to having his secret identity made known. He hates studying, being grounded, ghosts, and cockroaches. He is not good in studies in general but he can do well if becomes serious. He has a crush on Michiko and often quarrels with Pako. He is a big fan of the singer Sumire Hoshino, who, unbeknownst to anyone, actually is Perman 3. Mitsuo seems to be very lazy sometimes. He is willing to do anything to please others, which often lands him in trouble. At times, he has shown some conflicted feelings towards Pako, unable to express his feelings for her. All his achievements as Perman are acknowledged and he travels to the super star (bird star) as the next Superman (Birdman). He seems to have not been returned to Earth because there is depiction waiting for return in the era of "Doraemon" which later Hoshino Sumire as an older actress is in. However, there is a story saying that "Newly returned Perman" (included in Vol. 2 of Fujiko, F · Fujio Capricorn) （藤子・F・不二雄大全集第2巻に収録）contains a special holiday in New Year, and he returns to Earth only for 2 hours. Although he studies vigorously at the Bird star, he says that his only habit is not healed, and that is he being scolded by his teacher. Mitsuo is voiced by Katsue Miwa during both anime television series.
- Booby (ブービー Būbī) / Perman 2
- Booby is a chimpanzee referred to as "Perman 2". In the old work, he lives with his mother in a zoo cage, while in the new work he is an old couple's pet. The reason why he is chosen as one of the Permans, is because, according to Birdman, there should be no discrimination between Earth humans and animals. He is highly intelligent, but because he cannot speak human language, he often uses objects and gestures to get his point across. He acts like a human even though he's a chimpanzee. Booby is voiced by Hiroshi Ōtakeduring both anime television series.
- Sumire Hoshino (星野スミレ Hoshino Sumire) / Perman 3 / Pako (パー子 Pāko)
- Although Sumire is a girl, she is officially addressed as "Perman 3"; however, her teammates often call her called "Pako". Her secret identity, which she never reveals even to her teammates, is a famous child star. She feels freer when she is Pako because, as the child star Sumire, she is always treated as a celebrity everywhere she goes. She has a dual personality; In her superhero guise, she is tomboyish, bossy, brave, bold, hot-headed, and headstrong, quarreling with Mitsuo and sometimes with Michiko. While as Sumire she is very kind and mild. In the original series, she lives in a big mansion along with her parents, while in the Shin-Ee version animation, she lives alone in a condominium. Her parents live in New York. A woman who seems to be a manager frequently goes in and out of a condominium room, and seems to be taking care of her well. She is not good at household stuff such as cooking and sewing in general. She often calls Mitsuo annoying and stupid but inside her heart, she has a soft spot for him. Whenever she is in trouble, she tells about it to Mitsuo first indicating that he indeed is very close to her. She later falls in love with him reavealing her identity aka Sumire only to him in the final chapter of the manga series (volume 7). Sumire, as an older actress, also makes significant cameo appearances in two chapters of Doraemon, telling Nobita about a faraway lover whose return she is waiting for (aka Perman/ Mitsuo) who has gone to another planet to perform his duties as Birdman (in volume 19 and 24 of Doraemon) (In another episode, Sumire was visited by Nobita and Shizuka, who used Almighty Pass to enter her house and spent time chatting with her. However, the gadget's effect wore off at 6pm and the angry Sumire chased them out of her house.) Sumire is voiced by Yōko Kuri during the first anime television series and Eiko Masuyama during the second anime television series.
- Hōzen Ōyama (大山法善 Ōyama Hōzen) / Perman 4 / Paryan (パーやん Pāyan)
- He is oldest among all the other Permans (14 years). He is a Buddhist monk who lives in Osaka. He is very pragmatic and this sometimes pits him against the other Permen. His pragmatic attitude saves the Permen from many of their tribulations. But his sense of responsibility is strong and his mental power is also tough. He often contributes in solving difficult cases by planning out excellent or unusual strategies, and excels in the most intelligence and ability among the five Permen (four in the new version) He is also known for solving quarrels between Perman and Pako which tend to happen very easily. He is sometimes greedy to other Pāmen but sometimes can help them in whatever problem they have. His dream is becoming the owner of a big company and earn a lot of money. Hōzen is voiced by Yoshihisa Kamo in the first anime television series.
- Kōichi Yamada (山田浩一 Yamada Kōichi) / Perman 5 / Pabo (パー坊 Pābō)
- Nicknamed Kō-chan, he is the fifth and youngest member of the team. He saw Mitsuo as Perman 1 on one occasion, and was made a Perman to preserve Mitsuo's secret identity. The first anime and manga series had several appearances by Kōichi, but he is nonexistent in the second version of either series. In addition, all but one chapter in the current manga volumes with an appearance by him has been omitted. Kōichi is voiced by Fuyumi Shiraishi in the first anime television series.
- Superman (スーパーマン Sūpāman) / Birdman
- One of the supermen, the guardians of the universe. His name is Superman in early series, but he is renamed Birdman in later series to avoid violating the copyright of DC. He is the one who made the characters superheroes known as Permen. He always has a single passenger UFO disk. He has been to various stars to find candidates for Superman (bird man in new work) from Super star (Bird star in new work, which is supposed to be Alpha star in solar system), to give a perman set as an apprentice and try out skill. At that time, it seems that he was checking his / her mind beforehand whether they are qualified to become a perman. Although he can be very strict when it comes to the Permans identity, he can also be calm and make sure that they don’t take decisions in hurry such as quitting being Perman. He can sometimes be very clumsy when it comes to operating his UFO and handling situations in general. He is having a variety of super powers. In addition to Mitsuo who was selected as a candidate in the last round, many of the permans were selected from around the world to go to the super star (Bird star), so it seems that he was not alone who came to the earth. In the second work of the anime, "The Little Perman's Mystery", Birdman's true face is revealed, but it is not certain whether it is really a face. Superman is voiced by Akira Shimada in the first anime television series.
- Androids which are given to Permen from Superman to help keep their secret. Each one transforms into a clone of the person who pushes a button on its nose. The memories of that copy robot can also be transferred to the original person by placing both foreheads against each other. In the first series, the robot had a red nose that remained visible even after the transformation, and they often were deactivated by well-meaning people trying to wipe their noses clean. The duplication procedure also copies whatever clothing or items that are on the activator's person, which landed Mitsuo in trouble on a few occasions for abusing this property. These made a cameo in the Doraemon series as one of his many gadgets from the future.
- Michiko "Mitchan" Sawada (沢田ミチ子 Sawada Michiko)
- Mitsuo's classmate who has a crush on Pāman, she often puts together newspaper articles that have been active. Mitsuo admires her unexpectedly. She is beautiful and outstanding in grades, but with a strong temperament character. She treats Mitsuo just as a good friend. In the animated version, she talked about future dreams as "astronaut." She views Pāko as a rival, and at times clashes with her (with Mitsuo in the middle). She also knows how to play piano and violin very well. Michiko is voiced by Kyōko Emi in the first anime television series.
- Sabu (サブ)
- Mitsuo's short-statured classmate often seen with Kabao. He also has a very weak personality. In the second work it is seen that his father owns a restaurant named "Taverna" (タベルナ). Sabu is voiced by Michiko Nomura in the first anime television series.
- Kabao (カバ夫)
- Another of Mitsuo's classmates. He is a neighborhood bully. He often picks on Mitsuo, but is a big fan of Pāman, often begging him to make him the next member. Together with Sabu, he was tricked by a foreign scientist into stealing Mitsuo's Pāman equipment. His father owns a fruit and vegetable shop. At the school he is a generic captain. At times he does have a friendly and gentle personality. His parents have exactly the same face as him, and his father works not only for fruit and vegetable but also for Little League supervisor and trainer. Also, in the second animation film, his father often loses dentures. Kabaois is voiced by Kaneta Kimotsuki in the first anime television series.
- Haruzō Mie (三重晴三 Mie Haruzō)
- Another of Mitsuo's classmates who boastfully proud about his wealth. His room is filled with manga comics and remote controlled toys. In one episode, he borrows the Pāman items from Mitsuo, only to have them stolen by a dangerous criminal.
- Mantarō Suwa (須羽満太郎 Suwa Mantarō)
- He is Mitsuo's dad. Mantarō is often seen as easygoing, but will discipline his son responsibly. He is a typical office worker, the position in the company is the section chief. Mantarō is voiced by Hisashi Katsuta in the first anime television series.
- Mrs. Suwa
- She is Mitsuo's mother and is unnamed in the series. She is a typical housewife and a very beautiful mother. She does not feel comfortable with the fact that Perman and his colleagues often come to their home, and when the criminal who kidnaps Ganko requested a perman set instead of ransom, she gets very angry. Many people around the Permans often see the perman as a hero of respect, but she often touches with a very strong attitude towards the perman that comes to their house. She often scolds Mitsuo because of Ganko's complains. Mrs. Suwa is voiced by Kondō Takako in the first anime television series.
- Ganko Suwa (須羽がん子 Suwa Ganko)
- Ganko is Mitsuo's younger sister who is headstrong and obstinate, although she is more known for tattling on Mitsuo to their mother. She is an elementary school first grader in the setting of the second TV work. But she is a kindergarten child in the movie version. She often tells Mitsuo that his sloppy behavior is very annoying. In the second TV work, she has a boyfriend named Itimomagejima (イツモマジメ). She also appeared in Doraemon; in the episode "The Cursing Camera". Ganko is voiced by Masako Sugaya in the first anime television series.
- Professor Oyama (大山（おおやま）先生)
- He is Mitsuo's teacher. A young athlete who is fat and seems to be taking all the subjects. He often scolds Mitsuo for not completing his homework and sleeping in class and ends up giving him a punishment of standing out of the class. The nickname is "Higendaruma." Oyama is voiced by Masashi Amamori in the first anime television series.
- Sharoko (社六(しゃろく)
- He is another classmate of Mitsuo. As the name implies Sherlock Holmes, he is a kid who loves finding out things and acts like a young detective. He is very smart. He has a doubt that the identity of Perman 1 is Mitsuo. He tries to grab the evidence many times, but ends up failing each time. In the second work, it is revealed that his father is a detective.
- Yamagishi Yuki (山岸 ユキ（やまぎし ゆき))
- She was introduced in the second animated work. She is originally a transfer student who came to the class next to Mitsuo. She met his copy and became his friend. Since then it has continued to be a good relationship with copy. But after all it is a relationship with copy, and often there is sadness when she talks with Mitsuo himself.
- Senmensō (怪盗千面相 Kaitō Senmensō)
- A gentleman-thief who is an expert in disguise and jailbreak, and arguably Pāman's most cunning opponent. His skill in escaping is due to his love of the thrill of breaking out of prison, and a chapter in the early manga demonstrates that he can't stand the ease of escaping from minimum security. In his first appearance, he was ruthless enough to try to kill Mitsuo, however he later helped Pāman capture the man behind a rash of purse-snatchings, because the thief had robbed the owner of his favorite ramen restaurant. He is a lover of fine art, which Pāyan uses to his advantage in a museum heist.
- Japanese League of Evildoers (全日本悪者連盟 Zen Nippon Akusha Renmei) (a.k.a. ZenAkuRen (全悪連) ZenGyadoRen (全ギャド連))
- The Japanese 'bad-man league', the guild which organizes thieves and burglars in Japan. Despite their schemes to destroy Pāman, they are always defeated.
- Don Ishikawa (ドン石川)
- The leader of the ZenGyadoRen.
- Saien Mado (魔土災炎 Mado Saien)
- An evil genius who is the science adviser of ZenGyadoRen and offers them many unusual technologies. As with Haruzō and Ganko, his name can be read in a different way; in his case, it sounds very similar to "mad scientist".
Two anime television series based on the manga were produced. The first television series, consisting of 54 two-part episodes, was produced by Tokyo Movie with music composed by Hiroshi Tsutsui. It was broadcast on TBS from April 2, 1967 to April 14, 1968. Certain episodes are lost and some episodes have lost their audio.
The second anime television series was produced by Shin-Ei Animation under the direction Hiroshi Sasagawa and Sadayoshi Tominaga with Akihiko Takashima composing the music. The series was first broadcast every Monday through Saturday on TV Asahi from April 4, 1983 to March 30, 1985. Starting on April 2, 1985, the series switched to a weekly broadcast and concluded on July 2, 1987 for a total of 526 episodes. In Southeast Asia it aired on Disney Channel in English.
- "パーマン". Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "パーマン(新)". Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "Lost TV Anime". cartoonresearch.com. Retrieved 2016-09-10.