December 12, 2006

10 Stick Anime & Framy: Awesome Japanese Kid's Anime

One discovery last week was a pair of really beautiful, smart, and funny animated segments on an NHK kid's TV show called Pitagora Suicchi [Pythagoras Switch].

Juppon Anime [10 Stick Anime] is a story or game told by 10 animated sticks. It's easy to follow and deadpan amusing, and it has that rarest of commodities on children's television, especially in Japan: normal, conversational voices, not the annoyingly perky kiddiespeak. [The voices are provided by a comedy duo called Rahmens, if you want to know.]

The episode the kid and I saw had the ten sticks divided into two teams to play an exquisite corpse-like game where they took turns depicting words that that began with the last syllable of the previous word. So far on YouTube, though, I've only been able to fine one episode, similarly entertaining, about a trip to the beach.

Juppon Anime alternates with the story of Framy, a cute little dog and his family drawn just with squares. The episode online shows how Framy's spotty cousin does such a good job taking care of the baby. Even if it weren't fun, nice, and inventively drawn, it'd be a welcome antidote to the pit bull story I just posted. [update: Just search for Framy on YouTube; the video keeps getting removed and reposted.]

Pitagora Suicchi homepage, in Japanese [nhk.or.jp]
Pitagora on Wikipedia Japan, translated by excite.jp [ja.wikipedia.org]
Download fandubs of Pitagora episodes by dattebayo [yhbt.mine.nu]

3 Comments

We're huge fans... you'll know you've been completely sucked in when you realise you can do the entire "Algorithm Taiso" routine without even having the show on to follow; my wife and I do it and the kid goes wild trying to dance around following us.

Unfortunately, we've only ever found 5 full episodes available online. (via bittorrent... you can find tons of it on Youtube... just look harder!)

I believe that TV Japan, NHK's North American service, does carry at least the mini version of the show on their channel as well if your cable/satellite provider has that channel. There's a few DVDs on Amazon Japan as well; we've been thinking about getting the latest one.

The content of the program and the Rube Goldberg contraptions that frame the educational segments are the result of educational research from the lab of Masahiko Satou and his students at Keio University, apparently...

By the way, the Rahmens are currently becoming quite well known in North America as the two "computers" on the Japanese "Get a Mac" TV Ads, and Framy is voiced by Japanese musician/variety show regular Jun Inoue.

[we've been watching the full episodes for the last hour. the algorithm march with ninjas rocks. ninjas are funny in any language, apparently. Also, here's a compilation video of the rube goldberg machine sequences -ed.]

Spotty didn't suck the toes off the Framy Family baby, he tried to rock it to sleep. Good dog.

Thanks. Now I can't get the Algorithm March (with ninjas) out of my head.

[damn ninjas -ed]

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