Hamtaro (ハム太郎) is a male hamster and the main character of the Hamtaro franchise. A happy and energetic hamster, Hamtaro lives out each day in the spirit of friendship and fun, and is always there to lend a helping hand.
Character description (general)
Owned by Laura Haruna, Hamtaro is a Ham-Ham who's always ready to help out his friends and his owner (by whom he can't stand being ignored). Often seen as the real leader of the Ham-Hams, Hamtaro cares deeply about others, and is selfless and kind to everyone he meets. He is always there to help out his friends, no matter what the scenario is. He is also incredibly brave, as shown when he saves Penelope from a cat in one of the first episodes; only one of many instances of his bravery and willingness to help friends.
His innocent nature leaves him clueless about many things, most notably love; and it would appear that Bijou, Barrette, Sparkle, Lapis, and Oshare all have developed a crush on him at some point. Due to Hamtaro's oblivious outlook on love, none of these crushes are ever truly reciprocated on his part.
In the original Japanese version, Hamtaro ends his sentences with "nanoda", a phrase often used by playful characters. No direct equivalent to "nanoda" was ever in the English version; though he will occasionally use phrases like "Hamha!", "paka-paka", and "kushi-kushi" in both the English and Japanese dubs.
Hamtaro has a very strong bond with his owner, Laura, and he often rallies the Ham-Hams to help with her problems. They sometimes even share dreams with each other. Hamtaro becomes very jealous and upset when Laura ignores him, especially in the film Hamtaro: Adventures in Ham-Ham Land.
In the 1999 pilot OVA, Hamtaro has a romantic crush on Laura (then named "Natsumi"); this trait was not 100% established in the final series, though it is somewhat implied in certain episodes.
Oxnard was the first hamster Hamtaro met after moving into their new house. The two have been best friends ever since, holding a brother-like bond with each other. They were also neighbors (until Oxnard went to live with Pepper late into the series), and even their owners are best friends.
After Hamtaro met Oxnard, they both fell into a tunnel, after which they met Boss. Hamtaro looks up to Boss, as he is older and usually wiser, and they are very good friends. Boss is jealous that Bijou likes Hamtaro, which causes Boss to occasionally get protective of her; but Hamtaro doesn't even notice Bijou's crush on him anyway. Despite this, Hamtaro and Boss remain very close friends.
Bijou has a crush on Hamtaro, but he is completely clueless about it. In the first episode, Bijou winks at Hamtaro after he sings and dances for her with Oxnard and Boss. Her crush on him becomes stronger in Come Out, Bijou! after Hamtaro compliments her ribbons. The crush becomes more obvious after Bijou's Favorite Ribbon, an episode centered around Bijou’s feelings for him.
There are a few more notable cases of Bijou’s crush in the anime series. In I Want To See You, Bijou!, Hamtaro and Bijou go on a "date"; though Hamtaro, misunderstanding the concept, invites all the other Ham-Hams. In Satisfied Bijou, they go on another date, and Hamtaro keeps it a secret from the others this time; but due to Bijou's struggles, the Ham-Hams find out and show up anyway. Before the others arrive, however, Hamtaro and Bijou had a brief romantic walk together. In A Valentine Battle!, Bijou competes with Sparkle and Oshare for Hamtaro's love.
Despite their close bond and all of their romantic endeavors, Hamtaro still retains a childish outlook on love. Although he cares about Bijou and considers her a very close friend, he doesn't notice her crush on him, and his feelings for her remain purely platonic.
Outside of the anime, they have a stronger relationship. In Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, they are said to be an actual couple, but Hamtaro seems to be confused when it is mentioned by others. There is also a LINE sticker of Hamtaro and Bijou kissing (with the Japanese onomatopoeia "chu").
Hamtaro is the player character of Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite. He explores and learns Ham-Chat while gathering the rest of the Ham Hams.
Hamtaro is the player character, alongside Bijou. He saves her from being trapped by a boulder and the two journey together to help other hamsters' relationships.
Character description (manga)
There is more than one hamster protagonist named Hamtaro in the manga series. Each is considered a different ancestor from Hamtaro's family tree.
In these two volumes, Hamtaro lives with a little girl named Yukari, given to her by her father as a birthday present; before this, he lived with his mother and siblings. He acts like more of a real hamster compared to his TV counterpart - being territorial, gnawing, and sensitive to extreme temperatures. He is quite proud and likes to show off his talents. He can get upset at times, and gets into scrapes where Yukari often has to help him. He can be nice too, and wants to help Yukari when she is upset. He befriends another hamster named Chiro. He later is married to, and has babies with, a hamster named Momo.
In this book, Hamtaro is romantically in love with his owner, Amy; whom he first met when he was wet in a storm, and has been loyal to her since. He is proud and delusional, thinking of Amy's friend Timothy as a rival; even trying to run away from home due to Timothy "winning" Amy's heart. Despite his jealousy, he is not completely selfish and feels guilty whenever he causes Amy emotional pain. By the end of the book, Hamtaro concludes that he just wants Amy to be happy, and helps Amy make up with Timothy when their friendship entered a rough state. He says "wuvv" instead of "love", among other cutesy mispronunciations.
Tottoko Hamutaro: Hamuchanzu de Gozaimachu! series
The incarnation of Hamtaro found in the Gozaimachu! series seems to be the same Hamtaro as his anime equivalent; most evident by him being friends with all of the same Ham-Hams. However, he is never shown to be owned by Laura in any of the volumes.
- Hamtaro's birthday, 8/6, is a Japanese Goroawase wordplay on "ham" (8 = ha, 6 = mu, forming "hamu").
- As stated in the Happy Birthday Hamtaro Special!, Hamtaro shares a birthday with Cappy (August 6th).
- In some promotional media predating the anime, Hamtaro’s birthday is listed as being on July 24th; shortly after this, however, his birthdate was changed to August 6th. Curiously, the date of July 24th was later stated to be Prince Bo’s birthday.
- Hamtaro rarely has romantic interest toward any hamster. In fact, the only hamster he has ever shown obvious signs of affection for is Championi in You're Late, Prince! where he briefly stares adoringly at her along with the rest of the male hamsters present, and for Princess Cye-Ra in Hamtaro: The Captive Princess after she kissed him on the cheek.
- In a craft book titled “Tottoko Hamutaro: Beads Mascots and Glitter Accessories”, a page showing a romantic Bijou craft outright states that she is Hamtaro’s girlfriend. This may have been somewhat of an error, as it is a rather uncommon way of writing “girlfriend” in Japanese (effectively transcribing the English word into Japanese, rather than the native one).
- Main article: Hamtaro/Gallery