Hamtaro: Little Hamsters - Big Adventures, known as Tottoko Hamutaro in Japan (とっとこハム太郎) and commonly shortened to just Hamtaro, is an anime series and the bulk of the Hamtaro franchise. Debuting on July 7th, 2000, the series went on to have 296 episodes produced (only 105 of which were released in English), in addition to four theatrical films and four OVA specials.
- 1 Plot Summary
- 2 Tottoko Hamutaro: Hamu Hamu Paradaichu!
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Additional Information
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Gallery
The Hamtaro anime series revolves around the hamster Hamtaro and his Ham-Ham friends; who take part in many playful adventures and activities, while helping others along the way. Alongside this, the series shows the daily life of Hamtaro's pet owner, Laura Haruna.
Main article: Hamtaro (episode)
In the first episode, the Haruna family moves into a new home. After getting settled in, Laura sets up Hamtaro's cage in her new room, and goes to explore the town. Hamtaro, ever curious, sneaks around Laura's room when she leaves; eventually gnawing his way through the walls, and ending up on top of the house's roof. Taking a ride down a pipe tunnel, Hamtaro finds a path to the outside world - unknown to the Harunas (save for Brandy) throughout the entire series.
Once outside, Hamtaro meets another hamster, Oxnard. While Oxnard is initially nervous and apologetic to Hamtaro, the two quickly become very good friends. Hamtaro helps Oxnard find his lost sunflower seed, to which Oxnard is filled with joy, jumping around with glee; but his excitement leads to the ground below him shattering. Oxnard falls into the depths of the underground, with Hamtaro following behind.
Below the surface, Hamtaro and Oxnard meet Boss; a wild hamster, who introduces the duo to his underground home. Later, Boss tells Hamtaro and Oxnard about a girl hamster, Bijou. Hamtaro and Oxnard greet Bijou in her mansion; they sing to her from the treetops, outside of her window, and she is delighted by their performance. After this, Hamtaro and Oxnard return to their homes. Laura comes back from her town tour - clueless as to what Hamtaro has been up to - and ends the day writing in her diary, and wishing Hamtaro goodnight.
Episodes 2, 3, and 4
In the second episode, Hamtaro is introduced to more hamster friends: Howdy, Dexter, Penelope and Pashmina. The group, now declared the "Ham-Hams", have a run-in with a ferocious cat, who nearly catches Penelope; but luckily, Hamtaro lures the cat away, saving the Ham-Hams.
Afterward, the Ham-Hams all head to Boss's hideout; but to their surprise, another hamster is sleeping there, who Boss later names Snoozer. Boss's place is a total mess, and the other Ham-Hams begin cleaning it up - without Boss's permission. The Ham-Hams want to turn the hideout into a Clubhouse, so they can all hang out together more often. Boss is initially against the idea, but later warms up to it; and helps deck out his junk-filled home. With the Ham-Hams' combined work, the Ham-Ham Clubhouse is finished.
The third episode begins with another batch of Ham-Ham friends: Maxwell, Panda, Sandy, and Cappy. The ever-growing Ham-Ham gang heads back to the Clubhouse; but with so many hamsters and all their clashing personalities, they get a little too wild. A chase breaks out inside of the Clubhouse, with some Ham-Hams crying amidst the pursuit. Boss, furious at their actions, kicks the Ham-Hams out of the Clubhouse.
The Ham-Hams decide that they need to properly apologize to Boss; meanwhile, Boss himself wanted to make amends with the Ham-Hams too. But in Boss's attempts to yell for the Ham-Hams' return, he gets stuck hanging in a high-up tree branch. The other Ham-Hams quickly run over, and devise a plan to save him. Boss is rescued from the tree, and all the Ham-Hams make up with each other, returning to the Clubhouse before the night's end.
In the fourth episode, the Ham-Hams try to get a much-wanted member into the club: Bijou. However, while Bijou is excited at the offer, she is too nervous to leave her cage. The Ham-Hams work together to show Bijou that there's nothing to be afraid of; and eventually, she leaps out of her windowsill to a nearby branch. Bijou heads to the Clubhouse with the others, and the Ham-Hams hold a big party for her arrival. While Boss has a huge crush on Bijou, it becomes apparent that Bijou herself has a crush on Hamtaro.
Episodes 13 and 14
At the beginning of episode thirteen, Sandy is singing a song to herself. Maxwell approaches her with admiration, and asks where she learned that song from. Sandy reveals to Maxwell that her twin brother used to sing it to her. However, Sandy adds that she was separated from her brother at a young age, and had never seen him since. Maxwell reassures Sandy that some day, she will surely meet up with her brother again. Sandy and Maxwell develop crushes on each other over the course of the episode.
In the following episode, the Ham-Hams work together to reunite Sandy with her brother. Fortunately, Hamtaro and Oxnard find her mysterious brother at the gym, to which he introduces himself as Stan. While it takes a little convincing - and the Ham-Hams struggle to put up with Stan's personality throughout - they hold a surprise party for Sandy, reuniting her with Stan. After the reunion, Stan becomes the last main member of the Ham-Ham gang.
The remaining episodes of the Hamtaro series, up until episode 193, detail more ventures of the Ham-Ham gang. Notable events include the introduction of many side characters: such as the poetic guitarist Jingle, the wise Elder Ham, the pop star Sparkle, and the rambunctious Pepper, to name a few. On Laura's side of the story, she continues her daily activities and her work at school; while making sure to write in her diary every single night, wishing the following day to be even better. Outside of the additions of more side characters and more details about them, no massive plot changes occur throughout the course of these episodes. This is, save for, the shocking reveal at the end of episode 192 (Sparkle in Hollywood): Laura's dad got a promotion at work...and they have to move away.
Main article: I'm Parting, Clubhouse!
Laura is distraught, and Hamtaro even more so. All of the friends and memories they've made; and moving away, they have to leave them behind. Hamtaro prepares to tell the Ham-Hams that he's moving. They initially assume Hamtaro was going to confess his love for Bijou - but he explains that's not what this is about. After Hamtaro finally tells them, the Ham-Hams are completely devastated.
While all of the Ham-Hams were upset, Bijou was the most affected by Hamtaro's farewell message. She begins crying to herself, alone while facing a river. Boss goes up to her in attempt to comfort her - but he gains a twisted thought. Boss thinks that he now may have a chance at winning Bijou's heart, with Hamtaro out of the picture. The devil and angel conscience inside of him fight over what he should do - and eventually, the devil wins. He tells Bijou that Hamtaro will be perfectly fine without her, and will find love elsewhere; upsetting Bijou even more.
That evening, Laura's dad rushes home from work. As it turns out, the work transfer was a misunderstanding; they didn't have to move after all. The Ham-Hams are overjoyed that Hamtaro will be staying. With tears in his eyes, Hamtaro approaches Boss, thrilled that they'll still be able to play together. However, Boss is filled with guilt from what he said to Bijou earlier. Hamtaro's obliviousness to what he did makes Boss feel even worse. Boss rids himself of his devil conscience, letting the angel take over - but he still can't decide what he should do. He sits next to Snoozer; who advises Boss that he should "find himself" by taking a long trip. Boss follows Snoozer's advice, and begins a long, long journey.
When the Ham-Hams arrive at the Clubhouse the next morning, they realize that Boss - and Snoozer - are gone; with a note in their place, explaining Boss's self-journey. The Ham-Hams initially try to track down Boss - but Maxwell advises them to let Boss continue his expedition. They seal the Clubhouse up, hiding it away, until the day he returns. This marks the technical end of the Hamtaro series; though its follow-up, and continuation, was already underway.
Tottoko Hamutaro: Hamu Hamu Paradaichu!
Tottoko Hamutaro: Hamu Hamu Paradaichu! (とっとこハム太郎 はむはむぱらだいちゅ!) is a successor to the Hamtaro anime series. It began airing on April 2nd, 2004 - only one week after Hamtaro's technical finale - and changed many aspects and elements of the series.
Paradaichu! Plot Summary
The Paradaichu! series retained all of the original Ham-Ham characters (save for Boss during his journey, though he does eventually return). In addition, a few new characters were introduced - including Lapis and Lazuli, who appear in almost every Paradaichu-era episode. Another group of notable character additions are the somewhat antagonistic "Otome's Crew", comprised of Otome, Lion, and Bear.
While Paradaichu's overall structure is similar to the original Hamtaro series, there was initially a greater focus on fantasy and magical elements; something that was reserved for infrequent dream sequences in the first 193 episodes. After the events of episode 244 (Devi! Big Panic!), the series goes back to a format closer to the original Hamtaro series. However, another new direction with the series is taken starting with episode 260 (Crossing the Sky, Skyham!). From episode 260 onwards, many episodes focus on a "Hamha Tree", featuring four new Ham-Hams: Skyham, Okini, Magical, and Mystery.
Episodes 194 and 195
The night after Boss's disappearance, all of the Ham-Hams shared the same dream: seeing a huge candy house, with Snoozer laying inside of it. When the Ham-Hams meet with each other, Oxnard notices a sweet smell in the distance, and the Ham-Hams follow the scent. Along the way, they run into a strange, cloaked hamster stuck inside of a pit. The Ham-Hams pull her out, to which she introduces herself as Lapis; but repeatedly tells them to leave her alone.
Oxnard notices the same sweet scent is coming off of Lapis, leading to the Ham-Hams chasing her around (much to Lapis's dismay). Eventually, the Ham-Hams arrive at the source of the smell: a little house, with two sets of doors. After fully entering, the Ham-Hams see exactly what they saw in their dreams: a massive candy land, where Snoozer was residing. They are introduced to Lazuli: a magical, witch-like hamster, who utilized her magic to create the "Sweet Paradise".
In the following episode, the Ham-Hams spend the day eating away at the sweets. Later, Panda assists in fixing up the little house, turning it into the Jewelry House. While she held grudges towards them at first, Lapis decides to befriend the Ham-Hams towards the end of the episode. The Jewelry House became the new hang-out destination for the Ham-Ham gang, with the Clubhouse now being defunct.
Starting in episode 199, a mysterious hamster appears named "Hero-Ham". This hamster is (quite obviously) Boss in disguise, though none of the Ham-Hams recognize Boss under the Hero-Ham persona.
In episode 206, four Ham-Hams are eaten alive by a giant caterpillar named Sweetgo. Hero-Ham flies inside of Sweetgo's mouth and rescues the Ham-Hams - during which, Hamtaro finally recognizes him as Boss, and addresses him as such. Boss says that he hasn't found himself yet, and wanted the Ham-Hams to forget about him; but the Ham-Hams all agree that he has more than proven himself. Boss drops the disguise and runs towards Hamtaro, hugging him with tears in his eyes.
After this, Boss returns to the Clubhouse; but since the others are now always at Sweet Paradise, he remains alone. Snoozer, however, returns to the Clubhouse with Boss, giving him some company.
Main article: Happy Ham-Ham Wedding!
The grand finale of the Paradaichu! series, Happy Ham-Ham Wedding, focuses on the marriage of Oxnard and Pepper. Every single hamster, from the entirety of the anime's run, comes to attend.
With this episode, the Hamtaro series concluded its six-year run. It was succeeded by the Tottoko Hamutaro Hai! spin-off series.
- Main article: Hamtaro Episode Guide
A total of 296 standard Hamtaro episodes were produced. Only 105 of these episodes were released in English; skipping episode 83 (Scatter the Beans, Scare the Ogres!), but dubbing episode 173 (Ham-Ham Halloween!).
Four special OVAs (Original Video Animation) were also released. While they were only released on VHS and DVD in Japan, rarely ever airing on TV, they were aired as actual episodes overseas.
- Happy Birthday Hamtaro - 3000 Hammy Steps in Search of Mommy - heavily altered version released in English, as part of the Happy Birthday Hamtaro Special!
- Ham-Hams Ahoy! - slightly modified version released in English, as part of the Happy Birthday Hamtaro Special!
- Ham-Hams and the Prince of Rainbow Land - never released in English
- Ham-Ham Games - properly released in English
- International Broadcast - for information on the different translations and releases of Hamtaro, across all countries it was broadcasted in
- Home Video Releases - for a list of known VHS, DVD, and VCD releases of Hamtaro episodes
- The series was originally going to be titled Hamtaro Tales in English, but was later shortened to just Hamtaro.