Penelope (ちび丸ちゃん) is an adorable white and brown baby hamster. She is like a little sister to Pashmina. She always wears a yellow blanket over her head.
Penelope is the youngest member of the Ham-Ham gang, and is owned by Kylie. Penelope is usually never seen without the cover of her yellow blanket. Although she is friendly to everyone, she feels particularly attached to Pashmina. Being innocent and naive, due to her age, she gets into trouble more often than most of the other Ham-Hams. In season three, she has shown some cross-species affection for Herbert the Pig, a boy by the name of Ethan (Kylie's younger cousin), and a rabbit at Ethan's school. Unlike the other Ham-Hams, and perhaps because of her young age, Penelope can't say anything more than 'Ookwee!', 'Ookyoo!', or 'Ookwaa!' ('Ukyu!' in the original Japanese version).
Pashmina and Penelope are always together. There are few instances where they are separated, much to their reluctance. Pashmina acts like a big sister to Penelope, and seems to be one of the only characters that understand what the little Ham-Ham says. Originally, it was said that their relationship was "like sisters"; but later on, it was confirmed that they were sisters (first revealed in Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!, when saying "Hammo" to Pashmina).
Penelope is shown to get very jealous if Pashmina is occupied; as seen in episodes like Watching Over Cute Penelope and Knitting Barrette, where Penelope is babysit by others while Pashmina is out, and she gets very upset about it. Due to her childlike nature, Penelope also sometimes misunderstands Pashmina's feelings towards her; most notably during the events of Penelope's Dream. Nonetheless, the two are still the best of friends.
Marron develops a friendship with Penelope in Marron's Autumn Festival, when Penelope helps Marron pick herself back up, and helps stop a river from overflowing using Fukusuke. She seems to understand what Penelope is saying. From then on, the two are very friendly whenever they see each other.
They are also of similar height (very short), which is unique to most of the other Ham-Hams. Visually, Marron also closely resembles the look of Penelope without her blanket, with similar fur colors and patterns.
Appearances Without Her Blanket
While Penelope is almost never seen without her blanket, there are a few cameos of her true look:
- In Opening #1 of the English dub, she is seen throwing her blanket up in the air during the train segment. She can also be seen without her blanket in the opening when she is asleep in the bed next to other Ham-Hams.
- In Jingle, the Wanderer, for a split-second frame, she can briefly be seen without her blanket when she and Hamtaro fall out of Laura's bag.
- In Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!, she takes her blanket off momentarily when going back to the Ham-Ham Clubhouse with Hamtaro.
- A handful of Hamtaro merchandise pieces, including the Hamtaro Origami book, show her without the blanket.
- She also appears in some of the manga and books without her blanket.
- Hamtaro, the Super Sleuth! (#17)
- Pashmina's Present (#22)
- Watching Over Cute Penelope (#34)
- Penelope Makes a Friend (#62)
- Welcome Home Penelope! (#74)
- Tightrope Walking Together! (#112)
- Penelope's Dream (#117)
- Our Ham-Ham Castle (#118)
- Knitting Barrette (#133)
- Finding the Flower in the Rain (#152)
- Marron's Autumn Festival (#172)
- The Sweet Milky Way! (#207)
- Big Penelope (#220)
- Skyham in Love (#286)
- Due to mondegreen (mishearing of words), the producers had to change "Ookyoo" to "Ookwee" as it sounded at some points that she was cussing. The first time she says "ookwee" is in The Precious Letter!, and Hamtaro even acknowledges it. Pashmina actually says early in the episode that she was "looking forward to showing off [her] new word". The official Hamtaro website was also changed to Penelope's new word the day the episode was released.
- Penelope may know more words than just "ookyoo" and "ookwee", "ookwaa". In a few English episodes, she says "badda-badda" and "ticky-ticky" as she runs or walks, though this may have been an error on the dubber's part. She is also known to use Ham-Chat words in the games.
- In Tottoko Hamutaro: Hamuchanzu de Gozaimachu! Vol.1, Penelope is the younger sister of Bijou. As aforementioned, it is stated that Penelope is Pashmina's sister in later media.
- Her Japanese name, "Chibimaru", is a literal combination of "small" and "round".
- In the 1999 pilot episode, Penelope is named "Chibimaru-kun" instead of "-chan". The term "kun" generally refers to boys, which may indicate (though does not outright confirm) that Penelope was originally intended to be male.
- Main article: Penelope/Gallery