- This article is about the direct-to-video Hamtaro special. For the 2011 re-airing of Hamtaro, see Tottoko Hamutaro Dechu.
Tottoko Hamutaro Anime Dechu!
September 15, 1999
Tottoko Hamutaro: Anime Dechu! (とっとこ ハム太郎 アニメ でちゆ!) is a direct-to-VHS OVA released on September 15, 1999. This was the first attempt at an animated adaptation of Hamtaro, and consists of four short episodes.
For reasons as of yet unknown, Tottoko Hamutaro: Anime Dechu was never made widely available for public viewing. There were only two known instances of the series being distributed. The first was that Hamtaro's licensee, Shogakukan, gave out free copies of the VHS to its employees who had children of elementary-school age. The VHS could also be purchased for 1200¥ (equivalent to about $10 USD) via mail-order only from Shogakukan Learning's "First Grade". This offer may have also been included in Shogakukan Learning's "Second Grade", but this has yet to be confirmed.
As a result of its poor distribution, very little was known about the tape's existence for nearly 20 years - save for a few vague listings in Japanese databases. In 2017, however, admins of the fan-site "Ham-Ham Paradise" acquired a copy of the VHS, who properly documented and preserved its contents online (alongside an English-subtitled translation).
The plot is based off of Ritsuko Kawai's original stories from the manga. Hamtaro is owned by a girl named Natsumi and spends his days frolicking with his friends. He is also notably the only hamster who speaks, and he is voiced by Nao Nagasawa.
Crawling Around, Hamutaro (ドラマ ~ もぐりこんだら ハム太郎): Natsumi comes home and finds Hamtaro is missing from his cage. Shortly after, Hamtaro is revealed to be hiding under Natsumi's blanket, where he introduces himself to the viewer. Natsumi tries to call Hamtaro back, but he runs away and crawls all around his owner's room. Natsumi manages to lure him back with some treats, and Hamtaro is back where he should be.
Hamuchanzu Corner ~ Biscuits in the Vase (ハムちゃんずコーナー ~ つぼの中のビスケット): Hamtaro and the Ham-Hams help Bijou retrieve a biscuit she had dropped. After multiple attempts to retrieve the cookie fail, Hamtaro suggests that he be lowered down into the vase, like a prize-catching crane machine. With this plan, Hamtaro is able to retrieve Bijou's biscuit. The vase wobbles and he begins to fall, but the dog wakes up and rescues the hamster by catching him with a pillow. With Hamtaro saved, Bijou hugs Hamtaro graciously and the episode ends as Hamtaro watches the dog slip away to go back to sleep.
I Love You, Natsumi-chan (ドラマ ~ 大好き、なつみちゃん): Before she leaves for school, Natsumi tells Hamtaro she likes him. In response, Hamtaro confesses to Natsumi that he loves her romantically, but knows that Natsumi only loves him as a companion (Natsumi is completely unaware of Hamtaro's feelings and cannot understand him). She then leaves and meets her classmate, Shirohara, to walk to school with him. Hamtaro becomes angry; he knows Natsumi has a crush on the boy and decides that Shirohara is now his rival for Natsumi's love. He spends the day venting and whining to Wanta about how Shirohara has beaten him for Natsumi's affection. Eventually, he tires himself out from his complaining and calms down. When Natsumi returns home from school at the end of the day, she tells Hamtaro that she loves him very much, which makes him very happy.
Hamuchanzu Corner ~ Yellow Happiness (ハムちゃんずコーナー ~ 黄色いしあわせ): Hamtaro and the Ham-Hams leave a hole in the ground. Hamtaro chews some leaves in a tree and drops them to the other Ham Hams. He lands on a bird that flies. The other Ham Hams pass a cat. When it yawns, they make a run for it as the cat goes back to sleep. Hamtaro and the other Ham Hams find the sunflowers and get the seeds. They enjoy the seeds in their Clubhouse and go to sleep.
- Opening theme: Tottoko no Uta
- Ending Theme: Strange Hamtaro
Differences with the Main Series
- Boss and Stan are not present, for their characters had not been created at the time of its release.
- Instead of Brandy, Natsumi owns a similarly-designed dog named "Wanta". He appears to be a sheepdog with white fur and blue-gray ears
- A dog accompanies the Ham-Hams in their adventures. It is not Wanta, as this dog has tan fur and pointed ears. Its name is unknown.
- Snoozer can move around by hopping up and down in his sock.
- Penelope is referred to as "Chibimaru-kun" instead of "-chan", which implies that she was intended to be male. Additionally, their yellow blanket is shorter.
- A number of the hamsters wear clothes (or lack articles that they have in the main series):
- Sandy lacks her signature tail-ribbon and wears green pants.
- Dexter does not have his bowtie, and Howdy's apron is indigo.
- Maxwell wears a blue, full-body jumpsuit.
- Cappy's hat is blue.
- When he is not with Natsumi, Hamtaro wears a bright red sweater (based on his Gozaimachu! Vol.1 appearance), and is a little bit skinnier.
- Judging from its cover, the Hamtaro Fun DVD Book appears to repurpose footage from Tottoko Hamutaro Anime Dechu (specifically the "Ekakiuta" segment). Due to there being little known about the DVD Book, however, this cannot be 100% confirmed.