Here we have a unique anime about a precocious preschool girl with a very individual way of looking at life. It SEEMS as if this would be a show for children -- but it isn't. At least, not entirely. The show is simple and funny, but filled with satire, nostalgia, and good-natured ironic humor of a type that only adults can fully appreciate.
It will never be released on laserdisk.
It just seems a waste that some of these lesser-known shows
are simply ignored. Three volumes of tapes were released
in Japan by Tokyo Broadcasting Service, but sales were apparently too poor
to justify continuing. Fortunately, we made SVHS source tapes, from
TV but with commercials edited out, of the entire series, with the exception
of two unimportant episodes, which were lost. The last episode was
#51. We have the TBS released commercial tapes as well. They contain 12 of
the first 15 or so episodes. (For instance, episode 2 is missing from the
Their Majesties' second son, Prince Fumihito, was born on November 30, 1965. In June 1990, taking the title of Prince Akishino, he married Kawashima Kiko, the eldest daughter of Gakushuin University Professor Kawashima Tatsuhiko. During the 1990 wedding ceremony, the bride wore a layered style of formal court dress called Junihitoe. This wedding was notable because it was the first marriage in which a royal prince was married to a woman from outside of the principal noble families in Japan, in effect, a "commoner." In October 1991 Their Majesties' first grandchild, Princess Mako, was born to Prince and Princess Akishino. A second grandchild, Princess Kako, followed in December 1994.
Their Imperial Highnesses often go on diplomatic trips. Prince and Princess Akishino visited Vietnam a few years ago. I found a rather old photo of the royal couple inspecting a communications research laboratory, but the link disappeared. The Princess also visited a Refugee Child center.
To make the story of the title even stranger,
I discovered that the name of one of the most famous American mimes is
"Kiko". Mimes are pantomimists, performers who act out scenes using
no sounds, and with invisible props. It seems like an amazing coincidence,
since Kiko-chan is "quite possibly the quietest kindergartener in all of
Japan" to quote the show. Could there be a connection between this famous mime and
the title of this anime? Probably not. But truth is sometimes
strange, isn't it. One wonders.
Michael Hopcroft has made a Kiko-chan fan site which looks really nice!
Fansubs: we are translating
and fansubbing this series, but we may not do all the episodes. That
depends on whether there are American fansub fans who will love the show. For more
information, see below.
|Kiko sometimes wonders if perhaps she might want her own cat litter box.|
|Kiko's parents are in love. Romance is something that Kiko thinks should be kept private. Kiko-chan gives Mama and Papa an impatient look whenever they get too love-struck.|
The first 3 episodes were translated by Emi. Episode 4 was done by our new translator Chako Chavez. Kiko-chan was originally a project for Barbara to practice translating herself, but even this show is too difficult in a lot of places. The main problem is the narrator, who uses amazingly ornate and flowery sentences and word choice. In fact, the verbosity of the narrator is one joke we just can't adequately translate to English.
|Megumi is Kiko's teacher. She's only 21, this is her first classroom, and Kiko is in her class. To her, all children are angels. Kiko seems to like her. Though that's what Megumi wants more than anything -- it isn't necessarily good news for Megumi to have Kiko-chan looking after her. For instance, Kiko understands that Megumi wants a boyfriend... so Kiko decides to make sure she gets one!||
The main two actresses in the series actually are the two playing Kiko's teacher, Megumi-sensei (Takeo Horiuchi), and Kiko's mother (Yumi Takada). This isn't too unusual, since the magazine the manga appears in is marketed to young women around 20 or so.
When she's in trouble, Kiko dons handy kitchen armor, grabs pillows (in case she falls) and retreats to the roof.
1A. Invincible Kindergartener
1B. There Came an Angel from Heaven...
1C. Megumi-sensei Versus Kiko-chan
2A. An Album of Reminiscences
2B. Kiko-chan's Trip
2C. Overreacting is a Good Thing
3A. Samidare Kindergarten's Tale of Terror
3B. His First Love! He's a Real Angel.
3C. Kiko-chan's Treasures
4A. I Want Pocket Money!
4B. You're Kidding! You had Five Kittens?
4C. Twinkle Twinkle Memories
Sponsors, vols 1-2:
1. Al Lee (paid)
|Below you'll find a sample panel from the manga. The artwork of the anime follows the manga fairly closely. However, the story material of the anime differs from the manga because of the difference in format. The manga is normally a very short piece of just 6 pages or so -- shorter than most manga -- and therefore isn't really suited to making a 24 minute anime. This was partly compensated for by dividing the anime into 3 8-minute segments for each show. Even then, sometimes each segment had to combine material from diverse manga installments, in addition to new material sometimes, to make a complete story.|
I just watched my copy of volume 1 of Kiko-chan. It's fantabulous!!! You all did a wonderful job, and I can't wait to see more. Even my friends who are completely new to anime in general loved it. Thanks so much!!! [A.]
I love this show even more than I did before now that I know more of what's going on. Kiko-chan is so scary it's cute, Megumi-sensei is a great character, and the world of the cats is very interesting. When will the narrator learn to control his mouth? He is VERY verbose, which is funny in itself when it doesn't get totally out of hand. The translation explains a lot of jokes that I didn't get before. For example, the gag involving Kiko's first words is much more complicated than I thought it was at first viewing when I didn't have subtitles. [M.H.]
I LOVED this! The art was really different; the OP was almost psychedelic, but I got to like this within 5 minutes of episode 1A:) The mini eps were so cute. I love the dynamic between Kiko-chan & Megumi-sensei. I loved all of the signs & letters instead of talking. You really get to like Kiko-chan quickly, even tho the ep seemed to speed by... [A.W.]
As for Kiko-chan, I again, was not looking forward to it, but a friend said to watch it since it certainly wasn't what I thought it would be. (I really trust her judgement since we seem to like all the same series.) The minute I saw the opening with the dancing Kiko letters I was hooked. This anime is certainly hilarious and very addictive and Kiko-chan is fun to watch as she isn't completely perfect and still has some problems as a child. [J]
Hi Hi, I just wanted to say that I really like Kiko-chan's > smile (I saw that you wanted more feedback from fans)! It's so cute and very funny! I hope that you'll keep doing the series since it's really fun. I just wish I had checked by earlier so I could've sponsored! Please Keep up the good work!! [A.M.]
Hello, I just saw "Kiko-chan" a few days ago and I must make a comment on it. You see, I was originally expecting a high energy slapstick show, but instead, I found an extremely well written show with lots of good dry humor. It has become one of my favorite anime for the time-being. I admire you all very much for finding and subbing this gem. If you ever need a sponsor for vol. 3 (darn, vol. 2 is taken!), sign me up! [A.G.]