I was able to recently purchase for a haggled discount of $9, the entire original 243 episode 1980’s Cantonese dubbed Dr. Slump anime dvd set. This seriously represents my early childhood and foray into watching anime in the late 80’s. So I was quite happy to re-watch this series in a language I grew up with. My next goal is to be able to re-watch the Dr. Slump movies, since they are quite hysterical. I happened to own the entire Japanese reprinted DVD to this series, but since my current DVD player is not region free, the DVD’s are still stored in their boxes.
A brief background to the story, Arale is an android who gets invented by Senbei Norimaki. He passes her off as his human younger sister, as he deals with trying to pursue the lovely blond-haired Midori-sensei at the local primary school.
Of course watching Dr. Slump as a child and as an adult is different. Now as an adult I actually understood what exactly was happening, and connected the Chinese dubbed with Japanese nuances. The plot in this anime is actually quite silly and pervy. It cracks me up as I watched Arale kick Senbei in the gonads. That happens in the first episode. Then as the cast of the Penguin Village diversifies, and more silly antics occur, I mentally lost count of how many times I wanted to smack my forehead at what I was watching on the screen. (Case in example, the episode where a training monk disciple pretty much ended up knocking out all the children of Penguin Village in order to deliver them Christmas presents.)
Still I really can’t find any fault with this series. The feelings and happiness I felt watching Arale interact with citizens of Penguin Village fills me with great joy. One of my favorite arcs in the old anime was when Arale meets Obotchaman or as he was initially called Carmel Man 04, or there was another one when the entire town goes after the animated Akira Toriyama as he tries to figure out what to do next with the story line. I didn’t realize this as a child, but yes the characters in Dr. Slump were drawn to know that they were acting along with a manga that was drawn by Toriyama.
Arale’s happiness and crazy yet innocent personality inspires me to want to be like her in some manner. I use her so far as my eternal twitter-icon and background. I truly truly wish that more people know more about this series. I am lucky to say that the entire manga series has been released with Viz, and while the manga is not as lively as the anime itself. There’s a great deal of enjoyment watching this children show.
The Cantonese version didn’t keep the Japanese opening, but one thing to note is that the Chinese dubbed opening to Dr. Slump was performed by the late and great Anita Mui!