The Gutsy Frog
Dokonjō Gaeru (ど根性ガエル, The Gutsy Frog) is a comedy manga series created and illustrated by Yasumi Yoshizawa. It was officially serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from July 27, 1970 to June 14, 1976, collected into 27 tankōbon volumes. Two anime adaptations of the manga were produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, the first aired from October 7, 1972 to September 28, 1974 and the second aired from September 7, 1981 to March 29, 1982. A film was directed by Tsutomu Shibayama and was aired on NTV on March 20, 1982. A live-action sequel was also aired on NTV from July 11, 2015 until September 19, 2015. The anime aired subtitled in the U.S. on California's UTB.
Cover art from the Dokonjō Gaeru special DVD box release
|Genre||Comedy, Slice of life|
|Written by||Yasumi Yoshizawa|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||July 27, 1970 – June 14, 1976|
|Anime television series|
|Music by||Kenjiro Hirose|
|Original run||October 7, 1972 – September 28, 1974|
|Episodes||103 (206 sequences)|
|Anime television series|
|New Dokonjō Gaeru|
|Directed by||Tsutomu Shibayama|
|Produced by||Yasuji Takahashi (Nippon TV)|
|Written by||Yoshio Urasawa et al|
|Music by||Reijirō Koroku|
|Studio||Tokyo Movie Shinsha|
|Original network||Nippon TV|
|Original run||September 7, 1981 – March 29, 1982|
|Written by||Yoshikazu Okada|
|Music by||Hajime Sakita|
|Original run||July 11, 2015 – September 19, 2015|
While frog Pyonkichi is hopping in an empty lot in Nerima, Tokyo's Shakujii Park, middle schooler Hiroshi trips over a rock and squashes him. However, Pyonkichi is reborn as an imprint on the front of Hiroshi's shirt and now gives him advice and commentary on his life.
- Pyonkichi (ピョン吉): Voiced by: Sachiko Chijimatsu, Voiced by Hikari Mitsushima. A frog who is crushed by Hiroshi, but his spirit lives on as a talking frog on his shirt, becoming a Flat Surface Frog (平面ガエル Heimen Gaeru). Because said shirt is Hiroshi's only good shirt, he is always forced to travel around and interact with Hiroshi. They are equally obstinate and gluttonous and are always arguing like siblings. He is capable of jumping around and forcing Hiroshi to come along with him.
- Hiroshi (ひろし): Voiced by: Masako Nozawa Played by Kenichi Matsuyama. The middle schooler who fell on Pyonkichi. He is never seen without his sunglasses, which he wears perched on his head. Though his school has a uniform policy, he is, for some reason, allowed to wear his one good shirt.
- Kyoko Yoshizawa (吉沢 京子 Yoshizawa Kyouko): Voiced by: Yōko Kuri, New: Atsushi Tomii→Kaoru Kurosu, CM: Chinami Nishimura, Played by Atsuko Maeda. Hiroshi's girlfriend. She is the daughter of a rather wealthy family, yet is a strong minded girl who will stand up for herself and participate in pranks. She initially pretends to dislike Hiroshi but becomes friends with him after he meets Pyonkichi, whom she believes is a cute shirt design.
- Gorou (五郎): Voiced by: Kazue Takahashi, New: Junko Hori, Played by Ryo Katsuji. Hiroshi's sidekick. Despite his diminutive size, he is actually only a year younger than Hiroshi, who he addresses as senpai.
- Imotaro Gorira (五利良 イモ太郎 Gorira Imotarou): Voiced by: Kazuya Tatekabe, New: Kyūji Aozora. The school bully, and Hiroshi's rival for Kyoko's attention.
- Yujiro Nomura (野村 裕次郎 Nomura Yuujirou): Voiced by: Tetsuo Mizutori→Isao Sakuma, New: Kōji Aozora
- Umesaburo Sagawa (佐川 梅三郎 Sagawa Umesaburou): Voiced by: Kazuo Harada, New: Keiichi Nanba, Played by Ken Mitsuishi. Addressed as "Ume" by everyone, he is an earnest young man who works as a sushi chef. Having grown up at the local orphanage, he cares deeply for the children there and plays Santa for them every Christmas. He is very much in love with Miss Yoshiko, which puts him at odds with Mr. Minami.
- Shinpachi Goto (後藤 新八 Gotou Shinpachi): Voiced by: Keiko Yamamoto. The new boy at school, he is completely selfish and rude towards everyone. Umesaburo initially believes that Shimpachi's bad behavior is because his family is extremely poor, but it turns out that his family is actually rather wealthy and of high social standing.
- Sakura (桜): Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki
- Yoshiko Yamanaka (山中 ヨシ子 Yamanaka Yoshiko): Voiced by: Reiko Mutō, New: Keiko Toda, Played by Yuri Shirahane. The English teacher at Hiroshi's school. Both Umesaburo and Mr. Minami are in love with her, which annoys her.
- Kuniko Obayashi (大林 くに子 Oobayashi Kuniko): Voiced by: Eiko Masuyama. Hiroshi's childhood sweetheart. It was she who gave him the sunglasses that he wears constantly. Kuniko is a flirtatious girl who charms all the boys, saving most of her attention for Hiroshi, which, naturally, does not sit well with Kyoko.
- Machida (町田): Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai, Played by Denden. A teacher at Hiroshi's school. He references his 25 years' teaching experience in nearly every episode of the anime.
- Yoshio Minami (南 よし雄 Minami Yoshio): Voiced by: Shūsei Nakamura, New: Hideyuki Tanaka. Another teacher at Hiroshi's school. He is constantly dueling with Umesaburo for Yoshiko's affection. He is proud of his car, the Buran-go, and often offers to drive Yoshiko around in it.
- Misako Watanabe (渡辺 みさ子 Watanabe Misako): Voiced by: Kazuko Sawada. Goro's girlfriend.
- Kaa-chan (母ちゃん): Voiced by: Noriko Ohara, New: Shō Saitō, Played by Hiroko Yakushimaru. Hiroshi's long-suffering mother. Because Hiroshi's father is deceased, she is the money earner for the family, working as a tailor and seamstress out of the modest home where she and Hiroshi live.
- Pyonko (ピョン子): Voiced by: Eiko Masuyama. Pyonkichi's girlfriend, before he ended up flattened onto Hiroshi's shirt. Pyonkichi reluctantly breaks up with her because, now that he is a two-dimensional frog stuck to Hiroshi's shirt, he feels like he cannot give her the life she deserves.
- Sushi Restaurant Owner: Voiced by: Masashi Amenomori→Osamu Kobayashi, New: Kenichi Ogata.
- Sankakubei (三角兵衛): Voiced by: Kei Tomiyama
In 2005, Japanese television network TV Asahi conducted a "Top 100" nationwide survey; Dokonjō Gaeru placed 100th. In 2006, TV Asahi conducted an online poll for the top one hundred anime, and Dokonjō Gaeru placed 56th in the "Celebrity List". In 2013, animator Masaaki Yuasa recommended among other anime, Dokonjō Gaeru, highlighting episodes 145 and 146.
In 2013, an American TV-movie remake of The Gutsy Frog was reported to be in development, presumably as a pilot for a new TV series. The pilot film was to contain both live action and CGI animation and to feature a cast including Frankie Jonas as "Frankie" (Hiroshi) as well as Maxwell Perry Cotton, Mischa Barton, and others, and features both American and Japanese names among the production staff although TMS is not reported to be involved in the remake.
A live-action dorama version of the story is set to premiere in Japan in July 2015 on Nippon TV. The new TV series, set to air Saturdays at 9pm Japan time, will be set in 2015 Japan and feature a grown-up Hiroshi and Kyoko and a computer-generated Pyonkichi. The cast of the live-action version will include Kenichi Matsuyama as Hiroshi and former AKB48 singer Atsuko Maeda as Kyoko.
A sequel manga in collaboration with Sanrio and written and drawn by Yasumi's daughter Yuuko Ootsuki, called Dokonjō!! Kero Kero Keroppi is about the daughter of Hiroshi named Hiroko and Keroppi in a situation similar to Pyonkichi
- "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime, Part 2". Anime News Network. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
- "Japan's Favorite TV Anime". Anime News Network. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Ghost in the Shell Director Oshii Praises Kick-Heart in Ad". Anime News Network. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Mischa Barton working with Jonas Brother, making movies". KABC-TV Los Angeles; from OnTheRedCarpet.com. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "The Gutsy Frog at UTB Hollywood (English)". UTB 18.2 (KSCI). Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Ex-AKB48 Atsuko Maeda to Play Heroine Kyoko in "Dokonjo Gaeru" TV Drama Adaptation, Crunchyroll.com, 28 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Fields.biz - Pachislo Maker
- Dokonjō Gaeru at Tokyo MX
- Dokonjo Gaeru (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Dokonjo Gaeru (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Shin Dokonjo Gaeru (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Shin Dokonjo Gaeru: Dokonjo Yumemakura (film) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia