Dr. Slump (franchise)

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Dr. Slump

Dr. Slump

Dr. Slumpドクター スランプDokutā Suranpu

Genre [[Genre::Comedy
Science Fantasy]]

Manga series: Dr. Slump

Authored by

Akira Toriyama



Serialized in

Weekly Shōnen Jump

Original run

1980 – 1984

Num of volumes


Anime series: Dr. Slump Arale-chan
Directed by

Minoru Okazaki
Shigeyasu Yamauchi


Toei Animation


Fuji TV

Original run

April 8, 1981 — February 19, 1986

No. of episodes


Anime series: Dr. Slump
Directed by

Shigeyasu Yamauchi


Toei Animation


Fuji TV

Original run

November 26, 1997 — September 22, 1999

No. of episodes


Dr. Slump (ドクター スランプ, Dokutā Suranpu) is a manga series by Akira Toriyama that was serialized in Shueisha's anthology comic Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1980 to 1984 and eventually compiled into 18 tankōbon. The series helped to launch Toriyama's career and was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen and shōjo manga in 1982.[1]


Dr. Slump is filled with puns, bathroom jokes, and parodies of both Japanese and American culture. For example, one of the recurring characters is Suppa Man, a short, fat, pompous buffoon who changes into a Superman-like costume by eating a sour-tasting ("suppai" in Japanese) umeboshi. Unlike Superman, Suppa Man cannot fly well, instead pretending to fly by lying belly down on a skateboard and scooting through the streets. In Super Dragon Ball Z, by breaking the porta-potty in the city level, Suppaman (with the hiragana 'SU' character on his chest) will roll off on his skateboard. Also, a policeman in Dr. Slump can be seen wearing a Storm Trooper helmet just as in the American film Star Wars.


Dr. Slump is set in Penguin Village (ペンギン村, Pengin Mura), a place where Humans co-exist with all sorts of anthropomorphic animals and other objects.


In Penguin Village lives Norimaki Senbei, an inventor (his name is a pun on Senbei, a kind of rice cracker). His nickname is "Dr. Slump". (A joke that is similar to nicknaming an author "Writer's Block.") In the first chapter, he builds what he hopes will be the world's most perfect little girl robot, Norimaki Arale, (a pun on another kind of rice cracker) in scenes obviously parodying the Italian children's classic Pinocchio. Because Senbei is a lousy inventor, Arale soon turns out to be in severe need of eyeglasses. She is also very naïve, and in later issues she has many strange adventures, such as bringing a huge bear home after having mistaken it for a pet. To Senbei's credit, she has super-strength. In a Dragon Ball crossover, she proved to be genuinely stronger than the young Son Goku, prompting him to train harder). In general, the manga focuses on Arale's misunderstandings of humanity and Senbei's inventions, rivalries, and romantic misadventures. In the middle of the series, a continuously-appearing villain named Dr. Mashirito, who is based on Toriyama's editor at the time, shows up.


Dr. Slump is a gag manga and bears some characteristics to Toriyama's following series, Dragon Ball, though the original Dragon Ball anime episodes and early manga chapters are much closer to Dr. Slump in its style and humor. The Dr. Slump manga has been licensed by Viz and is currently being published in graphic novel form. The English translation is done by Alexander O. Smith.


Dr. Slump Arale-chan

The original anime adaption to the manga was titled Dr. Slump Arale-chan (ドクター スランプ アラレちゃん, Dokutā Suranpu Arare-chan) and ran from 1981 to 1986, spanning 243 episodes.

Dr. Slump

Some of the characters' appearances in the remake.

The second anime adaptation to the manga was titled Dr. Slump (ドクター スランプ, Dokutā Suranpu) and ran from 1997 to 1999, spanning 74 episodes.


In addition to the two series, 11 anime films have been made.

Video games

Nine Dr. Slump video games have been made. Dr. Slump characters have also appeared in ten other video games.

Jump Super Stars

Arale and Dr. Mashirito are Battle Koma (playable characters), the latter beingthe main antagonist. They both returned in the sequel, Jump Ultimate Stars, in the exact same roles. Senbei Norimaki is not playable, but is a Help Koma that can strengthen Arale if his Help Koma is adjacent to her Battle Koma.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Arale appeared as a playable character in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.

Crossover with Dragon Ball

After the original manga ended, the characters of Dr. Slump returned for an extended cameo in Toriyama's next manga and anime series Dragon Ball (chapters 70-73, or manga volume 7). Arale Norimaki and Son Goku briefly team up to help Goku defeat General Blue during the General Blue Saga. Arale Norimaki also makes a smaller cameo in the third Dragon Ball movie, Mystical Adventure and in the third Dragon Ball Z movie, The Tree of Might as a picture on Gohan's wall. She and all the other residents of Penguin Village make an appearance in the second portion of the Dragon Ball series, "Dragon Ball Z", during the Kid Buu Saga, giving their energy to Goku's Super Spirit Bomb. Because of these cameos (and other similarities), many fans consider the two series as taking place in the same universe. The manga cameo showed a distinct change in the author's art style by that time, making Arale Norimaki and the gang look somewhat bloated. The characters later appeared in a third manga called The Brief Return of Dr. Slump (ちょっとだけかえってきた ドクター スランプ, Chotto Dake Kaettekita Dokutā Suranpu). Suppaman also makes a brief cameo trying to stop General Blue. When General Blue proves his strength Suppaman promptly begs for forgiveness for his earlier taunts (he tried to show off being strong by breaking three bricks with one punch, which also hurts his hand. General Blue then promptly lifts and crushes a phone booth effortlessly). Goku also makes a brief cameo, trying to stop Mashirito (in the manga and anime).


Dr. Slump is implied to exist in the same universe as Dragon Ball by the cast and Penguin Village appearing in the General Blue Saga. It is implied as well that its place in the Dragon Ball timeline is before the events of Dragon Ball, since all of the characters are in the positions they held at the end of the series (examples: Tsun family residing in Penguin Village, Taro being a cop, Midori being married to Senbei, Turbo existing, Obotchaman existing, Gatchan #2 existing, etc.) Many parts of Dr. Slump do in fact contradict it from being in the same universe as Dragon Ball like for the obvious reason that it was written before Dragon Ball was. Many real world locations and landmarks that do not exist in the Dragon Ball universe are shown to exist. One major contradiction is a character in Dr. Slump named "Kami", an old man who bears the same appearance as Muten Roshi and is the Guardian of Earth. His existence is a direct contradiction with Kami from Dragon Ball who is also the Guardian of Earth but is a Namekian. (It is also possible, however, that the "Kami" from Dr. Slump was the predecessor of the "Kami" from Dragon Ball since his race was never specified, therefore reinforcing the theory that Dr. Slump takes place within the Dragon Ball universe.


The original 1980s series ("Dr. Slump Arale-chan") will be released on Region 2 DVD in Japan in two parts. The "N'cha collection" was released in March 2007.[2] The "Hoyoyo Collection" was released in September 2007.

English distribution

It is unknown if the anime will be dubbed in the English language. Although it was licensed by Harmony Gold, only a segment of a single episode was dubbed before the company lost the rights.[citation needed]

Voice cast

Character Japanese dub (Dr. Slump Arale-chan) Japanese dub (Dr. Slump) FUNimation dub (Dragon Ball)
Arale Norimaki Mami Koyama Taeko Kawata Meredith McCoy
Senbei Norimaki Kenji Utsumi Yūsaku Yara Brice Armstrong
Gajira Norimaki Seiko Nakano Chie Sawaguchi ??
Midori Norimaki Mariko Mukai Yūko Minaguchi ??
Turbo Norimaki Yūko Mita Yūko Mita ??
Obotchaman Mitsuko Horie Motoko Kumai ??
Akane Kimidori Kazuko Sugiyama Hiroko Konishi ??
Aoi Kimidori Naomi Jinbo Hiroko Emori ??
Taro Soramame Toshio Furukawa Shinichirō Ōta ??
Peasuke Soramame Naomi Jinbo Megumi Urawa ??
Kurikinton Soramame Kōji Totani Nobuaki Kanemitsu None
Tsukutsun Tsun Shigeru Chiba Ryōtarō Okiayu ??
Tsururin Tsun Yūko Mita Hōko Kuwashima None
Tsuruten Tsun Hiroshi Ōtake Kōji Yada None
Tsuntsunodanoteiyugo Tsun Mitsuko Horie Michie Tomizawa None
Gyaosu Kōji Totani Bin Shimada ??
Gala Isamu Tanonaka Nobuhiko Kazama ??
Pagos Masaharu Satō Michio Nakao ??
Polly Buckets Toshiko Fujita Masako Katsuki ??
Charmy Yamada Ryō Horikawa None ??
Doctor Mashirito Nachi Nozawa
Keiichi Noda
Yasuo Yamada (Movies)
Akira Kamiya (1992 Movie)
Ryōtarō Okiayu None
Suppa Man Tesshō Genda Tōru Furuya ??
King Nikochan Hiroshi Ōtake Bin Shimada ??
King Nikochan's Servant Shigeru Chiba Ryō Horikawa ??
Parzan Kōji Totani Minori Matsushima None
Bubibinman Mugihito Mugihito None
Kinoko Salad Kazuko Sugiyama Noriko Uemura ??
Kurigashira Daigoro Tetsuo Mizutori Nobuo Tobita None
Donbei Shigeru Chiba Kappei Yamaguchi ??
Trampire Keiko Han ?? None
Akira Toriyama Isamu Tanonaka (Bird/Robot)
Hideyuki Tanaka (Human)
?? None

Influence on Japanese culture

[citation needed]

Trademark expressions from the manga include:

  • "N-cha" (Senbei's greeting and apparently a truncation of "konnichiwa"; also used by Arale).
  • "Bye-cha".
  • "Hoyoyo" (an expression used by Arale Norimaki to signify bewilderment or mild confusion).
  • "Kiiiiiin" (Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of an airplane engine).
  • "Cul" (Arale talk for "Cool")

These expressions have gone on to become part of Japanese culture. In addition, the round glasses Arale wears have inspired the Japanese phrase "arare megane" (Arale Norimaki glasses).

In the manga, Toriyama himself has been portrayed as a Bird (the "tori" in his last name means "bird", hence the name of his production studio Bird Studio), although Toriyama actually based the design of Senbei on himself (as a number of American comic strip artists have been known to do). He has also portrayed himself as a small robot with dark goggles and as simply a middle-aged man with dark sunglasses and a contagion mask (signifying anonymity). In addition, other real people have made appearances as well, such as Toriyama's bosses (like Torishima), assistants, wife, colleague friends (like Masakazu Katsura), and others.

Anime staff

  • Director: Minoru Okazaki, Yoshiki Shibata, Daisuke Nishio, Akinori Nagaoka
  • Script: Masaki Tsuji, Shun'ichi Yukimuro, Tomoko Konparu, Michiru Shimada
  • Character Designs: Shinji Koike
  • Animation Director: Shinji Koike
  • Music: Shunsuke Kikuchi


External links