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Crayon Shin-chan is a popular animated adaptation of a famous manga of the same name.
Shinnosuke "Shin-chan" Nohara is the ultimate brat-a loud, nosy kid prone to impersonating elephants with his genitals, peeking up teachers' skirts, and tormenting his stupid dog. His harassed mother turns a blind eye, his teachers despair, and a cast of zany regulars turn this nasty cartoon into a hellish look at the world through the eyes of a spoiled child. Most episodes are divided into three smaller, unrelated chapters, giving just enough time to set up accidents with snot, panty-flashing, and bratty behavior. At school, two prissy female teachers are engaged in a constant war of one-upmanship, not realizing that their pupils are manipulating their jealousies for their own ends. A bright, bouncy new teacher refuses to be downhearted at the utter chaos that confronts her, and the headmaster gets angry at being constantly mistaken for a gangster. Out in the wider world, Shin's family and neighbors are also the subject of ceaseless torment. He even persists in getting the teenager Shinobu fired from every job she takes, and, though he is the bane of her life, he can never remember her name. There are even parodies of anime shows-school super-jock Kawamura is obsessed by the nonexistent show Action Kamen (Action Mask), while Shin religiously watches an insane Gundam parody called Kuntam Robo.
Created by Yoshito Usui for Manga Action magazine in 1990, Shin-chan caused a stir in Japan when it was claimed that up to 68% of children under 12 were avid viewers of this show, supposedly made for adults who would get the joke. Unfortunately, the joke backfired, with complaints in the Japanese media that an entire generation of Japanese children was growing up to be lecherous, evil menaces.
The Crayon Shin-chan movies were genuinely aimed at a juvenile audience, albeit one that had grown up watching the series. In Action Kamen vs. Evil High-Leg (1993), the entire cast is forced to wear skimpy swimsuits by a bad king, while in Secrets of Buriburiland (1994), they are packed off to the South Sea island of Buriburi (Japanese for "annoying"). In Adventures in Henderland (1996), a simple trip to the titular amusement park finds Shin foiling a gay warlock's bid to become ruler of the world. Shin-chan's baby sister, Himawari, had her debut in The Search for the Black Balls (1997), which also featured a cameo role for creator Usui. Attack! War of the Pig's Trotter (1998) embroiled the Nohara family in a vendetta between two secret societies. Dazzling Hot Spring Wars and Paradise Made in Saitama (1999) split the feature format into two chapters: a traditional vacation episode and a cyberspace pastiche. In Storm in the Jungle (2000), Shin-chan's family is kidnapped on a southern island, leaving him and Himawari to rescue them from the Afro-haired Funky Monkey Army-nicely demonstrating that Shin would have the ability to insult foreign audiences, too, if only his English-language appearances went further afield than a limited number of subtitled broadcasts on a Hawaiian Japanese community station. The movie The Storm is Calling: The Adult Empire Strikes Back (2001) featured Shin-chan and his iconoclastic bunch running amok in a 20th-century theme park, ruining their elders' nostalgia trip-somewhat ironic, considering that some of the original "under-12" audience may now have brats of their own. In the following year's Sengoku Battle (2002), Shin-chan falls 400 years down a time tunnel, landing in the middle of Japan's civil war. His parents come after him in the family car, causing irreparable damage to history. For The Wind is Calling: Yakiniku Road (2003), Shin-chan stages a protest at the poor quality of his breakfast, and is appeased by the promise of a barbecue for dinner. When someone steals his food, he embarks upon a samurai-style vendetta. Shin-chan gained a superhero identity in Legend is Calling: Three Minute Buriburi Flashing Attack (2005).
Under the title Shin-chan, part of the TV series was broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2002, and eventually reached the mainland U.S. several years later. LNV