Hamtaro, known in Japan as Trotting Hamtaro (とっとこハム太郎 Tottoko Hamutarō), is a Japanese children's manga and storybook series created and illustrated by Ritsuko Kawai. The manga is serialized in Shogakukan's all-girl's magazine Ciao in 1997, focusing on a hamster named Hamtaro who has a variety of adventures with other hamsters, known as "Ham-Hams" ("Hamuchans" in the Japanese version).
Multiple anime adaptations were produced by TMS Entertainment and aired on TV Tokyo. The first series was dubbed in English by The Ocean Group.
Why It Rocks
It stays faithful to the manga series its based on and the animation is really cute and wonderfully done.
Very cute intro and catchy theme song.
It revolves around Hamtaro going on adventures with the other hamsters.
It actually manages to teach kids good lessons.
It ran for 5 years just like Sgt. Frog.
On top of that, it celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020 in Japan this year.
There are many likable characters such as Hamtaro, Bijou, Boss, Oxnard, Pashmina, Penelope, Panda, Maxwell, Stan, Sandy, etc.
Catchy songs like My Special Pink Scarf and You've Got Friends
Speaking of catchy songs, the songs in the Japanese and Italian versions are also pretty fun to listen to as well.
The episodes The Search for Sandy's Brother, Hamtaro, Please Come Home!, Watching Over Cute Penelope and Welcome Home Penelope! were pretty emotional and heartwarming.
Tottoko Hamutaro Hai! is a pretty good spin-off with 3D animation and there are also many fans who find it to be a breath of fresh air for Hamtaro.
The episode Keeping Promises is very nice because Kana and Boss were very mad at Laura and Hamtaro, so the latter two decided to keep their promises so that the former two can be friends again.
The final episode, "Happy Ham-Ham Wedding", is the perfect way to end the anime on a high note and serves as a fitting conclusion to the Hamtaro series as a whole.
The English Dub got cancelled in 2005, resulting in said dub not completing the entire series.
It was shown in the US on Toonami, an action block, which was not an appropriate place for the show, something which the block made fun of.
Glitter Kurihara is a remotely unlikable character who antagonizes Laura and is mean to her to the point of stealing Travis from her.
Depending on your view, Glitter's hamster Sparkle is no better and can be just as unlikable as her owner in the earlier episodes. Thankfully, Sparkle managed to redeem herself and became an ally to the Ham-Hams, making her a likable character.