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An ancient Japanese comic strip that dates back to 1946 and, perhaps more notably, the longest running animated series of all time - new Sazae-san episodes have been airing since October 5, 1969, making it a pop culture staple of Japan. It almost always makes higher TV ratings in Japan than any other anime, and by a significant margin. Despite this, it is not very well known outside of its home country (hence, the lonely singular block of text). The series centers around Sazae Fuguta, a somewhat typical Japanese housewife with very young siblings. Each episode of the anime is made up of three self-contained stories. It focuses on aspects of traditional Japanese daily life and culture, hearkens back to an earlier, simpler, less rushed time (since both series are so old), and relies on a Japanese sensibility to appreciate. Hence, its popularity in Japan and obscurity everywhere else.
Tropes associated with/seen in this series include:
- Art Evolution: The animation style was much more cartoony in the very early episodes.
- Lipstick Mark
- Long Runner: The anime series began in 1969 and still runs to this day, 40 years later. Over 2,000 half-hour episodes have been made.
- The anime has been running longer than the comic it was based on, which lasted 28 years (1946 to 1974).
- Norio Wakamoto: He plays many, many characters on the show. No wonder it's been so successful.
- Slice of Life
- Theme Naming: Most of the major characters are named after seafood, reflecting the time period the strip was created in (one of the aims of the creator was to hearken back to times of full stomachs.)
- Three Shorts: Since the first episode the show followed this format. Thus there's like 6,000 segments altogether.