Quick guide to children’s TV characters in Japan

If you’re here you have probably insulted a 4 year old saying you like their Power Ranger toy. In which they have corrected you by saying it’s Kamen Rider and looked at you as though you are the stupidest person on the planet.

Even after 4 years here I can’t remember all the characters from the all the different TV shows. Some of which change every season, by corporate fat cats and TV bosses who are milking out every last penny they can get from the TV franchise.

So here’s the main list of TV shows and some key characters you need to know:

We’ll start with the youngest age group and everyone knows this character.


Most babies first words are mummy, daddy and in Japan it’s Anpanman.

Not to scare you but according to Wikipedia it’s holds the world record for the most characters in an animated franchise (1768 characters). Not to worry though the only other character you may need to know is Baikinman (the black and purple one) who’s the bad guy. That’s all you need to know when talking about it to the target age group under 3’s. Otherwise just note that the other main characters are types of bread hence the (-panman).


There’s not much else you can talk about other than the fact that you know it’s Doraemon.

The Robot cat which used to be yellow until some mice bit off his ears whilst he was sleeping. Hence his is blue and without ears.

Doraemon has a magic pocket where he takes out lots of different inventions and gadgets to help them out on the journey.

He gets mentioned up to about 8 year old.


Image result for precure

This is one of the mean ones that changes every season.

Targeted at young girls from 3-6 years. The Precure team changes into their hero form and fights the bad guys whilst holding out a job. The job just happens to be their base. (Unless this format has changed in which case you need to do more extensive research).

The main characters have names beginning with Cure-. It’s easily spotted by it over the top pinkness and cute women. There sometimes is a male character in the group, but always 1 or 2 cute animal type creatures.

Kamen Rider

Image result for kamen rider zi o

Ok when I said you hurt the 4 year olds feelings earlier. I mean you’re not far from the truth.

It has the look and feel of the power rangers but instead of following a group of teens you follow one boy.

The only difference between Kamen Rider Wizard and Zi-O and Build and ex-aid and errr the rest? is the season. Each child seems to have a favorite.

Merchandise varies, if you ever need to know what the kids are asking for/ talking about, just watch the latest Kamen Rider and it’s whatever they’re using in the show.


Related image

Most people have come across this one at some point. Just remember that the characters have different names. But Pikachu is still Pikachu.

Yokai Watch

Image result for yokai watch

I don’t know if Yokai Watch is still mainstream considering I haven’t heard any kindergarteners talking about it. Aimed more at elementary school the main characters try to talk to and collect the ghosts that are causing mischief.

General anime

So if you’re into the latest manga and Japanese tv series you might have come across some of the anime’s the kids like (who are over 8).

Random other characters you should know

Detective Conan

He’s a detective…. A high school detective, who was shrunk into a 4 year olds body.

Butt Detective

Need I say more?

Crayon Shin Chan

Just the life of a comedic 4 year old kid known as Shin.


Like Hello Kitty, normally attached to kids clothing.


The names of some characters have changed or are said slightly differently. Some of the movie names have changed too so watch out for that.

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