The TV program “Anpanman” has been recognized by Guinness World Records as having the most characters in an animated series, Nippon TV said.
As of March, the weekly program had featured 1,768 different characters, according to an official Guinness registration in June, NTV spokeswoman Shigeko Chino said Thursday.
The television version of “Anpanman” began airing on Oct. 3, 1988. Long popular with children, the titular hero’s head is a bun filled with sweet bean paste, hence the name, which means Red-Bean-Bread Man in English.
Most of the other characters are related to food, including Shokupanman (Loaf-of-Bread Man), Jamu-Ojisan (Jam-Middle-Aged Man) and Omusubiman (Rice-Ball Man.)
The “anime” teaches children to wash their hands and brush their teeth by showing Anpanman always defeating his archrival, Baikinman (Germ Man).
“We received this honor because we have kept airing the program for 21 years. Those who were children then have become adults and are watching it with their own children,” NTV producer Toshio Nakatani said in a statement.
In addition to the TV series, there have been 20 “Anpanman” movies.
“The ‘Anpanman’ series has had more than 2,000 characters and the figure is increasing, but the Guinness registration is very strict and they recognized only 1,768,” said Takashi Yanase, the series’ creator.