He has a big red nose, two rosy cheeks and an edible head that is regularly rebaked in his uncle's oven.

Yes, it's Anpanman, one of Japan's most iconic anime characters, whose heroic antics have seduced generations of children over the past three decades.

Originally unveiled in the form of a 1970s picture-book series by Takashi Yanase, Anpanman was first aired on Japanese TV in 1988, and more than 1,000 episodes have since been unleashed on the public.