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Kaiketsu Zorori (or Legendary Zorori; かいけつゾロリ in Japanese), is an anime series filled with gags & unbelievable pranks. The series started as a manga in 1987, created by Yutaka Hara; ever since then Zorori has been a popular character.
The anime Kaiketsu Zorori premiered in Februrary of 2004 and just like the manga that started it was a huge success. In one episode, Zorori kept making incredibly bad puns (plays on words), and many kids began to imitate their favorite fox by punning left and right at home and at school.
Despite Zorori's success in Japan, Zorori never got licensed for a stateside debut. The anime was, however, picked up by the Korean kids channel, Tooniverse, under the name 쾌걸 조로리, and in late November of 2006, the original series was dubbed in Italian as "Le incredibili avventure di Zorori". It is also being aired in Spain, dubbed as "Zorori el extraordinario" and in France as "Zorori le magnifique"
In 2005, Zorori returned in Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori, which, while technically the second season of Kaiketsu Zorori, was done by a different animation house. It was canceled abruptly due to low viewership after 97 episodes on January 28, 2007, leaving a legacy of 149 episodes between the two series' three seasons.
A movie was released March 11, 2006, in which Zorori shared the silver screen spotlight with Keroro Gunsou (otherwise known as "Sgt. Frog"). A "Large Format" 30 minute film about Zorori and Arthur's "Adventures in Space" (宇宙たんけん大さ) saw limited release in planetariums later that year.
On January 1, 2008, the Japanese translation group Alopex Fansubs released the first episode of Kaiketsu Zorori subtitled in English. The group has since released several subtitled episodes of Kaiketsu Zorori and continues to produce them sporadically.
At the end of March 2008, the fansub group Zorori-Project was formed, and since then has released all five of the Ajia-do Animation Works Zorori movies. All 149 episodes have been released with english subs, consisting of 52 episodes of Kaiketsu Zorori (Season 1,) 50 episodes of Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori (Series 2 - Season 1) and 47 episodes of Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori (Series 2 - Season 2.)
It was announced during July that a new television anime series of Kaiketsu Zorori will be released on spring 2020. The anime will be the first television anime adaptation of the book series in 13 years since the second anime ended in 2007.
Zorori may be a good example of a Kitsune, considering his moderate disguising skill and love of trickery.
Did you know? Zorori's Voice Actor is Koichi Yamadera, who did the voice of Spike for Cowboy Bebop, the voice of Barry for Arashi no Yoru Ni and the voice of Ryoga Hibiki/P-chan/Jusenkyo Guide for Ranma ½
- Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The show features a 19-year old kitsune (fox) called Zorori, who embarks on a journey to train in the art of mischief making together with his friends, a pair of twin wild boars. The three friends travel from place to place, sparing no effort to play practical jokes on those they meet. Zorori's pranks often backfire, which ends up making his target happy, but every time he finds himself in a pinch, he comes up with some clever idea that allows him to wriggle out of trouble. Zorori's dream is to become the king of mischief, build a castle all for himself, and marry a beautiful woman. Will he ever realize this dream?
During the success of the Kaiketsu Zorori anime there were two video games (only released in Japan):
- Kaiketsu Zorori to Mahou no Yuuenchi Ohimesama wo Sukue! (Game Boy Advance) - July 15th, 2004
Plot of game: Zorori and friends have made their way to an amusement park for this latest cartoon to game adaptation, called Kaiketsu Zorori to Mahou no Yuuenchi Ohimesama wo Sukue! In order to save the princess, you must clear 20 different mini games. Mini games are split into four areas of the park: adventure zone, sports zone, future zone and "Oyaji" (old man) gag zone. Your performance in the mini games rewards you with stamps that can be used to purchase items in a shop.
- Kaiketsu Zorori Mezase! Itazura King (PlayStation 2) - April 28th, 2004
Plot of Game: Game based on the popular Japanese children's book character Kaiketsu Zorori, the "King of Mischief." Using the EyeToy camera, you can put yourself in the game and appear alongside Zorori, Ishishi and friends. There are nine different types of mischief you can cause -- the ultimate objective is to outdo Zorori himself. There is also a party mode where up to four players compete consecutively to become the King of Pranks.
The second series brought out:
- Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori Kyoufu no Takarabako [Seriously Hilariously Unbelievable Zorori: The Treasure Boxes of Fear] (DS) - August 30, 2006
Plot of Game: Based on the Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori anime, this action adventure gives you control of Zorori as the personable fox heads out on a search for the missing royal treasures. The DS stylus is used for investigating suspicious places.