The anime "Chibi Maruko-chan" started broadcasting on January 7, 1990, and this year marks the 32nd year of its broadcast. The story, which depicts the heartwarming daily life of the main character Maruko, her family, and friends in a fun, funny, and sometimes sad way, has been loved by children and adults of all ages since it started broadcasting. Keaton has narrated 1445 episodes over the past 31 years.
The episode to be broadcast on March 28 is called "A Day in Spring." It will be a story about the cherry blossoms that are perfect for spring, with the usual cheerful and heartwarming atmosphere that surrounds Maruko and her family.
At the end of the episode, there will be a little surprise to send off Keaton, who has been narrating "Chibi Maruko-chan" for 31 years.
The last episode of "Chibi Maruko-chan" where Keaton Yamada performs will start broadcasting on March 28th at 6:00 pm. Be sure not to miss the last new episode where you can listen to his witty comedy and warm narration as he watches over Maruko and the others.
＜Here is the full text of the comments＞
Q. This episode was a little different from your usual narration. What did you do to make it different?
A. I've always preferred dialogue to narration, but since it was a dialogue other than narration, it was difficult, even though it was only two words. However, I was able to express emotions that I could not in narration, and I was happy to feel like an actor again.
Q. You have been acting for 31 years, but what is your most memorable moment?
A. Sakura's death. Actually, when she passed away, I had decided in my heart that I would leave "Chibi Maruko-chan" when I turned 75, but I wasn't ready to tell her yet. I wish I could have told her today, right here. That would have been my biggest regret. Actually, I narrated Sakura-san's life story at her farewell party, together with TARAKO. But it was already too late to thank her, so I just wanted to say thank you.
Q. Which Chibi Maruko-chan character would you like to play other than the narration?
A. I don't have any, since they are mostly elementary school kids, but I would like to play an odd old guy, because I like that kind of character. Narration has a narrow range of voices and inflections, so it's hard to create your own pauses. You have to fit it in exactly to scale, you have to let go of yourself, and it's hard to put your "feelings" into it, so I've always been uncomfortable with it. So I guess that's the secret to my longevity: I was never satisfied with my performance. Just tried to do everything.
Q. What would you like to say to the new narrator?
A. I'm not sure who it could be, but I think it's good to let his world be his own. It feels even better for me. I'd like to see it "changed!" so that I can recognize that it's someone else's performance. From now on, I will continue to watch "Chibi Maruko-chan" as a member of the audience.
Q. What do you want to say to your fans?
A. I would like to thank all the fans and the many staff members who have worked on the show, especially the staff members of "Chibi Maruko-chan" who have worked for it for 31 years. It's only once in a lifetime that you come across such a long-lived program. Of the many narration jobs I've had, "Chibi Maruko-chan" is the one that requires the most care. The amount of lines is small, but it takes a lot of energy, so I have to be very careful about my physical condition and so on. I am grateful to all the staff for helping me make it to this age.
[From All the Staff Members of The Program]
Thank you very much for always supporting Maruko, her friends and the show with your funny and warm voice for 31 years and 1445 times! We can't thank you enough, Mr. Keaton. Thank you for all your hard work! We would like to dedicate this "One Day in Spring" where you are leaving, Mr. Keaton. To all the audience who have always supported us, please don't miss this special 30 minutes until the very end!
(C) Sakura Production / Nippon Animation