Exploring the cute and complex world of Anpanman through lollipops!

Considering Anpanman's ubiquity in Japan, it's surprising that the series isn't particularly well-known in the west. Every toddler in Japan is well-versed on the Anpanman saga, which is based on a series of superheroes made of various types of breads and pastries. Anpanman is celebrated with the same reverence as Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny is in the USA. In an attempt to delight our readers with the joyful world of the series, we tracked down these character-themed lollipops.



While the lollipops themselves are pretty typical (orange, grape, peach and strawberry), it's the Anpanman characters that make us the most excited. On that note, we'll take on the task of explaining these four characters and their awesome peculiarities. Here we go!

Anpanman
The series is named after him! He's made of "anpan" bread (sweet red bean paste). He generously takes off pieces of his bread-filled head to give to those in need — but beware, taking too much at one time will render him weak! Luckily another character, Uncle Jam, will bake him a new head, restoring his power. But be careful not to upset him, because he may just strike you with his signature attack move, the Anpanpunch.


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Baikinman
Be careful, Baikinman is made of germs, hence his name, which translates to none other than "Germ Man." He spends his time devising schemes to cover the world in germs. Doesn't sound very nice, does it? He's also very greedy and steals lots of candy from kids. Not to worry, a simple scrub of soap will render him weak, and he'll gradually shrink!


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Dokinchan
Dokinchan and Bakinman are from the same place, Baikin Planet. Though they're both germs, Dokinchan is much more enigmatic, as she has assimilated to the local culture's preference for cleanliness. Strangely deep for a series aimed at toddler's…


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Rollpanna
Like Anpanman, Rollpanna was created by her Uncle Jam the baker. Her head is made of a bread roll, and in an added twist of complexity, she was born with two hearts — one good and one evil. When her evil heart takes over, she assumes the role of "Black Rollpanna." Due to her unpredictable nature, she opts to stay far away from her peers, returning when her sister Melonpanna is in danger.

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While we only covered four characters today, there are actually dozens upon dozens more in the series, setting the record for most characters in an animated series. See some of the characters in action in the video below and stay tuned for more Anpanman related goodies!