(as it is called in Japan--"Hamu" being short for hamustaa
and "taro" being a common suffix for male given names) really hit the big time when his big movie played as part of a double-feature with Godzilla-Mothra-King Ghidorah: Daikaiju Soukougeki
in December. The only movie to beat this combo at the Japanese box-office that season was the Western Haari Potta
(That pairing seems incredible, because this Godzilla
was scary and violent, with loads of painful, horrifying human and monster deaths--far more so than any recent version, Japanese or [yuck] the American. But Japanese kids aren't as "sheltered" as Western children spoon-fed happy endings and sugar coatings.)
I went to see Godzilla
, but got to the theatre early. I tried watching Hamutaro
, but the darkly colorful anime--complete with a Sailor Moon
-style humanoid hamster-goddess--was so acid-trippy and full of high-pitched squeaky voices that I had to flee the place until it was safe to enjoy the fiery rubber-suit antics.
Conversely, I won't watch the US version because of the inevitable crappy dubbed voices. I'll take the high-pitched squeaking anyday.
The kids were having a hell of a time, though, and that's what's important.