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The Sextuplets
Osomatsu

Eldest Son

Osomatsu (Signature Color: Red)

Second Son

Karamatsu (Signature Color: Blue)

Third Son

Choromatsu (Signature Color: Green)

Fourth Son

Ichimatsu (Signature Color: Purple)

Fifth Son

Jyushimatsu (Signature Color: Yellow)

Youngest Son

Todomatsu (Signature Color: Pink)

The Sextuplets (六つ子 Mutsugo), created by Fujio Akatsuka, are the initial leading characters and signature troublemakers of the Osomatsu-kun and Osomatsu-san franchises. They debuted in Weekly Shonen Sunday #16 (April 15, 1962).

They are the six young sons of Matsuyo and Matsuzo, and known for being entirely identical in appearance. Even though they have differences in their personalities, they all share a love for mischief and all long for the attention of the same neighborhood girl (Totoko). By the third run of the manga, they are established as living in Shimo-ochiai in Shinjuku, Tokyo. However, in the 1988 anime and -san, the ward of Tokyo they live in is named Akatsuka, after their creator.

Their family name is Matsuno and their birthday is May 24th. However, this was initially not settled in the manga.

In the Osomatsu-kun (Manga), 1966 TV series, 1988 series, and other related projects, they are usually set as 10 years old and are in the 5th grade.

However, in the Osomatsu-san (2015) anime, they're in their 20s ("not any older than 24 or 25"), unemployed, and still live together, showing that they haven't grown up at all mentally. Each of them are also given more diverse personalities, image colors, and are labeled off as different breeds of "idiot".

Conception and Development

In 1962, Weekly Shonen Sunday had given the order for Fujio Akatsuka to come up with a four-chapter gag manga serial. He initially considered a concept of twins, before his wife told him the idea was too expected. He then decided that it would be loosely based off the 1950 American film "Cheaper by the Dozen", with the protagonists being dodecuplet brothers, as a large number of identical children would be much more interesting for a gag manga.

Soon finding that it would be difficult to draw and fit twelve main characters into panels, Akatsuka decided to instead cut the number in half and make the leads into sextuplets. The popularity of the first four chapters quickly lead to there being more written as a regular weekly feature, and the run in Shonen Sunday lasted seven years.

In early installments of the manga, the surname of the family was Yamano (山野))[1] but consistently became Matsuno (松野) and was set as such.

As the manga developed more through the years, the sextuplets' protagonist roles were taken up by Iyami and Chibita, while the brothers were relegated to either more of a supporting role or were absent entirely. The "New Osomatsu-kun" run of the manga in Weekly Shonen King from 1972-1973 particularly focused almost all on Iyami, with the sextuplets only showing up in occasional cameos.

Though the final run of the manga in Comic BomBom and TV Magazine through 1987-1990 returned some protagonist focus to the sextuplets, the 1988 anime adaptation by Studio Pierrot opted to treat them as supporting cast as Akatsuka and Fujio Pro previously had.

The Osomatsu-san franchise, devised as a media-mix project years after Akatsuka's death, retools the sextuplets to be main characters once more. Instead of being schoolchildren, they are now NEETs in their 20s and trying to remain relevant in both their society and the modern anime industry.

Outside of their own manga runs, the sextuplets had also popped up in other Akatsuka works either as themselves or cast in a different sort of role. They most notably appear in the original Ribon run of Akko-chan's Got a Secret!, in cameos in Extraordinary Ataro, and in the Nyarome's Fun Classroom educational book series.

Members

Fujio Akatsuka never directly stated the birth order of the brothers, although Osomatsu's leader role and the series being named after him leads to the implication of him being eldest. The 1988 anime adaptation and subsequent official works have solidified this role for him.

The overall common order of the brothers listed off by Matsuyo in the manga and 1988 is given as Osomatsu, Ichimatsu, Karamatsu, Choromatsu, Todomatsu, Jyushimatsu. The older versions of the Koredeiinoda website would use a tweaked version of this for their role-call, switching Jyushimatsu and Todomatsu's placements so Todomatsu would fall last (and to better match with Ichimatsu and Karamatsu's placements in the first part of the role-call).

The revised version of the above order can also be seen in the Tatsumi Comics bilingual edition as well as the Takeshobo reprints of the manga, including the title of their "Completely Osomatsu-kun" anthology which uses the revised positions for the last two brothers.

But it is to be noted that there were also points within the manga where Todomatsu was placed as the last brother in some activities involving the order, leading to question if the original listing had an oversight to begin with (he is also seen at the end in the color illustration for "Osomatsu-kun after 30 Years"). Readers may also note that it makes more sense to have Jyushimatsu fall 5th and Todomatsu be last in order to match up to Ichimatsu and Karamatsu's placements, as they are often separated off into duos with the other two as Osomatsu and Choromatsu (1st and 4th) would be. However, the first instance of named duos teaming up in the manga and some other instances like "Sextuplets vs. the Great Japan Gang" will instead have Ichimatsu and Todomatsu split off, along with Karamatsu and Jyushimatsu.

In the first opening of the 1966 anime, they are listed as "Osomatsu, Karamatsu, Jyushimatsu, Ichimatsu, Choromatsu, Todomatsu," allegedly because this was believed to be easier for children to remember. There is also an alternative "Osomatsu, Todomatsu, Karamatsu, Choromatsu, Ichimatsu, Jyushimatsu" order seen rarely in the manga and in the boys' cameo in Akko-chan's Got a Secret!

The earliest indication of the current accepted birth order can be heard in the 1988 Pierrot anime adaptation's ending theme Osomatsu Ondo, other than Jyushimatsu falling last ("Even if Todomatsu drew eyebrows on Jyushimatsu's face..."). The Momotaro special of that anime adaptation also treated Jyushimatsu as the sixth son, having him identify himself as "Momorokuro" in the prologue's sequence with the cast fighting for the role. However, the order of the brothers was also different in that instance, with them being grouped off by their duos (Osomatsu, Choromatsu, Karamatsu, Todomatsu, Ichimatsu, Jyushimatsu).

Around 2003, Koredeiinoda officially set Todomatsu's place as the youngest, adding the phrase "todo no tsumari" ("after all"/"to summarize") in description of him, and this was also reflected in the DVD release of the 1988 show. Later profiles after Akatsuka's death would then clarify Osomatsu being eldest and Todomatsu being youngest. The Fujio Pro corporate website and the pachinko game CR Osomatsu-kun also ran with the current order of the brothers below, although the game profiles did not identify their exact placements.

To this date, the revised Koredeiinoda website only directly identifies Osomatsu and Todomatsu as the respective eldest and youngest, although the production of Osomatsu-san has solidified and put emphasis on a birth order for all six.

Osomatsu

The "miraculous idiot."

Osomatsu (as decided by later materials) is the oldest of the sextuplets and their often self-proclaimed leader. He is also the best fighter out of them all.

As an adult in -san, he continues to act as the self-proclaimed leader and is bull-headed and immature, but played as the more "basic" of the brothers.

Karamatsu

The "cool idiot."

The second oldest. As a child, he is somewhat air-headed and impulsive, but considered a happy-go-lucky boy.

As an adult in -san, he is the cool guy wannabe who desperately wants girls to like him and think he's cool, so he pays up airs around them all the time, only to fail miserably and end up being ignored.

Choromatsu

The "reasonable idiot."

The third oldest. He is clever but selfish, and the most agile and boastful of the six.

In his adulthood in -san, he fancies himself the clever and logical one of the sextuplets, and therefore, considered the most mature by their standards. However, Choromatsu still has his moments when he acts just as stupid as his other brothers, and is an otaku.

Ichimatsu

The "pitch-black idiot."

Ichimatsu's name may seem as if it'd refer to the first son, because "Ichi-" means one, but he is actually the fourth son as decided by the later placements of the boys. His name is a dual pun on the number, as well as the "ichimatsu" check pattern (which is spelled with a different kanji). As a child, he is strong-willed and is the "#1 serious" out of the six.

By the time he's become an adult in the -san incarnation, he is depicted as a melancholy, unmotivated loner who has an affinity for cats. He has a lack of social skills and difficulty in expressing himself to others.

Jyushimatsu

The "of-another-dimension idiot."

The fifth, second-youngest son. He is a docile boy, or talkative and noisy in later Fujio Pro descriptors, but can be taken advantage of easily for his kindness and vulnerability. His name derives from the society finch, called "Jyushimatsu" in Japanese.

As an adult in -san, his head is always in the clouds, and he's nearly always seen with a smile on his face. He's generally considered the silliest one of the brothers, to where the logic behind whatever he does is simply "He's Jyushimatsu".

Todomatsu

The "good-at-letting-others-pamper-him idiot."

The sixth and youngest son. He is initially described as "easily-flustered" and is touchy, but later becomes described as "carefree" but Fujio Pro also questions and states that there is no concrete evidence as to what he even is.

His adult version in -san is known for being effeminate as well as two-faced, acting sweet and innocent around strangers and sporting a cute smile as his default expression, but being manipulative and willing to insult and betray his brothers to make himself look better.

Appearance

As children, their height, weight, and overall clothing styles are exactly the same. Due to this, it is virtually impossible to tell the six apart. They are best known for wearing their hair short with an initially side-swept fringe that is later depicted as more even and bowl-cut from the front. Two cowlicks (or ahoge, "idiot hair") stick up in the back. They are often seen wearing a three-buttoned uniform jacket with a white collar and gold buttons, lighter pants, and dark running shoes. In summer seasons, they tend to wear shorts and shorter-sleeved shirts. It is rare to see them in different fashion, as it is much easier for their mother to buy their clothing in bulk. The colors of these clothes may vary through manga illustrations, but it is common to see the jacket depicted blue and the pants as a lighter blue or grey. The summer uniforms are depicted with a paler blue shirt and darker shorts in the manga, but are the same color pattern as the winter uniform in the 1988 anime.

The sextuplets are initially depicted by Akatsuka with much different facial features in the first chapter; snub noses, smaller eyes, and longer mouths, as well as freckles in the early frontispieces to chapters. This design was quickly swapped out for them having cuter faces, and the boys' designs gradually evolved to the more iconic look.

Their designs were steadily re-interpreted over the run of the manga by Akatsuka and his assistants, the last and current artist to draw them being Takayoshi Minematsu (current alias: Katta Yoshi) in all later and posthumous Fujio Pro illustrations and content. An overall style evolution can also be seen in the Pierrot anime, with the designs similarly starting out closer to the manga but evolving to be more super-deformed and stylized, resulting in drastically shorter and chubbier children.

As adults in the 2015 Osomatsu-san adaptation, they will occasionally wear pastel blue jackets with two gold buttons, a white collared undershirt and black tie, as well as khakis and dress shoes. However, they are more often shown wearing hoodies sporting identical matsu pine symbols, and can also be seen in their own individual fashions on occasion. It's important to note that some of these hoodies may also bear their own differences, such as Jyushimatsu having floppy sleeves and Karamatsu rolling his sleeves up.

Their hair has also underwent some change in their adulthood, with Choromatsu no longer having any hairs sticking up in the back, Ichimatsu's hair being shaggier, and Jyushimatsu only bearing one hair sticking up in the back. The character designs also have the hair highlighted in each brother's respective theme color, and each have a different facial expression to help identify them and their personality.

Although the physical statistics for the -san versions of the sextuplets have been left unstated, the 1988 guide "The Laughter Land of Osomatsu-kun" by Kodansha gave these shared measurements for them as children:

  • Blood type: A
  • Height: 150 cm (4'11)
  • Weight: 46 kg (101 lbs)
  • Foot size: 22 cm (8.6 in)
  • Foot length: 60 cm (23.6 in)
  • Visual acuity: 2.0
  • Cavities/Decayed teeth: 3 (for Osomatsu)

Image Colors

The sextuplets being color-coded is more commonly associated with Osomatsu-san due to the reliance on using the theme colors as part of the identification of each brother.

But prior to -san, the earliest instance can be seen in the original Weekly Shonen Sunday issue #27 for 1965, depicting the sextuplets in differently-colored uniform shirts (blue, teal, green, tan, and two different shades of purple) although none of them are identified.

More commonly, color-coding can be seen in late 1980s Kodansha reprints with Minematsu's art where the front covers may depict the the younger sextuplets this way, yet not necessarily specifying their identities each time. The back covers depict a line-up of colored squares with each boy's face (yellow, blue, red, green, purple, and orange), again with their identities not quite listed.

The 1995 Takeshobo reprint covers depict CGI models of the sextuplets, with only Osomatsu wearing the regular blue outfit and the five other brothers given colors to set them apart:

  • Ichimatsu: Orange
  • Karamatsu: Red (rendered as pink in the CGI)
  • Choromatsu: Green
  • Todomatsu: Yellow
  • Jyushimatsu: Purple

As the -kun era sextuplets were not often set with any sort of theme colors after this, save for a 2010 Fujio Pro window illustration and the 2016 Osomatsu-san anime website's April Fools Joke (which had Todomatsu as orange, Ichimatsu as purple, Choromatsu as yellow, and Jyushimatsu as green), such an aspect is less important or consequential in aiding in their identification.

Personality

As a unit, they are mischievous and greedy young boys that can range from being in a more heroic role to more antagonistic depending on the story. They can use their identical looks to their advantage, though they often also become frustrated by being mistaken for one another and this can lead to other disadvantages of being indistinguishable.

There are some differences between each brother that are noted in Akatsuka's official settings in Shonen Sunday as well as later Fujio Pro profiles, but they are not always the most consistent with each other or seen to be the most reflected. Osomatsu has the most stable setting of the brothers, being depicted as a stingy hooligan and the leader of the group. They can be more immediately differentiated by voice in the first two -kun anime adaptations, although not all of them are always name-dropped.

There are times when the six also do not act as one; in such instances, Osomatsu goes alone or against the others. Osomatsu and Choromatsu also tend to run off on their own the most, or are left behind by the other four.

The Osomatsu-san incarnations of the characters have undergone some changes in their personalities to separate them better as the main characters of the show, with their dynamic becoming more dysfunctional with their age and competing personalities and goals. Unless as a means to an end, they have no desire to work or move ahead, and those who try wind up dragged back down and back to the status quo in any circumstance.

Relationships

The sextuplets give their parents much trouble with their trickery, between them being hard to tell apart and the acts they commit. As early as the second chapter of the manga, the others get in trouble due to Osomatsu breaking a window and all have their heads shaved in an attempt to identify them and make them commit to doing their chores.

Although Osomatsu is at times shown with a friend from school, the sextuplets tend to travel in their pack and not have individual relationships outside of it. They are often at odds with Chibita, and are either the instigators in bullying and making his life miserable in any way they can, or are his targets in trouble-making either for fun or as revenge for something they had done to him. The rivalry was more mutual earlier in the series, but as Chibita became a character that Akatsuka took more interest in developing, the setting of the bullied boy down on his luck became more favorable.

The sextuplets are also the nemeses of Iyami, who often tries to con them and has Chibita working with him as his partner in many instances. They will gang up on Iyami and attack him as retaliation for his schemes, but will also take enjoyment in bullying him anyway. The side who starts the conflict will vary depending on the story, but it is very common to see the duo of Iyami and Chibita teamed up against the brothers.

All of the brothers have feelings for Totoko, but she becomes frustrated and angered by the antics that happen when they flirt with her, or when they insult or upset her by cheating, implying she isn't that pretty, or paying attention to another girl. This leads to her using her "body blow" on them, with Osomatsu usually being the recipient. In the later 1980s manga, Totoko tends to join in on some unreasonable acts and bullying the brothers make against Iyami, and her and Osomatsu run a dating scam service to get money.

The extended family of the sextuplets is relatively unknown, other than occasional references being made to there being other relatives contacted or visited. Of relatives that are seen, the rich Kansai couple in "A 50,000 Yen Allowance" claim to be distant ones of one of the parents, and desire to take one of the boys as their own son (they are distinctly different characters to the apparently-unrelated Kansai parents mentioned below).

Imposters, Lookalikes, and Extras

Through the manga itself and not counting any outside uses of the "star system", there are instances where the amount of children may temporarily increase due to assorted gag circumstances.

In Osomatsu-kun

  • Ponta (7): A tanuki appearing in the fourth chapter, who takes on the appearance of Osomatsu. He and his father make trouble for the family in the fifth chapter as well, until they are driven away.
  • Sextuplet Dolls (12): Six life-size dolls of the sextuplets created by a scientist. In the 1988 anime, the story is loosely adapted with Iyami instead creating six more drone-minded clones of the brothers to do his bidding.
  • "Mechamatsu" (7): A robotic duplicate of Osomatsu created by Iyami to cause trouble.
  • Gonbeda and Jinbeda (8): Two aliens out of a group sent to spy on Earth. After Osomatsu and Choromatsu are kidnapped by their superiors, they are transformed into duplicates of the boys and attempt to infiltrate the family to study Earth culture. Their disguises are not entirely stable, and can be easily deformed by their alien habits of stretching.
  • The Osomatsu and Choromatsu twins (8): A pair of boys that suddenly appear at the Matsuno house, claiming that they're Osomatsu and Choromatsu but speaking in Kansai dialect. They are later revealed to be the sons of a couple identical to Matsuyo and Matsuzo.
  • "Usomatsu" (7): A fugitive that takes on the appearance of the sextuplets, due to a machine created by Dr. Dekapan. The Osomatsu from Kansai is also identified by this name as a joke in the frontispiece of the above story.
  • Mutsumatsu: A giant child, created as a fusion of the sextuplets. He is super-strong and destructive, but reckless, which leads to him exploding and forcibly defusing after he accidentally steps on the synthesis machine.
  • Minematsu, Basuomatsu, Uematsu, Chumonmatsu, Henjimatsu, and an unnamed brother (12): Six extra children created as an ending gag in the "Mutsumatsu" story, when the fusion of the original sextuplets is split apart after the destruction of the machine that created him. Basuomatsu's name is a pun on "Wait for the bus!" (バスを待つ basu o matsu), Chumonmatsu's name is a pun on "Wait for an order!" (注文待つ chumon matsu), and Henjimatsu's name is a pun on "Wait for an answer!" (返事待つ henji matsu). Minematsu is named after Takayoshi Minematsu, as he had been drawing the manga at this point.

In additional to these intentional examples, there are occasions in the early Weekly Shonen Sunday manga when Akatsuka and assistants would accidentally have seven brothers drawn and inked into a panel (comparable to instances of Disney's Donald Duck being drawn with four nephews in his comics). This sort of error also occurs a number of times in the 1966 anime adaptation by Children's Corner and Studio Zero, and even at times in the Studio Pierrot anime.

It is possible that such a mistake may have been part of the inspiration behind the Kamimatsu/"Godmatsu" character in Osomatsu-san, mentioned below.

In Osomatsu-san

  • Kamimatsu (7): A seventh brother, created from the cast-off goodness that fell off each time a Matsuno committed a bad act. Committing more bad acts only makes him stronger and able to power-up, becoming taller and more successful. He is ultimately killed by Akumatsu, but is re-used for the baseball team in episode 25 (upon where he is killed again by the aliens). Both Kamimatsu's basic and powered forms are shown among a crowd of reject sextuplets in episode 13 of season 2.
  • Akumatsu (8): An eighth "brother" in a sense, who emerged from the unconscious bodies of the sextuplets after they fell into despair from seeing Kamimatsu go on a date with Totoko. He wipes out Kamimatsu in one hit, and tells the sextuplets they may call on him when in need. However, this usage is retired after, and Akumatsu is only seen once more as a rejected sextuplet in the same crowd as the Kamimatsus.
  • Michaelmatsu/Mykomatsu: A temporary replacement for Todomatsu, taken in by the family when they decided to get rid of the youngest for allegedly not fitting the show's image. He is a large, muscular American baseball player who is super-strong and loud. In the end, he is called away to Florida due to a "message from God", and became sick of the Japanese food. He is later shown among the retired/banished characters in "Osomatsu-san in Hell", and helps fight demons to let the sextuplets escape.
  • Bootleg Matsus: Various unusual not-quite sextuplets seen in episode 13 on a "Matsuno Family Secondary Team" training field. Many do not resemble them at all beyond having dark hair and hoodies, although some appear to be fusions between some of the brothers and then there are some downright odd mutations (a tiny, egg-shaped sextuplet being one).
  • Sanematsu (7): The protagonist of "Sanematsu-san" gets his chance to be a septuplet when he is seemingly transported to their world, wearing a brown-and-white raglan hoodie (to go along with the others' raglan hoodies). However, the sextuplets realize that things aren't normal and that he doesn't belong there, and it's revealed to a be a fantasy of a fatally-injured Sanematsu, who experienced a car wreck. The sextuplets later meet up with Sanematsu in Hell, where he uses his car to plow down demons.
  • Perfectmatsu, "Permatsu" for short: A fusion of the sextuplets, created when they fused together in a fight for toilet paper on the island. He is a muscular yet deformed man with a large bowl-cut hairstyle, and clad only in a rainbow hoodie and underwear.

Even -san is not free of extra brothers created by animation errors, as two more Matsunos can be erroneously seen hanging out in the background in "Pachinko Police" when Todomatsu is being interrogated by Ichimatsu and Choromatsu.

Usage in the Star System

As characters from one of Akatsuka's prominent titles, the sextuplets have made guest appearances in other works. They are either used as a group playing themselves or similar roles, or only Osomatsu is used as himself or a cameo to represent the series. There are also occasions where only a few brothers may make an appearance, to save on having to draw all six.

They may either be depicted in a more harmless light, or as bullies and troublemakers as much as they are in their own series (and to the extent of being henchmen for enemy characters).

The basic "Matsuno" child design, itself an evolution of Akatsuka's generic boy protagonist design, can (rarely) be seen in a few other protagonist characters whose titles were serialized through the early-mid 1960s; Chota in Leave it to Chota, and $-chan in $-chan and Chibita. The design of Matsuyo can also be seen in those protagonists' mothers, due to her being based from Akatsuka's own mother Riyo.

Akko-chan's Got a Secret!

The Matsuno brothers are initially re-used in a sense for the young boy Poku, who shows up in the third chapter of the series. Poku has the facial features of the early sextuplets from the first two -kun chapters, and is a much younger, smaller trouble-making young boy who gives Akko a hard time when she has to babysit him.

Kankichi winds up serving as recurring younger counterpart for the characters, appearing in the following chapter and being played off as a more vulnerable and put-upon child in comparison to them as the series goes on. His mother is drawn to resemble a chubbier, curlier-haired Matsuyo-type design, and the initial appearance of his father has him as a slimmer Matsuzo with a snubbed nose and Chaplin-like mustache.

The sextuplets themselves appear in the summer 1963 "Kankichi and Ghosts", bullying the child after he steps on a sunbathing Osomatsu and refuses to apologize. After they steal his inner tube, they order him to come to a run-down house to retrieve it. Kankichi forfeits the idea out of fear, while Akko uses her mirror to transform into him to travel there in his place and give the sextuplets payback (using her mirror to create more pranks to scare them). The next day, the sextuplets apologize to Kankichi and are in awe at how brave he was to come, but Kankichi only looks confused.

They next cameo in "The Goddess of a Salesman", when Akko, Moko, and Kankichi stop at another house to see if Matsuyo is interested in the salesman's products. The group quickly depart when they see how many children she has.

Songo-kun

The sextuplets appear in a somewhat fourth wall-breaking cameo, where they are seen among numerous henchmen in a strange room that the Old Man of the Pants (Dekapan) wanders into during an encounter with the current enemy.

They appear in a more prominent role in the two-part 1992 remake, depicted as enemies for Songo and San-chan to fight.

Gyahaha, the Three Musketeers!

The brothers show up as a group of ninja thieves, who display the ability to create numerous shadow clones of themselves.

Extraordinary Ataro

An early story involves Ataro and Batsugoro meeting the sextuplets, who help them foil a bank robbery.

Though they are portrayed in a more heroic alignment in that instance, their cameos in the crossover stories "Extraordinary Castle" and "The Time of Ishimatsu Mori" depict them in the bit roles of henchmen.

The first anime adaptation also depicts them and their parents as passengers on a hijacked airplane, in one of its various anime-original stories. Although Midori Kato and Keiko Yamamoto reprised their respective sextuplet roles from the 1966 series, the others were recast.

The Monkey's Foolish Guardmen

At one point, the monkey and his guards stop outside the Matsuno home and see the kadomatsu decoration they have outside. Upon seeing Osomatsu, they guess "You must be Osomatsu (poor)", causing three other brothers to laugh and make fun of him.

The Genius Bakabon

Five of the sextuplets are briefly seen drawn in a parody of the Osomatsu-kun manga, titled "Usomatsu-kun".

Osomatsu himself later cameos during the Comic BomBom run, due to both revivals being drawn by Minematsu and running side-by-side in the magazine.

Let's La Gon

Only Osomatsu cameos early on in the title, as Gon's dead brother Osomatsu. He is depicted in a family photo as well as having his death recounted by Gon's father (who was responsible for locking him in a cage with a tiger).

Although he is not a sextuplet, he still winds up being the eldest of six brothers.

Seven Matsuno brothers(!) are later depicted as illustrations in a letter by Akatsuka in a chapter.

Unkor Wat

In this highly scatological Shonen Jump gag feature, the Unkor Wat versions of the Matsuno family are depicted in the "Kusomatsu-kun" story, as well as seen towards the end. The law in the city requires all its inhabitants to wear their feces upon their heads when going outside, and the sextuplets' mother orders them to defecate each morning to get ready.

In this setting, the boys are named Kusomatsu, Birimatsu, Funmatsu, Kusamatsu, Tarematsu, and Hirimatsu. Though identical, the six are shown to have different types of stool; Kusamatsu (Choromatsu) commenting that his own smells of grass, while Birimatsu (Ichimatsu) can only produce puddles of diarrhea unfit for wearing as a hat. This leads to him having to wear his dad's heavy, oversized piles of feces, and winding up dizzy and uncomfortable when walking about.

The boys bully a counterpart of Chibita known as Bichida (for his diarrhea habit), only to have their fecal hats destroyed by him and wind up in danger of punishment. They are assisted by the King Dekafun (Dekapan), who gives them golden feces to wear.

By the end of the story, Unkor Wat is destroyed by a volcanic explosion after warning signs of a foul gas (effectively diarrhea), wiping it and its inhabitants out.

Nyarome's Fun Classroom

The sextuplets appear in various gags throughout the series, with either all six of them present or just one or a few.

Biology

Bakabon's Papa opts to test out the theory of divergent evolution on the brothers by tying their hands together and having them fight to eat a cake. The four strongest sextuplets manage to finish it, leaving the remaining two to be subjected to a plate of croquettes and a plate of cabbage, the final food saved for the weakest sextuplet who could not get to the first plate or the croquettes. In the end, the four sextuplets that kept eating cakes served to them are left with rotting teeth, the sextuplet that ate cabbage is mutating into a rabbit, and the sextuplet that ate croquettes has become obese and with acne. Which sextuplet winds up with which fate is never quite specified through name-dropping or captions.

Another column shows how identical siblings can grow up differently due to outside influences, with Osomatsu, Karamatsu, and Todomatsu being the subjects in question. Osomatsu hanging around delinquents causes him to become a hitman, Karamatsu growing up in an average way results in him becoming a salaryman, and Todomatsu having an effeminate gay male friend results in him becoming a cross-dresser.

Sexual Education

In this installment, Nyarome educates the brothers on how to get release from sudden erections when Osomatsu comes to him in a panic about having woken up with one. Nyarome resolves this problem by getting Osomatsu to grind his crotch against a tree. Akko is later shown dropping by to visit the sextuplets, only to become horrified by witnessing Jyushimatsu and Todomatsu masturbating (though this is not directly shown to readers). Unagi-Inu states that out of the six, Todomatsu "masturbates the most".

Osomatsu is later shown attempting to use a crude, hand-made device to cool down his erections; wearing a giant cardboard box over his crotch with a pouch that squirts cold water on it whenever he feels horny. Akko gets to unfortunately witness this as well, and becomes disgusted.

The sextuplets' birth and the hardships Matsuyo and Matsuzo have had in raising them are detailed in a chapter about reproduction, where Matsuyo becomes angered at Matsuzo's suggestion that they should have aborted some of the embryos.

Big Blood Type Studies

Osomatsu and some of his brothers are lectured on how different blood types can affect one's personality. Later at home, the six realize that although they all share the A blood type, their personalities are different; Choromatsu is an energetic boy, while Jyushimatsu is modest.

The boys continue to appear through the book's chapters, although not usually name-dropped, leading readers to guess who may be who (it can be figured Osomatsu is usually the only one by default).

Hana-chan Sleeps

In this unreprinted adult series from the 80s, two of the Matsunos are shown as guests in the 7th chapter and depicted as young adult men in their 20s. They are never name-dropped throughout the story, leading to guesses and theories over who they might be (although they do identify themselves as being part of the sextuplets).

Unlike the -kun series, one brother notably refers to the other as an older one/"nii-san" moniker. In the plot, the brothers trade off for sex after meeting Hana at a bar, but one becomes nervous during the act and the other attempts to rush in to trade out. It is also revealed that Hana had also swapped herself out during the story, with her sister also doubling for her.

MR. Masashi

Osomatsu briefly cameos in a crowd in the first chapter, looking concerned as a news broadcast states that the National Assembly has decided that adulthood starts at the age of 10.

Portrayals

Voice Acting

The first sonosheet for the -kun series would have Osomatsu portrayed by the actress Minori Matsushima. The other five sextuplets were split among the actresses Keiko Yamamoto, Tomoko Sayama, and Tomono Mitamura, with no individual credits stated for each of them.

Matsushima carried over to the second album, but the rest of the sextuplets were recast and split among Makiko Ito, Hiromi Yamagishi, and Kazuko Yoshikawa. None of the actresses would be cast for the resulting anime series.

The 1966 show only had Osomatsu and Jyushimatsu played by singular actresses, Midori Kato and Mie Azuma respectively, while Keiko Yamamoto (Choromatsu, Karamatsu) and Haruko Kitahama (Todomatsu, Ichimatsu) voiced two boys each. There were occasions, however, where Fuyumi Shiraishi (Totoko) would double for Karamatsu, or where Yamamoto would voice the other two boys that were usually doubled. The guest actress Mari Kitagawa would also later be utilized on rare occasion.

Kato and Yamamoto would reprise their given sextuplets for Toei's Ataro series, although the other four would now be played by different actresses that had also already been utilized within it.

By 1988, a new -kun adaptation was produced by Pierrot, requiring a new cast of actresses. Osomatsu was portrayed by Yo Inoue, Karamatsu by Mari Mashiba, Choromatsu by Rica Matsumoto, Jyushimatsu by Naoko Matsui, and the roles of Todomatsu and Ichimatsu initially doubled by Megumi Hayashibara.

However, this came to be a complication as Hayashibara could not always voice two boys at once (and in the same voice), with Ichimatsu winding up doubled by one of the other non-Osomatsu actresses in early episodes as well; it was common to also hear Mashiba and Matsumoto as him. Episode 30 had Mari Yokoo (Matsuyo) cast as Ichimatsu and she would sporadically be used for him afterwards, but he would still be covered by one of the usual sextuplet actresses if she was unavailable and he was required to speak. There were also occasions where Karamatsu or Jyushimatsu would be covered by other sextuplet actresses besides their usual ones, and even an occasion or two where Choromatsu was voiced by Hayashibara (as Matsumoto was already busy as Ichimatsu in the scene).

Since Inoue's death in 2003, any Osomatsu-kun media has required a new actress for Osomatsu (Chihiro Kusaka in the 2005 and 2017 pachislot games, Yui Shoji in the 2012 pachinko). The other sextuplet actresses have either not returned (Yui Shoji covering for all brothers in the 2012 pachinko game), or some have returned while others were recast; the 2017 Daiichi pachislot had Hayashibara double for Choromatsu and Todomatsu, while Aya Endo (-san Totoko) voiced Ichimatsu.

With the different direction of -san, it can be said that it is the first time all six brothers would have consistent voice actors, along with them all being voiced by men and depicted as adults.

Live Action

Story Settings and Roles in Osomatsu-kun

Depending on the needs of a story, the boys may be depicted much differently in personality or overall setting down to the time period and world they inhabit. This also applies to some episodes of the anime adaptations.

Sometimes, the sextuplets may also be their usual selves but still wind up involved in playing certain roles for the events that unfold in a plot.

Edo Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): The Morning Game of Dekapan Castle, Iyami Sazen Will Kill You, The Chushingura of Edo Castle, The Seat of Shigetaro Iyami, Iyami Alone in the Wind, Dekapan's Criminal Affairs Journey

Appearing in (1988): episodes 35, 39, 84, Iyami Alone in the Wind (OVA)

The sextuplets living in the Edo era. They may either have their usual hair styles, or may instead have their hair cut into the signature chonmage style of the period (shaved scalp, topknots).

Usually when it comes to their appearances in the -kun manga, their hair and overall appearances will stay recognizable, but one of the two Extraordinary Ataro crossovers related to the time period does depict them with chonmage cuts. All boys with the exception of Todomatsu are also shown to wear the style in episode 84 of the 1988 show, due to the Mito Komon parody and the roles that they played.

Gangster Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga):The Killer Omega Joe

Appearing in (1988): episodes 46, 59

Sextuplets belonging to organized crime. They tend to dress in fancy mob suits and hats, and may even bear scarred faces (in the case of the manga). They are usually low-level mooks belonging to Iyami and/or Dekapan, and can get taken out easily.

Wild West Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): Osomatsu Western Oden Duel, When the Sun Sets in the Wild West, The Confrontation of Iyami vs. Dayōn in the Wild West, Sheriff Chibita Was a Brave Man, The Rookie Gunman

Appearing in (1988): episode 22

Another common alternate setting. These sextuplets are usually villains to Chibita, or even in their first appearance may be the protagonists but still wind up set in the bad role when it comes to Chibita triumphing over them. They tend to wear cowboy hats and clothes typical of a Western cowboy film.

Pirate Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): Parody Version of Treasure Island (only Osomatsu appears), Captain Mom

Appearing in (1988): episode 37

Sextuplets that operate on a pirate ship. In the manga, Osomatsu is the only one featured in the first story, and he and his father are set as an ordinary father and son that decide to travel to find treasure. The second story has all the boys featured, though Osomatsu and Choromatsu have the main roles in the plot.

Soldier Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): Attack! The Wild Cat Strategy, The Iyami Platoon Strikes

The sextuplets may either act in the roles of soldiers as convenience for a plot, such as in the first story, or they may be already set as soldiers in a war.

Ninja Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): The Garden Guard Sextuplets, Gyahaha, the Three Musketeers! (Osomatsu-kun x Q-taro the Ghost x Black Group crossover), Our Rooms are Cool (one sextuplet acts as one)

Appearing in (1988): episode 30, Bakabon: The 3000 Mile Quest for Osomatsu's Curry

The sextuplets will either take up the role of ninjas as a form of costume play in a plot, or will naturally be set as ninja mooks (as in the crossover tale and the OVA).

Scientist Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): Osomatsu-kun after 30 Years, 00183 Is the Number of Murder

Appearing in (1988): episode 75

Sextuplets working as scientists. In the first instance and the 1988 anime, they are portrayed as clear adults, while the second manga example has them still appearing as young boys.

Racing Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): Sanzan Iyami Strategy (unreprinted), We are Grand Prix Racers!

Appearing in (1988): episode 43

Sextuplets that take part in a race, usually losing or winding up in a dysfunctional situation all the same.

Adult Sextuplets

Appearing in (manga): Osomatsu-kun after 30 Years, Osomatsu-kun after 20 Years (unreprinted), Osomatsu-kun after 40 Years, Osomatsu-kun Grows Up (beer ad)

Appearing in (1988): episode 75. It can also be argued that some other episodes may portray the sextuplets as young adults (eg: them being boxing newscasters in episode 70, and as gangsters)

Sextuplets (pre-Osomatsu-san adaptation) that are significantly older than their usual 10-year old setting. They usually bear clear differences in their appearances by this time, with some being bald, having glasses, or other design motifs to set them apart. However, two unnamed and identical brothers do appear in a chapter of the manga Hana-chan Sleeps.

Derivative Roles of the Sextuplets in Osomatsu-san

As part of the more blatant skit-show treatment in -san, the sextuplets will often take up other roles besides their usual NEET selves. Though sometimes they may look more like themselves, art shifts or entire costume or bodily changes may take place as needed.

Although each may be described as a parallel world or situation to the skits of the usual sextuplets, they are to not be seen as literal alternate universes but that of the sextuplets acting out different types of skits and dressing up. However, this treatment is shaken up a bit when F6 are depicted as separate but "retired" characters in "Osomatsu-san in Hell".

F6

Appearing in: season 1 episode 1 (banned), 3.5, 10, 16, 18, season 2 episode 25

Six tall, modern anime-styled young men who are incredibly handsome and muscular. They are idealized versions of the sextuplets who are initially set as high schoolers, but later come to be used in more adult situations. The F6 versions all have color-coded hair to easily differentiate them.

Although the skits would seem to take place in a different "universe", the banned episode 1 shows them to be a fantasy and costume play acted out by the sextuplets and other characters while still in their -kun style. In episode 18, Choromatsu and Ichimatsu are shown to directly transform into F6 mode in an attempt to impress Totoko.

But as mentioned before, the six are later shown as separate entities when in Hell, and help the regular-styled Matsus escape.

Detectives ("The Calming Detective Osomatsu")

Appearing in: season 1 episode 8, episode 17 (Todomatsu and Ichimatsu)

In this setting, the sextuplets are unrelated and play the different parts of an investigation team although there sometimes can be differences; Ichimatsu is a suspicious figure believed to be a killer in the first instance, while a detective in the second.

Todomatsu's detective appearance is also re-used for him being an office boss in the "New Employee Totoko" skit in season 2.

Schoolmatsu

Appearing in: season 1 episode 20, season 2 episode 5 (Todomatsu)

The sextuplets play the parts of unrelated delinquent boys at a high school, but none can match up to the strength of the loud-voiced gang girl named Totoko.

Of these specific costumes and roles, only Todomatsu is shown re-used in "Osomatsu-san in the Summer".

Girlymatsu

Appearing in: season 1 episode 13, 15, 18, 19 (as old women), season 2 episode 5 (Jyushiko), season 2 episode 7 (all, as old women), season 2 episode 8 (all except Jyushiko, due to Jyushimatsu already playing himself), season 2 episode 10 (Jyushiko and Ichiko),

Introduced in cour 2 of season 1, in a short series of skits written by Michiko Yokote. The stories revolve around a group of 20something working women who are friends, but dysfunctional and petty towards each other.  They are played by the Matsunos, but have vastly different appearances to each represent a different type of woman in Japanese society.

  • Osomatsu plays Osoko, a no-nonsense office lady who acts as a "big sister".
  • Karamatsu is Karako, a personal trainer and sporty woman who has the terrible hygiene and rowdy behavior of a man.
  • Choromatsu is Choroko, a BL-obsessed fujoshi (rotten woman) who even fantasizes of pairing together random men she sees.
  • Ichimatsu is Ichiko, a spiritual-minded and health-conscious woman who nonetheless seems to neglect her own dental health.
  • Jyushimatsu is Jyushiko, a loud and obnoxious ganguro type of woman who plays up her childishness.
  • Todomatsu is Todoko, a cute but conniving woman who makes men do everything for her on outings.

It would appear that early plans for the Dramatsu drama CD series had the group scheduled to appear in the final CD in a "Snack Bar: Girlymatsu Returns!" theme. This was scrapped to instead have the seiyuu portray the usual Matsunos in a "Job a la Carte" scenario.

In season 2, with their own series having been previously completed, the Joshimatsu roles are instead integrated into other types of skit settings whenever there is need to depict a Matsuno playing a specific type of woman (while other Matsunos may have other previously-seen roles):

  • Jyushiko is shown as the girlfriend of the "Schoolmatsu" Todomatsu in an "Osomatsu-san in the Summer" skit
  • Jyushiko and Ichiko are office ladies in "New Employee Totoko"
  • All except Jyushiko also appear as the "Dolphin Sisters" in "Jyushimatsu and the Dolphin". It is not known if they are set as actual sisters in the skit, or are simply friends as the usual Girlymatsus were.
  • The elderly versions of all six appear briefly to witness the Cavematsus' skeletons at the end of the "Cavematsu" skit series.

After these instances, other lady variations of the Matsunos get used in other skits, with "Ryokan" featuring Todomatsu as a Todomi, Osomatsu as a young girl named Osoma, and Choromatsu as an old woman Choroe. "BANANA" also notably features girls named Osomi, Jyushimi, Tottimi, and so on.

Office Workers

Appearing in: season 1 episode 15

Osomatsu and Choromatsu work as salarymen at a company for their boss Karamatsu and his secretary Todomatsu (who portrays a woman, in a blonde wig and blue contacts). They are all pointedly unrelated, and Jyushimatsu and Ichimatsu star as "themselves" in the skit.

A boss and co-worker slightly resembling the Karamatsu and Todomatsu yet bearing clear differences in their designs later appear in the "Ryokan" skit in season 2, and are named Karahiko and Todomi.

Cavematsu

Appearing in: season 2 episode 3, 4, and 7

A group of primitive men who are just as horny and stupid as our usual sextuplets, but wind up getting into unlucky situations or dying. Ultimately, their skit series closes with their skeletons being discovered inside another fossil of a mammoth, due to a situation where they all had launched themselves into the mammoth and got stuck inside her.

They communicate only in grunts, and the skits start out with them chanting in such a way.

"A Year and a Half Later"

Appearing in: season 2 episode 1

In the first part of this episode, a meta-skit unfolds showing that the fame and wealth that the sextuplets experienced from being popular anime characters only corrupted them further. The states of their bodies and behaviors have become far more grotesque and exaggerated than the cute idol-like images displayed outside their home

These versions of the sextuplets are defeated by an angry Japanese PTA mob, who have become disgusted at them becoming famous and ruining modern anime. The next part of the episode revolves around the following skit set-up, as the Showa-styled -kun sextuplets try to form a "proper future".

The official name for these variations comes from the Tabimatsu game; some fans may instead refer to them as "Famousmatsu" or "Impropermatsu" (as a reverse on the "Proper" versions).

Propermatsus

Appearing in: season 2 episode 1, season 2 episode 14 (all six in the style of Proper Osomatsu)

After trying to be good kids and live properly, the sextuplets appear in these forms as they attempt to retool their anime as something better. However, they all wind up becoming vastly different forms of media, but all have the ability to pilot a massive mecha. After this skit ends and the sextuplets declare it a "success", they're beaten up by an angry mob for having become too full of themselves and disregarding their true nature.

All six brothers later appear in a more unified style in the fake "next on" trailer for a Sanematsu episode, where they are depicted as doctors taking care of the mortally-injured Sanematsu.

Despite these motifs not showing up again after, their Proper mecha is used again twice more in the series for gags (with F6 using it in the final time).

Ryokan

In this skit, Karamatsu and Todomatsu are Karahiko and Todomi, a secret couple going off on an "adultery trip" to the mountains. It is left ambiguous if this is because they are simply a boss and co-worker, or because one of them is cheating on their spouse. It is nonetheless stated that they aren't married, and don't have kids yet.

At the ryokan, they meet a small girl named Osoma, and her elderly mother Choroe. While Osoma claims that Choroe murdered her years ago and wants them to dig her bones out of the wall, Choroe simply claims the child is a bothersome zashiki-warashi. Whether a yokai or simply an ordinary ghost, Osoma only seems to appear to the couple and Choroe, and is shown to be invisible in certain scenes including the ending.

BANANA

Todomatsu stars as a woman named Tottimi, in a significantly different design to previous woman roles. When Tottimi decides to sign up for the BANANA recruiting service, she winds up at a strange cabaret club (a themed hostess bar) where her boss Ichimatsu wants her to do various strange and humiliating things. But she wants to get something else out of the service.

Ichimatsu is the only Matsuno to play a version of himself in the skit, being left as the manager for the club throughout the entire sequence.

The other four Matsuno brothers are seen playing different types of girls throughout Tokyo, who become recruited into the BANANA service. Only the names of Osomi and Jyushimi can be confirmed, and Jyushimi appears to be a re-use of Jyushiko's initial lighter-skinned design when she is shown as an idol. Otherwise, the other girls' designs are entirely different from any previous "Girlymatsu" looks or other roles as women.

Iyami, Chibita, Hatabo, Dekapan, and Dayon also play women that join in as backup dancers, though the older characters still bear their mustaches as part of their look.

Foreign Names

Note: The order of names given in these dubs is based from the original "Osomatsu, Ichimatsu, Karamatsu, Choromatsu, Todomatsu, Jyushimatsu" setting, as it is Matsuyo's role-call in the 1988 show.

Thus, "Jisong" in the case of the Cantonese dub would be referring to Ichimatsu and not Karamatsu.

Language Name Origin
Cantonese (Hong Kong) Dasong, Jisong, Sansong, Sisong, Wusong, Liusong "Big Pine", "Second Pine", "Third Pine", "Fourth Pine", "Fifth Pine", "Sixth Pine".
Mandarin (Taiwan) Xiaosong, others' names unknown "Small Pine".
Korean Gidung, Sundung, Cheondung, Heodung, Makdung, Bindung "Pillar", "Gentle", "Thunder", "Hurdle", "Page", "Hollow".

Gallery

The Sextuplets/Gallery

Naming Schemes

Each brother's name ends in the (matsu) kanji, meaning "pine". Of the existing six brothers, two each have their names inspired by the same type of theme; likely playing into why Akatsuka often used them in couplets.

  • Osomatsu and Choromatsu had their names seem to derive from their speed and competency, Osomatsu's name representing "poor" while Choromatsu representing a quick child from the slang name "Choromatsu".
  • Ichimatsu and Jyushimatsu's names are represented with kanji for numbers (for 1 and 14 respectively), as Akatsuka realized that many actual names derived from numbers (such as male names Ichiro, Saburo, and those in a similar fashion).
  • Karamatsu and Todomatsu were named after trees, allegedly so kids would recognize the names in class. Karamatsu is the larch tree, while Todomatsu is the abies fir.

In alternate settings where the brothers are living in the USA, such as Wild West-themed stories, the notation of their names is entirely in katakana to represent the names not being of Japanese origin. Each name thus ends in マツ (matsu), or マーツ with a chōonpu through it.

In merchandise more catered towards younger children, the brothers' names are entirely represented in hiragana to make them easier to read, so the "matsu" ending is put as まつ.

Their early surname Yamano is a common one meaning "wilderness", while Matsuno means "pine tree field". According to the backstory as decided by Akatsuka and Fujio Pro, their father named all six with a pine/matsu theme due to his lack of creativity about names.

Trivia

  • To save on having to draw all of the brothers, Akatsuka attempted to employ a "copy and paste" method of having him and his staff drawing and clipping out facial expressions for them, which he would photocopy and paste onto their bodies on the manuscript paper. But as even this method became too time-consuming and troubling, it was discontinued with after a while. However, it was brought back for a time in the 80s run of the manga, with entire poses of the boys even being copy-pasted to save on drawing them.
  • Though often set as 10-year olds, there are occasions where the early period of the manga will have the boys instead described as 12[2] (which would place them instead in their first year of junior high in 7th). This can be figured to be another early anomaly like the Yamano surname.
  • In an amusing coincidence pointed out by fans, the aforementioned 2010 Fujio Pro window painting of the sextuplets in Ome depicts the sextuplets wearing colors identical to what would wind up being chosen for their adult selves in -san.
  • In the manga and anime series, the sextuplets are shown wearing mae gum shoes (前ゴムシューズ), "rubber instep shoes",a particularly popular (at the time) and notably cheap kind of children's shoes.

References

  1. Osomatsu-kun volume 1, chapter 8 (みぎや ひだりの だんなさま), eBookJapan.
  2. Osomatsu-kun volume 5, chapter 2 "The Sextuplets are Date Pinch-Hitters" (六つ子は みあいのピンチヒッター), eBookJapan.