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| Totoko Yowai |
Totoko as she appears in the 2015 anime.
Black (1966 Anime & Manga)
Totoko Yowai (弱井 トト子 Yowai Totoko, alternatively spelled as トトコ in the 1988 show), created by Fujio Akatsuka, is a recurring character in the series Osomatsu-kun.
Her name derives from the word for "weak", yowai (弱井) as well as a childish word for fish, "toto" (トト).
An older counterpart of Totoko also exists as part of the cast in the 2015-2016 spinoff anime Osomatsu-san.
Totoko is a young girl living in the same neighborhood as the sextuplets, and is usually set as the daughter of the local fishmonger. Yet with the intentional lack of continuity between manga stories, the above setting is not always in play and she may sometimes be the daughter of another character.
Sometimes her age and very personality may vary through different stories and media as well. For instance, in the final story of the Shonen Sunday run of the manga, she is shown to be an adult secretary of Dekapan.
Her first appearance in the Osomatsu-kun series happened more than two weeks after the debut of Akatsuka's newer series Akko-chan's Got a Secret! in Ribon, along with its identical protagonist that Akatsuka re-used the design of for her. According to Akatsuka, this is because when he drew a gentle face for the character, the rest of Akko's design wound up naturally being recycled.
Personality & Characteristics
AppearanceTotoko is slender and somewhat taller than the sextuplets, as is the case of various Akatsuka heroines' proportions. She wears her hair tied back into a pair of pigtails, and her hair at the top of her head rests in a large swell (depicted alternatively as a bouffant or bun, or actually as part of her skull in a 1988 episode) with a headband worn over it. The color of her headband and ribbons vary depending on the artwork, but it is common to see the headband depicted as red or pink and the ribbons as yellow. The color of her hair is usually black in the manga, but can be depicted a deep brown like in the 1988 series and in -san.
In the -kun manga and the 1966 anime, she can be seen in a variety of dresses and jumper skirts. The 1988 series often has her wearing a deep reddish-pink jumper skirt over a lighter pink blouse.
In the original manga, Totoko is a kind-hearted, serious and friendly sort of girl, but with very little patience for being let down or having to deal with the sextuplets' trouble. When angered, she shows her tomboyish side and gets violent, showcasing her "body blow". Her more violent temper gradually subsided to where she was more often depicted as an ordinary girl above the sextuplets, though still capable of getting frustrated and jealous.
By the third run in the 1980s, Totoko is depicted as a heroine but also capable of joining in on the sextuplets' bullying of Iyami, and committing other chaotic acts, such as scamming men and attempting to skip out on a restaurant bill under the false name of "Secret of Akko-chan". Her language also becomes rougher.
She is noted to be terrible at cooking, though she is said to be good at school work.
However, the 1988 anime presents somewhat of a departure in her characterization: Although depicted milder in the earlier episodes, the series more often wound up depicting her as a vain, greedier, selfish girl fixated on money and glory. As a result, this often put her in a more comic relief type of role. This was supposedly in part due to the casting of Naoko Matsui in the role and the producers wishing to tailor Totoko as a wilder, unpredictable character type.
While seen as a grade-schooler or to be assumed as such in most stories in that version, she is at times also depicted owning her own businesses or appearing to be aged up somewhat in professions such as a nurse, stewardess, or hostess. She lives to be complimented, and in one instance plays along with Iyami's feelings for her so she can get the money from his winning lottery ticket. She takes being ignored by the sextuplets even worse than she does in previous incarnations, becoming vengeful and finding her position as a "#1 idol" threatened. She's also depicted as going as far as to attempt to murder the sextuplets if she feels wronged and spurned by them.
Although this becomes the main type of setting for that version of Totoko, there are occasional episodes that depict her as more true to the manga and a more innocent character type, such as in "Chibita the Safe-Cracker" and "A White Christmas among Skyscrapers", the latter depicting her as a singer who must regain her confidence.
To go with the trends of the 1980s in Japan, she is at one point shown as a fan of the boy band Hikaru Genji. She also incorporates "Nori-P language" (used by the idol Noriko Sakai) into her dialogue.
Although Totoko retains her hairstyle, she now wears a long-sleeve magenta turtleneck top and a plaid mini-skirt, along with pink high heels. However, she can also wear other fashion on occasions.
Totoko is still the love interest of the brothers, and like her 1988 counterpart she is still selfish and wants attention from others.
Starting in Episode 4B: This is Totoko, she becomes a fish idol for her parents' fish shop. This would become a significant part of Totoko's character, as some appearances have her as an idol. In Episode 4B, she not only calls the brothers (besides Choromatsu, who is her manager in the episode), but the townspeople and the press so that she can tell them that since she is becoming an idol, she needs people to buy her unsold tickets for her concert.
In Episode 8B: Totoko's Dream, it is revealed that she only wanted to become an idol just so she can become popular, brag to others about her popularity, and have fanboys, which shows her selfish personality. Part of her personality may have been due to the fact, that she was brought up spoiled.
However, in "Totoko's Big Panic", she attempts to go through some character development, learning that things won't always be handed out to her anymore, just because she's cute, and now that she's older. However, that is derailed once she gets bored of being in Singapore and returns home, initially appearing concerned for Osomatsu before reverting to her usual ways in "Osomatsu-san, Such as it Was".
In the season 2 skit "Totoko's Challenge", she participated in an eating contest because as she said in her own words, "I'm not so shallow, that I get lost in my own beauty.", while trying to correct herself on thinking of the other women as "ugly commoners" but "powerful opponents".
Totoko is idolized by the sextuplets, who all compete against each other for her affection and attention. This leads to them being sabotaged by Osomatsu in one early manga story, who "wins" but is then punched out by Totoko. The sextuplets like to do what they can to please her, but often wind up frustrating her anyway by some means.
In the plot of "Iyami after 40 Years" in the 1988 show, she is depicted as conning herself into a marriage with the businessman Dayon out of her desperation to be married at age 50. But she confesses to Osomatsu that she wished she could have married him instead, before being unable to remember which sextuplet he was in her youth and what he'd bring her when sick. Osomatsu is shown to mutter "It was good to have never married Totoko" to himself afterwards, though he seems sympathetic to her plight.
In the -san adaptation, the sextuplets still carry their crush for Totoko. Even though Totoko doesn't see them in a romantic sense and outright refuses any of their desperate advances, she does get jealous when they spend their time doting on a visiting girl named Kinko Inuyama instead of her in Episode 41.
She gets along well with Chibita in some stories, showing kindness to him where the sextuplets wouldn't, and Chibita in turn has feelings for her. But sometimes she too is a victim of Chibita, such as when he rigs her prize bike so she'd crash and break her leg all over again.
Her family members appear in the earlier chapters of the manga, including her mother, father, and elder brother (who is never shown in the -san incarnation). Her strength and body blow ability are said to have been inherited from her brother, who is 10 years her senior and goes by the boxing alias "Fighting Yowai". One story revolves around her getting the sextuplets to convince her brotherto return home, as he aims to set out on his own (but in actuality wish to freeload off of the Matsunos) instead of staying home to eventually inherit the fish store. Totoko's mother is proud of her daughter's cute side, but will faint and become upset when she sees her daughter being violent.
Though her grandfather's first appearance showed him with a different design and to be an ordinary old man, a later grandfather character was depicted as a former soldier still bearing a very nationalistic and combat-oriented mindset. He uses this to aid the brothers in rounding up Chibita's cats and trapping them.
Totoko's brother and mother vanished from the manga as the format changed, and it is usually only a father that is seen as family in stories such as "Chibita the Safe-Cracker". She is shown to have the character of Moko as a friend at a brief point in the early manga, likely as that shout-out to Akatsuka's Akko-chan series, but is otherwise not shown with a consistent circle of friends outside the existing main cast.
The second animated adaptation has no consistent family setting for Totoko, at times defaulting to having her be the daughter of Dekapan or Dayon in certain scenarios, while episode 19 and the Watermelon Planet movie have her as the only child of a rich couple that live in a mansion in the neighborhood.
The adaptation of "Chibita the Safe-Cracker" has a fishmonger father appear, as in the manga, although the fish shop is renamed to be "Totoko's Fish" (this theme continues for when she's depicted as owning her own businesses).
She is seen to have a rivalry with the popular idol in -san, where they can barely tolerate each other at all and get into fights as seen in Episode 33: Jyushimatsu and Dolphin.
"Osomatsu-kun Grows Up"
25 years after the events of -kun, a possible future scenario is given for Totoko in this Big Comic advertisement for Sapporo Black beer.
She has married an unidentified man, whose back is turned to the audience, though it is pointedly revealed that he is not one of the sextuplets or Chibita. Osomatsu-kun has now become a cartoon show, which Totoko's young son enjoys. Totoko reminisces on how she had relationships with each sextuplet before meeting her ideal husband:
- She noticed that Choromatsu's eyes would quickly dart back and forth (chorochoro) to other girls, which resulted in their split.
- Next, she tried dating Karamatsu, but found him too "empty-headed" (karappo).
- She only felt anxiety when dating Ichimatsu, which lead her to break up with him next.
- Jyushimatsu left her feeling on the fence, but this relationship also did not go too much further.
- With Osomatsu, she found his own sexual performance to be "poor" and found it humiliating.
- In the end (todo no tsumari), she finally dated Todomatsu without a hitch, but then notes that they broke up just as fast.
After the last breakup, she began dating another guy she had known in the neighborhood since her youth, and they successfully married and had their son. Totoko mentions that she plans to get pregnant with a second child soon, though she is enjoying the Sapporo Black beer in the meantime.
Totoko's son is shown to have similar eyes and a haircut to the sextuplets', but this can be chalked up to him being a fan of them as well as there being characters with similar yet different features (and not necessarily any implications of infidelity).
Note: Full names in other Southeast Asian dubs are listed in the Eastern standard order.
Totoko appears with these names in dubbing and translations of the franchise outside of Japan.
|Cantonese (Hong Kong)||Miaozi (妙子)||"Wonderful Child".|
|Mandarin (Taiwan)||Duoduozi (多多子)||"Many Child".|
|Castilian Spanish||Tetoko Metoko||Derived from two phrases meaning "I touch you" and "I touch myself".|
|Korean||Yeon Kkot-ji (연꽃지)||"Lotus Flower".|
The renaming in South Korea only applies to the Osomatsu-kun dub aired in 2012, and not the dub of -san where her name is retained.
Totoko was portrayed by Junko Hori in the second sonosheet album, but she did not carry over to the anime adaptation. Instead, she was usually voiced by Fuyumi Shiraishi, with Kazuko Sawada understudying in episodes 4 and 27 through 31. Hori would however be one of the three actresses that voiced her throughout the run of Toei's Ataro adaptation in 1969.
Naoko Matsui would consistently voice Totoko through the 1988 series, and would reprise her for all media related to it such as specials and games.
In -san, she was recast anew with Aya Endo performing the role.
Episode 5B: ESP Kitty (mentioned)
Episode 8A: The Calming Osomatsu (non-speaking role)
- Due to the variations in settings with Totoko and the 1988 anime barely reflecting her family, the "Yowai" surname was not seen referenced in either of the earlier adaptations. Her surname was re-introduced in -san. It is first shown on her idol billboard in Episode 8B, reading "7th Yowai Totoko Solo Live".
- At the time of Totoko's creation, Akatsuka's assistant in -kun was his wife Tomoko. As her name was reflected in the characters of Moko in Akko-chan and Tomoko in O-chan's Eleven Friends which ran in the same interval, Totoko's name may have also been inspired by her but altered to fit the fishmonger's daughter setting. The other two characters also happen to be rough tomboy types.
- Though Totoko and Akko are indeed the same character design template, to the point where they infamously never really appear in the same series together (save for a gag in Reading the Great Master), Akatsuka had angrily refuted the idea of them being the same entity in commentary to the -kun manga in 1989. However, it is also said that he made remarks to the effect of "Totoko equals Akko" in his life (perhaps in relation to how she was designed). The Koredeiinoda FAQ similarly treats them as separate characters that just happen to look identical, and an illustration by Katta Yoshi depicts Totoko and Akko shocked to see each others' similar faces.
- As part of The Akatsuka Star System, Totoko was also shown as an occasional love interest for Ataro in the 1969 anime adaptation of Extraordinary Ataro. But as the 1990 adaptation of Ataro wound up handled by Toei once more, while Studio Pierrot had still rights to the Osomatsu characters, an identical but different character named Momoko was created. The Fujio Pro revival manga that ran alongside the anime also included Momoko, though her personality was written to be more identical to Totoko than that of the anime (where Momoko was gentler).
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 1, chapter 10 "We'll Do Anything in 6 Rounds" (なんでもやるよ６回戦), eBookJapan.
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 4, chapter 12 "I Won't Lose to the Sextuplets!" (六つ子なんかにまけないぞ), eBookJapan.
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 3, chapter 7 "It's a Problem Whether You're a Child or an Adult" (おとなか 子どもか それが問題だ), eBookJapan.
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 3, chapter 1 (トンカチビタレント), eBookJapan.
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 2, chapter 7 "Let's Face Off Against the Weak and Old" (相手はヨボヨボだるんでいこう), eBookJapan.
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 9, chapter 1 "Attack! The Wild Cat Strategy" (とつげきーっ！ノラネコ作戦), eBookJapan.
- ↑ Osomatsu-kun volume 4, chapter 1 "It's All Fine Until You Take Off His Hat" (帽子をとったらはいそれまでよ), eBookJapan.