Sumo hero manga by genius comic artist Tetsuya Chiba animated!
Abarenbo Rikishi!! Matsutaro
Grandstand debut in the early-morning slot on TV Asahi on April 6, 2014!
To be broadcast from 6:30 am to 7:00 am every Sunday morning


■ 16 years after the manga series ended … Tetsuya Chiba's unprecedented sumo manga will be animated!

Tetsuya Chiba is the creator of Ashita no Joe and a number of other classic manga series, and is a gifted manga artist who represents the Showa era. One of his masterpieces, Notari Matsutaro, the sumo hero manga, which won the Shogakukan Manga Prize in the Seinen/General category in 1977, will be animated on TV 16 years after the series finished. It is a particularly long feature manga that was serialized in Big Comic (Shogakukan) from August 1973 to June 1993 and again from October 1995 to May 1998. The story follows Matsutaro Sakaguchi, who is a giant roughneck but an innocent man with strength far beyond that of ordinary people. He enters the sumo world where he builds a life, and he matures into a full-fledged sumo wrestler.


It seems like a regular sports hero story, but it is simply distinct in that the main character never utters words such as "work hard," "strive," and "dream" like a typical boys' comic protagonist. He enters the sumo world to be with a woman he likes. He doesn’t quit sumo because he has made friends. He is stronger than anyone else, and is peerless in sumo wrestling. Whatever happens to him, he is surprisingly quick to recover. As you can guess, his greatest weakness is his own carefree personality. As a result, wherever he goes, he encounters problems all too often.


An impossible sports hero who faces the arduous sumo world that lies before him with a kickback attitude. The controversial sports anime series Abarenbo Rikishi!! Matsutaro will bring Matsutaro back to life with the animation adaption to be aired this spring season. It will surely engage not only sumo fans and the generations who read the original manga in real time, but also the next generation of young viewers!









■ Matsutaro will rampage on TV from early Sunday morning with the voice of…. an unbelievably famous star!

Abarenbo Rikishi!! Matsutaro is controversial not only because of its protagonist, Matsutaro, and its story and plot. The voice of Matsutaro will be provided by such a super big shot that no one in Japan will be able to believe it when they hear his name! Who on earth is he? Don't miss the latest information, to be revealed soon.


[Main characters]

・ Matsutaro Sakaguchi ……… [Voice] (* To be announced soon!)

He is a man with physical gifts and strength far beyond those of ordinary people. He comes from a country town in Nagasaki Prefecture to Tokyo and enters a sumo stable called Raijin. Although he enters the sumo world, he is such a troublemaker that he always finds himself in strife. As he never shows interest in matches with a little prize money, he is sometimes referred to as a "feckless genius."


・ Reiko Minami ……… [Voice] (* To be announced soon!)

A teacher at the junior high school that Matsutaro used to attend. She is 5 years older than Matsutaro. She marries Matsutaro later in the series.


[Production Team]

Original manga      Tetsuya Chiba's Notari Matsutaro (published by Shogakukan)

Script                      Akatsuki Yamatoya

Producers               Kazuhiko Akatsu, Tomohiro Tsuji (TV Asahi)
                                 Gyarmath Bogdan (Toei Animation)

Production             Yukio Kaizawa

Production             TV Asahi

                Toei Animation


Official website:

©Tetsuya Chiba/TV Asahi, Toei Animation