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Hamtaro (とっとこハム太郎, Tottoko Hamutarō, lit. "Trotting Hamtaro") is a Japanese anime series. The main character is a hamster named Hamtaro who has a variety of adventures with other hamsters, called "Ham-Hams" ("Ham-chans" in the Japanese version). The show is based on a manga series by Ritsuko Kawai, Hamtaro Gets Lost and Other Stories, and Jealous Hamtaro and Other Stories. VIZ Media published the storybooks in English.
The anime, Hamtaro, is based on the manga series. Hamtaro ("Hamutaro") is owned by a 10-year-old girl named Laura Haruna (Hiroko Haruna or "Roko-chan" in Japanese version). Hamtaro leads an exciting life for a small hamster. Curious by nature, he ventures out each day to make friends and go on adventures with a clan of fellow hamster friends known as The Ham-Hams. These Ham-Hams meet at a special clubhouse built by Boss ("Taisho"). Hamtaro is licensed by VIZ in North America. People magazine named this show, "Hottest new thing in Hollywood!" due to its rise in popularity among small children and older ones alike. In Japan, Hamtaro ran for six seasons, had four movies, several specials/OVAs, saw many video game and DVD releases as well as merchandise. However, in the United States, there were only two seasons, no movies, few special episodes, only three video games (though two others were released in Europe), and limited merchandise. Hamtaro was cancelled in the United States. On February 23, 2011, it was announced that Hamtaro would be receiving a new series titled Tottoko Hamutaro Dechu. However, when it was aired April 2, 2011, 9 a.m., it was found to be the original show with a new intro and borders. It is currently unknown if the series will be reintroduced in the U.S.