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For other uses, see Tamagotchi (disambiguation)
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Tamagotchi (たまごっち) is a handheld digital virtual pet that was first released in Japan on November 23rd, 1996. Co-created by Akihiro Yokoi and Aki Maita and owned by Japanese toy company Bandai since inception, it is a small and simple egg-shaped computer that tasks the user to take custody of one of the titular creatures, with its growth dependent on care quality. It has three buttons (A, B, and C) which allow the user to select and perform an activity, including:
  • Feeding the Tamagotchi by means of a meal or a snack.
  • Playing a game with the Tamagotchi.
  • Cleaning up a Tamagotchi's fecal matter.
  • Checking its age, discipline, hunger and happiness levels.

Tamagotchi's concept of a portable pet was influenced by Yokoi watching a commercial of a young boy wanting to take his pet turtle with him in public. Overnight, Tamagotchi became a rapid success, with numerous virtual pet follow-ups and a United States release on May 18th, 1997, with several other international releases following, a fate Bandai wasn't initially expecting. Tamagotchi would go on to influence numerous imitators, a successful franchise, and several adaptations to other mediums. The virtual pets have sold over 70 million copies as of 2016 and the franchise has generated $6.2 billion, making it the 85th most lucrative media franchise. The most recent main release is the Tamagotchi On, released in Japan on November 23rd, 2018 and in the United States on July 28th, 2019.

Tamagotchi is also notable for being the root franchise for Digimon, which was initially a spin-off designed to increase Tamagotchi's appeal to boys.

Name Origin

The name "Tamagotchi" officially comes from the Japanese word "tamago" meaning "egg", and the English word "watch".

A common but incorrect theory is that the name uses "tomodachi", meaning "friend", and combined with "tamago" means "egg friend".

Releases

Here is a list of Tamagotchi virtual pet releases. Releases in bold and italics are not Japan-exclusive:

Vintage Era (1996-1998):

Connection Era (2004-2015):

Color Era (2008-present):

Mini Releases:

Crossover Releases:

  • 1997: Mothra Tamagotchi (Themed after Mothra, a character from Toho's Godzilla franchise.)
  • 1998: Doraemontchi (Themed after Fujiko Fujio's iconic manga series Doraemon.)
  • 2005/2006: Hanerutchi 1 & 2 (Themed after Haneru no Tobira, a comedy-variety show from Fuji TV.)
  • 2007: Oden-Kun Tamagotchi (Themed after Oden-Kun, an anime from TV Asahi.)

Characters

Main Article: List of Tamagotchi Characters

When Tamagotchi debuted, there were only 11 characters, with Oyajitchi and Bill as special characters inside and outside Japan, respectively. As of Tamagotchi On, there are over 1000 different Tamagotchi characters. Some of the most notable and prominent characters include:

Males:

  • Mametchi: Usually obtained from the best possible care, Mametchi is fiercely intelligent with an IQ of 250 measured among fellow Tamagotchis, and is also very courteous and polite with a pastime for inventing. Initially one of the 11 original Tamagotchis, Mametchi gradually become the franchise's main mascot following Tamagotchi Connection, and by extension one of Bandai's unofficial mascots. Mametchi is often front-and-center in marketing, has a statue in front of Bandai HQ (which even gets a dedicated raincoat in the event of rain) and even made a guest appearance alongside Super Mario and Pac-Man characters in the arcade game Mario Kart Arcade GP 2.
  • Kuchipatchi: Kuchipatchi's traits include his enormous appetite and fondness for all things edible, his carefree and lazy nature, and, in the anime, his verbal tic of ending his sentences with "da-tchi". The amount of care necessary for Kuchipatchi varies from device to device, but it rounds to average, including below average and above average. Also one of the 11 original Tamagotchis, Kuchipatchi gradually became a mascot for the franchise following Tamagotchi Connection, appearing alongside Mametchi and Memetchi in various marketing stints.
  • Kuromametchi: An occasional rival to Mametchi, Kuromametchi is known for his lone wolf appearance and attitude, his technique in sports, particularly soccer and skateboarding, and his selflessness to elderly Tamagotchis such as Otokitchi. He debuted in Tamagotchi School in Japan and Tamagotchi Connection V5 overseas, and has been a recurring character since. In the virtual pets, his necessary care ratio is on par with or slightly lower than Mametchi's.
  • Gozarutchi: He wants to be a ninja. He often throws shuriken (darts or ninja stars) for practice. He likes to sleep.
  • Androtchi: A robot with human-like feelings.
  • Gotchi King: The king of Tamagotchi Town. He looks like an egg. Some people say that if he laughs, he will crack into a million pieces.

Females:

  • Lovelitchi: She is an sweet, sensitive girl who cherishes her family and loves meeting new people. She can become shy and nervous about herself at times since she has so many fans.
  • Memetchi: She is very kind. She has a curly hair on top of her head.
  • Makiko: Memetchi's rival. They are very competitive.
  • Mimitchi: A smart Tamagotchi. Kind, but bares her teeth when angry.
  • Ichigotchi: A Tamagotchi who resembles a strawberry. She doesn't like it when people count the seeds on her head.
  • Chamametchi: Mametchi's little sister. She always wants to help her big brother.
  • Violetchi: The friendliest of Tamagotchis. She loves flowers and her hobby is gardening.
  • Maidtchi: She likes to make everything nice and tidy.
  • Masktchi: A shy Tamagotchi who hides her face behind a mask. She seems to be a female counterpart of Gozarutchi.

Video Games and Mobile Applications

To date, 25 console video games for Tamagotchi have been released, as well as several mobile applications.

Video Games

Worldwide

Japan-Exclusive

Mobile Applications

Filmed Content

Films

  • Tamagotchi Honto no Hanashi (1997): Produced by Toei Animation and directed by Hashimoto Mitsuo, the film follows Professor Banzo and Mikachu on their research of the Tamagotchi kind.
  • Tamagotchi Video Adventures (1997): In this direct-to-video release, Cosmotchi sends the Tamagotchis to Earth to bring back a suitable artifact for the Galaxy Wing in the Tamagotchi Museum. Unlike other Tamagotchi films, Video Adventures was produced in the United States instead of Japan and was intended to be a pilot for a shelved Tamagotchi cartoon.
  • Tamagotchi: The Movie (2007): The first Tamagotchi adaptation directed by Joji Shimura and animated by OLM, Inc.. Mametchi transports a human girl named Tanpopo to Tamagotchi Planet when he intended to transport a sun to help him conquer his then-fear of the dark. Both Mametchi and Tanpopo learn about the difficult but rewarding responsibilities of being an older sibling after Chamametchi was born. An English dub was released in 2009 as a Straight-to-DVD bonus with Tamagotchi Music Star.
  • Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe! (2008): The sequel to Tamagotchi: The Movie. Mametchi & co come across a Magical Flying Library Ship, which grants access to magical books, and Kikitchi, a young boy from Celebria who was stubborn due to being an outcast from his ability to hear things from afar and due to his parents being too busy managing Celebria to take care of him. Mametchi invents Hapihapitchi with intent to spread happiness, but after venturing into the World's Happiest Story, the Tamagotchis learn what happiness truly means. Unlike its predecessor, an English Dub was never made publically available.
  • Eiga Tamagotchi: Himitsu no Otodoke Dai Sakusen! (2017): A 10-minute short film that accompanied a film based on another Bandai property, Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama. In the film, Mametchi & co, with Nijifuwatchi's help, are tasked to delivery a package to the Gotchi King while a clawed machine attempts to take the package for themselves, resulting in a hot pursuit.

Television Series

  • Anime TV de Hakken!! Tamagotchi (1997-1998): An anime set in the vintage era that aired on Fuji TV from 1997-1998. Like Honto no Hanashi, it was produced by Toei Animation. A total of 27 episodes aired on television, but only the first 9 were released on the accompanying home video release, Video de Hakken!! Tamagotchi. The anime follows the general Tamagotchi life cycle, and unlike subsequent animes, the Tamagotchis speak in gibberish.
  • Let's Go! Tamagotchi (2007-2008): A series of 12 2-3 minute shorts released online, all of which have gotten English Dubs. These shorts take place after the events of Tamagotchi: The Movie. An additional 3 shorts were also released, which follow the events of Happiest Story in the Universe and have not been dubbed.
  • Tamagotchi! (2009-2015): An anime series taking place after Happiest Story in the Universe. It aired on TV Tokyo from 2009-2015 and ran for 271 episodes divided into 4 sagas. The first saga, Tamagotchi!, follows the daily adventures of Mametchi, Memetchi, Kuchipatchi, and new character Lovelitchi, among countless others. In the second saga, Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream, Mametchi, Memetchi, and Kuchipatchi study abroad in Dream Town while new characters Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi pursuit their shared dream of becoming idols. In the third saga, Tamagotchi! Miracle Friends, twin girls from the future, Miraitchi and Clulutchi, find themselves trapped in the past and enlist the help of Mametchi & co to retrieve the Dreambakutchis necessary for returning home before a mysterious masqueraded X-Kamen does. The fourth saga, GO-GO Tamagotchi! curates the whole cast in a millennium event known as the Tamagottsun, which causes Tamagotchi Town and Dream Town to merge into DoriTama Town. There were two attempts to dub the series in English; the first was through Bright Way Productions dubbing the first 26 episodes of the first saga and airing them on Australia's 9GO!, and the second was though the first 7 Yume Kira Dream episodes being cut down to 14 3-4 minute webisodes to promote Tamagotchi Friends.

Controversy

The largest Tamagotchi controversy arose due to children taking them to school because Tamagotchi can pass away due to a lack of care for just 1 day. Schools have created a rule saying that for their sake, school children should not take their Tamagotchi due to classroom disruptions from bleeping and also ownership disputes, such as it  becoming get lost or broken. To solve this problem, Bandai have created a feature to turn the sound off and also a pause mode (replaced by travel show in Familitchi).

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