|English Name:||Panda Man|
|First Appearance:||Chapter 44; Episode 1 (opening); Episode 16|
|Japanese VA:||Mahito Oba|
|4Kids English VA:||Jimmy Zoppi|
|Age:||Even he does not know|
|Height:||200 cm (6'6½")|
|Weight:||122 kg (268.9 lb)|
Pandaman is a joke character created by the author, Eiichiro Oda. He is, so far, the most notable of Oda's joke characters, having appeared hidden in nearly every One Piece chapter, episode arc, movie, and such. He is also a playable character in One Piece: Grand Battle 2 for the Playstation. Also in One Piece: Pirates Carnival, not only is there a game to find him, but he is a captain in which his game is in a flaming mansion where you control where the flames go. In the Japanese version, however, this position was used by Blueno. In the 4th Japanese Fan Poll, Pandaman was voted the 39th most popular character in One Piece.
Pandaman's appearance is that of muscle bounded figure with a panda face for a head. On it is the word Panda written across his forehead. Whether this is a mask or his real face remains to be seen. His arms are black with bamboo tattoos. On his chest are two heart tattoos. In the series, his appearance would often differ from scene to scene. In one scene, he could be seen as a skinny individual with no black arms or tattoos at all. This is apparently because in order to be properly hidden in some scenes and such, Pandaman's body features require to be less detailed. The only thing that remains constant however is his panda head.
Throughout the series he appears along the crowds and backgrounds everywhere and anytime as an easter egg character. He can be found posing as a citizen, a pirate, a Government agent, and many others. He can even be found in flashbacks, even a 400 year old flashback. He is sometimes seen in the same panel with Tomato Gang, a debt collector who has been on the lookout for Pandaman in order to collect the money Pandaman owes. This is also why Pandaman is often seen running away on some appearances.
Pandaman's appearances are not limited to his actual appearance but also include his name as well. In the first panel in page 144 of Volume 22, on the Alabasta Poneglyph, his name can be seen written in Japanese. This writing on the Poneglyph was noted by a fan and confirmed by Oda.
Pandaman also appears in One Piece Grand Battle! popping or hiding in the background. In some stages he might appear in more than one place. In One Piece: Unlimited Adventure, he shows up in several locations, usually in a humorously precarious position.
Pandaman appears in the anime's 1st opening "We Are," as one of the people attacking Zoro and the 4th opening "Bon Voyage", being fished up by Usopp in a scene where the Straw Hat crew is riding the Going Merry.
Pandaman, unfortunately, is also constantly on the run from Tomato Gang, a debt collector who Pandaman owes money to.
Pandaman was originally created by Oda for a character design contest called the "New Super Human Contest". This contest allowed artists to submit character designs for wrestlers to be included in the popular anime and manga series Kinnikuman. In December 16, 1998, the comic in which these designs would be included, "Kinnikuman 77 no Nazo", was released and Pandaman was listed as entry number 12.
When Oda wrote One Piece he decided to include Pandaman as a hidden character along with a little more information. According to Oda, Pandaman is a man of unknown age who originated from Tibet with the mortal blow techniques: S.P.D, Bamboo Leaves Panda Drop, and Giant Panda Deathstock. He was abandoned in a bamboo thicket as an infant and was raised by Giant Pandas. Pandaman would often say that he had seen Kaguyahime. However as no one would believe him, he was often picked on. Since then, Pandaman resolved to become a strong demon superhero. Apparently at some point in time, Pandaman used to be a rich guy living on a certain island until he got into some trouble. Pandaman apparently owed a large sum of money. Since then, the debt collector, Tomato Gang, has been chasing Pandaman in order to collect his debt. Tomato Gang also hired Pandaman's rival Unforgivable Mask to catch him.
Pandaman made his first appearance in Chapter 44 where Gin first showed up in the Baratie. He was later revealed and identified by Oda in one of the SBS questions of the next volume. In the anime, Pandaman made his first appearance in an actual episode in an earlier scene amongst the Black Cat Pirates. Since his first appearance he has been in every arc, with exception of the Amazon Lily arc, where Pandawoman replaced him due to the circumstances surrounding the arc. Oda later confirmed in SBS form that Pandaman is in love with Pandawoman, however its currently unknown if the feelings are reciprocated.
Pandaman has appeared most of the time as a hidden character that no one else seems to care about or notice, whose actions apparently do not affect the main plot at all. However, in one special episode of the anime, not only did the main characters actually take notice of him, but he was also made the center of attention (although he wasn't revealed to be Pandaman until near the end):
In the special setting in an alternate universe based on feudal Japan, Pandaman owed a large sum of money to Buggy and his gang, the Clown Family. Because of this, they searched high and low around town for him. This eventually led to them to Orika's house where Pandaman was being cared for by her and her mother. Due to his nickname that everyone around town call him being "Tot-san" (which means 'father' in Japanese), Buggy and his men assumed that Orika was his daughter.
After Buggy's men were beaten off by Detective Luffy, Buggy plotted to sell Orika off to pay for Pandaman's debt as well as get rid of Luffy with the aid of a corrupt Bugyō, or magistrate. It was only with the appearance of Vivi and Pandaman himself that Buggy and the Bugyō's plans were foiled.
Later, Pandaman was seen interacting with the rest of the main characters in Onami's restaurant celebrating Christmas.
Examples of Pandaman's cameosEdit
Manga and Anime InfluencesEdit
Taking into account that Oda originally designed Pandaman for a contest that would choose designs for wrestlers, Pandaman's design is based on the concept of a themed pro wrestler. This concept normally, if not stereotypically, consists of usually a pro wrestler wearing a colorful themed costume that sometimes comes with a mask. In this case, Pandaman's theme is a panda. This also comes as to no surprise as the series behind the contest that Oda entered Pandaman in, consists mainly of characters that use this concept. This concept is also apparently shared by another One Piece character, Jesus Burgess. The combined concept of pro wrestling and a panda theme is also shared by yet another character, Spandam, whose mask that he wears over his damaged Panda resembling face resembles to the one most commonly used by the pro wrestler, Mankind.
The person Pandaman keeps telling people he saw but keeps getting picked on in return, Kaguyahime, is a character from a popular Japanese myth. According to the myth, Kaguyahime is a mystical princess from the moon who was found inside a bamboo stalk by a kindly woodcutter after he had chopped the stalk down, and was adopted and raised by the woodcutter and his wife. Parts of Pandaman's profile and being apparently can be connected to parts of the myth in one way or another.
- He has a similar nature to the main character of the children's book Where's Waldo.
- In 4kids dub, he was voiced by Jimmy Zoppi.
- He is the only character thus far to have an odd numbered bounty (as seen in the ninth movie).
- He was also a prisoner in Impel Down, and can be seen in a list Bentham (disguised as Hannyabal) was reading, and he was also seen amongst the group of Impel Down escapees.
- A pirate group with a panda figurehead and jolly roger can be seen fighting with the Rumbar Pirates.
- Pandaman made a cameo appearence in One Piece: Pirate Warriors as a coin to power up the player's character.
External Links Edit
- Kinnikuman - Wikipedia article about the manga and anime Oda drew Pandaman for.
- Professional wrestling - Wikipedia article about Professional wrestling.
- The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter - Wikipedia article about the character that Pandaman keeps saying that he sees.