Guruguru Medaman (ぐるぐるメダマン) is a 1976-1977 Toei production that ran for 30 episodes and is definitely a show in the same vein as Robot 8-chan and Robomaru, which is Big Mascot Energy. I’d also go out on a limb and say this could be a precursor to the infamous Toei Fushigi Comedy series, pre-dating Robot 8-chan by five years!
The story follows Mami, a right little brat who stole a haunted amulet out of her parents’ belongings and then goes on to terrorise the dead. Seriously, Mami almost gets Medaman killed (again) because she’s more concerned with getting the ghosts to do her bidding. Proper little sociopath, this girl.
Medaman is the well-meaning but inept leader of a group of ghosts that each subscribe to a common yokai/monster archetype including a kappa and a mummy but, most importantly, they’re 100% comedy schtick.
The haunted amulet was payment to Mami’s painter ancestor and holds the souls of 108 ghost souls and one odd old man who forces Medaman to do good for Mami, despite her being a right brat and refusing to give back the SOULS OF THE DEAD because she likes this ugly-ass necklace. In terms of an inciting incident and a driving plot going forward, it’s not the worst but it doesn’t exactly endear Mami to the audience but maybe that’s to get you on Medaman’s side as a bumbling ghost under the thumb of an evil child.
I did get a couple chuckles out of this show, mostly due to Mami’s father and his reactions to Medaman and the other ghosts. Solid slapstick shenanigans. I can recommend this if you want something a little goofy and low-stakes, you can’t go wrong with this show.
You can now find Guruguru Medaman, as well as many other tokusatsu shows, on the TOEI Tokusatsu World Official YouTube channel to watch for free with English subtitles.
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