The official website for the long-running Chibi Maruko-chan anime series announced on Tuesday that the anime will have a one-hour special on January 19 commemorating the anime's 30th anniversary.
The anniversary special will contain two stories titled "Maruko to Tama-chan, Futari no Bōken" (The Adventure of Maruko and Tama-chan) and "Aru Hi no Tarō" (Tarō on a Particular Day). The special will also announce the results of a poll held last year for character popularity and favorite famous scenes.
The original Chibi Maruko-chan manga inspired a television anime that is almost always the #2 rated anime series after Sazae-san. The first anime series ran from 1990 to 1992, and the ongoing second series premiered in 1995.
The manga's creator Momoko Sakura passed away due to breast cancer at the age of 53 in August 2018. She serialized the manga in Shueisha's Ribon magazine from 1986 to 1996. The comedy manga, which follows the everyday life of a third-grade schoolgirl, has about 32 million copies in print. Sakura launched a four-panel version in a Japanese newspaper in 2007, and she ended that version in 2011.
The Chibi Maruko-chan manga is getting new chapters drawn by Sakura Production, which is staffed by long-time assistants of Sakura. The manga is running irregularly in Ribon. The first chapter, titled "Halloween Party o Yarō no Maki" ('Let's Throw a Halloween Party' Chapter), debuted on October 3 last year. The chapter is based on a script written by Sakura for the manga's television anime — thus honoring Sakura's wish to turn scripts she wrote for the anime into manga.
Sources: Chibi Maruko-chan anime's website, The Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web