Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally telecast in Japan beginning in 2000, the half-hour animated series Hamtaro was based on the popular manga (comic magazine) of the same name by Ritsuko Kawai. The stories focused on a group of resourceful, combative hamsters -- yes, hamsters -- who formed the "Ham Ham Club" for the purpose of conviviality and crime-fighting. The club members held meetings to discuss their adventures in a charming language all their own. Representing the human angle was a fifth-grader named Laura, who owned the titular Hamtaro. When the series was picked up for Monday-through-Friday play by America's Cartoon Network, it was accompanied by a series of Hasbro Toys. The U.S. debut of Hamtaro occurred on June 3, 2002.