Arale Norimaki is a variety of Japanese rice cracker. She is also a punnishly named, bespectacled, purple-haired simulacra of a little girl, constructed by the ne'er-do-well Senbei Norimaki, aka Dr. Slump. In other words, she's a cartoon robot from Japan. Unfortunately, she is not a giant mech, much to her and our disappointment. She is more along the lines of a parody of AstroBoy.

Because Senbei is such a screw-up, she is nearsighted. However, to his credit (and frequent horror), she is also super strong, super fast, and super intelligent. Combine these powers with a six year old girl's mentality, and you have a comic which launched Akira Toriyama's ( the creator of Dragonball) career. She was "born" in the January 1981 issue of Shonen Jump, in a sequence which parodied Pinocchio and involved Senbei crossdressing to buy her panties.

Her hobbies include running through police cars, tagging along with the older kids, annoying Senbei, and being a mischievous little scamp in general. She loves giant monster films, especially Godzilla and Gamera. Sometimes Senbei sends her out to buy him cigarettes. He also placed her in middle school, despite her being much shorter than the other students (not to mention one day old), and allows her to roam freely around their hometown of Penguin Village. Dad of the Year Senbei is not.

Being a mischievous cartoon child, Arale (or "Arale-chan", as she is often known) has several catchphrases. There's "ho yo yo", a general interjection which bears no relation to "yo ho ho", the familiar mating call of pirates. Then there's "N'cha!", which is an abbreviated form of "konnichiwa". This is basically the Japanese version of "howdy".

Like all good robot children, she depends on a chemical for substinence. Arale's fuel is called Robovita A, and she sucks it out of a baby bottle.


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