Anpanman Character Reviews:

It's been a while! I always intended this to be a kind of on-again, off-again site feature, but I especially need to revisit it for the final week of October (which, as you should know, is a little over half-way through this site's "Halloween season"), because the Anpanman world has a pretty fair number of spooky entities beyond just one plucky skeletonized corpse, and some of them are even villains nearly equivalent to Baikinman!

One of these is Doctor Hyari, one of the few characters who feel as though they couldn't really be anything other than a human, though I suppose that's just what I originally thought about the bakers before it turned out they were canonically "fairies," so who knows, maybe this guy is also a fairy. Or an elf. Or a goblin?

Hyari hasn't appeared very often in recent years and was never too regular a player to begin with, but that seems to be only because he's usually so busy with his own deranged scientific work. "Hyari" translates as "shock" in the "scared and surprised" sense, so his name in English really couldn't be anything other than Doctor Shock, though one alternative that crossed my mind just now was Doctor Yikes.

Doc Shock has pretty much only ever made an appearance when Baikinman sought his help with a new evil scheme, so it's unclear what he's normally getting up to between these team-ups. All we know is that he lives in a huge laboratory on the same island where Horrorman originates. No connection has ever been indicated between the two, but I'm suspecting given what this guy's actual area of expertise is.

See, the doctor's specialty seems to be in the field of ghosts. He knows how to contain them, control them, alter them with strange chemicals, and in fact, he even knows how to MAKE them.

...No, not like that.

"Ghosts" in this context aren't exactly the spirits of the dead, or at least, they don't have to be. We usually just see them hanging out in his castle already, the same adorable little white specters with sometimes baikinman-like smiles. Sometimes, however, we do see them pouring out of his laboratory's machinery, and a couple times, we got a glimpse into the sorts of things they used to be.

In one episode, Hyari and Baikinman decided they'd mess up everyone's Valentine's day by making everyone afraid of chocolate. This was done by pouring chocolate into the ghost machine, and the ghosts that came out basically had the power to create a chocolate phobia in anyone they possessed.

Perhaps treating the chocolate scheme as a test run, they would later pull almost the same exact plan with something much, much more relevant: bread ghosts! Making the citizens terrified of any and all bread products, including the ones they depend on to stop these very villains!

Unfortunately, whatever the ghosts are created from, they share its vulnerabilities, with both the chocolate and bread ghosts being easily ruined by water.

This takes us back to one of the very first times we ever saw this ghost-making business, it turned out the spirits could be defeated by salt. Now, that's actually pretty typical of ghosts, and it was something Uncle Jam already knew about, but in this case that actually WASN'T why it worked.

No, Hyari's original batch of ghosts were vulnerable to salt because he made them out of slugs, and it was kind of implied that had always been his go-to source. So his usual ghostly minions actually are the spirits of something dead, it's just not usually human.

When not creating ghosts, Hyari is working on various other monsters. Once, he created the "Hyarin" for Baikinman to use, which seemed to be ice-themed Kabirunrun-type creatures.