Sunao Moriyama finds a strange but cute creature that he names Potemayo. Potemayo starts following him everywhere, usually riding on top of his head. His discovery becomes the center of attention in his class at school. Soon after, a similar creature appears, and is named Guchuko by one of Sunao's classmates. However, Guchuko doesn't seem to be as good-natured as Potemayo.
In all honesty I was tempted to leave this review as just those words, but for those of us who don't speak the language, here's a more normal version (that is, if the word normal can be ascribed to this series).
What is Potemayo? When you watch the show this will be the question that you'll find yourself asking over and over.
You could say it's an anime series based on the manga of the same name by Ogataya Haruka. You could also say that it's the result of drug induced euphoria like Hunter S Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (only funnier).
It's very possible that Potemayo is the product of genius and madness joining together to create a story that encapsulates the surrealness of Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu, the anarchy of Seto no Hanayome, the wrongness of Inukami, and choice morsels from a number of other shows.
You could say a lot about the anime and manga known as Potemayo, and maybe they're all correct. We don't know.
What we do know is that Moriyama Sunao wakes up one morning to find his fridge has given birth to a strange creature who absolutely reeks of kawaii. So he does what any half awake boy would do. He leaves it in the fridge, closes the door, and considers his options.
1. Leave it in the fridge until it stops moving.
2. Let it out, name it after a snack, and adopt it.
Potemayo is basically a story about Sunao's life with his newfound companion, with much in the way of odd, wierd, strange, cute, and downright hilarious along the way.
While it may, at first, seem like there's no rhyme or reason to the series, there is actually a plot buried somewhere under the mirth and cuteness. The problem is, you probably won't bother to look for it (I didn't until the third time watching the show), as your sides may hurt from time to time.
There's not much else one can say about the "plot" though (I assure you there is definitely a plot, it's just well hidden is all), however the aim of Potemayo is to make you laugh, and this it does - in spades. Things only get stranger once the ultimate tsundere, Guchuko, is introduced.
Given the main aim of the series, one can expect some fairly standard artwork and animation, and this is actually the case for the most part. The characters are fairly plain, however, the show does feature some strange and wonderful character designs (Potemayo and Guchuko), and some gloriously animated and choregraphed bits of visual comedy (usually involving Potemayo and Guchuko).
The sound and music are, like the visuals, decent but nothing groundbreaking. That said, Hanazawa Kana and Tsuji Ayumi are simply brilliant as Potemayo and Guchuko, and Kitamura Eri (Sunao), is hilarious with his deadpan delivery. The show also features one of the most well suited and dangerously catchy OPs in anime. The OP gives a very good idea of what to expect from the series, however viewers should take care as you may find yourself humming the chorus for months on end.
So, what can I say about characters? I could talk a lot about how cute Potemayo and Guchuko are, or I could talk about Sunao being the personification of the comedy "straight man", or I could even talk about Natsu Mikan and her rivalry with Potemayo for Sunao's affections. I could talk about several of the characters, but I'll only mention the word development in terms of Sunao. Aside from him, the other characters get virtually no development, but then again, this show isn't really about developing characters.
That said, both Potemayo and Guchuko do "mature", it's just that their development is physical rather than mental and, like the rest of the show, very strange indeed.
Now I will admit that I have a soft spot for comedies, especially those that are imaginative and original, and Potemayo definitely fits the bill. The show uses almost every comedy trick in the book, and uses them well, with slapstick right alongside crossdressing, innuendo mixed with anarchy, and some of the best visual gags I've seen in anime outside of Gintama. Granted there's a certain cuteness to the show's design, but that only makes the laser beams and dead animals funnier.
If you like your comedy to have a healthy dose of chaos, a heaping helping of slapstick, a serving of deadpan, together with a side order of Chii's Sweet Home, then this is the show for you. If you want something serious, then this is definitely not what you're looking for.
Potemayo is cute, hilarious, wrong, anarchic, wierd, and lots of other things besides, and it puts many other shows to shame with it's simple approach to making the audience laugh.
And now that's done, I'm off to check the fridge...
Manga, Anime: Potemayo was originally a four-panel comic strip that began running in the four-panel magazine Moeyon in 2004, but made a move to Comic High! in 2005, and was done by Haruka Ogataya. It is still currently running, and two collected volumes are out in Japan. It has yet to be licensed Stateside.
The manga adaptation was done by JC Staff (well-known for its work on Excel Saga and Revolutionary Girl Utena) and directed by Takeshi Ikehata (well-known for directing Genkishen). It ran on Japanese TV from July 6th to September 21st of 2007, and has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Ah, how to attempt to describe Potemayo?
Well, one morning, a middle school boy Sunao Moriyama is getting breakfast, and opens his refrigerator door to find a chibi girl with pink and yellow hair, cat ears, and a rabbit tail, who can't say anything other than "Honi!", and is cuteness personified. He decides to adopt it, and names her Potemayo. Later in the day, while he's at school, his refrigerator spawns another chibi girl, this one with purple hair, a scythe, and hair clips that shoot laser beams. She has a tendency to slice things apart with her scythe, and then put them back together with duct tape. She ends up getting adopted by one of Moriyama's classmates, Kyou, who gives her treats and dubs her Guchuko, and she shows her thanks by leaving dead carcasses of animals on the girl's desk.
The series more or less follows the daily life of Sunao and Potemayo, and Guchuko and Kyou, along with their classmates.
This series can best be summed up as CUTE and CRACK. The episodes are fifteen minutes each and, for the most part, standalones, with no real continuing plot elements (except towards the end for a few episodes).
It's really hard to describe Potemayo's humor, except that it's hilarious, and made of WIN. It's something you have to see for yourself to understand, really. This was a great pick-me-up during finals week, and had me laughing out loud quite a lot, which caused my roommate to look at me funny. Definitely watch this if you're looking for a good laugh, or for simple, pure randomness.
Art: Potemayo's art is really neat. JC Staff uses the gradient shading that we saw in Red Garden to great effect, and the backgrounds are done in watercolor, and actually look quite nice. And it goes without saying that the character designs are excellent. I dare you to look at Potemayo or Guchuko and not go, "D'AWW!".
Music: The background music for this is fairly standard for a comedy series, and doesn't stand out all that much. It's not miserable, though. Same goes for the ED. The OP is absolutely adorable and singable, though, and is quickly climbing the play count list on my iPod.
Seiyuu: I applaud Potemayo and Guchuko's seiyuu (Kana Hanazawa and Ayumi Tsuji); they managed to get the full range of emotions and convey their characters' feelings when the range of their lines is, at most, two or three words. And the other seiyuu do an excellent job as well.
Length: Potemayo clocks in at twelve episodes (which, with two fifteen-minute episodes per full half-hour episode, comes out to twenty-four episodes). This ends up being perfect, as if they had pushed this any farther, it probably would've started to get stale.
Specials: To date, Potemayo has three special episodes, which are the normal length. They succeed in situations that are even crackier than they were in the series, though they probably could've fit these episodes in at some point in the series if they really wanted to. Ah, well, though.
Overall: A cute and cracky pick-me-up with a neat art style. Watch this. NOW.
If you're looking for something unique and original Go watch this show. When I say original and unique i dont mean artsy or psycologically significant. Its just a strangely funny and entertaing show. Most anybody can really appreciate the humor in this show.
It is a Slice of life, so most of the story is just the day to day events of a boy, his classmates, and his weird little chibi monster thing.
The art works well with the story and has a nice watercolor look to it. The design of Potemayo and Guchiko are mind numbingly cute.
No complaints. I thought Potemayo's voice was
especially well done and All the character voices match extremely well. Laser beam sounds were also very cool, you'll understand the reference within the first episode.
All of the characters were great. Some were great in a very disgusting and creepy way, ie. Mudō Kirihara. Potemayo is extremely cute and insane. All the characters worked well and i found none of them to be unnecessary. A big cast with some really memorable characters.
Hell of a lot of enjoyment.
If you took the time to read this review or even skim it, you have plenty of time to at least try the first episode. This anime will win you over with just the first episode. The best opinion is your own so dont hesitate yo try it out.
Potemayo was a comedic manga strip by Ogataya Haruka. In 2007, J.C. Staff. The studio behind Shakugan no Shana, Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile just to name the ones I've reviewed.) Now, they have done some really good comedies so it's entirely possible that this could be highly amusing. Of course, it's also possible that this is a major blemish on their production history. Let's take a look and see which is more accurate.
The titular Potemayo is a strange creature that emerged from the refrigerator of our protagonist, Moriyama Sunao, for no apparent reason. She starts following him to school and getting into
shenanigans. Things are further complicated when a second creature, Guchuko, cuts her way out of his fridge with a scythe. This isn't one of those comedic series that even attempts to have any kind of narrative. Rather, it's an absurdest comedy about Potemayo and Guchiko being around a group of strange people and engaging in hijinks. So, how does the comedy hold up?
There are quite a few funny moments, especially the Guchiko scenes. The series has a lot of energy put into it as well. The problem is that they're outnumbered by scenes that aren't funny. The series uses a lot of puerile humour involving bodily fluids and excrement because mucus and poop are gross and, therefore, must be hilarious. The humour involving romance is also a huge problem, being more unpleasant than actually amusing. We've got gay jokes and jokes about brothers who have more than just a familial interest in their sisters. You may commence eye-rolling.
The characters are mostly adequate for a comedic work. Most of the major characters do interact well for comedic purposes even if they aren't particularly well developed or fleshed out. The issue is that some of the characters are used primarily or entirely in a very narrow way for jokes that are terrible. Nene's brothers, Yasumi, Kaouru and Mudou all fall into this category.
The art is pretty bad and I'm not just saying that because it's in the hyper chibified style that I'm not a fan of in general. The backgrounds are really blank. The character expressions are minimal, and I would love to know how characters with glasses manage to keep them on when no one has a nose, and actions are frequently animated sloppily.
They did get some really good actors for this series. Unfortunately, most of them don't give their best performances. Kitamura Eri, who played Sayaka in Madoka and Saya in Blood+, puts virtually no emotion in her role. Tsuji Ayumi and Hanazawa Kana deliver their lines primarily in grunts. Which does make sense given that they're playing abnormal creatures who aren't human, but it still isn't conducive to strong showings. Kugimiya Rie plays two roles, much like she did in Bleach as Nemu and Karin. One of those roles is fine. The other, Nene, is really painfully high-pitched and hurts your ears. The music is pretty decent overall.
There's certainly a bit. Kaouru has a romantic interest in Mudou, which is played for laughs as a running joke because... gay people exist. Yeah, that's his character's entire “joke.” There are also a few scenes where things get homo-erotic between Kyou and Nene, but they're relegated to a single episode and played as a joke. So, the ho-yay factor is going to be a 5/10.
Potemayo has some things going for it. The scenario is creative with plenty of comedic potential and it does give a few laughs. Unfortunately, those funny moments are over-shadowed by the decidedly unfunny puerile and unpleasant moments. The art is pretty awful and the voice acting is below average. All in all, I would only really recommend it for people who find human excretions funny or who can tolerate the problematic scenes in order to reach those moments that are legitimately funny. My final rating is going to be a 4/10. I've got quite the queue of requests going into August with some of them being really long. We've got Dragonball, Gintama, Claymore, Welcome to the NHK, Mawaru Penguindrum & Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Next week won't be any of them since they're all too long for me to finish in a week, but I'll have the Dragonball review up as soon as I can. In the meantime, next week will be Murder Princess.