Beautiful sisters Ai, Mai, Mii, their android maid Mea and slippery pet ferret Unagi make an amazing journey together through time and space without ever leaving their beloved mansion behind! Following the clues of the strange dandelion-like "Popotan," the girls are theoretically seeking the person who has the answers to their most personal questions, but they seem to have more than enough time to take side trips, meet new friends, visit hot springs and occasionally operate the X-mas shop they keep in the house along the way!
Yet, the girls' ultimate destiny holds more than a few surprises of its own, and not every moment is filled with hilarity, as moving through time means having to leave friends behind as well.
Popotan is an ecchi drama with some light comedy added for some extra kick to this melancholy show. When someone says ecchi, some people close their eyes and ears because they assume its going to be another tasteless fanservice show. Indeed ecchi is intended mainly for fanservice, but when done right might even enhance a story into the adult world. Thats the case with this show.
I couldn't understand if the story of the show was aimed toward children or adults considering how much boobs and service are in every episode. Even though theres fanservice in every episode its done pretty tastefully and don't really hinder the story at all. As far as the story goes, its about 3 friends who happen to embark on a journey in a teleporting house. The plot indeed sounds strange but the back story and drama throughout the show makes this show such a joy to watch. Just watching the tragic drama unfold will most certainly bring a tear to your eye. For what its worth, I enjoyed the whole thing from beginning to end.
The artwork, like any ecchi related anime, are always pretty detailed and the women are all drawn in a cute manner. An extra step they managed to add that drives me crazy when they don't, is the drawing in of the nipples. Not because of the nudity aspect but more for the realistic aspect. Like its okay for guys to have nipples but girls cant? wtf. This is a perfect example to show nudity "tastefully". I put those in quotes because it was nice to notice in the first few episodes, but you'll get an eye full every episode. That might start to get old after a while. It would've been nice if they kept the nudity a little less frequent. Another thing that happens every episode is a shower scene. They always try to sneak a shower/bath scene in every episode. All the other artwork is perfectly fine and quite pretty considering its mostly consisting of light, pastel colors most of the time.
The sound is always light and pleasant, it never interfered with the dialog. Theres a lot of environmental sound effects as well. The seiyu cast wasn't anything great but they all fit their roles perfectly fine. The sound was most definitely the mood setter throughout the show. I don't think the show wouldn't have been the same without such a emotional musical score as this.
Character (Very Good)
The characters are pretty stereotypical anime girl types. Obviously chosen for fanservice flair. But they pull off their drama so well its hard to just think of them as fanservice girls. They have alot of hilarious, ecchi, serious, and sad moments. They do well when its about releasing emotions from the viewers. But as i stated during the art synopsis, the nudity is kind of much. If they laid back on the nudity just a tad bit I could easily say this is the perfect example of an ecchi drama done right. Unfortunately, we'll have to go with best ecchi drama I have seen so far.
After watching all 12 episodes, i still don't know if this is directed toward children or adults. But either way, it was an addicting fantasy drama with maybe about a dozen nude scenes too many. But what do u expect from a show based on an H-Game. I still the fantastical story all the way through. read more
It's nearing midnight on Halloween, and I just finished watching one of the most terrifying horror anime ever made! An anime that will make grown men shit their pants in terror! This is an anime that only REAL men can stomach sitting through! This is the Eldritch Abomination that is...Popo -tan!
Firstly, the word Popo-tan is not a reference to Mr. Popo and his politically incorrect tan. Popo-tan is a nonsense word that in this series means dandelion, although the actual Japanese word for dandelion is "tanpopo". Basically, it is named that because Popo-tan hates you!
Popo-tan was based on an explicit hentai game of the same name. The game had virtually no plot whatsoever and just involved guiding a guy through various romances to unlock heavily pixelated sex scenes. I've never played the game and am just summarizing from the Wikipedia article because firstly, even I have standards, and secondly, the game is actually illegal to own in the US! This is because the main character is an 18 year old, high school graduate and you can have sex with a 12 year old girl!!! In fact, the 12 year old girl has the most sex endings of any character in the game, so that was the choice the game designers clearly wanted the player to make! HOW did this ever get an anime adaptation!!?
The entire reason Popo-tan got an anime adaptation was because the character designs were deemed "very cute" and highly marketable. However, the plot of the game obviously had to go and the anime adaptation has NOTHING to do with the original game in terms of plot or characters besides the characters' designs! So did they create a good plot for the anime? HELL NO!
The plot is that there is a mansion that travels through time and dimensions. The mansion is inhabited by 3 obnoxious sisters and their robot maid. Now you would think that if I traveled back to 1992 and spent 1 month there with my current body, then traveled to 1994 and spent one month there, that chronologically my body would be 2 months older. However, the girls are all seemingly immortal and have been hopping back and forth across time and dimensions for hundreds if not thousands of years. They are also telepathic and can communicate with all lifeforms including plants! I guess they're supposed to be Time Lords!? Did I mention their mansion is bigger on the inside? I guess the anime was banking on the British not being as lawsuit happy as Americans are!
In the first episode, a 12 year old boy with a camera decides to just walk into the mysterious mansion in order to try get a picture of a ghost. He ends up bumping into one of the girls coming out of the shower and taking a picture of her naked before she trips and smothers him with her absurdly huge breasts. The sisters befriend the young boy and help him take some fake ghost pictures to impress his friends. However, just as he begins to get close to the 3 sisters, their mansion disappears and leaves him wondering if they really were ghosts after all.
The next episode and each new episode takes place in a different time and place, but the series NEVER tells you what time and what place! Judging by the fashion and technology, they all seem to be a similar time in modern Japan, but perhaps they are alternate dimensions. The series never explains because Popo-tan HATES you! The backstory of the 3 sisters and how they found the mansion is never explained. The story of the mansion and how it got its powers is never explained. Why they have a robot maid is never explained! NOTHING in this fucking series is ever explained!!!
The art is mediocre to average for the series' release date. Popo-tan is an ecchi series, so of course it tries to show a LOT of nudity, including lots of underage nudity that hopefully creeps the viewers out. However, despite their large amount of screen time, zero attempt is placed into giving Ai's massive boobs any realistic sag or movement or any real detail whatsoever. The fact that they have nipples and not black bars is I guess the best this series has to offer.
The anime soundtrack is annoying, but ultimately forgettable. The original hentai on the other hand, has a REALLY famous opening called "Caramelldansen" that became a widespread internet meme after someone posted it to the Japanese website Niconico. That innocent meme that even Disney referenced in one of their cartoons...actually came from an illegal loli game! I think I just died a little inside.
I have to agree with one of my favorite anime critics, Bennett the Sage, when he said "Bad should be an acronym for: Boring, Annoying, Dumb." Those 3 words are exactly the right way to sum up Popo-tan. I mentioned previously that Popo-tan hates you, but hate is an emotion that still has a wide spectrum. On this hate spectrum I would place Popo-tan's feelings for the audience as greater than Freeza's hatred of the Saiyans in DBZ, slightly greater than Zbigniew Brzezinski's feelings for Eastern Slavs and Orthodox Christians, and slightly less than Hitler's hatred of Jews. That's a level of hatred that should keep all but the most batshit insane viewers from sitting through this pile of shit!
Let me just say this: The things I do for you people. SMH, reader, SMH.
Popotan is a 2003 anime series about three magical sisters and their maid, who travel through time and space in their mysterious, enchanted house. Every time their house phases out of the physical realm, it jumps into the future by about five years, finding a new location with an ample supply of dandelions for the girls to extract more magic from. They can communicate with these dandelions, but they also make time to communicate with the people... They live in whatever area the house landed in, carrying on normal lives in society until they need to leave again.
Why don’t they wait for Dandelions to die and be replaced by new ones, which should happen in fairly quick succession considering the short life span of a dandelion? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Our main character, at least in the anime, is Mei, the middle child. She’s a tomboy, as well as the emotional center of the story, who is always forming the tightest social connections outside of the family. Her insistence that they should quit their journey and settle down leads us to several revelations throughout the show, and while I’m glad they used this plot device instead of endless exposition dumps, it’s still generally information that they... And we, as well... Should have known from the beginning.
Her older sister, Ai, has giant breasts and glasses. And... She probably has some sort of personality.
Her little sister, Mii, is a hyper little moppet who loves dressing up as a magical girl and is obsessed with poofy-poofies. She likes to snuggle Ai’s poofy-poofies, and makes remarks about Mei’s poofy-poofies being too small.
I’ll give you five seconds to figure out what ‘poofy-poofies’ are, and if it actually takes you that long, you should go bash your head against something.
They’re looked after by their devoted maid, Maya, a long-suffering sarcastic woman who cares deeply about her charges. A lot of people theorize that she’s a robot, but since she’s shown eating take-out on camera, I’d say that’s unlikely.
So, based on what I’ve just told you, you’re probably expecting me to say that Popotan is some dumb, wacky little comedy. I mean, with the Drifting Classroom style house, the dandelion-flavored plot, and the cliched characters, you probably expect this to be full of wacky randomness in the vein of Magical Play. After all, that’s why Magical Play works... It has a quick pace, and the joke-a-minute delivery fits the gleefull randomness to a T.
The truth is, Popotan isn’t like that at all. The pacing is slow, the story is played completely straight, and the tone of the series is more along the lines of sentimental and atmospheric. This is a great choice of execution for a serious coming-of-age story like Beck, but when juxtaposed with Popotan’s ridiculous... Everything... It’s not so much a match made in heaven as it is a match made in Shou Tucker’s basement. When you combine this tone-deaf approach with the constant fan-service, Popotan’s attempts at emotional depth just come off as incompetent, insincere melodrama.
Speaking of which, when I was only half-way through this show, I noticed that MAL listed it as Rated R for ‘mild nudity,’ and I flipped out in the forums. Compared to Popotan, the average Playboy magazine only has ‘mild nudity.’ There is at least one bath scene in every episode, and all four of our main characters... As well as several side characters... Get in on the action. And there’s no convenient fog here, folks, oh no. Every single nipple is meticulously and painstakingly drawn in, even for the little girl Mii. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude... I love Strike Witches, and even have a soft spot for the clunky This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Gainax pretense be damned. Those shows have more to offer than just nudity, which I can’t honestly say about Popotan.
The nudity really is the only thing this show has to offer, and even taking that into consideration, the characters are so poorly designed and badly drawn that it’s like looking at a horny twelve-year-old’s sketchbook. And that’s saying nothing about how creepy the fan-service is. This show’s pedophile vibe is so intense that it makes UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie look innocent by comparison.
The artwork and animation suck... I won’t go any deeper than that, just trust me... and the stories of the individual episodes aren’t just badly written, but in a way that could actually be considered dangerously irresponsible with the message they try to send. The relationships that our cast form are sophomoric at best and unhealthy at worst.
The strongest relationship that Mii forms... Aside from her metafictional relationship with pedophilic viewers... Is with a little Shinto girl who wants to celebrate Christmas. The idea on it’s own doesn’t sound like anything bad, but the way it’s pursued is bafflingly ignorant. The strongest relationship that Ai forms is with a little boy whom she bathes naked with, and then kisses full on the mouth later on. And the strongest relationship that Mei forms is so deeply wrapped up in contradictory bullshit and disturbingly damaged human behavior that I’d have to spend an entire paragraph of spoilers just to explain what’s wrong with it.
If I had to say some positive things about this show, I can name three off the top of my head.
1: Anna Cummer does a decent job playing the voice of Maya. It’s a subtle and nuanced performance, but if I’m being honest, somebody more talented like Michelle Ruff would have blown her completely out of the water. Then again, compared to the rest of her co-stars, Anna might as well BE Michelle Ruff.
2: There are a handful of ways this show could have been worse.
3: Umm... I think I may have grossly overestimated my capacity for complimenting this show.
All in all, I would rather kill myself with a spoon than recommend this show to anybody. Even if it doesn’t offend the everloving daylights out of you, there’s nothing good about it... At all. In fact, the only reason my friends are currently borrowing my soon-to-be destroyed copy is because they asked for it, to see what kind of series could piss me off this much. Popotan is just so insidiously bad that it may actually be bad FOR you, as a person.
Over the years, i’ve given a handful of 1/10 reviews, with my general reason being that as crappy as they are, there’s something good about them... Maybe there’s a decent voice cast, or a few good characters, or some good action, or maybe it’s just so hilariously bad that it would be fun to watch while drunk. But Popotan is just a dreary, off-putting experience that I can’t imagine any amount of alcohol saving. For the first time in my reviewing career, I’m giving Popotan a 0/10. Yes, I know, I've ranked it as a 1/10, but that's only because MAL doesn't give a 0/10 option. Avoid at all costs, and you’ll thank me later.read more
I have to say that this is certainly one of the most inconsistent anime series I have ever seen. Its almost like it isnt sure where it wants to go and keeps switching between all sorts of anime types, its almost like Excel Saga only the changes are not done tongue in cheek and they are not as drastic. Ok maybe thats a bit of an exaggeration but I am not kidding you when I say that there are a few fight scenes in this anime...yeah ill try not to spoil anything but its gonna be hard.
Although inconsistent the story is interesting, in fact it is so interesting that I spent the entire series asking what the heck is going on. Seriously, so so many questions are left unanswered. We never even find out how the whole time traveling thing with the three sisters (who incidentally look nothing like each other but in between Ai-chan and Mai-chan im not complaining...). We also are not given much of an idea of exactly why they are traveling which leaves the characters without a solid motive for their actions but ill get more into that when I talk about the characters.
Despite the fact that we are never given much of an explanation for the plot, the story is still very solid and the last few episodes WILL tug at your heartstrings (id say more but its says no spoilers). All and all I think the story would have been alot better if they gave us some kind of backstory but instead we get an elementary school boy running headfirst into a naked woman's cavernous-cleavage...which isnt really that bad of a swap for some people.
Whoever drew the characters also liked to draw naked girls apparently. I am not kidding when I say that every single main female character in the series shows up bare chested on multiple occasions (granted most of which are bath scenes and the absence of any main male characters keeps them from being what I like to call "Love Hina bath scenes") That being said he (or she) did a pretty good job. Each character looks unique and there is no possibility of getting any of them confused (like I said the sisters look nothing like each other). The scenery did seem a bit dull though and the whole magic flower in the sky that makes the house dissolve and travel through time thing (which no attempt is ever made to explain) also looks a bit stale.
One last point to note, if you are like me and want to watch this anime because of the (in)famous MeMe with Caramelldansen, they never actually dance like that in the show itself.
Like with the art, the best sound in this series involves the characters. Each of the voice actresses do a good job of conveying the proper emotions and give the characters a character all of their own. Also like the art, the sound was pretty stale on anything that didnt involve the characters. Now it wasnt bad but halfway through the series I found myself just skipping the opening song and I dont recall any times when the sound effects or music really added much to the scene but I also dont remember any times when they seemed off or inappropriate.
Ah the characters. As another reviewer mentioned, each of the main characters is basically an anime stereotype: Ai is the VERY well endowed mother-like gentle elder sister (who can talk to plants which is never quite explained). Mai is the athletic tomboyish type (and my personal favorite) who grapples with deeper emotions on the inside while looking cheerful and positive on the outside. Mii is...well Mi is the hyperactive little girl/magical girl character (complete with a "magic" hammer which she waves at people for the duration of an entire episode). Despite the stereotypes the characters do not fill two dimensional at all. The emotions are portrayed and dealt with very well and you really cant help but feel sympathy for them (especially around the end of the series).
Ah right I forgot to mention there is a android maid (actually I dont think its ever actually revealed that she is an android even though it says so in the intro on MyAnimeList. There are several occasions where the maid does bathe herself and also eats (alot) but based on behavior and appearance its a pretty safe assumption that she is in fact an android).
There are several reasons why I only gave a 7 for characters. One of which is that unlike the 3 sisters, most of the other characters really do seem two dimensional and sometimes they act almost spontaneously and inconsistently (example is the silver-haired guy who shows up in the second half of the series. His role is never explained much at all. The only thing he seems to be there for is to provide a fight scene or two using enhanced speed and strength which again is never explained.)
As I keep saying, this show would have been alot more enjoyable (probably up to an 8 overall or at least a 7) had they given us at least some explanation of why the girls are time traveling, how the whole thing got started with the house, who/what exactly is _____ (so many characters can go in the blank), how can Ai talk to plants (And for that matter, why?), etc.
Im the kinda guy who likes to at least be given a hint as to what is going on, I kept hoping that we would get some plot explanation at some point but it just never happened which left me with sort of a hollow feeling. Yeah the show was enjoyable, it made you grin alot and made you think a few times too but all that is lessened by the fact that at the back of your mind you are saying "What the heck is going on?" at least you are if you are me.
Its not the best anime out there but there are alot worse ones out there. If nothing else it is certainly unique. Maybe if you go into it knowing ahead of time that you will never be given much of a hint as to the backstory then you may have more fun with it than I did but all and all I dont regret watching it. read more