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Very very berry berry

The "Popped My Tan" ROSSMAN

Sometimes I surprise myself. Especially when I'm so goddamn open minded that I'll give something like Tenshi ni Narumon or Chobits a try despite their waaaaay too-cute-to-be-good outward appearances. Sometimes these things pay off (as is Tenshi's case), and sometimes they don't (take a guess which one I'm talking about here). And sometimes you get something like Popotan which is one of the most cute, and also one of the most completely melancholic shows I've ever come across. Not to mention the fact that it was first a hentai pr0n game. I don't know what my point was.

Let me address the hentai issue first. I am just in complete awe that this show was originally a hentai game. Flabbergasted... Totally. Popotan is like the CUTEST a show can possibly be. The main characters are all cute, adorable and plushy, and the situations they get into are so non-confrontational and as far from aggressive or scary as they can possibly be. Up to episode 6 I'd have probably let my still possible, young, illegitimate children watch this show. It is just so damn CUTE... But it was honest to God a hentai game first and foremost... Seriously, even with some of the dramatic bits from the second half of the series I cannot possibly FATHOM how this story was originally from a hentai game. I mean, I've seen the screen captures of the game, so I know how it could be one... but the plot of the show and the cuteness of the main characters (not to mention the beyond illegality of Mii-chan's age) really makes me scared of the producers of the original PC game. Seriously. They scare me. They probably break into grade school girls' locker rooms just to sniff panties. Christ... That's just disturbing. Fucking perverts.

Anyway, let me tell you a little something about Popotan the TV series. So, these three sisters hop around Japan in their magical mansion (well, it could be something of science due to that crazy glowy satellite that appears in the sky right before the leaps... Who knows) that seems to be powered by tanpopo (dandelions), and in each new place they travel to they interact with the locals (mostly children, though sometimes the ghosts of children), and the local flowers. Well, the oldest sister, Ai (the green haired, glasses-wearing, big tittied one), is really the only one who does all the flower talking. Mii (the purple haired, 10 year old brat who loves "squishy, plushy" things) does all the stupid and annoying things (but in a cute way); Mare (the hot robot maid who for some reason really loves Christmas) does all the cooking, cleaning and sarcasm (she could be R. Dorothy Wayneright's twin sister); Unagi (the little high pitched weasel who can transform into a little albino girl) does all the "next episode" announcements; and Mai (the middle, redheaded sister) does all the... Well, she's just there.

And that's about it. The show is about these three sisters, their weasel and their robot maid traveling around Japan (and through time) while they never age. You may ponder, "That sounds really kinda lame... What do they do episode in and episode out? Just talk to flowers?" Well, that's their goal (talking to the tanpopo, that they for some inexplicable reason call "popotan", in order to find a certain person who seems to be as lost in time and space as they are), but what the writers actually do with this basic plot outline is pretty impressive.

The first 5 episodes are fairly straight forward. The girls leap from place to place, make new friends wherever they go, and then abruptly and unfortunately find that they have to leave, sometimes without even saying goodbye to their new buddies. These episodes are all cutesy-cutesy and bubbly-wubbly. I almost didn't continue past them, but then the ending of episode 5 really hooked me with its premise: What if one of the sisters was left behind when the mansion leapt? Episode 6 dove head first into this fairly sad storyline, and with it I was hooked. From there I found that Popotan was startlingly deep... Especially for something based on pr0n. The situations that arose past episode 6 (and especially the whole beach-house episode where there is some hardcore melodrama and even some [off screen] body slapping) were very rewarding. Every character has some kind of pain that she's hiding (including Mare), and wishes (noun) that she wishes (verb) would come true. It's kind of a kick to the nose when the drama starts pouring out, but it's all good. You realize that the first 5 episodes were very necessary in order for the impact of the drama to punch you around like a re-re in the ring with Mike Tyson after taunting him about his tattoos (calling them "gay" and shit). Especially when Mai meets the spawn of Konami. Seriously, can't the girl catch a break? Mai is like the poster child for mentally abused teenagers on the verge of suicide. So sad.

Random Thoughts Time:

  • The biggest surprise of the show though has to have been when that dude with the white hair (always a sign of a complete bastard in anime) bagged big-tittied Ai-san. Up until that point I was thinking that this would be the best show ever to leave some kids with whom you're supposed to be watching when you just want to go out for a drink and/or to the whore house over on Baldwin Street on "Nickel and Dime Thursday."
  • The "Christmas" episode had me rolling on the floor in fits of OMGWTFLMAOGD laughter. When the chorus of children broke out with "Siiiiiiiirent night... Hoooooory night" I lost it.
  • There is some nudity in the show, but it's almost all when the girls have bath time together or go to the hotsprings. All harmless... Except for HOW OFTEN these freaky chicks take baths together. They're like sudsed up for 3/4ths of every episode!
  • Oh, and was it just me who wanted to bitch-slap the shit out of Mii whenever she started claiming she was a "Magical Girl Mii-tan" and prancing around in that really retarded outfit? No? Didn't think so.
  • I just love how that old shrine priest gave up his entire faith for the sake of a piece of Christmas cake! No, that wasn't to make his granddaughter feel better. He seriously WANTED that fucking cake... And even if it was for his misguided daughter, he turned his back on his maker! That's like giving Ms. Satan the pleasure of two in the pink and one in the stink right in front of Shinto-God's ever watching eyes!
  • What the fuckadoodle did that mystery girl who dances naked in the moonlight have to do with the whole quantum leaping shit? Yeah, the show is all about the sisters' journey and not their destination, but you know, even a simple one sentence explanation would have been sufficient to let us in on the whole point of the plot.
  • How many other groups of siblings were leaping? Why were they leaping? Was Mare the maid of all of them? Why does Ai even bother wearing a negligee when it's completely see-through like that?
  • Keith is a royal asshat who beats his own father up and has HUGE Oedipal issues of sorts. What a cock-knocker.
  • Why is Mare a robot? What's up with that? Was there any point to that? Was she just the mechanical "fallback fuck" in the original hentai game?
  • One more thing: No, I do not know why they call tanpopo "popotan". That's just stupid.

Okay, I think that covered most of the randomness of the show while providing you, the reader, enough fuzzy spoilers to really make you as confused as a long-tailed cat in a room full of lesbians with strap-ons snug around their crotches. Now, back to the hentai thing (I really can't get over this bit)... In most TV shows made from hentai games they just follow the basic plot of the game, but they simply remove all the bumping and grinding. Though while watching the show you can always tell when two of the characters GOT IT ON in the original storyline. With Popotan, if the show's plot does indeed match the game's, there's absolutely NO place for any body-slapping action... Well, with the exception of episode 7... but one escapade does not a hentai game make (trust me, a game with only ONE *eeky eeky* scene would sell less copies than a pr0n movie of nothing but... Shit, everything I tried to come up with as an example here actually sounded like it would a good pr0n movie... Sorry). And what the fuck about little Mii?! Seriously, big tittied Ai I can understand. Slender and athletic high school girl Mai I can see too... Hell, even Mare I can get, but tiny, young Mii?..... Seriously, we need to nuke Japan again. That is one seriously fucked up culture.

What did I think of Po-Po-Po-Po-Popotan? I give it a solid "B". It was okay for what it was. I wouldn't let your kids watch it unsupervised though or you might get questions like "Why was that white-haired guy without a shirt in the girls' house at night, and why was the big chested lady nekkid in bed?". Or "Mommy, Daddy, how come the pictures on the internet about Popotan all have guys with their pee-pee sticks in the girls' hoodillies?"


The Leaping
BOB FROM THE FUTURE

Finally, somebody made a media event that shows what it is like to leap from place to place and year to year without a temporal anchor to keep one sane. At last somebody understands my plight! Watching those cute sisters in this Poppytan endure all their pain and hardships made me realize that I was not alone anymore in my own sorrows... *Sniff*

I'm sorry, but to be quite frank, Quantum Leap was so full of plot holes and really unintelligent science. Leaping from life to life isn't even nearly as bad as Dr. Samuel Beckett made it seem. In fact the first attempt to send me back, from my time into the past to help the Rossman avert imminent danger, led to me getting stuck in the body of a California stripper named Bamberella in 1986 who had just received a breast enlargement operation performed on her upper torso. Needless to say my assistant, Tim (my own personal "Al" if you will), couldn't get me to leave that body, or my body's apartment, for at least 2 months after I leapt into it... And he only got me to do that after showing me photos of Bamberella, stuck in my body in the future, with a knife held at the base of my "little Bob" in a very threatening manner. Tim and Piggy, the uber-computer that's actually responsible for my travels, both informed me that they tried to keep Bamberella under sedation until I leapt back... but that they also ran out of ether and alcohol the day before, and once Bamberella got sober and realized that she was stuck in a man's body she apparently went a little berserk and threatened to lop off my quite large manhood if I did not switch back with her.

To be quite honest, I was originally planning to just let her stay in my body and me in hers forever, but at that time I had just come down with what my gynecologist referred to as "the largest goddamn yeast infection" he had ever seen. I think he even made a reference to the fact that I had a loaf of bread growing down there. Ladies, you can keep your vaginas. They are only fun for a couple of months anyway before they get old.

I am going to have to give this show a 21 laser gun salute. Cute girls and a time travel story that tells it like it is? The perfect combination.


The Ai, Mai, Mii SATAN

Dandelions suck. Where's an "evil leaper" when you need one? And no, golden-eyed Keith was more of a masculine dickhead than all out "evil leaper".

Christ! This thing was beyond embarrassing to watch. The Rossman has some nerve. Although this incident made me worry a little bit. You see, I'm pretty sure that the Rossman is heading to my domain when he expires, and the usual "eternal damnation" ploy I use on movie and TV lovers like him is to make him watch (all Clockwork Orangy-like in chairs with straps and eye-openers) crappy TV and Movies till the end of time... Crappy TV and Movies like Popotan. Goddammit! If he can handle stuff like this, he can easily handle Ishtar and Golden Girls... Hmmmmm. Maybe the best punishment for him is to make him watch visual entertainment that he really likes, but in the same room as his old high school girlfriend as she makes out with Carrot Top for all eternity. I think I may be on to something.

Once again I find that I dreadfully dislike what I have to review, but I also find that I can probably use the piece of media in torturing and punishing naughty souls in Hades. So I give it a thumb up and a thumb down.