In the grand rules of anime, most eechi/fan service shows are considering to either being the bottom of the barrel and likely the target when it comes to ridiculing anime as a whole, but can an eechi series can be light on the fan service but actually, have some dramatic story elements? Can this one turn the tide for me and be a show that can be taken seriously….or at least, not suck so bad? Then again, I’m a guy that gave Sekirei a decent grade despite most of it being all fan service and that’s where Popotan comes in at.
Sisters Ai, Mai, Mii, and their housekeeper android Mea inhabit in a mysterious house that transports them through time and space. Following leads obtained from dandelions (or “popotan”), the sisters attempt to locate a certain someone believed to hold the answers to their questions. Their peculiar method of transport, however, does not come without its own set of painful drawbacks…..
…and speaking of those painful drawbacks, don’t expect any other arcs aside from the main three characters and some side characters who I won’t spoil for you because for each episode, they and their whole house disappeared will without a trace and sometimes people can actually notice an entire house gone just like that. I’m surprised nobody reported a missing house and three girls, although if they did, they would be declared insane. There are dire consequences to the power they’ve gotten, especially when they get too close to somebody; when they leave, the heartache gets more and more to them.
Anyway, there is actually a hint of storyline and added-in depth into some of the episodes while having some parts of the excessive fan service and since that is to be expected, I was never bothered by the fan service aspect with some exceptions of excessive shots of
Mii. It’s there and as much as I’m 50/50 with that element, it needed to pump the breaks on that.
On to the main three characters, mostly because no other character is actually shown more for one episode aside others, there are
basically the fan service stereotype of anime girls and in my opinion, the names they’ve gotten…..I sense no creative or imaginative sense from the creator and/or the director. Ai (I) is the well-endowed older sister who is motherly to her younger siblings but her calm personality really get distracting in more of the tense moments of the show and she is really bland throughout. Mai (My) is
the middle sister who is the most normal, often the emotional/sensible one and often gets teased because of her bust size being small….and yet the one teasing her is her younger sister Mii (Me), who is also the very energetic and naïve one who can be a bit annoying (I’m just being honest). They also have an android maid named Mea and that’s basically it. She helps around the house, cook their meals, clean after them, and do what any android maid would do. Oh yeah, they also have a pet ferret named Unagi and yet she transforms into a human after every episode to introduce the next one.
The animation, like I said, is very liberal on the eechi and fan service and it’s no surprise that studio SHAFT are the ones responsible for this, considering looking at their past work (Mahoromatic, Dance in the Vampire Bund), they are no stranger to the fan
service genre and if they were going for their signature style of animation, then they have done relatively well. The music is the standard cutesy style, which can be irritating to me, as in, I just skip the opening and ending songs the second I was getting into these episodes as I find them skippable if you’re not into that.
The dub by Geneon/Ocean Group…….is bad and I mean, it was just really annoying to watch and hear some of the voices including Mii, who is very similar to Nurse Witch Komugi, being that Jocelyne Lowyen was the voice of her. Ai’s voice just felt like the voice actress’ only motivation was to keep calm and nothing else, it’s just too jarring to not change any emotion of the voice.
FINAL VERDICT: Popotan is actually not that bad with some glaring problems but it’s nothing to get into a rage about. It is a little cute at some times but it’s not something you should rush to watch. I’ll say if it’s on Netflix or at some streaming site, that’s the time to check it out.
So, what does Popotan get?
Planet Tyro Rating: VANILLA
POPOTAN was available to own on DVD via Geneon Entertainment but the license has since been rescued by Sentai Filmworks. Streaming options for the show are available through Hulu and also The Anime Network.
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the popotan in one big disappearing house.
POPOTAN – animation by SHAFT / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS (formerly GENEON)