Thursday, October 2, 2014

Papuwa Anime Review

Papuwa
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 6 discs
650 mins. - 26 episodes
$59.98 (2008)
$29.98 (2006-07) Vol. 2-6 ea.
$29.95 (2006) Vol. 1
ISBN 702727152726
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Kenichi Nishida
Studio - Nippon Animation

Synopsis: A long time ago two mystical stones, one red and one blue, were in the possession of two clans.  The two clans battled and eventually the young boy who possessed the intense power of the blue stone fell into a deep sleep.  The one who possessed the power of the red stone went far away.  All of this happened on the first Papuwa Island...
Kotaro arrives on Papuwa Island and is chased by a crazy pink dinosaur
Years later the young boy awakened and escaped back to Papuwa Island, but lost his memory.  This boy was Kotaro of the Blue Clan.  When he arrived on the island he was shocked to find strange talking creatures along with the pint-sized Papuwa and his man-maid, Liquid.  Liquid used to work for the Ganma Army of which Kotaro's father, Magic, is the chairman.  Fearing Kotaro will lose control of his vast power if he remembers his name, Liquid tricks Kotaro into thinking his name is Rotaro.  Now Liquid cares for Rotaro, Papuwa (who is tiny yet immensely strong and has other powers), and their pet friend, Chappy, on the second Papuwa Island.
Rotaro (really Kotaro) comes to live with Chappy and Papuwa
The island itself is a mystery and one must travel through a bizarre vortex in the ocean to arrive on it.  Once on the island it is nigh impossible to leave unless you can find the exact path which you traveled to get there.  Let's just say most people are trapped on the island.  The island's inhabitants are anthropomorphic creatures of all varieties.  These include (but are not limited to):
  • Tanno the transvestite fish who wears fishnet stockings over his hairy human legs
  • Ito the hermaphroditic snail who wears a pink bow and always has its tongue hanging out
  • Oshodani the drumming sea otter who is constantly using drumsticks to drum on things
  • Komoro is a 'magic' mushroom and constantly tricking others into thinking he is an edible mushroom.  His body is hallucinogenic when ingested or inhaled
  • Hayashi is a pink tyrannosaurus rex who is obsessed with good looking men 
Tanno and Ito are the biggest queens on the island!
Magic is concerned for Kotaro's welfare and sends several groups from the Ganma Army.  These include:
  • Special Battle Unit
    • Harlem is the leader and Magic's brother.  He underpays his crew and steals their money to fuel a massive gambling addiction.  He possesses great fighting power.  Liquid used to work for the Harlem and remembers the time as pure torture.
    • Rod is Italian and never wears a shirt.  He tells bad jokes and is crude.  His skill is wind.
    • Marker is Chinese and a skilled warrior.  He is calm and looks down on his fellow team members.  His skill is fire.
    • G is German and doesn't talk very much.
  • Ganma Army
    • Tottori is a ninja although not a very good one.  He uses an unorthodox style which consists of kicking off a sandal.
    • Miyagi looks and sounds like a dumb surfer dude.  He uses the Brush of Literalization which can turn whatever he has written on into that word.  
    • Koji is a complete dumbass and Umako's older brother.
    • Arashiyama uses fire and studied under Marker.  He is terribly awkward and Marker instilled in him an off-putting vanity.  His power is activated when he suffers extreme emotions (like anxiety during social interactions).
  • Shinsengumi are mercenary swordsman
    • Isami Kondo leads the group, but is horribly inept.  He apparently likes good-looking young men.
    • Toshizo Hijikata is the most capable swordsman among the Shinsengumi and a great warrior.  The absurdity of Papuwa Island annoys him greatly, but he grudgingly befriends Liquid.
    • Soji Okita is a good-looking young man who Kondo is fixated on.  He fends off Kondo's attention by repeatedly stabbing him with his sword.
    • Umako Harada is a burly woman with a five o'clock shadow.  She's as strong as the Hulk and just as stupid.  She falls in love with Liquid (to his absolute horror) and grows a beard.
Liquid may protest, but he actually likes being man-maid to
Papuwa, Rotaro, and Chappy
Liquid, Papuwa, Rotaro, and Chappy spend their days on Papuwa Island having adventures and getting on each others nerves.  Despite appearances, Liquid is actually fond of caring for the three and he protects them from those sent by the Ganma Army.  He strives to preserve the zany peace of the island and is a powerful warrior from his days in the Special Battle Unit.  The groups are trapped on the island and find a strange equilibrium with its inhabitants.  
Harlem, leader of the Special Battle Unit
Magic will not give up on finding Kotaro and eventually his older brother, Shintaro, returns to find him.  Shintaro is the most powerful member of the Ganma Army and lived on the first Papuwa Island.  Will Rotaro regain his memories of being Kotaro?  If Kotaro and Shintaro come in contact will they destroy the second Papuwa Island?  Why is it called Papuwa Island anyway?  How many transvestite and hermaphrodite creatures can possibly exist on one South Pacific island? 
Oshodani the drumming sea otter and Komoro the 'magic' mushroom
Pros: A couple decent jokes (mostly in the end when Shintaro and Magic show up on the island), Komoro is kind of funny because he's always tricking people and getting them high, this show is probably the inspiration for the television series Lost
Umako (pre-beard)
Cons: Severely homo-erotic nonsense, weak character designs + incredibly annoying characters, simple animation, no plot, only one girl in the entire show and she looks like a hairy man (with a beard), dub if fairly awful
Toshizo has a wardrobe malfunction to the delight of Tanno and Ito
Mike Tells It Straight: This series easily ranks in my top 10 worst anime of all time.  It failed on many levels, but I'll bash it in the next paragraph.  Let's talk about some of its good points.  The series is zany comedy and has a few good jokes in there.  The last few episodes were okay once Shintaro and Magic appear on the island.  They're both crazy like all the other characters, but offer a mildly sane perspective in comparison and it's a serious breath of fresh air (favorite Shintaro quote when he sees the she-male Umako "Man, that was gross. Maybe the most disturbing creature I've seen on the island").

Liquid is actually a fierce warrior!
The rest of the series was inane nonsense and dragged on endlessly.  All of the characters were effeminate, transvestites, hermaphrodites, she-males, or victims of bad jokes involving those characteristics.  Seems like Papuwa was the only truly male character who was not part of the non-stop gags.  This series was based on a manga sequel to the manga-turned-anime Nangoku Shonen Papuwa-kun by Ami Shibata.  The first anime series was 42 episodes long and it boggles my mind that a sequel would ever be produced.  WTF!?  The first series spawned two video games and it must have gained some sort of popularity.  I do not recommend this series in the slightest.
Shintaro arrives on Papuwa Island and kicks the crap out of Liquid

TO BUY and Recommendations: