Things Get Serious in "Popotan" Vol. 2
It was quite a surprise that Popotan didn’t suck. I mean really, the first volume actually blew me away with just how charming and funny a show like this could be. A quick introduction: Popotan is the story of three sisters who live in a magical house that teleports to different locations at random intervals, forcing the sisters to essentially begin their lives all over again. Their abilities to speak with flowers (and do other amazing things) are as of yet unexplained, but their fate is tied somehow to Dandelions, or Popotan as they call them.
The first episode on here (episode five) is the obligatory hot springs episode that all brightly colored shows involving a cast of women are required by Japanese law to have. Following the direction of a single Popotan, Ai, Mai, Mii, and Mea go from place to place looking for clues about themselves and a mysterious girl. Then Mai and Mea get stranded as the house teleports away without them. This was a cute and funny episode. The problem with this and every episode in the series is the excess nudity. Sure the characters are all attractive, but for me, the swimsuit contest was enough. Seeing them all naked has lost its novelty and has actually started to detract from the show.
Episode 6 is the most somber episode thus far of the series. Ai and Mii realize that the house has not jumped to another location as usual. It has instead jumped five years into the future. Bumping into Mai at an ice cream stand, the sisters have a tearful reunion, catching up on all the time they have lost. After accidentally removing Mai’s wig, the family realizes that none of them are capable of aging unless they are at their own house. This was a pretty good episode, though while it was emotional, Mai still seemed too casual for someone who hasn’t seen her sisters for five years. She is perhaps the most attractive, but definitely the most annoying character in my opinion.
Episode 7 introduces a bit of action and moves ahead on the mystery surrounding the sisters. As the sisters attempt to sell ice cream to make a quick buck an old friend comes to visit. Revealing himself as Daichi (the kid from the first episode) he is shocked to see that the sisters haven’t aged at all in the thirty (yes, thirty) years since he had last seen them. Ai is rescued from the awkward encounter by a mysterious man named Keith who soon wines, dines, and beds her. All is not rosy with Keith though, as he attempts to murder a curious Daichi who comes snooping around the house at night. Unwilling to love a man so violent and cruel, Ai breaks up with Keith and has a quick reunion with Daichi. This episode wasn’t all that great, but the fight scene with Keith was pretty cool. Special nods to Mea for her super cool entrance into the foray.
Episode 8 is a cute and charming episode, but doesn’t really serve to advance the plot any. Finding themselves teleported to a Shinto shrine, the sisters open up their Christmas shop and are introduced to a young girl named Nono. Due to her Shinto upbringing, Nono’s grandfather forbids her to celebrate Christmas, even though she wants nothing more than to experience its joys just once. After intervention from Ai, Mai, and Mii, Nono gets her wish and celebrates a quiet Christmas with her Grandfather.
All in all Volume 2 was pretty damn good. I don’t know if it was better then the amazing first volume, but this one does wonders to advance the plot and deepen the mystery. So seldom does a show so engrossing, charming, and funny come along. I can’t wait for Popotan‘s conclusion, and the answer to all the mysteries thus far. Go out and get it!