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Popotan: V.1 Vanishing House (ep.1-4)
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A sexy and heartfelt story of three mysterious sisters, Ai, Mai, and Mii, who are on a seemingly un-ending quest for the answer to their existence. A journey that takes them to new lands that are strangely familiar And making friends that could never be more than transcendental. This is their story and their heartache of a journey that takes them beyond time
Magical sisters Ai, Mai, and Mii and robot-maid Mea travel from town to town in a magical house, talking to dandelions and helping people with their problems, in this 2003 broadcast series. A weird mixture of saccharine sentiment and gratuitous nudity, Popotan is based on a hentai computer game. In "Secret House," Daichi, an elementary school boy, wants to take pictures of ghosts so he can reassure a classmate that her mother's spirit visited her. The sisters help him, and Daichi ends up in the bathtub with the overendowed Ai. The other episodes follow the same pattern, juxtaposing mawkish emotions and fan service nudity. Unagi the ferret resides in Ai's ample cleavage, and little Mii is always talking about the size of her sisters' breasts. Popotan feels like an episode of Hello, Kitty restaged for the Playboy Mansion. (Rated 16 and older: nudity, risqué humor) --Charles Solomon
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Top Customer Reviews
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. Tears of laughter, sadness and joy punctuate one of the most temporally unique adventures ever animated in Popotan!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I even found Easter Eggs. Go to any episode selection and highlight the "Preview" text and hit right once or twice to highlight two different alternate previews. There's two for each episode.
Popotan follows the adventures of three sisters & their maid as they travel through time in their mansion to various places in Japan in the hopes of finding a mysterious person. In each location they meet new friends as well as new problems to help solve. However, they never seem to be any closer to finding that special person...
The series is very cute & the animation is fairly decent. The animation does seem to occasionally lack in certain areas, most notably when it surrounds a character that isn't a cute or handsome. The three sisters & their maid are the most detailed of any, which is to be expected- after all, they're who the viewer is wanting to see. There's a lot of filler here, with the real meat of the story taking up only a fifth of this twelve episode series.
Something I do have to warn potential viewers on is that there's LOTS of fanservice in here, with all four of the main characters appearing naked. It can be a little overwhelming on occasion, what with some of the fanservice seeming a little over the top. Plus I also have to warn you that some of it is loli fanservice- I know some people don't like watching it, so I thought I should mention it. However, none of it is really all that sexual in nature & most of it is pretty innocently done. It's just that once in a while I was just confused as to why it was necessary- at one point in the later episodes a character stands up & drops trou for no apparent reason other than to be naked. Rather than being erotic,sensual or even cute, it just seemed a little ridiculous & I longed for fanservice with more style. I emphasise all of this because the type of fanservice given in this series just seems to be at odds with how the series was trying to portray itself as. It just didn't match up & felt a little out of place.
It's just that in the end this seemed to just be a little lackluster. The original games & novels supposedly included a love interest & I can't help but feel like the series would have been strengthened if that love interest had been kept with the anime or if more of the backstory from the games had been included. (An adult romance game shouldn't remove the love interest when adapting it to other formats.) This anime isn't terrible, but like some of the other animes I've reviewed it is more of a rental title than something I'd really recommend purchasing straight off.
Anyway, I bought this series collection a year ago. I've been a fan of Nurse Witch Komugi since it arrived here in America years ago on Anime Network and recognized the artwork here in Popotan. I think the artwork is adorable and so are the characters.
I was drawn to the plot and the artwork, but I wasn't expecting so much nudity. I honestly feel it distracted from the wonderful heart-warming story. I don't have a problem with artistic nudity, as I am an artist and have to practice it from time to time. But what was done here was fanservice really lol.
The story really is beautiful, I cried at the ending(no I really did!).
I enjoyed this series very much, but like I said earlier, the gratuitous explict nudity really is like that overcast shadow on the sunshine of the anime as a whole. Very unnecessary to me, sort of cheapens the tale but can be avoided somewhat.
I'm a fan of anime since way back and I like it kind of light and funny (or at least with tastefully done violence ala Ghost in the Shell), with some eye-candy thrown in here and there. This show isn't always light and funny, and it has a LOT of (non-sexually based) nudity, but the storyline was unusually compelling for something that seemed so fluffy to begin with.
The story centers around Ai, Mii and Mai, sisters in a house that seems to be part living quarters, part Christmas advertisement. It travels from place to place, jumping through time as well. The main theme to it seems to be that the sisters are on a "quest" to find a particular woman. Why they're doing that isn't mentioned. Along the way, they make friends with, and then have to leave, a lot of people - which as others have noted drives the drama in the story. A man named Kiet (or Kieth - hard to tell) serves as a moody and arrogant protagonist/"guide" while Mae serves as the sister's (probably cybernetic) guardian/maid. (Who, oddly, was MY favorite character.)
If one can overlook the unexplained reason for the sisters being on the quest in the first place the series is relatively engaging. It's only 13 episodes long and has an ending that could lend itself to more should they ever go about doing it.
But the main thing I want to point out is that once you get it, you can watch it through Amazon's streaming video service. Unfortunately, the aspect ratio is messed up in the streaming side (and yes, I tried all different ones to get it to be correct). This isn't the fault of the show. It's a fault of Amazon for not checking the aspect ratios of its streaming service (It's not a problem on Netflix, but Popotan isn't available on their streaming as of this writing). So if you have Prime and watched the show and aren't getting the DVD's because the aspect ratio is messed up, I expect the DVD's are probably OK. A lot of Amazon's streaming anime shows have really awful aspect ratios for some reason. This makes some of them just plain unwatchable (Not so much for this show). But both Japan and America have the same video standards, so a DVD should be fine.
Four stars because of the lack of reasonably clear explanation behind the motivation for the sisters being on the quest in the first place. Since staying on the quest was the reason for all the drama in the show, it would have been nice to know what was really compelling them to complete it besides (from all appearances) stubborn curiosity. Otherwise it would have been five stars.