September 09, 2007

Potemayo: OK, I am officially confused

Potemayo and Guchuko have entered flowering season? (Spoilers) I sure hope they're not annuals.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:35 PM | Comments (32) | Add Comment
Post contains 20 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I gave up on this one after about 5 episodes.  My biggest problem is that there's no "where did they come from?" at all to this show.  They're just there, having come out of refrigerators.  Usually, absurd comedy has, well, more absurd to it.... a sort of "no rules" feeling.  I definitely get that from Hayate no Gokotu..  Not here.  The only things that appear to be under that principle are Potemayo and Guchuko.  It's like they're grafted into the story.

That, combined with how predictable both of their reactions are is just not doing it for me when I watch this show.  If you wonder what I mean by "predictable" it's this:   Once you understand that (personality-wise) Guchuko is a feral cat crossed with a six-year old, and Potemayo is a domestic cat crossed with a six-year old, then nothing they do is surprising, or particularly funny.  Well, maybe Guchuko's roll of tape... but that's about it.

Posted by: ubu at September 09, 2007 03:15 PM (TtNQU)

2 Maybe so, but I still want a Guchuko plushy.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 09, 2007 03:48 PM (+rSRq)

3 I want the tape.  She can fix anything with it!  Doors, refrigerators, windows...

Posted by: ubu at September 09, 2007 03:50 PM (TtNQU)

4 But only if it's applied using the skull on the top of her axe.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 09, 2007 04:03 PM (+rSRq)

5 Right, I think I can officially say at this point: "What the hell, show?"

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 09, 2007 07:38 PM (CJ5+Y)

6 Wonderduck: With this series, that's nearly a once-an-episode occurrence. Then again, this is a new level of "What the hell, show?"...

Good thing I'm easily amused...

Posted by: Nick Istre at September 09, 2007 08:02 PM (PIlC1)

7 But it's not an absurd comedy. It's a coming-of-age/romance story. Something like Aishiteruze Baby, but with a pre-verbal alien potato-cat in the place of Yuzu-chan.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 10, 2007 12:13 AM (PiXy!)

8 Well, she knows how to say "honyo", at least, and that's just about the only area in which she's ahead of Guchuko.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2007 05:49 AM (+rSRq)

9 I like both of the potato-cats pretty much equally, if for different reasons.

According to ANN, the show only has two more episodes to go, so I'm wondering if there's going to be an ending as such. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Off-topic - has anyone had any problems with the editor not showing up? It's been happening to me just now, but I've been doing weird CSS and Javascript stuff, and my browser might have just been confused, since a reload brought it back.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 10, 2007 09:05 AM (PiXy!)

10 Never mind that last question.  I just went to Wikipedia for something and Firefox didn't load their stylesheet either.  The problem is at my end.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 10, 2007 09:06 AM (PiXy!)

11 I suspect this whole business with the flowers is probably related to trying to create some sort of ending, though I bet it also is a "and life goes on" ending which doesn't involve Potemayo and Guchuko dying/leaving/fissioning/whatever

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2007 10:58 AM (+rSRq)

12 ...I don't know whether I'd want a Guchuko plushie more than a packet of Guchuko seeds.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 10, 2007 03:44 PM (LMDdY)

13

Ubu, they came out of the refrigerator.

Now go watch the show. 

Posted by: Ken Talton at September 10, 2007 06:14 PM (YNfsF)

14 When I first heard of the concept of them coming out of the refrigerator, my first thought was, "Spontaneous generation of complex life out of spoiled milk." I've had some pretty amazing discoveries in my refrigerator over the years, I must tell you...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2007 06:47 PM (+rSRq)

15 Perhaps the refrigerator intelligently designed them out of spoiled milk?

Posted by: gknodle at September 10, 2007 06:52 PM (zYt+T)

16

When it comes to the Potemayo model, I'm not sure if "intelligent" is the word I would have used for the design. Guchuko seems like a better design, from a Darwinian point of view.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2007 07:20 PM (+rSRq)

17 I don't know, Potemayo just doesn't mix it's weirdness right for me.  Now Hayate, that's got the right mix.  The weirdness factor is everywhere, and you never know when they're going to throw in a spoof of something else.  At times, it's got an Excel Saga feel to it.

With Potemayo, it just feels like a writer had one gag idea, and is trying to, ah, milk it for a whole animé season.

Posted by: ubu at September 10, 2007 08:06 PM (3F24i)

18 I feel the same, except with the shows reversed. Mind you, I only managed to watch one episode of Hayate, but I was hooked on Potemayo in the same amount of time.

I was initially concerned that Potemayo was a one-joke show and would lose appeal quickly, but that turned out not to be a problem because that isn't where its appeal actually lies. Of course, you might not like that, which is fine too.

When I said above that Potemayo isn't an absurd comedy but a coming-of-age story, I was serious. I could be wrong, depending on what happens in the two final episodes. I think that if there's a real ending, it will almost certainly be of the coming-of-age type; if not, then it might fail as a coming-of-age story after all. It is promising that they're cutting it off at 12 episodes, though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 10, 2007 10:11 PM (PiXy!)

19 The 24*15-minute format is turning out to be a pretty promising one for comedy shows. That's what Muteke Kanban Musume used, and what Ninja Nonsense used, and what Potemayo used. A lot of times a comic idea just doesn't have half-an-hour worth of funny in it. The 15 minute (i.e. 11 minute) format means they don't have to try to stretch it that far, and it also means that if a particular idea goes thud it doesn't ruin an entire half hour. And if you do happen to come up with a comic idea that really does take half an hour to explore you can do it as a two-parter.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2007 10:37 PM (+rSRq)

20 Also Magipoka.  That was mostly standalone episodes, but did have one three-parter.  (Albeit with a partial continuity reset afterwards.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 10, 2007 11:21 PM (PiXy!)

21 An extreme example of that is Adventures of Minigoddess, which was 48 7½ minute episodes, with some stories going two or three episodes as they made sense to do so. I think for that series the format worked particularly well, since a lot of those comedic ideas didn't even have the juice to run 15 minutes but worked fine when shorter.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2007 11:58 PM (+rSRq)

22 Wouldn't the extreme example be Di Gi Charat, then? 3 minute long episodes.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 11, 2007 04:20 AM (LMDdY)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 11, 2007 04:43 AM (PiXy!)

24

As for Potemayo...

I'm going to wager that the mochi mochi ARE annuals, and they both bloomed in the episode where Potemayo suddenly developed pink flowery pants. Sunao's father suggested that Pote be put in a chastity belt, not because it would freak Sunao out (which it did), but so that she wouldn't get pollinated, fruit, and die.

As it will probably happen, Guchuko will both live the fastest and die the youngest, giving Sunao enough of a heads-up to give Pote a proper goodbye before she, too, kicks the plushie bucket. Of course, it's possible that Sunao will instead go all cold, and not want to even associate with Pote any more once he realizes she's about to die. Which is probably why Sunao's father put the mochis' fruits in the refrigerator to germinate in the first place... to try to help Sunao deal with his mother's death and realize that life is fleeting, so let yourself have a little fun.

Which may happen, or we may end up with a trainwreck ending that makes Mahoromatic look like a Mickey Mouse cartoon in comparison. Any bets on whether Sunao goes catatonic?

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at September 11, 2007 11:03 AM (TaHHC)

25

(After reading the spoiler.)  Wait, you're saying its a bittersweet coming of age story then?  Crap, crap, crap.  I'm definately staying away from the rest of the story.  I'm allergic to that kind of story the way Steven is to angsty teen stuff. 

(Actually, in an entirely different way... if you have any empathy for the characters, that kind of show puts you through the wringer, and I have trouble getting all emo.  Or rather, no trouble getting all emo.  And if you don't have any empathy for the characters, then what the hell are you watching for?)

Posted by: ubu at September 11, 2007 11:25 AM (dhRpo)

26

Tatterdemalian, I think you're way too much of a pessimist.

Unfortunately, your idea does make sense -- but it would be a subversion of the atmosphere in the series. Of course, that happened to me with Bottle Fairy, too -- so I can't yet say you're wrong.

Gad, I hope that's not what they have in mind.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 11, 2007 01:20 PM (+rSRq)

27

Tatterdemalian, the more I think about it, the more your idea makes sense. I bet you're right.

Which is really depressing. If it really happens like that, I expect fan outrage.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 11, 2007 07:59 PM (+rSRq)

28 Hmm.  The manga is listed as ongoing, and from looking at the first couple of chapters, the anime mirrors the manga almost exactly.  Which means that the animators will have to invent an ending if we are to be given one - which means that speculation is just speculation.

The next episode should tell us a lot, so let's wait and see.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 12, 2007 12:36 AM (PiXy!)

29

Ah, okay, I didn't know that. But then, what fun would there be in speculating if we already knew everything?

When you think about it, there are really only two ways for a cute series to go... either the story arc comes to a close with a memorable ending (Sugar), or it keeps going and going until the cuteness elicts groans rather than grins (Garfield, or really any syndicated cartoon series that goes on long enough). In the former case, say what you will about the Gainax ending, but it is DEFINITELY memorable. Heck, Neon Genesis Evangelion is what put Gainax on the map in the first place, and Potemayo wouldn't be the first cute cartoon to twist everything up in the last few episodes (Magic Knight Rayearth, to think of one).

Then again, they could instead go for the Dragon Ball Z option: keep introducing interesting new characters and retiring old and worn out ones, with a stable core cast that eventually develops first one way and then another. I could see Potemayo going this way, even with the "annual" storyline... about the time the mochis start to grate, they die, but leave behind fruits that eventually grow into new mochis with new personalities that retain some of their parents' aspects. The school kids then become the continuing cast, and the mochis become the supporting characters that help the mains grow and develop. Sort of like the ending to Charlotte's Web, only with more sequel and merchandising potential.

So... what if it turned out that Pote and Gucho pollinated each other?

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at September 12, 2007 06:00 AM (TaHHC)

30
Ah, okay, I didn't know that. But then, what fun would there be in speculating if we already knew everything?
Neither did I, until I tripped over the Potemayo manga scanslation site today. Within the context of what we've seen, your speculation is entirely plausible.


Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 12, 2007 07:30 AM (PiXy!)

31

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 12, 2007 07:37 AM (+rSRq)

32

If they do go the way I said, though, the series is going to crash. It worked for Dragon Ball Z because the viewers knew all the characters could and probably would be revived at some point, so there was always a chance you'd get a surprise cameo from some dead / retired character for the long-time fans to go nuts over. With Potemayo, everyone will feel cheated if the mochis die, doubly cheated if they are somehow resurrected by some macguffin that has never even been mentioned at all yet in the story, and nothing but a promise of repeated trips through the emotional wringer every season if they take the "they die every year, but leave a new generation behind" approach.

Which, sadly, doesn't mean this isn't what they're planning. I hate to rag on such experimentation in any artistic endeavor, but if that's the route they take, I can pretty well say there won't be enough viewers to support a second season of the animated series, even if the manga still has an audience.

As for mochis' gender... I can't really think of either as male or female. They're little pink animated potatoes with doll heads, for pete's sake.They're blisteringly cute, which is enough for most people to classify them both as female, but I find their behavior way too alien to assign them gender roles. It's like declaring all flowers female; just because they look pretty and smell nice doesn't make them girls.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at September 12, 2007 09:16 AM (TaHHC)

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