Potemayo

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Honi Honi Honi!

In all honesty I was tempted to leave this review as just those words, but for those of us who don’t speak the language, here’s a more normal version (that is, if the word normal can be ascribed to this series).

What is Potemayo? When you watch the show this will be the question that you’ll find yourself asking over and over.

You could say it’s an anime series based on the manga of the same name by Ogataya Haruka. You could also say that it’s the result of drug induced euphoria like Hunter S Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (only funnier). It’s very possible that Potemayo is the product of genius and madness joining together to create a story that encapsulates the surrealness of Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu, the anarchy of Seto no Hanayome, the wrongness of Inukami, and choice morsels from a number of other shows.

You could say a lot about the anime and manga known as Potemayo, and maybe they’re all correct. We don’t know.

What we do know is that Moriyama Sunao wakes up one morning to find his fridge has given birth to a strange creature who absolutely reeks of kawaii. So he does what any half awake boy would do. He leaves it in the fridge, closes the door, and considers his options.

1. Leave it in the fridge until it stops moving.
2. Let it out, name it after a snack, and adopt it.

Potemayo is basically a story about Sunao’s life with his newfound companion, with much in the way of odd, weird, strange, cute, and downright hilarious along the way.

While it may, at first, seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to the series, there is actually a plot buried somewhere under the mirth and cuteness. The problem is, you probably won’t bother to look for it (I didn’t until the third time watching the show), as your sides may hurt from time to time.

There’s not much else one can say about the “plot” though (I assure you there is definitely a plot, it’s just well hidden is all), however the aim of Potemayo is to make you laugh, and this it does better than many other shows out there. Things only get stranger once the ultimate tsundere, Guchuko, is introduced.

Given the main aim of the series, one can expect some fairly standard artwork and animation, and this is actually the case for the most part. The characters are fairly plain, however, the show does feature some strange and wonderful character designs (Potemayo and Guchuko), and some gloriously animated and choreographed bits of visual comedy (usually involving Potemayo and Guchuko).

The sound and music are, like the visuals, decent but nothing groundbreaking. That said, Hanazawa Kana and Tsuji Ayumi are simply brilliant as Potemayo and Guchuko, and Kitamura Eri (Sunao), is hilarious with his deadpan delivery. The show also features one of the most well suited and dangerously catchy OPs in anime. The song gives a very good idea of what to expect from the series, however viewers should take care as you may find yourself humming the chorus for months on end.

So, what can I say about characters? I could talk a lot about how cute Potemayo and Guchuko are, or I could talk about Sunao being the personification of the comedy “straight man”, or I could even talk about Natsu Mikan and her rivalry with Potemayo for Sunao’s affections. I could talk about several of the characters, but I’ll only mention the word development in terms of Sunao. Aside from him, the other characters get virtually no development, but then again, this show isn’t really about developing characters.

That said, both Potemayo and Guchuko do “mature”, it’s just that their development is physical rather than mental and, like the rest of the show, very strange indeed.

Now I will admit that I have a soft spot for comedies, especially those that are imaginative and original, and Potemayo definitely fits the bill. The show uses almost every comedy trick in the book, and uses them well, with slapstick right alongside cross dressing, innuendo mixed with anarchy, and some of the best visual gags I’ve seen in anime outside of Gintama. Granted there’s a certain cuteness to the show’s design, but that only makes the laser beams and dead animals funnier.

If you like your comedy to have a healthy dose of chaos, a heaping helping of slapstick, a serving of deadpan, together with a side order of Chii’s Sweet Home, then this is the show for you. If you want something serious, then this is definitely not what you’re looking for.

Potemayo is cute, hilarious, wrong, anarchic, weird, and lots of other things besides, and it puts many other shows to shame with it’s simple approach to making the audience laugh.

And now that’s done, I’m off to check the fridge…

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