On the surface it may be just a very boring bishoujo game-based anime full of nekkid bodies of the megane-ko onee-chan, a spunky girl-next-door, and a Komugi-chan-type cute little girl. Oh, also add in a cool/quiet Maid-san and a white pet-creature. Yup, Popotan addresses the needs of almost any type of moe~ complexed boys. On the surface you might find nothing but skin skin skin. It’s the most fanservice-ful anime around, but with very little ecchi to complement that. But despite all the ‘naked truths’ in the surface, I am impressed with the story structure.
The three sisters, a maid, and a pet travel across time and space… along with their house. They go to stay on that specific area for a few days, then ‘magically’ disappear again to another time and/or place. The main dilemma? They meet people, make friends with them, but because they are always ‘travelling’, they leave their newfound friends behind too quickly. Aside from that dilemma, they are trying to search for ‘someone’ as they travel, and they ask the ‘popotan’ (popotan~=tanpopo=dandelions) if the person is in that particular area. Yup, they can talk to flowers, and they also have some magical powers but they were never used too much in the anime. Anyway, the plot thickens when they start returning to the places they’ve already been to, but in a future time. The friends who were left behind, what would be their reaction to their abysmal return? And when they find that ‘person’, can they find the answers they were looking for? All of these combine to provide a very coherent plot full of drama. Yup, behind all the comedy lies beautiful drama. If Kokoro Library were ecchi it would be Popotan. That’s saying how nice the execution of this anime is.
The screencaps show only one of the sisters, Mai (the sisters together are ridiculously named Ai, Mai, and Mii, ring a bell?), because she’s the only one worth mentioning. She has the best personality in this anime, and she has the best stories (not to mention multiple episode counts dedicated to her). I like spunky girl-next-door types in anime (Mako from Da Capo also comes into mind), because they feature a more realistic female character viewpoint. Many other anime girls are very stereotyped and cliche.
So in summary, you would be in for a pleasant surprise when you watch Popotan. It is not as shallow an anime as you may think in the surface.
The opening video of this anime included a rather cute dance by Mai and Mii, which spawned the Caramelldansen meme.