Popee the Performer

TV (39 eps x 4 min)
2000 - 2001
Winter 2000
2.825 out of 5 from 709 votes
Rank #16,313

Meet Popee and Kedamono, two very abnormal circus performers that live a very eventful life. Whether they're performing dangerous stunts, dodging alien abductions or being taken over by a body-possessing frog, there's never a dull moment at the circus. Alongside the flamboyant Papi and a special elephant car, Kedamono and Popee will traverse an endless desert in search for an oasis, stab each other with knives for target practice and even blow each other up with bombs – but for poor Kedamono, surviving Popee's homicidal spurts will be difficult to say the least...

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Story Not long ago something happened on the Anime-Planet forums: after a simple buddy watch spawned an epic thread in a matter of days, an obscure series called Popee the Performer developed into a cult-like phenomenon. I dedicate this review to that brave group who sacrificed their very sanity to make it through thirty-nine episodes of the most brain-meltingly awful anime ever made. In a deserted circus far, far away lives an eager young performing artist named Popee and his sidekick, Kedamono and this series follows their various antics. This all sounds innocent enough until you mention the fact that Popee is a psychopath in a striped jumpsuit and bunny ears, Kedamono is a purple wolf whose emotions are conveyed solely through interchangeable masks, they’re later accompanied by an equally psychotic (and somewhat homosexual) minstrel dressed like a sun, and their “antics” involve regularly assassinating each other, tormenting a resident frog, and finding new and innovative ways to outwit/brutally murder a visiting alien. Yes, step right up ladies and gents and welcome to the world of Popee the Performer. Before we start, I should really ask you all a question: would you like your violence with a side of carnage? If you plan on watching this, I sincerely hope the answer is yes because Popee the Performer offers up a hellish all-you-can-eat buffet of blood, chainsaws, explosions and death. Certainly, the incessant desire that Popee and the gang have when it comes to inflicting pain and killing each other makes cartoon favourites such as Tom and Jerry look like they’re playing tea party. I’ve lost count of how many times these guys died in a grisly manner, and to be honest they’ve keeled over in pretty much every way imaginable: shot in the head, blown up, impaled with swords, blown up, poisoned, blown up, and run over by unicycles to name but a few. Now I’m all for comedy violence, but Popee the Performer takes it to a whole new, messed up level – when a series makes Wile E. Coyote look like Mother Teresa, you know something’s not right. On a more serious note, Popee the Performer does force the viewer to consider several questions. What would I do if some creep in a bunny outfit ran towards me with his rape face on and an armful of bombs? Is a punch in the face the best way to greet an alien or would it be best to boil him in a pot? And finally, what kind of straw should I use to blow air up a frog’s arse to revive it? Certainly, the show’s standout feature is that it’s batshit crazy from start to finish. Each episode begins innocuously enough with some harmless activity like chopping up a watermelon but soon veers off in the most unfathomable directions such as elephant trunk barbecue and random gunfights with an unseen enemy. While its utterly freakish nature may sound hilarious to some and can make for entertaining viewing, simply being bonkers isn’t really enough to equal quality. As such, you spend more of your time wondering why the creator of this monstrosity isn’t locked up in an asylum rather than applauding any comic genius the show may attempt (and fail) to aspire to. Animation CGI is definitely the medium for a series such as this. It affords maximum flexibility for all the weird and wacky stunts that the Popee the Performer guys get up to, something that would take a lot longer to do by hand and wouldn’t have nearly the same impact. Unfortunately, the animation itself is crap. With the exception of Papi’s various “dances” which will haunt your nightmares for years to come, the characters’ movement is abysmal. Watching Kedamono attempt to walk is like seeing a foal taking its first steps. If the foal were brain-damaged. And each of its limbs was a different length and made of soggy clay. Despite its failings, the rubbish motion actually adds to the show’s deranged vibe. If Popee didn’t run around like a flailing mess, he might have just been very creepy as opposed to the kind of messed up that has you yelling “I’m never sleeping again, oh dear god mummy hold me!” Sound Like pretty much everything else about this series, the soundtrack is terrible, but oddly it works. There are a variety of recurring tunes throughout, each of which plays to the deranged nature of its content. Often the show uses a typical fairground-style melody, but soon puts its own warped spin on things by making it sound like the instruments are progressively melting with each passing note. Likewise, I defy anyone to watch the whole series and not end up with the main theme circling around their skull causing them to slowly spiral into an abyss of insanity. Meanwhile, the sound effects team deserve a medal for some of the bizarre noises that appear throughout the course of the series.  From random chimpanzee screeches as Popee laughs while flinging Papi into outer space, to stomach growling sounds that sound more like trouser-ripping farts, there’s no shortage of aural oddities, making the sensual assault truly complete. Characters Whenever I think of Popee, I’m immediately reminded of a scene from The Simpsons, where Bart is huddled on the floor, wide eyed with fear chanting: “can’t sleep, clown’ll eat me.” Except in this case the object of abject terror isn’t a creepy painted bed, but a jealous, sociopathic arsehole in a pink striped bunny jumpsuit. The baby-faced little shit has barely any redeeming features, something that is especially prevalent when he’s flinging scorpions at his best friend simply because he happens to be better at acrobatics. However, his douchebaggery only serves to heighten the twisted enjoyment you get out of watching him get beaten, punished or just plain screwed over. About a third of the way in, the rabbit-eared bastard gets himself a proper rival in the form of a rather camp (and that’s putting it mildly) sun-faced jester named Papi. Despite being possibly the most disturbing of the bunch, Papi often acts much like a mother figure (in a worryingly literal sense during the “Sleep” episode) and worries about both Kedamono and Popee when their antics get out of hand and one or both of them end up bloodied/dead. But despite his more uhh… “nurturing” side (the poor guy just has too much love to give), he is not someone to mess with. The moustachioed minstrel is highly capable, his abilities tend to exceed Popee’s and his answer to pretty much any problem is dynamite. That he’s simultaneously the most mature presence in the show as well as the most deranged makes him possibly the most interesting character out of a rather dodgy lot. Overall There’s only one way to describe the overall quality of Popee the Performer: it’s so horrifically bad, it’s good. With terrible animation, ear-burning musical themes, a nightmarish cast, and nothing more than a series of increasingly deranged antics not even attempting to masquerade as plot, the series sets out to assault as many of your senses as possible. And it succeeds. If you let yourself get swept up in the insanity of this carnival of terrors, then you’ll easily find some enjoyment in it; or better yet, share the pain, watch it with a friend and get ten times the laughs as you work your way through this unique “experience” together.


First off, a shout out to the group I did this with, I couldn't have made it through without y'all! And to LinkSword, who brought us into this mess. Story: At first, two freaks at a carnival (Circus) nobody goes to. They never had customers or visitors because of a psycho bunny and a dog who never reveals his face. Apart from the shit premise, it's episodic. But that doesn't mean each stand-alone episode is good or can neglect story for laughs. Or whatever episodic anime does, this does it bad. Rats gnawing on your nuts bad. You will lose braincells at the macabre, morbid and sadism that runs rampant in this shitfest. From ass bullets to ass frogs and shoving straws up frog ass to some loser circus (Carnival) games that involve knives, chainsaws and guns: It makes no sense and it's widely unfunny. I could have given it points for humor but I can't. Only for the bloody tears I shed and my suicidal brain cells. Animation: It looks like shit. Blocky, chunky, ugly, primitive and cropping everywhere (Like how an arm can stick through shorts). This isn't to neglect how damn scary that freak rabbit is. That face scares grown men and women, and he throws bombs that have poorly animated explosions and abysmal fire effects. This shouldn't get a 2 but Poope is so damn scary that it gains a point. Sound: Oh god. My ears wouldn't stop bleeding at the music. It repeats over and over and over and over and over and nearly every single episode with the singing and it's not even bad. It's shit and complete garbage. The only time there's VO is in the last episode and even that repeats. The same phrase. For over a dozen times. IT'S FOUR MINUTES AN EPISODE. God. And the sound effects: Shit. If glass breaks, it goes for all glass. It's pretty much one effect for all events that need that effect. Characters: Chances are you saw the anime entry for this shit. I kid you not, that's what Peepo looks like on more than 15 occasions. That bastard is worse than the Moon from Funny Pets and the Moon's one of the creepiest bastards around. Terrifying. Absolutely, brown pants terrifying. Nearly shit my pants when he showed up like that. But I'm neglecting the gay sun guy, who had some of the most creepiest moments ever in this anime. With the milk bottles. I'm scared to sleep. He was alright at the start but he got so fruity that it got past creepy and then he went over the edge.... makes me shudder. Then we have Mask-Wolf, who is decent. None to bright, as he's still here and he's more often than not a victim for Peppo's sadistic games. One can pity him except for the fact he sometimes joins in too. Best character is the Elephant Car. That boy was gangsta. The frog was there to get molested and they are racist against the alien. Smacking him around.... racist pigs. Overall: Shit. Absolute, Grade A Prime cut shit. This is the royalty of shit, the monarchy of the- yeah, I'm over-doing it. But it's true. If you ever, ever EVER want to watch this, do it with a friend, or a group of friends. Never watch this alone as it would be a pain to clean up the mess you make.


This anime is a ride, and I made sure to take some people along, so this will be sort of dual effort review off and on. I didn't know what I was getting into when the people in the discord of anime planet started preaching the ways of Popee, and after watching I get it. It's more complex then I expected, with it's strange surrealism and ever expanding lore pulls you in. It goes far beyond the show too, with odd merch, dedicated fandom and the creator who is always interacting with said fandom. It even further expands with the manga, which hopefully I can read someday. I feel the more the I look at it, the more info it reveals things that no one expected, or rather I didn't expect to find anyway. Story is allover the place, and events from previous episodes like death are reset in the next. However I really enjoyed it, and it always went into a direction I never expected. It keeps it viewers always on it's toes. It's humour is based out of reality, and literally extends beyond into space, and it's universe into alternate universes. I think there was only one episode which I disliked in season 2 called sleep.... I will not elaborate on it. Animation..... Well I mean it's really easy to date with it's CGI, however it gets better each season. Certain animation I was impressed with considering it's CGI from the early 2000's. I will rate it in mind of the year it was broadcasted in. Sound We found it repetitive, I don't think we will be able to get the theme out of our brains for years to come. If it's even if mentioned right now, it pops into my head. When I am trying to sleep it pops in. Popee zee clown echoes around in my brain. I recognized some sound effects from other CGI shows from the 90's which I found hilarious. The soundtrack adds to the insanity of this series, so it fits. Characters we found ourselves routing for certain characters, and even feeling bad for some in episodes. Popee is violent a psychopath, and is very full of himself. He does not like to be upstaged, and goes into murderous rages when things don't go his way. He does try to problem sometimes, but most of the time resorts to bombing ever loving crap out of what is causing the issue in his mind. We have concluded Kedamono is best waifu, and this is a fact. He is way less violent than Popee, and is loyal to a point, unless bribed with food. He expresses with masks that are constantly falling around him to reveal more expressions. I really ended up enjoying that. Papi..... well um he scares us. His sanity levels can be interesting, he is either trying to help, or gets so pissed he throws the moon. He can be very supportive, and wants to see the other characters grow most of the time. The way he goes about this can either be enduring, or straight up nightmare fuel. The adorable Elephant car and frog are generally at the brunt of all the characters antics. Alien can be a straight up jerk. Overall we would say, grab a friend and hold tight. Cause you are in for one hell of a ride. This show is best viewed with other people just for the reactions alone.  

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