Anime: Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z
Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z
("And away they go! Powerpuff Girls Z") is an anime
adaptation of the American cartoon The Powerpuff Girls
. It turns Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup into Magical Girl Warriors
, complete with elaborate transformation sequences
that hover somewhere between homage to and parody of the genre
. Originally announced on April 1, 2005, which led many fans to believe it was an April Fool's joke, but the show premièred for real on July 1, 2006.
The storyline indicates that this is very
much an Alternate Continuity
from the American version, starting right from the girls' origin: Professor Utonium's son Ken is conducting a weather-changing experiment using "Chemical Z" (as opposed to the original's "Chemical X"), causing an accident that grants superpowers to three unrelated thirteen-year-old girls — Blossom (Momoko Akatsutsumi) (codenamed "Hyper Blossom" in her powered form), Bubbles (Miyako Goutokuji) ("Rolling Bubbles"), and Buttercup (Kaoru Matsubara) ("Powered Buttercup").
Many of the original Powerpuff Girls Rogues Gallery
make a re-appearance here, although several of them are now of the Tragic Monster
variety - and Mojo Jojo is now a normal monkey turned Mad Scientist
by Chemical Z, bent on seeking revenge against humanity which mistreated him. Instead of translating the convoluted speech pattern the original character used into a nigh-incomprehensible Japanese version, he has a Verbal Tic
and ends every sentence with "Mojo".
The series was made due to the refusal of major Japanese networks to air the original series, which was very popular on cable, since it wasn't produced in Japan
This show provides examples of:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Ms. Bellum is a blonde instead of a redhead.
- Aerith and Bob: Several from the original Powerpuff Girls are kept, but new characters (including the secret identities the Girls and some of their enemies have in this continuity) given Japanese names. So that means you have characters like "Keane-sensei" among a class of kids with Japanese names Momoko, Miyako, Kaoru, you have Utonium and his son with the surname "Kitazawa," "Miss Bellum" next to characters like Sakurako, etc.
- Alpha Bitch: Princess, obviously.
- Alternate Continuity/Alternate Universe: Not only does the anime follow a different continuity from the original cartoon, but one of the later episodes confirms that the anime and the original cartoon exist in separate realities.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The English dub theme song differs from the Japanese theme.
- The Artifact: The story's setting has been moved to Japan, but several of the characters are based off of characters from the original series who had English names. Some of the characters are given new Japanese names to fit the setting, such as the girls while not transformed, but some of them keep their original names in order to remain recognizable, such as Mojo Jojo and almost all of the other returning villains. The result is the Aerith and Bob situation as described a few entries above. As a general rule, most good characters get new Japanese names and most villains keep their old name, but there are exceptions. For example, Professor Utonium both keeps his old name and gets a new Japanese surname, the girls, Princess, and Sedusa all use Japanese names in their civilian forms while using their original names in their alter egos, and Miss Bellum and Ms. Keane/"Keane-sensei" both keep their names.
- Averted in the dub thanks to the Cultural Translation that it went through; none of the original English names are out of place any longer as a result.
- Artificial Human:
- Alpha and Beta in the manga.
- The Rowdyruff Boys also count, as they follow their American counterparts' origin of being male clones of the Powerpuff Girls created by Mojo Jojo rather than being normal children empowered by Chemical Z like the girls.
- Ascended Fangirl: Momoko/Blossom, thrice over.
- Balloon Belly: The girls after eating too much ramen in episode 15.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: This is how the Genre Savvy Blossom and Mojo first realize that they're supposed to be enemies.
- Berserk Button: NEVER tell Buttercup that she looks cute in a skirt.
- Between My Legs: Blossom in episode 13.
- Bokukko: Kaoru/Buttercup
- The dub version has plenty of examples. In general, the language is cleaned up, as the original Japanese version had several characters, the girls themselves included, using words like "damn" or "crap".
- One of the most notable examples of dub censorship is the episode where the Rowdyruff Boys make their debut:
- While in the original the Boys climb on a roof and take a piss on people's heads, in the dub the scene is completely re-drawn, and replaced with them holding a garden hose and wetting people with it. This one's actually a subversion, though; the same exact thing happened to the show in its original language. The scene where the boys piss on people's heads was only ever shown during the series' syndication, and once the episode came out on DVD, it was replaced with the same garden hose scene that got shown in the dub. Apparently the Moral Guardians in Japan weren't too happy with that scene either.
- When the Boys start attacking the Powerpuff Girls, they flip their skirts. This scene was altered in the dub by having the screen flash white when the skirts are flipped.
- They then proceed to humiliate them further by taking off their pants and mooning them. In the dub, they change it so that the boys instead fart in the girls' faces.
- One dub change that didn't involve the Rowdyruff Boys: Turning Snake of the Gangreen Gang into a woman named Ivy. Note that even anyone familiar with the American original Powerpuff Girls series would know that that's supposed to be a guy...
- Sakurako / Annie transforms into Sedusa because she wants to be 'sexy like Miss Bellum' and make her love interest notice her. In the dub of course this motive is removed. Later, she finds her boyfriend Jason chatting with his college teacher. She turns into Sedusa because she thinks he's cheating on her with said teacher. In the dub, she simply thinks that he found a new friend and that he no longer wants to be her friend.
- In the original, Bubbles' childhood friend Taka has been isolated in a hospital for 7 years over a chronic, potentially lethal heart condition. In the dub (where he's renamed as Cody), he only goes there over a minor injury.
- Fuzzy Lumpkins marks his territory by hand-printing all over it. After falling in love with Ms. Bellum, he dreams of smacking her butt, marking it this way to "claim" her. In the dub that scene was cut.
- When Ken goes to school, a boy always tries to bully him. Momoko/Blossom's sister confronts the boy about it by saying that he only bullies Ken because he has a crush on him. The boy doesn't deny it. This accusation was changed in the dub.
- The English dub of the episode with the camera monster had one of the monster's victims state that he was celebrating his birthday as opposed to walking around drunk. A scene of one of the camera monster's victims being a man on the toilet is also cut.
- Boy of the Week: Momoko/Blossom falls for a boy at least Once per Episode.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "Powerpuff Girls, we need you!!!!!" Or, in the Japanese version, "Powerpuff Girls Z da wan!!"
- Calling Your Attacks: Used by the girls and the villains they fight.
- Canon Foreigner: Ken Utonium and pretty much every villain created by exposure to the Chemical Z rays who isn't a member of the normal Powerpuff Girls rogues gallery, especially if they are a Monster of the Week. A lot of the minor characters also count.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Miyako/Bubbles has had a crush on a boy named Takaaki/Cody that she met once as a child for years. This is the main reason she rejects all the boys at school.
- Christmas Episode: The 26th episode, where the girls try to convince Ken that Santa Claus is real and Mojo tries to ruin Christmas for everyone.
- Clark Kenting: In this continuity the girls have secret identities, and they preserve these identities by changing absolutely nothing about themselves except their clothes when out superheroing. Nobody, not even people who know them well, recognizes them. This is made even sillier in the dub, where they don't even bother to change their names.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Some of their powers come from their outfits, and when the professor tries on Bubbles outfit, he is mistaken for Bubbles.
- Code Name: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup are just code names, with their real names being Momoko Akatsutsumi, Miyako Goutokuji, and Kaoru Matsubara resoectively. In the English dub, however, they are referred to as Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup both as superheroes and in their civilian identities.
- Composite Character: Poochi is combination of The Talking Dog and The PPG Hotline.
- Crazy-Prepared: Ken and/or the Professor have, for no readily explainable reason, a ray that fires Chemical Z and another ray that reverses its effect, despite the fact that Chemical Z was just invented earlier that same day, cameras already positioned all over the world that just happen to be compatible with the Powerpuff's magical belt... things, and a rocket loaded with French dressing just in case the girls ever have to fight sentient vegetables... etc. Not to mention all those crazy steps that Ms. Keane took to keep the girls in class.
- Cultural Translation: The dub undoes the Setting Update and brings the show's location back to English speaking territory.
- Cute Bruisers: The girls are tough as nails, and even though they are now 13 years old, they still look adorable.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episodes that focus more on the villains and make them seem fairly sympathetic. Most have their own Freudian Excuses, or at least redeeming qualities.
- Demoted to Extra: The narrator. The anime does not usually have a narrator, as most of the voice-overs are done by the girls, Ken, and/or Professor Utonium. On rare occasions, however, the episode gets a more conventional narrator to narrate the episode.
- Destructive Saviour: The Powerpuff Girls tend to damage the city during their battles, to the Mayor's chagrin.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Peach/Poochi is able to detect the black auras of the villains created by the black Chemical Z lights.
- Evil Redhead: Himeko/Princess, although less on the actual evil and more on the jerk, albeit a sympathetic one.
- Excuse Me While I Multitask: Played for Laughs in Episode 18.
- Femme Fatale: Sedusa.
- Foreign Remake: Created in Japan, and complete with a Setting Update to match. Although the dub winds up getting rid of the Setting Update in question.
- Freudian Excuse: Three noteworthy ones:
- Fingerless Gloves: Probably as a nod to the original PPG's lack of fingers.
- Genre Savvy: Momoko/Blossom, who for example was able to figure out Mojo Jojo was a villain when they first met because of his dark aura.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the 20th episode, Peach/Poochi hikes his leg to pee while sleepwalking, visible urine stream and all. It counts because it wasn't changed in the English dub, in spite of the censorship done to the Rowdyruff Boys listed under Bowdlerise.
- Girlish Pigtails: Miyako/Bubbles, just like her American counterpart.
- Gratuitous English: Their transformations are invoked with English phrases.
- You also have the Gigi the Great (aka Gilbert). He seems to especially love the word charisma.
- Hair Colors: Pretty much every major character has a distinguishable hair color.
- He Who Must Not Be Named: As with the original series, "Him" is the only designation that is safe to describe Him with. When Ken asks why, Utonium tells him Him's real name. You can't hear Utonium's voice during the scene, but Ken's expressions says it all.
- Humongous Mecha: Mojo Jojo's creations
- Hyperspace Mallet: Buttercup. It's actually one of her superpowers.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Bubbles with Octi in Episode 36.
- In the Name of the Moon: "Fighting Love, Science Legend! Powerpuff Girls Z!"
- Let's not forget "Fighting Love Knowledge Legend! Oedo Chaki Chaki Girls"
- Jumped at the Call: Blossom.
- The Knights Who Say Squee: Blossom, again. She was quite ecstatic to see her favorite television superhero Hiro/Johnny Cosmo in person.
- Laying On A Hillside
- Legion of Doom: In Episode 50, where Him gathers all the other monsters except Princess and Sedusa. Villians also tend to team up on a smaller scale as well.
- Lettered Sequel: While the Z title is justified by the name of the chemical, it also seemingly serves as a nod to older series such as Dragon Ball Z and Mazinger Z.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to its American counterpart.
- Magical Girl: And how.
- Megaton Punch:
4 year oldPreteen Blossom packs a wicked haymaker that can send an evil monkey from the surface down to the underground rail lines.
- Meta Origin: In this continuity, the Powerpuff Girls and their Rogues Gallery, as well as several one-shot antagonists, were created after they were exposed to black and white Chemical Z rays resulting from an explosion that happened when Professor Utonium's son Ken fired Chemical Z at a mountain in an attempt to solve the town's weather problem.
- Monster of the Week: In addition to creating the Powerpuff Girls' iconic enemies like Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, and the Amoeba Boys, the black Chemical Z rays also created several one-shot antagonists that never appeared again after their debut episode due to either being returned to normal permanently by Professor Utonium and his son Ken or having a Heel-Face Turn by the end of the episode.
- Mundane Utility: In Episode 34.
- My God, You Are Serious: It wasn't an April Fool's joke.
- Mythology Gag: Outside of "Powerpuff Kids," you have several nodding to the original Powerpuff Girls including whole episodes referencing plots from the original series.
- One had the girls fight due to Him's possession of Octi much like "Octi Evil" and another had monsters rampage freely throughout New Townsville, similar to the plot of "Bought and Scold" where Princess makes all criminal activity legal.
- Then you have the 2nd opening which contains numerous allusions to the original series, particularly the Liberty Bell, Harmony Bunny, and Mange suits from Super Zeroes, Blossom's ability to use her bow as a weapon, Bubbles' ability to talk to animals, Buttercup's ability to roll her tongue, Utonium's Powerprof. suit, and a mecha much like D.Y.N.A.M.O. The professor's suit, Blossom's bow attack, and D.Y.N.A.M.O. eventually make it into the series.
- And if that wasn't enough, one episode has the girls briefly drop into Townsville where the original Powerpuff Girls are fighting off a monster.
- One of the later episodes has the girls run across the world doing odd jobs and challenges for Him in order to save the Professor from his clutches... only to find at the end that the Professor was in no actual danger and the whole thing was really for nothing - Him, of course, having never actually said the Professor was in jeopardy - essentially the plot to "Him Diddle Riddle" from the original show.
- In the episode where Princess/Himeko' sister Duchess/Miko comes to town, she hatches a plan to upstage the Powerpuff Girls by making her own Powerpuff suit full of hi-tech weapons to copy their abilities, and become a better Powerpuff Girl than them - this was the Princess' initial scheme in her first appearance in the original show. Her suit even has the same tiara that Princess wore in the original series.
- One episode has the girls constantly being woken up in the middle of the night several days in a row by monster attacks: first by Princess, then by Mojo. At the end of the episode - after they finally snap and smash Mojo in a Curb-Stomp Battle - Buttercup quips that they prefer "save the day before bedtime", but only in the English dub.
- The first episode has Mojo Jojo terrorizing a kindergarten class, referencing how the Powerpuff Girls were kindergarteners in the original cartoon.
- Pinky Swear: Happened to Miyako/Bubbles and Takaaki/Cody.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: The original Powerpuff Girls were kindergartners. The PPGZ girls are specifically said to be in Middle School.
- The Powerpuff Girls Can Breathe In Space: In Episode 18.
- Power Trio
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup, though not as pronounced as the original girls.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Bubbles, Buttercup and Blossom.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Buttercup (Fighter), Bubbles (Mage), and Blossom (Thief).
- Town Girls: Bubbles (Femme), Blossom (Neither) and Buttercup (Butch)
- Race Lift: Basically everyone goes from being White to being Asian.
- Although they all still look like they are White of European descent.
- Rogues Gallery: Mostly borrowed from the original series.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Princess and her family.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Him was trapped inside a mountain covered in snow until Ken hit it with a Chemical Z ray.
- Sentai: Momoko/Blossom is a huge fan of these types of shows. And so is her little sister, Kuriko/Casey.
- Setting Update: The story takes place in Japan now. The setting moves right back to where it used to be in the dub, though.
- Serial Romeo: Momoko/Blossom LOVES cute boys, but goes through crushes like candy and doesn't linger very long on any of them. One of the very first scenes that features her has her come across a boy and start gushing about him in a way that you'd expect him to be her main love interest... And then immediately afterwards she spots and starts gushing over several other boys in quick succession.
- She's a Man in Japan: Snake/Ivy of the Gangreen Gang. Odd considering how the dub tried to make the show more like its CN counterpart. Then again, considering what the anime did to Snake's character, the result could have come off like a Drag Queen.
- Shout-Out: The girls' transformations include tributes to many other magical girls.
- In episode 10, as the girls are flying in to stop Mojo, a new reporter yells, "Is it a bird? Is it a plane?"
- Episode 48 has what might be a very subtle Shout-Out to Final Fantasy VII, when Cody climbs the cliff while in monster form, in exactly the same way that Red XIII/Nanaki does in the very last scene of Final Fantasy VII and the beginning of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
- And of course, the series contains lots of Shout Outs to the original Powerpuff Girls, most notably in the second opening, but also in the episodes themselves, including Bubbles talking to animals, an episode where the Mayor (possessed by a ghost) passes a law honoring monsters (referencing the original series episode Bought And Scold), an episode where Him possesses Bubbles' doll Octi (referencing Octi Evil), one where Him challenges the girls to get three items for him to save Professor Utonium, Ken and Poochi from
certain doom getting a haircut (referencing Him Diddle Riddle), one where vegetable monsters attack the girls (a reference to Beat Your Greens) and lots, lots, LOTS more. There's also an episode where Professor Utonium makes a "super suit", referencing the one he had in Powerprof. Buttercup's Hurricane Lutz move might be a reference to her ability to turn into a tornado in the original series. See Mythology Gag for more examples.
- The titular "z", perhaps?
- Sixth Ranger: Mojo Jojo mistakenly believes that Morbucks Z is one.
- Snap Back: Episode 43 ends with Blossom's exile from Earth.
- Spoof Aesop: The second half of episode 43 involves Blossom's attempts to impress Princess by pretending she has a boyfriend named Lucas Clark. It escalates to a point where she claims it's an alien being oppressed by his parents just as a passing space ship fitting her description passes by, leading to a chain reaction that causes the entire world to cheer for them to be reunited. When she goes on international television to admit that it was all a lie, she gets chased off Earth by an angry mob. The episode ends with her sitting on a meteor pondering her options as text and audio saying "don't lie" appear just before the fade.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: Bubbles' counterpart shocks her teammates when she starts talking to puppies while they're trailing Him.
- Super Hero
- Super Hero Origin: The pilot.
- Swiss Army Tears: Lampshaded in Episode 36, where Bubbles' tears release Octi from Him's control.
- Theme Naming: Princess and her older sister Duchess, at least in the English dub.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe
- Transformation Sequence: The three girls.
- Princess and Sedusa are given brief transformation sequences of their own. Princess' sister Duchess also gets her own alter ego.
- Transformation Trinket: The girls' belts and compacts.
- Verbal Tic: In the Japanese version, Mojo Jojo with "mojo", Fuzzy Lumpkins with "de mon da", Peach with "da wan".
- Mojo Jojo lampshades this in the dentist episode, where he is able to suppress this habit, however briefly.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Even moreso than the original girls, since the Powerpuffs in this continuity have secret identities and the "make excuses to be let out of class" trope is in full swing.
- Weapon of Choice
- Whole Plot Reference: "It's All Because of Him" / "Girlz, Break Up!?" is pretty much the PPGZ version of "Octi Evil" from the original series (Him possesses Octi and causes in-fighting amongst the girls, culminating in a battle against a giant Octi).
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: X,K and Z are cooler than all the other letters, but clearly Z is still cooler than X.