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Anime / Photon

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Promo art for the upcoming 2023 Blu-ray release

Photon: The Idiot Adventures is a 6 episode anime OVA produced by AIC.

The series was created by Masaki Kajishima (of Tenchi Muyo! note  fame) with directorial duties handled by Koji Masunari and with Yosuke Kuroda is the writer.

The main character, Photon Earth, is a young child who possesses superhuman strength, but is a bit simple-minded. While tracking down his childhood friend Aun Freya, who has stolen "the sacred artifact" (a marker) AGAIN, he gets lost and accidentally finds a crashed (space) ship. Made cranky by the fact that Aun ran off after he caught her, and by the fact that she wrote "Baka/Idiot" on his forehead while he was sleeping, he starts scribbling "Baka/Idiot" all over the walls of the ship in a rage.

Eventually, he writes it on the forehead of Keyne Aqua (who was in stasis after escaping from Sir Papacharino Nanadan) and then falls asleep on her, because she reminds him of Aun's older sister (who took care of him when he was young — but moved away after getting married). Neat little fact about marriage in that galaxy. Instead of giving each other rings, the guy will "claim" the girl by tattooing the symbol on his head onto hers. And guess whose doodling just activated the ship's wake-up routine?


Not to be confused with the "other" major laser tag game franchise of The '80s, or the live-action Sci-Fi series (made to promote the previously mentioned game) produced by DiC Entertainmentnote .

This show includes:

  • Accidental Marriage: When Photon, who had the word "Baka" drawn on his forehead by Aun, takes out his frustration by drawing it on an unconscious Keyne. Where Keyne comes from, drawing your partner's crest signifies marriage. Also done at the very end to Aun, Lashara, and Keyne (again, after it was erased by Papacharino's meddling), but Photon still doesn't understand the significance.
    • Sort of. By that time, he did it because he understood it meant he loved them, but is still rather clueless on the details.
  • Accidental Pervert: When Keyne strips as she searches for the tracker Papacharino put on her, he starts to rise out of the floor and is accidentally treated to a "nice view" for a few seconds.
  • Admiring the Poster: Photon stops to admire a large billboard ad in the market square that features a nearly nude woman with ample breasts. "Like nii-san," he notes, as the woman reminds him of his older sister, who'd left the family home after being betrothed to a townsman.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Papacharino tries to convince Photon to help him peek in on the Women's bath, citing this as Man's Duty.
  • Advertisement:
  • Armor Is Useless: All the Brain Crystals in the universe can't stop a punch from Photon.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Zig-Zagged. Nipples are shown, but the female characters aren't depicted with genitalia at all, male characters have their genitals covered by a black circle, the only exception is Photon whose genitalia is on full display.
  • Blind Shoulder Toss: Keyne Aqua gives Photon a bath in her starship's pool, starting by pouring shampoo onto Photon's head at the start of chapter two. She simply lobs the bottle over her shoulder to free up both her hands to begin lathering Photon's hair. Neither shampoo nor bottle are seen nor mentioned thereafter.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Photon gets trapped in a transparent cell with Keyne, who has been turned psychotic by the Evil Overlord. It's a lopsided cage match, since Photon has a Wouldn't Hit a Girl ethic. The Emperor does this purely For the Evulz. Keyne proceeds to pummel poor Photon bloody.
  • Canon Welding: Word of God says that Sandy Planet becomes the titular planet form Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Photon's weapon of choice.
  • The Chessmaster: The Galactic Emperor
  • Cleavage Window: Keyne Aqua's outfit combines a Bolero jacket with an exercise leotard that leaves a rhombus-shaped space which frames her breastbone.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Right to the very end, Photon is still unaware of what the female attention on him means. Or that he's effectively married three women at the very end.
  • Dismissive Kick: Papacharino acts as a Bad Boss to his corps of dwarfish servants called Pochis. Whether delivering good news, bad news or even a status update, the Pochis get kicked around like footballs by Papacharino. It's a wonder the Pochis remain so fervently loyal. Even a concubine he'd been seducing gets booted off the bed so Papacharino can take a phone call. He's that much a Jerkass.
  • Disney Death: Keyne sort of has one, though it’s actually a fake blown up doll of her. Unfortunately, Photon thinks it’s real and goes to hug it. He does so too hard and it deflates. Thinking he killed her he bursts into tears.
  • Drool Deluge: Photon tends to drool at the thought of mealtimes. A steady stream of saliva cascades from his mouth in episode 3, as Keyne prepares breakfast. However, she forbids Photon from sampling it before it's ready, and when the time comes, the villain appears and wrecks the layout. In fact, Papacharino does this at every mealtime, leaving poor Photon drooling rivers with hunger, yet not getting one bite that whole day.
  • Earth All Along: Implied with Sandy Planet when it's turned into the Green Planet at the end, it looks exactly like Earth. Sandy Planet eventually became Geminar.
  • Fan Disservice: Any shot of Papacharino's lower half.
  • Fanservice: Five minutes in, and lithe Keyne is stripping herself nude in an attempt to find a tracking device in her garments. There is one, sewn into her panties. Later, as her starship is crashing on Sandy Planet, she goes to bed nude, which is how The Hero discovers her.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When Keyne wakes up in front of Photon, she immediately goes on the offensive and attacks. It takes her a while to remember that she's completely naked.
  • Gainaxing
  • Godhood Seeker: Papacharino's ambition and reason for chasing/abducting Keyne.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Aun says this about Photon whenever it's brought up.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Chapter 4 has Photon, Keyne Aqua and Princess Lashara visit an inn for a rest and a meal. The inn turns out to be owned and operated by Photon's older sister. The inn also has a hot spring, segregated by gender. When Keyne learns that a mysterious power source keeps the water warm, she deduces that her grandfather's aho generator is the cause.
  • Idiot Hero: Take a wild guess.
  • Large Ham: Papacharino Nanadan.
  • Lethal Chef: Keyne, possibly Aun as well.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: Played nearly straight bar some implications that Sandy Planet is a version of Earth.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Galactic Emperor is Keyne's father, and Lashara is not his daughter.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Bulan, aka the Galactic Emperor
  • Meaningful Name: Keyne Aqua is the key to unlocking the hidden power of the gods.
  • Megaton Punch: Papacharino is on the receiving end of this quite a bit.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The Galactic Emperor deliberately allowed himself to be assassinated by Papacharino.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Nudity is Played for Laughs just as much as it is for fanservice. One notable example is when Papacharino is communicating with his fiance...while hiding the fact that he's wearing no pants and that there's a naked woman in the room with him that he was just having sex with.
  • No-Sell: Most of the setting's Magitek and superpowers are based on Aho energy. Photon happens to be the focal point of anti-Aho energy, which allows him to No-Sell any Aho-based effects (and gives him Super Strength).
    • And the Emperor, knowing this, uses anti-Aho energy against Photon, which everyone else is immune to.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: The wicked Emperor has used his powers to make Keyne Aqua Brainwashed and Crazy. He also keeps the soul of Keyne's mother inside his body, about where his liver should be. This disembodied naked soul escapes her prison after Photon manages to skewer the Emperor with his staff, whereupon she breaks the spell upon Keyne, restoring her daughter to sanity. Spirit mother and mortal daughter share a hug before the mother departs.
  • Phantom-Zone Picture: Aun gets trapped in one of these by Bulan. However, she still manages to punch Papacharino's head until it bleeds.
  • Punny Name: There is the plot-central Aho energy; aho and baka both mean, roughly, idiot.
  • The Reveal
  • Sand Worm: One attacks a frightened Pochi, only to be skewered by Photon and devoured.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In-Universe example, when the Big Bad, who's been manipulating the protagonists from the start out of boredom, effortlessly crushes Papacharino and tells him to take a hike.
    Emperor: I enjoyed having you as my jester, but this next scene is a bit too serious for you.
  • Skinship Grope
  • Super Strength: Half of Photon's superpower.
  • Switched at Birth: Keyne Aqua and Lashara Moon.
  • Tattoo Sharpie: Photon is so annoyed after his sister writes "idiot" on his forehead that he does the same to a Mysterious Waif that he discovers in suspended animation. Although the visible markings eventually go away, it becomes a Chekhov's Gun when the Big Bad tries to transform her into a power source that will give him godlike abilities, and the marking confuses the computer and screws up the process.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Pochi #1 has a single central plait tied with a small bow; he's male. All the other Pochis, numbered 2 and higher, have no plaits and no bows; these are all female. Papacharino discovers this when they refuse to enter the men's hot spring at the roadside inn.
  • Thanks for the Mammary
  • Tsundere
  • A Twinkle in the Sky
  • Uniformity Exception: All the diminutive Pochis look alike, only distinguishable by numbered collars. All the Pochis that serve the hammy villain Papacharino Nanandan are female, while Pochi #1 that serves Princess Lashara Moon is male, and is the only Pochi to have some of his hair drawn into a plait with a bow at the end.
  • Video Call Fail: Papacharino Nanandan is at home, screwing one of his concubines (or wives, since he has 16 or 19, according to the story) when a video call comes in from Princess Lashara of the Imperial Palace. Papacharino hurriedly puts on a shirt and kicks his lady love off the bed. His servants, the dwarfish Pochis, set up the video phone to receive the call. He conducts the video call with the Princess while only dressed to the waist. His dangly bits, knobby knees, and hairy ass are below the camera frame.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In an in-universe example, Pochi (all of them, it seems) are actually women, which surprises even Papacharino, their master/employer.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Galactic Emperor reveals that he was bored with galactic conquest and wanted some new excitement.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Photon gets trapped in a transparent cell with a Brainwashed and Crazy Keyne, who proceeds to pummel the stuffing out of him. Despite having a staff, and a Megaton Punch, Photon does nothing by way of defense, except cry "Keyne!" repeatedly. It becomes a "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight in close quarters, with Photon left battered and bleeding. Averted with Photon's half-sister Aun, though: the best way to deactivate her statis field is with a jolly whack on her noggin, producing a dandy lump with Instant Bandages.