Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

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Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by GS7X7 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:52 am

So apparently he's some kinda genie-thing that sits around in Heaven all day doing manual labor for "Master Kami." Also, I know fans don't like to focus on this much and Funimation has completely altered it in their dub (one of the few total character improvements there, along with Mr. Satan's dub actor) but the Japanese version has him dun be talkin in real simple manner.

He's given zero character development besides being shown as an excellent trainer and some Garlic Jr. saga episodes revealing that he's freakishly old and has served several different Gods, and some Majin Buu filler showing him as holding his own against Goten and Trunks. Despite all the time he's spent there and all the good he's done (he never really does anything evil during the series and is certainly shown as being much nicer than Kami) he never gets promoted to God, that position instead being given to an adolescent green alien named Dende. And he's never shown as being evil or doing anything unethical, unlike his predecessor Kami who nearly winds up having the planet enslaved by demons thanks to his whole "removing all the evil in me with an evil twin" thing he does and then does nothing but sit around and tell Mr. Popo to go clean the garden for him when Mr. Popo could have solved everything in well under an hour.

http://www.kanzenshuu.com/forum/viewtop ... hilit=popo

But WHAT is Mr. Popo exactly? Where did he come from and what's his whole story?
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Puto » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:37 am

I seem to recall reading about the Daizenshū or some other guide saying something about him (and Karin too) being an attendant from the afterlife that was assigned to Earth or something? My memory's very fuzzy on this. Guy really has next to no personality in the series (unless you count him being turned into an eldritch abomination in DBZ Abridged, of course).
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:21 am

I always believe that Kami created him to help him out on the Look Out. He was possibly created by magic.
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Lord Beerus » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:37 am

Popo is law.

Popo is life.

There is nothing above Popo in the pecking the order.

But in all seriousness. I always assumed he was some sort of magical genie or being created by Kami for the sole purpose of being his assistant and eventually taking over the lookout when Kami passess.

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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by eledoremassis02 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:12 pm

Granted a lot of this was filler but he gave Goku the basis of his training.

There could be something behind his name (as most Dragon Ball characters) so I did some looking around and maybe there is a connection here?

Hira Te Popo (?–1889) was a notable New Zealand tribal leader. Of Māori descent, he identified with the Te Whakatohea iwi.
Sundar Popo HBM - was a Chutney musician from Trinidad and Tobago. He popularised Chutney music, beginning with his 1970 hit "Nana and Nani".
Popo is a West Coast jazz album with a previously unreleased 1951 recording session by trumpeter Shorty Rogers and his quintet.
Feng Po Po, or Feng Popo is the Chinese goddess of the wind.[1] She is referred to as "Madame Wind", and is usually depicted as a crone. Feng Po Po can be seen riding through clouds on the back of a tiger.
Pawpaw, papaya, the popo fruit - Every year the popo fruit grow higher and higher up in the tree. To avoid this you can trim the upper branches. If you don't, it will take only a few years for your popos to become a sweet but distant and unattainable vision. At this point you will have to wait for the fruit to graciously fall to the ground. Since only overripe fruit fall off the tree, this doesn't leave many good ones to eat.

I'm doubting Feng Po Po but it might be music related as he's essentially connected to Piccolo or maybe food related? His Japanese may have been used to express his "foreign-ness"

Apparently, The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University listed Mr. Popo as an example of racism in modern material.

I just saw a video that said Jinx is most likly a reference to Yamauba:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8X3l_Tt8VE

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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by GS7X7 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:12 pm

Jynx had nothing to do with black people, contrary to what Carole Weatherby insisted. Everything doesn't revolve around her worldview of things.

She/It? was a combination of a Japanese folk demon (Yamauba) and a parody of the "Ganguro girl" craze.


As for Japan, they were introduced to the world (and views of blacks) via encounters with America in the past. (1800's to the occupation)

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2 ... kids-play/

I don't think the Japanese view "sambo" as inherently racist or anything- they just see it as a goofy form of comedy that the Americans introduced to them and they never had 10,000,000+ black people in their country fussing to outlaw it everywhere. (I think Admiral Perry's men did sambo plays while meeting with the Japanese or something?) Nowadays though, "sambo" characters are pretty rare- all the black dudes in Bleach/Naruto mostly just look like regular black guys instead of Mr. Popo, so I think there's some awareness in international industries like manga/anime that that doesn't really play quite as well abroad so it's something you rarely see anymore. Non-international industries don't really care and find it strange/bizarre that foreigners in other countries demand they ban/censor stuff that's not even targeted at them so they could care less.

Mr. Popo is ultimately a holdover from a less sensitive era before anime/manga had huge foreign followings. Contrary to what Carole Weatherby might claim to drum up page views, he wasn't intended as a symbol of racism to make people view blacks as inferior and dumb, he was just intended a silly comedy device naively introduce by Toriyama that played well to local audiences but not quite that well to foreign audiences years later before most anyone in Japan had any idea that Mr. Popo might trouble people abroad.
Last edited by GS7X7 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by dbboxkaifan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:07 pm

Being a genie would be a good guess because if you also compare him to Aladdin's Genie (RIP Mr. Williams) he's there to be supportive of those who are in need and so on. It's interesting that he could've helped out in the fight against Piccolo Daimao, Saiyans and other foes but he always remained with God.

A blue Mr. Popo could've worked if they redesigned him but the way 4Kids recoloured him it just looks rather offensive to Blue People, if such existed. :lol:

Genie/Williams
Image

Popo
Image
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Lord Beerus » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:10 pm

dbboxkaifan wrote:Genie/Williams
Image

Popo
Image
Holy shit. :shock:

It all makes sense now...

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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by GS7X7 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:11 pm

Sean Schemmel is THE MAN! :)

Me- "Also, before anyone mentions it, Schemmel's interview was from nearly 15 years ago. He paid a brief visit to Kanzenshuu's forums a few years back and earned legendary respect that cancels out anything he said from that long ago. :D"

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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Black Hawk » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:39 pm

Lord Beerus wrote: Holy shit. :shock:

It all makes sense now...
Confirmed: Kami-sama ain't never had a friend like Mr. Popo.

I could have sworn that one of the Daizenshuu/Taizenshū made a brief mention of his origins, but I can no longer find the source. I'm a little skeptical on that now.
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by eledoremassis02 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:17 pm

There have been black characters in both Dragon Ball and Z. And while I would say there was a racial tone with those characters either being tall(er than commander red) or named Killa they don't look like Mr. Popo. Other minorities (Upa, Bora and General Blue) who also follow a lot of stereotypes themselves.

As I look into this more, I have read that both Krillin and Goku have stereotypes issues as well. Krillin mocking the Chinese and Goku turning "white" to defeat bad guys. Of which case, I would argue Krillin was infact a parody of Shaolin masters of the old Kung Fu movies (in a way fashion to Kill bill). As for Goku, I would suggest the color is more of a reference to Son Wukong himself

Image Image

I think Popo lays in around the same level as Goku and Krillin as there is not much of a factual basis for them being racist stereotypes them selves. While there are other characters who are closer to being stereotypes but they never get mentioned because most casual fans have never seen Dragon Ball.

Then there is the question if these are meant to be hurtful? Are they in the same vane as people asking if Native American still live in Teepees and ride horses, or more in lines purposefully degrading a group of people?

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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Big Momma » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:41 pm

Isn't he referred to as a Dijinn somewhere?
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by GS7X7 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:42 pm

How's Kurillin insulting to Chinese people?


He doesn't talk with a goofy "City Wok" accent or fulfill unflattering Chinese stereotypes.
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:56 pm

GS7X7 wrote: (I think Admiral Perry's men did sambo plays while meeting with the Japanese or something?)
I don't know about sambo plays, but in order to impress/intimidate the Japanese, Perry had his flag bearers be tall black men in full navy regalia.
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by eledoremassis02 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:02 pm

GS7X7 wrote:How's Kurillin insulting to Chinese people?


He doesn't talk with a goofy "City Wok" accent or fulfill unflattering Chinese stereotypes.
They littery refereed to his lack of eye coloring or smaller eyes (in early dragon ball) and no nose (playing on small Chinese noses *never heard that before*)

I've only heard bout it once, but I've heard the Goku argument a few times before.
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GS7X7 wrote: (I think Admiral Perry's men did sambo plays while meeting with the Japanese or something?)
I don't know about sambo plays, but in order to impress/intimidate the Japanese, Perry had his flag bearers be tall black men in full navy regalia.
Off topid but you should check out the book "American Indian in the Land of the shogun" It's an interesting book about "Japans first english teacher" and about right before Japanese opening up

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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:08 pm

eledoremassis02 wrote: Off topid but you should check out the book "American Indian in the Land of the shogun" It's an interesting book about "Japans first english teacher" and about right before Japanese opening up
It's not bad, but I've seen much better. I teach American/Japanese history at the university level, so I've had to read tons on the subject :lol:
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by Herms » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:05 pm

Puto wrote:I seem to recall reading about the Daizenshū or some other guide saying something about him (and Karin too) being an attendant from the afterlife that was assigned to Earth or something? My memory's very fuzzy on this.
Yeah, Daizenshuu 7 and various later guides say that Popo and Karin are beings from the afterlife who were dispatched to Earth to help out the various Gods of Earth, from one generation of god to the next. The idea being that the god for each planet is supposed to be selected from amongst the planet's population, but with these afterlife guys there to show them the ropes, and take over god duties if none of the locals are up to snuff. So it's totally canon that somewhere in the afterlife is a land full of cat people and racist caricatures. Apparently.

None of this is touched on in the series itself of course, but Goku does mention in the Saiyan arc that Popo's been serving at God's temple since even before the current (old Namekian) God took over, and before the God before that, and the God before that, etc. So the idea that he's an older and more experienced being than his nominal boss is implicit there. Which is a theme Toriyama took up again with Whis.
eledoremassis02 wrote:There could be something behind his name (as most Dragon Ball characters) so I did some looking around and maybe there is a connection here?
Toriyama says in DB Forever's name pun guide that "I think I named him this simply because of the sound."
Big Momma wrote:Isn't he referred to as a Dijinn somewhere?
Not in the series itself or any official secondary sources, as far as I'm aware. But he looks kind of like a genie/djinn, what with the turban and magic carpet and whatnot, so I see fans describe him as such fairly often. I don't think there's anything more to it than that.
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by GS7X7 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:30 pm

Kamiccolo9 wrote:
GS7X7 wrote: (I think Admiral Perry's men did sambo plays while meeting with the Japanese or something?)
I don't know about sambo plays, but in order to impress/intimidate the Japanese, Perry had his flag bearers be tall black men in full navy regalia.
I wonder if one of Azrael's ancestor was one of those men and helped perform the very first Gaijin Smash of all time, it'd seem most fitting. :P
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by GS7X7 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:20 am

Herms wrote:
Puto wrote:I seem to recall reading about the Daizenshū or some other guide saying something about him (and Karin too) being an attendant from the afterlife that was assigned to Earth or something? My memory's very fuzzy on this.
Yeah, Daizenshuu 7 and various later guides say that Popo and Karin are beings from the afterlife who were dispatched to Earth to help out the various Gods of Earth, from one generation of god to the next. The idea being that the god for each planet is supposed to be selected from amongst the planet's population, but with these afterlife guys there to show them the ropes, and take over god duties if none of the locals are up to snuff. So it's totally canon that somewhere in the afterlife is a land full of cat people and racist caricatures. Apparently.

None of this is touched on in the series itself of course, but Goku does mention in the Saiyan arc that Popo's been serving at God's temple since even before the current (old Namekian) God took over, and before the God before that, and the God before that, etc. So the idea that he's an older and more experienced being than his nominal boss is implicit there. Which is a theme Toriyama took up again with Whis.
eledoremassis02 wrote:There could be something behind his name (as most Dragon Ball characters) so I did some looking around and maybe there is a connection here?
Toriyama says in DB Forever's name pun guide that "I think I named him this simply because of the sound."
Big Momma wrote:Isn't he referred to as a Dijinn somewhere?
Not in the series itself or any official secondary sources, as far as I'm aware. But he looks kind of like a genie/djinn, what with the turban and magic carpet and whatnot, so I see fans describe him as such fairly often. I don't think there's anything more to it than that.


I see, thanks for the info.

I guess sambo stereotypes existed in the Afterlife of DB World thousands of years ago then. :P
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Re: Who (or what) is Mr. Popo?

Post by eledoremassis02 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:00 am

I guess we'll never know because it seems Akira Toriyama forgot his reasoning :lol:

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