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PAPUWA 1.jpg
Cover of DVD 1: Wild Things
Genre Comedy
Nangoku Shōnen Papuwa-kun
Author Ami Shibata
Publisher Square Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Original run April 1991June 1995
Volumes 7
TV anime
Nangoku Shōnen Papuwa-kun
Director Jun Takagi
Studio Nippon Animation
Network TV Tokyo
United States Anime Network
Original run 10 October 19922 October 1993
Episodes 42
Author Ami Shibata
Publisher Square Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Original run April 2002April 2008
Volumes 14
TV anime
Director Kenichi Nishida
Studio Nippon Animation
Network TV Tokyo
United States Anime Network
Original run 30 September 200330 March 2004
Episodes 26
Anime and Manga Portal

Papuwa (パプワ ?) can refer to two comedy manga and anime series, Nangoku Shōnen Papuwa-kun (南国少年パプワくん) and its sequel series PAPUWA. This article is about the second series. Papuwa displays nonsensical humor, including characters such as transvestite fish, a talking poisonous mushroom, and a snail whose offspring, much to its horror, are constantly eaten by the rest of the cast. The first series actually started October 1992 and ran for a year. The second series' license is a direct sequel, first airing September 2003 and ending March 2004. That series was picked up by ADV Films.



Once, on an unknown southern island, a battle was waged over two mysterious stones, one red and one blue. The blue stone controls desire, and its power created the blue clan. And the red clan that inherited the power of the red stone was filled with the light of hope. Finally, the battle came to an end, and the young one who possessed the power of the blue stone fell into a deep sleep. The one with the power of the red stone flew off far across the sky. Desire and hope... until the day these two powers meet each other again...

The story follows our young protagonist Kotaro, who finds himself stranded on an uncharted island inhabited by strange talking animals (referred to as namamonos) with absolutely no memory of his past. Hunted by several groups for various reasons, the plot revolves mainly around wacky adventures he and the other creatures of the island find themselves in, piece by piece regaining the memory of his horrible past..


Main characters

Papuwa (パプワ)
Papuwa is a short boy in a grass skirt. He has unparalleled strength as well as an assortment of other extraordinary abilities such as being able to breathe underwater for 3 hours. He was found washed up on shore of the first Papuwa Island, along with a young Chappy, by Kamui the owl, and was adopted by him. Papuwa is also, so far, the only known heir to the red stone, the stone of hope.
Chappy (チャッピー)
Chappy is Papuwa's dog and they've been together all their lives. The blue stone around Chappy's neck is actually the stone of desire, given to him by Papuwa who stole it from Shintaro early on in the first series. For the most part he is the only animal on the island who doesn't speak, however he has on few occasions using the power of the stone of desire.
Kotaro/Rotaro (コタロー/ロタロー)
Kotaro is an effeminate young boy, even going so far as to refer to himself as "delicate", and is the strongest member of the blue clan. Because of this power he could not control, he spent most of his life locked away in his room, and for four years prior to the start of PAPUWA, was in a coma. He has the bearing of a spoiled, pampered child, and believes he is above everyone. Somewhere between waking from his coma and arriving on the island, he became amnesiac. Liquid, fearing that remembering his own name would bring back his memories and cause his power to go out of control, changed his name to Rotaro by adding a line to the kana changing "ko" to "ro".
Liquid (リッキド)
Liquid, who once (albeit unwillingly) served in the Ganma army's elite battle unit, now lives on Papuwa Island as Papuwa's housemaid. Though he seems forced at times, and though the others don't seem to care for him much more than a maid, deep down they really do respect each other (even so far as promoting his status to "Papa" for Father's Day). Once the Shinsengumi are introduced, he is constantly hounded by Umako, the only woman on the island and quite possibly the most manliest looking character in the show.

The Ganma Army (ガンマ団)

The Ganma army is run by the Ganma family, who possess the power of the stone of desire. This power come in the form of what is called secret stone eyes (hisekigan, 秘石眼). The army itself works as a group of mercenaries, originally ruthless and seemingly taking control of the world, but since Shintaro's takeover the group now fights for "justice" (basically only assassinating people they believe are bad).

Magic (マジック)
Magic is Kotaro's father and former commander-in-chief of the Ganma army, and oldest of four brothers. In the four year lapse between the first and second series, he's since retired the position to his oldest son Shintaro. Out of all of the family, only he and Kotaro possess two hisekigan eyes, something which grants them immense power.
Luzar (ルーザー)
One of Magic's younger brothers, very close in age. He was killed in battle 25 years prior to Nangoku Shōnen Papuwa-kun.
Servis (サービス)
The youngest Ganma brother and Harlem's twin. Unlike Magic and Harlem, Servis was very fond of Luzar. Like Takamatsu, he blames Magic for Luzar's death. He was Shintaro's fighting master, and now trains Kotaro to control his hisekigan. He once lost control of the power of his hisekigan, and blamed that incident for the death of someone close to him. In his anguish over this, he tore out his own right eye, which was his hisekigan.
Shintaro (シンタロー)
The current commander-in-chief of the Ganma army and main character of the first series, Shintaro has an unhealthy fixation on his little brother Kotaro, which makes him the butt of a lot of "brother complex" jokes. He is also the only member of the Ganma family that does not have blond hair, and the only one to not possess hisekigan, despite his blue eyes. He shares a long and rich history with the first Papuwa Island, and considers Papuwa his best friend. Despite a rather convoluted family history that involves being switched at birth and taking someone else's body, Magic refuses to consider Shintaro as anything but his son.
Gunma (グンマ)
Gunma is a scientist raised by Dr. Takamatsu. He is childish and eccentric and a bit of an airhead, and has a slight obsession with designing his inventions to look like swans. He originally thought his father was Luzar but it turned out to be Magic. He is Kotaro's only biological brother. While technically Magic's eldest son, after it was revealed that he and Shintaro were switched at birth, the idea of Gunma being next in line for commandership of the Ganma Army has never been brought up, and likely never will be, given Gunma's complete lack of interest in the matter.
Kintaro (キンタロー)
Kintaro is the son of Luzar, and cousin to Shintaro, Gunma, and Kotaro. He is also Shintaro's "double" in an odd sense, something which dates back to the original series and involves a long and convoluted family history. While he was depicted at one point in the original series as possessing two hisekigan, at every point since, he has been shown to only have one, his left eye.
Doctor Takamatsu (ドクター高松)
Takamatsu was Luzar's student, and the one who primarily raised Gunma. Takamatsu (along with Servis) blamed Magic for Luzar's death (since Magic was leader of the army then and sent Luzar out to battle), so as revenge he switched babies Shintaro and Gunma (Gunma being Magic's son and Shintaro being Luzar's son, who were born just a few days apart) so that Magic's "heir" would not be who he thought. Takamatsu specializes in the field of biotechnology, but is also a proficient medical doctor.
Gionkamen Arashiyama (祗園仮面アラシヤマ)
One of Ganma's elite forces (and second only to Shintaro, he claims), Arashiyama is a shy person whose greatest dream is just to make friends, which he fails to do because of his lack of confidence and bad "wisdom" from his former teacher Marker. Arashiyama especially wants to make friends with Shintaro, who was the first person to talk to him at the Ganma Academy, and the first person to offer to be his friend. However, Shintaro's offer to be his friend in the original series was born of desperation, when he needed the help of someone sufficiently strong to put up a fight against his uncle, Servis, and Shintaro typically prefers to ignore his existence entirely. Arashiyama is a highly proficient flame master, and ranks among the most powerful members of the Ganma army not related to the Blue Clan.
Ninja Tottori (忍者トットリ)
Tottori, as his name states, is a ninja, but not a very good one. His special "attack" is kicking his sandal into the air and whatever side it lands on activates a cloud that will attack the enemy with whatever weather he predicts. Some episodes suggest he may have feelings for Miyagi, but this is probably just a running gag.
Touhoku Miyagi (東北ミヤギ)
In the dub, Miyagi is portrayed as a stereotypical dumb blond. And when it comes to common sense, he is a little bit lacking. But he's also a good strategist and has mastered written Chinese. He has to, because his weapon of choice (Ikijibiki no Fude, 生き字引の筆, lit. "Walking Dictionary Writing Brush", "Brush of Literalization" in the dub) is an oversized calligraphy brush that turns anything into whatever is written on it, but only works using Chinese characters. He and Tottori are best friends.
Musha Kouji (武者コージ)
When Kouji was 3 years old he fell into a pond and was eaten by a koi fish named Kinugasa. Kinugasa was then caught and sold to a rich couple who found and adopted him. Kouji entered baseball during high school and was scouted that way for the Ganma's army. He is Umako's older brother.
Hakata Donta
Willow Nagoya
Tiramasu and Chocolate Romance
Jocker Tsugaru

Special Battle Unit

Harlem (ハーレム)
Another of Magic's brothers, and older twin brother of Servis. He is the exact opposite of his twin. He leads the Special Battle Unit consisting of Marker, Rod, and G, which Shintaro disbanded when he gained control. He likes to steal money from his subordinates and waste it on gambling. Despite his outward appearance, Harlem is sensitive to the happenings around him, and still looks out for his ex-team member Liquid. He has one hisekigan eye.
Marker (マーカー)
Marker is a Chinese warrior, very calm and composed. He is especially skilled with a sword, and manipulates fire. He was Arashiyama's former teacher, and instilled in him the impression that he is the best and that everyone else is worthless. This default he falls back on is why Arashiyama can never make friends. Marker is a member of Harlem's Special Battle Unit. His special attack is Flame Serpent.
Rod (ロッド)
Rod is an Italian with a habit for bad jokes. Always cheery, he has the power to manipulate wind. He is a member of Harlem's Special Battle Unit.
G (ジー)
G is of German descent with an odd fondness for bears, and Hokkaidou wood carvings. He is quiet and a bit shy, and often does without speaking. He is a member of Harlem's Special Battle Unit. His actual name is Gustav.

The Shinsengumi

(心戦組) The Shinsengumi is a mercenary group (based the real life historical group) that consists of multiple branches, two of which are known; the "Main" group and the "True" group.

Main Shinsengumi

(Shinsengumi Hontai, 心戦組本隊)

Kondou Isami (近藤イサミ)
Hijikata Toshizou (土方トシゾー)
Okita Souji (沖田ソージ)
Harada Umako (原田ウマ子)

True Shinsengumi

(Shin Shinsengumi, 真心戦組) <Manga only>

Yamanami Keisuke (山南ケースケ)
Yamazaki Susumu (山崎ススム)
Itou Kashitaro (伊東カシタロー)
Saitou Hajime (斎藤ハジメ)
Nagakura Shinpachi (永倉シンパチ)

The Namamonos (ナマモノ)

"Namamono" is the term used to describe the strange talking animal type creatures that live on Papuwa Island. There are countless namamonos that appear throughout the series.

Tanno and Itou (タンノ&イトウ)
Tanno is a transvestite fish who wears fishnet stockings, and Itou is a hermaphroditic pink snail. In the dub they talk like stereotypical gay men. Usually seen together, they are both currently obsessed with Toshizou and pounce on him vehemently on sight. Itou also constantly spawns baby snails which the rest of the cast continuously eat.
Komoro (コモロ)
Komoro is a poisonous mushroom who tries to pass himself off as a safely edible mushroom. He appears at random and can appear to be an annoyance to Papuwa and the others. When breathed in, his poisonous powder is hallucinogenic.
Oshoudani (オショウダニ) the Sea Otter
Oshodani is a sea otter who is searching for the "perfect drum". With an obsession for beating on anything he can find, he always carries with him a pair of drumsticks. He attacks by throwing his drum sticks.
Eguchi and Nakamura (エグチ&ナカムラ)
A raccoon and a rabbit who are very close friends and always seen together. They give off the resemblance of small children, and seem to enjoy scratching new things with a 10 yen coin.
Hayashi (ハヤシ)
A pink Tyrannosaurus rex who became a transvestite by eating Itou's children. His tail is frequently used as food.
Yamagishi (ヤマギシ)
Yamagishi is a wombat who constantly dreams of "a sea of stars". He has a naturally gloomy disposition.
Hanaji Buusuke (鼻血ブースケ)
Buusuke is an oversized "leaf beetle", who looks like a purple dinosaur thing with fairy wings wearing a bathing suit. Buusukes live in the Cocoa Forest, and have chronic nosebleeds due to the copious amounts of cocoa he eat. This also causes him be to anemic.
Shimizu (シミズ)
An oversized earthworm who's very affectionate. Despite being introduced early on, he has a very small role in the series.
Kubota (クボタ)
A large bird that is used as a means of transportation around the island. The cast commonly steals Kubota's eggs for food or other such useful purposes.
Tedzuka (テヅカ)
A bat who practices magic to make medicine. He become close friends with Arashiyama on the first Papuwa Island, of which he has completely forgotten.
Takeuchi (タケウチ)
A chihuahua, and Tedzuka's assistant. He acts nice to hide malicious intent and uses his cute appearance to swindle people.
Taguchi and Takeda (タグチ&タケダ)
A chupacabra and an alien, who often come to brainwash Liquid.
Umigishi (ウミギシ)
Umigishi is a half man, half octopus/squid thing. A long time ago he was engaged to Tanno, but later married Ifuku.
Ifuku (イフク)
A talking clam and Umigishi's wife. She has lots of faith in her bumbling husband and often gives him advice.
The crabfish beautician of Papuwa island.
Kamui the Owl
Papuwa's adoptive grandfather who is deceased prior to the first series. He is the one who first informs Shintaro of the sinking of the first Papuwa Island and Papuwa's past. He appears again in the second series during the second Obon Festival.
Nakai Jr.
Great Man-God
Shrimp Ranger
Queen Cocoa
A giant cocoa plant.
Sekino the Giant Panda
Hiroshi (ヒロシ)

<Manga only>

Hiroshi is a member of the bat tribe on the "drifting island" (Tadayoijima). Due to a birth defect type mutation, he looks like a human while the rest of his people look like little balls with bat wings. He is thus referred to as a "Happy Child".
Kera (ケラ)

<Manga only>

From the island of "beginning's end" (Hajimari no Owari), Kera is a Happy Child of a race of dinosaurs. She's looking for her parents who she was separated from.

Other Miscellaneous Characters

Hakata Donta's pet pig. He is the one who makes the Tonkotsu Ramen to power him up.
Kuriko (クリ子)
Kuriko is Santa's apprentice, literally a santa clause in training. A long time ago she and Papuwa made a promise that if she could grow to be 156 cm, they would get married.


Opening Theme
"Tabibito" (旅人), performed by LOOSELY
Ending Theme
"Yurari Yurari" (ゆらりゆらり), performed by Masashi Iino (いいのまさし Iino Masashi ?)
Insert Song
"Umi no Uta, Sora no Koe" (海の唄空の声), performed by Masaaki Endoh (遠藤 正明 Endō Masaaki ?)

External links

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