The animated movie Pop in Q was released in cinemas in Japan on December 23, 2016. This movie was made to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Toei animation and features catchy dance sequences and super cute characters. For those of you thinking of seeing the movie, or for those of you outside Japan who are wondering what this movie is about, read on for our special movie review!
The movie begins with Isumi, who is about to graduate from junior high school, struggling with conflicts with her family and friends. On the day of her graduation, she happens to pick up a shimmering piece of something, a ‘piece of time’ in fact, and wanders into the fantasy world ‘the valley of time’.
She meets three girls of her age there: Aoi, Konatsu, and Asahi, as well as the Poppin Tribe who reside in ‘the valley of time’ and govern ‘the time of the world’. They fix time all over the world in every time axis by dancing at an altar. However, ‘the valley of time’ and ‘the time of the world’ are on the brink of collapse thanks to enemies who are brewing a conspiracy to use the power of the Poppin Tribe. The only way to save the world is to collect six ‘pieces of time’ and offer prayers by dancing together with synchronized hearts, movements, and spirits.
The looming crisis, the prospect of their first dance, and the instructions of dance given by the Poppin Tribe: everything bewilders Isumi and the other three girls. They feel relieved when they meet the fifth girl, Saki, who is the same age as the others and an experienced dancer, however…
Can the five girls who are destined to meet by ‘pieces of time’ save the world by dancing? Can they attend their graduation ceremony without any obstacles?
This is the story of a group of girls who decided to move forward…
1. Unique character designs by Kouhaku Kuroboshi
The first impression of Pop in Q will certainly be the designs of the pretty girls. Kouhaku Kuroboshi is a character designer and illustrator who also designed characters for the video game Summon Night and the anime series World Conquest Zvezda Plot. His characters usually feature translucent eyes. Isumi and other girls in Pop in Q share the same characteristics as his other designs.
The girls are simple but each has her individual characteristics: lively Isumi, girlish Konatsu, introverted Asahi, cool Aoi, and gloomy Saki. The audience can understand each girl’s personality and expect their expressions, therefore making it easier for us to immerse into the story.
The suits they had to wear at ‘the valley of time’ are so cute, soft, and super puffy!
2. The adorable and cuddly Poppin Tribe who live in ‘the valley of time’ look like a child’s stuffed toy, but actually have a grown-up’s mind
The mission of the Poppin Tribe is to dance in order to govern time in the world. It’s a charming but important work, and they’re actually not only adorable, but also kind and earnest. Their dance scenes are super cute! If you are a ‘kemoner’ (someone who loves furry animal characters) you’ll be carried away by the cuteness of their dance.
While they instruct the girls how to dance strictly and seriously, the Poppin Tribe encourages them gently and assuredly in an ‘I know you can do it’ way. I was deeply impressed by the gap between their cute appearances and developed minds.