Pui Pui Molcar really went and did it, huh? Rather than slowing down after receiving it’s warm initial response, Molcar kept on revving up it’s little guinea pig engines and only went full-throttle towards it’s finish. It’s now on Netflix (except for several areas in Asia, presumably where it’s already streamed by Muse Asia for free on YouTube since January, such as Indonesia) and even got featured in a recommendation article by the New York Times. Of all of the wonderful shows to come out in winter 2021 season to did so, who would’ve thought it’d be the one whose main character is named Potato?

And what an adorably wonderful show Molcar turned out to be. Molcar consistently put out three minutes of expertly crafted fluffy guinea pig automobile hijinks each episode, (even one featuring a real life guinea pig) though I wasn’t expecting the amount of car-related film references featured, which includes spoofs of zombie movies, AKIRA, and even Back to the Future. But it’s the episodes without those, where the Molcars are just being their fuzzy selves, that have charmed me the most. Sometimes owning and caring for a car feels like owning a pet, and Molcar captures that sentiment perfectly. That the show features no dialogue and could easily be understood by audiences of all ages anywhere in the world also factors much in how accessible it is.

Not only the show itself is a joy to watch, but so has been seeing the responses it has gotten. It has been fascinating to see the show’s merchandising machine moved in real time, with new items being announced as the show’s popularity just grew and grew. The fanarts kept on coming, as did the various remixes of the show’s catchy tune. The fact that car manufacturer Daihatsu even got in on the fun with a Molcar-inspired April Fools tweet is a testament to how the show has managed to become a bona-fide success.

Perhaps though, the most enjoyable thing about all this is how Molcar‘s rise to fame feels like a celebration of the many things that often get overlooked by the anime fandom at large: short anime, stop-motion anime, and being an original production on top of that. Those are all things we definitely should see more of in anime. Incidentally, Molcar director Tomoki Misato, who himself seems to be blown away by the responses to the show, was recently announced to helm WIT STUDIO‘s new stop-motion animation sub-studio. So who knows? Maybe we wouldn’t have to wait so long too see another show like Molcar, which would be perfect considering the times we live in right now.

Either way, congratulations, Molcar. You really were the little show that could.

The Indonesian Anime Times | Review by Caesar E.S.

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