Pui Pui Molcar

Pui Pui Molcar

Pui Pui Molcar anime series title screen
Pui Pui Molcar

Series Overview

Pui Pui Molcar (PUI PUI モルカー) is a short-form comedy anime series that’s allegedly aimed at kids. As a 26-year-old, I can assure you that it’s fun for all ages. It’s also extremely easy to binge the entire series due to its length.

There are 12 episodes of Molcar and they’re each between 2 – 3 minutes in length. That means you can watch the entire series in under 30 minutes, which is exactly what I did this morning.

As for the content of Molcar, it takes place in a world in which guinea pigs have evolved to fill the role of cars. They have wheels, windows, and people can enter their car-like interiors. In this world, molcars have replaced cars in daily life.

The biggest difference between a molcar and a regular car, though, is that molcars have sentience and wills of their own. When a person hops in a molcar to go to the store, they don’t really seem to have complete control over the molcar. Their molcar may decide to do something else instead.

That fact is really what causes all of the molcar antics throughout the series. Molcars get distracted by food, they get scared, and they typically just do whatever they want. For example, in the final episode (which I think is the worst episode), a molcar throws a house party while its owner is asleep.

Oh, and another thing about Pui Pui Molcar is that there’s no dialogue at all. The molcars make sounds sometimes, and there’s a soundtrack, but there’s no dialogue. Everything the molcars are thinking is expressed through their actions and visible emotions. For guinea pig-car hybrids, molcars are pretty expressive.

Animation

Initially, I was a bit surprised that Molcar was considered an anime by MyAnimeList. 99% of the animation in the series is stop motion animation, not drawn or CGI animation. I’m pretty sure in the past, MAL has excluded stop motion from their database. I believe this happened with an episode of Near Death!! Ekoda-chan.

From what I remember, the episode of Ekoda-chan was determined to not be “anime” because the stop motion animated episode featured live actors. However, Molcar actually does the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent.

While the molcars themselves are the main characters, there are also humans within this world. I mean, who else would be driving the molcars? Oftentimes, these humans are simply toys that are animated in stop motion like the molcars. But sometimes we get shots of them inside the molcars and they’re actual people.

Interestingly, even when live actors are used for these molcar interior shots, they’re animated with stop motion — as is a cat in one episode.

A stampede of molcars from the anime series Pui Pui Molcar
A stampede of molcars

Now, you might be thinking that stop motion animation is going to look a bit weird. I know a lot of people are turned off by anime that use different art or animation styles. I’m the same way at times. If an anime is entirely CGI animated, I tend to skip it.

But, the stop motion animation in Pui Pui Molcar is actually extremely well done. Even the vast majority of the effects are done with stop motion. For example, cotton is used to create smoke and blur effects that honestly look really good.

Also, I think the fact that the molcars walk instead of roll on their wheels is a great touch. For starters, it’s just funnier that way. However, I think this also adds to the motion of the series in a positive way. If the wheels simply rolled, they wouldn’t be taking complete advantage of the unique qualities of stop motion animation.

Best Anime of the Year?

Pui Pui Molcar might unironically be my pick for best anime of the year (2021). Today, I was going to rank all of the 2021 anime I watched on a tier list. But I decided to put that off until next week so I could watch and review Molcar first, and then include it in the tier list as well.

It’s a good thing I decided to do that because of how highly I rate this anime. I don’t think Molcar is perfect, though. I haven’t given it a 10/10. But it’s definitely within my top 3 anime of the year, which changes my Top 5 Anime of 2021 post I put out at the end of last year.

I’m not going to go back and change that post now since I watched Molcar in 2022 despite it being a 2021 anime. However, I’d like to lay out my argument for why I think Molcar should be in the discussion surrounding the best anime of the year in this section.

A magical girl themed itasha molcar from the anime series Pui Pui Molcar
A magical girl themed itasha molcar

First, I believe Molcar’s short run time is a huge reason why it’s good. I’d love for there to be Molcar content, and hopefully, there will be a second season in the future. But it’s definitely not something I would want to watch a full season of if the episodes were normal or even half-length. It’s the right length for the material.

Second, Molcar is really funny. I wouldn’t say it’s laugh-out-loud funny. But it’s funny. I think my top 3 favorite scenes are the power-up scene in the race episode, the Indiana Jones scene in the carwash episode, and the itasha scene in the superhero episode (pictured above).

And lastly, Pui Pui Molcar is just a very creative series. It’s a lot of fun to watch because of how creative the basic idea of the show is.

Conclusion

Overall, I give Pui Pui Molcar a 9/10, which puts it on par with other top anime from 2021 such as Mushoku Tensei and Sonny Boy. If you think Molcar looks like fun, I highly recommend watching it because it’s such a small time commitment.

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