"Stop doubting your own abilities and start listening with your mind. Calm your thoughts."
Mr. Popo (ミスター・ポポ) is an assistant-deity who tends the grounds of Kami's Lookout. He is bound there eternally as the gardener and caretaker, but he can travel anywhere in the world when the occasion calls for it, using a magic carpet for Instant Transportation.
Though he does not appear to physically age, Mr. Popo is very old; having served Kami, the Guardian of Earth, for hundreds of years, also serving Kami's predecessor, as well as guardians of the Earth into the distant past. Being the loyal and faithful servant that he is, his "job description" and usefulness covers a wide variety of areas, such as tending to Kami's palace and grounds, keeping the Lookout clean, training Earthlings and other creatures to deal with especially dangerous enemies of the planet (such as Piccolo Jr. at the end of Dragon Ball, and Vegeta and Nappa at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z), taking over the lookout when the guardian is away, odd and interesting things such as helping to reconstruct Shenron if needed, and most importantly, supporting, serving and taking care of the current Guardian. He always has a deep emotional bond for the Guardians of his time and will become incredibly depressed or worried if they undergo any harm. He also tends to the ancient butterfly garden that he planted thousands of years ago, and enjoys the more simple things in life.
He is one of several Dragon Ball characters who openly and greatly appreciates the natural world (other examples being Android 8 and Android 16). Mr. Popo commonly refers to himself in the third person. While in FUNimation's English dub Mr. Popo speaks completely with highly sophisticated sentences, the Japanese version portrays him as a seemingly primitive figure. His grasp of the common tongue is less than the English-dubbed version makes it out to be.
Although his skill as a martial artist is not shown frequently, Mr. Popo is an excellent martial arts master. When he is introduced in Dragon Ball, his fighting prowess is far superior to Goku's in nearly all respects, when the two meet at the Lookout. After defeating King Piccolo, Goku uses his Power Pole to reach Kami's Lookout. When Goku first reaches Kami's Lookout in the anime, he encounters Mr. Popo seated on a Persian rug (likely the same one he uses to fly with in Dragon Ball Z), with what appears to be a light fog covering him and birds on his shoulders. After they greet each other and battle, Goku puts up a good fight against the genie and attempts a Kamehameha at him, only to have it literally swallowed by Mr. Popo in return. Goku then tries to defeat Mr. Popo by using the punch that beat King Piccolo, only to have him evade it with no difficulty.
Mr. Popo then introduces Goku to Kami, who Goku tries to attack due to Kami looking extremely identical to King Piccolo, but fails. After Goku encounters Kami, Mr. Popo and Kami explain their history, and how King Piccolo came to exist. Mr. Popo then trains Goku for the next three years until the young warrior learns everything he knows, such as testing his ability to sense ki without using his vision by blinding him while telling him to follow a cat with a bell on its tail. After finishing training under Mr. Popo, Goku enters the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament to defeat Piccolo Jr. with his newly attained abilities; some of the techniques Goku developed in his three-year training later proved valuable, such as the Ki Sense and the Super Kamehameha.
Dragon Ball Z
Five years later, Mr. Popo and Kami train Krillin, Tien Shinhan, Yamcha, Chiaotzu and Yajirobe in order to help combat the approaching threat of the Saiyans, through many different training methods, including the Pendulum Room, intending to show the full power even the lower class Saiyans used to possess. Mr. Popo and Kami come to the realization that Piccolo has become far less evil than he was five years ago, when they notice that Raditz's soul, who was killed by Piccolo, did not become lost like other souls killed by demons. When Piccolo is killed in battle, Mr. Popo is in total despair as he watches Kami die and disappear, making the Dragon Balls non functional.
After Vegeta's defeat and retreating, Mr. Popo helps Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan get to the planet Namek by telling them about Kami's old spaceship when they were at Wukong Hospital. He then shows Bulma the location of the spaceship at Yunzabit Heights by using his Magic Carpet, and taught her the Namekian language so they can go to Namek and use their Dragon Balls to revive their other fallen friends, including Piccolo, which would also bring Kami and the Earth Dragon Balls back.
After Kami's resurrection, Mr. Popo collects the Dragon Balls on Earth in less than one day to resurrect all those who were killed by Frieza and his soldiers on Namek as part of King Kai's plan to save those on Namek, excluding Frieza, from the planet's explosion.
Garlic Jr.'s return
In the filler Garlic Jr. Saga, Mr. Popo is attacked by Garlic Jr.'s henchmen while watering the plants on the Lookout. He is sealed in a glass bottle by Garlic Jr. Later, he is released by Krillin and Piccolo. He takes Kami to the bottom of the Lookout to spread the Sacred Water where the former Guardians' graves lie. He later spreads the Sacred Water to the Earth.
The Androids and Cell
Three years later, Mr. Popo appears again in the Cell Saga, where he leads Goku, Gohan, Future Trunks and Vegeta to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for a year of training in one day. Later, he observes the Cell Games on Kami's Lookout with the new guardian of the Earth, Dende.
Death and revival
Seven years later, in the Majin Buu story arcs, after everyone else runs out of ideas to do the Fusion Dance, Mr. Popo comes up with the idea of having Trunks and Goten perform the dance. The family and friends of the Z Fighters take refuge from Majin Buu on Kami's Lookout. Only in the anime, Mr. Popo has a brief match with Goten and Trunks in their Super Saiyan forms. During the fight, he blocks several hits and even dodges a kick. After Goten manages to kick him once, he appears uninjured; proving him a far stronger character than others assume he is.
Mr. Popo also observes the fusion of Trunks and Goten. A day later, Super Buu finds the Lookout and allows them to live for a short time. While there, Super Buu used his Human Extinction Attack to kill all the people on Earth, except for Mr. Satan, his dog Bee, Tien, Chiaotzu, and the family and friends on the Lookout. When Buu escapes from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Mr. Popo and the rest are turned into chocolate and eaten. However, before he was turned into chocolate, after seeing the murders of Android 18 and her daughter, Popo bravely makes a quick decision, seizing Dende and hurling him off of the lookout, out of Buu's rampage. He is commended for his bravery by Piccolo, when the Namek comes across the surviving Dende.
Dragon Ball GT
Mr. Popo has a very small role in Dragon Ball GT. In the first episode, he prepares to restore the lookout after Goku and Uub finished their intense training and damaged the place almost entirely. Later, during the events of the Baby Saga, Mr. Popo along with Dende are infected by Baby and later attempt to assault Kibito Kai, who travels to Kami's Lookout in order to get the Sacred Water to cleanse the human race of Baby's parasites. After being cured, he remains as a background character for most of the show. He is last seen during the flashback montage sequence in the final episode.
- Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
- Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans
- Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku (seen in one of Bardock's visions)
The movie pamphlet for Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might states that Mr. Popo has a power level of 300. According to a 1989 issue of the Weekly Shōnen Jump, Mr. Popo's power level during the Saiyan Saga is 1,030. Later, in the Majin Buu Saga, Mr. Popo is shown blocking and dodging nearly all of Super Saiyan Goten and Super Saiyan Trunks' attacks, and upon being kicked by Goten, he appears to have been completely unscathed by the attack, showing that he is far more powerful than originally thought.
- Floating Popo Defense – A defensive technique used against Goten and Trunks. Named in the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game.
- Instantaneous Movement – Unlike the Instant Transmission, he can transport instantly to a desired location on Earth without requiring the use of an energy signature to home in on. He is first seen using this technique when he transported with Bulma on his flying carpet to Yunzabit Heights, which was the region where Kami's old house (which was really a spaceship) crash-landed and needed to be restored.
- Ki Sense – Mr. Popo is one of the first people shown to sense ki and track the movements of others as he used it to defeat Goku.
- Levitate – This is the ability to fly using one's ki. Mr. Popo can quickly control his energy and push ki out from underneath him allowing him to fly or levitate in the air with ease.
- Magic Materialization – A magical ability used to create objects from seemingly thin air. Mr. Popo can bring out a rolled-up ball of carpet from nowhere and throw it upon the ground which, instead of actually touching the floor, opens up in mid-air and becomes his magical flying carpet.
- Swallow ki blasts – Mr. Popo can swallow blasts of ki as shown in Dragon Ball when he fought Goku at Kami's Lookout. Devouring Goku's Kamehameha resulted in a smoky belch.
Video game appearances
- Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu
- Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden
- Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan
- Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan
- Dragon Ball Z Arcade
- Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku
- Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2
- Dragon Ball Z 2: Super Battle
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II
- Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
- Super Dragon Ball Z (appears in the main menu)
- Dragon Ball Z: Bakuretsu Impact
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (appears in the game's ending credits)
- Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans
- Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden
- Japanese dub: Toku Nishio (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler), Yasuhiko Kawazu (Dragon Ball Kai)
- Ocean dub: Alvin Sanders (Saiyan and Namek sagas), French Tickner (Androids Saga onwards)
- FUNimation dub: Chris Cason (DBZ Season 3 originally, Dragon Ball Z Kai), Christopher Sabat (All other media)
- Latin American dub: Carlos Segundo (DB, DBZ, DBGT), Jorge Palafox (DBZ Kai)
- Brazilian dub: Cezar Marchetti (DB and DBZ), Tatá Guarnieri (The Return of Cooler and DBGT)
- Croatian dub: Costa Ipsa
- In the event that a guardian dies before finding a successor, Mr. Popo (who is immortal) is responsible for finding one.
- Mr. Popo is able to speak the Namek language taught to him by Kami (even though Kami found out he was from Namek only a short while before his death).
- To some, Mr. Popo is claimed to be a variant of darky iconography, a "racist" style of caricature. On May 4, 2000, an article written by children's book author Carole Boston Weatherford claimed that Mr. Popo, along with the Pokémon #124, Jynx, were derogatory stereotypes because of the black skin, big lips, and for Mr. Popo, the lack of teeth. In 2004, Viz Media began to downsize Mr. Popo's large lips digitally in the American release of the Dragon Ball manga. Pokémon had changed Jynx's face and hands to purple.
- In the 4Kids version of Dragon Ball Z Kai, Mr. Popo is recolored royal blue.
- ↑ Short profile at DBZGT Legacy
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Dragon Ball Z episode 242, "Learn to Fuse!"
- ↑ Weekly Jump, issue 31st, 1989
- ↑ New Racist Forms: Jim Crow in the 21st Century article
- ↑ Entry page to Japan's bigoted exports to kids.(Opinion) article
- ↑ Viz Media's modifications to Mr. Popo's lips in the Dragon Ball manga
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