"Stop doubting your own abilities and start listening with your mind. Calm your thoughts."
Mr. Popo (ミスター・ポポ, Misutā Popo) is an assistant deity who serves as the attendant to Earth's Guardian. He also tends the grounds of the Lookout. Although he is bound there eternally as the gardener and caretaker, he can instantaneously travel anywhere in the world when the occasion calls for it by using a magic carpet.
Mr. Popo takes the form of a short, plump humanoid. His distinguishing features include his markedly dark complexion, red lips, and pointy ears. Interestingly, he possesses neither a nose nor teeth. He has a modest stature and appears to be a grade shorter than the average Earthling. He nearly always wears a smile, but does express a range of emotions depending on the circumstances. His polite, formal style complements his calm demeanor and upright posture. Mr. Popo's appearance does not change over the span of years comprising Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. This agelessness results from his Otherworldly origins.
Mr. Popo's outfit likewise never changes during the course of the series. He is always seen wearing a white turban adorned with an aqua-colored jewel resting on his forehead. He also sports a single gold hoop earring on each ear. On his upper body, he wears a maroon-patterned, gold-trimmed sleeveless vest that exposes part of his torso, as well as gold armbands on his upper arms. He touts a red sash around his waist. His white pants appear in the style of harem trousers, wrapping in around his ankles. And on his feet, he wears a pair of red slippers with white soles.
Though he does not appear to physically age, Mr. Popo is very old, having served Kami, the Guardian of Earth, for hundreds of years. He also served Kami's predecessor, as well as the Guardians of Earth into the distant past. Being the loyal and faithful servant that he is, his vocation 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 tasks like helping to reconstruct Shenron if needed, and most importantly, supporting, serving, and caring for the current Guardian. He always has a deep emotional bond with the Guardian of the 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 has a large amount of patience, and doesn't become irritated at people for lashing out easily, and often attempts to calm people down.
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 also commonly refers to himself in the third person. While in FUNimation's English dub, Mr. Popo speaks eloquently 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 dubs make it out to be.
Mr. Popo was born in the Other World at some point in the distant past. Sometime later, he was sent to Earth to become the attendant to each successive Guardian of the planet. By the time of Dragon Ball Z, Popo was over 1,000 years old.
Piccolo Jr. Saga
Main article: Piccolo Jr. Saga
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 every respect when the two first 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, having put up a good fight, attempts to launch a Kamehameha attack at Mr. Popo, but the attendant counters by literally swallowing the blast whole. Goku then tries to defeat Mr. Popo by using the punch that beat King Piccolo, but the demigod evades it without difficulty.
Mr. Popo introduces Goku to Kami, whose physical similarity to Demon King Piccolo causes the young Saiyan to launch a failed attack. Afterward, Mr. Popo and Kami explain their history to Goku, detailing how King Piccolo came to exist. Mr. Popo then trains Goku for the next three years, teaching the young warrior a multitude of techniques, including training him to sense ki without using his vision. (He does this by blinding Goku while telling him to follow a cat with a bell on its tail.) Having finished his training under Mr. Popo, Goku enters the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament with the hope of defeating Piccolo Jr. using his newly acquired abilities. Some of the techniques Goku developed in his three-year training under Popo would later prove quite valuable, including Ki Sense and the Super Kamehameha.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Vegeta Saga
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 Nappa and Vegeta arrive on Earth, Mr. Popo and Kami observe the battle from the Lookout, with Mr. Popo constantly in worry that Piccolo will die, and thus, Kami will perish also. 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, and losing a good friend.
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 teaches 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.
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.
Three years later, Mr. Popo appears again in the Imperfect Cell Saga, bidding Kami a final farewell when Kami permanently fuses with Piccolo to become the Nameless Namek, in order to gain more power to combat the Androids who are wishing to murder Goku. He later reappears 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.
Majin Buu Saga
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 Krillin, Android 18 and their 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 Super
Golden Frieza Saga
Main article: Golden Frieza Saga About five years after the encounter of Majin Buu, in Age 779, Mr. Popo is watching over Piccolo with Dende because he has died by the hands of a newly revived and powerful Frieza. He is killed when the planet explodes, but Whis uses his Temporal Do-over technique to undo the damage, reverting Mr. Popo's death in the process.
Universe 6 Saga
Main article: Universe 6 Saga Sometime after the battle with Golden Frieza, Mr. Popo and Dende are playing tennis on the Lookout while Goku and Vegeta are in the Time Chamber training, which was fixed by Dende.
Dragon Ball GT
Black Star Dragon Ball Saga
Main article: Black Star Dragon Ball Saga
Five years after the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament, Mr. Popo prepares to restore The Lookout after Goku and Uub finished their intense training and damaged the place almost entirely.
Main article: Baby Saga 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.
Main articles: Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, and Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku Mr. Popo makes minor appearances in the Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, and Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku films.
Manga and anime
Mr. Popo manages to easily defeat Goku - who had drank the Ultra Divine Water and defeated King Piccolo - however he was said to be weaker than Kami. It is stated that after training with Kami, all of the Z Fighters had surpassed him and Popo. However, during the Buu Saga, Mr. Popo was shown blocking and evading strikes from both Goten and Trunks while they were Super Saiyans and after he was kicked by Goten he showed no signs of injury or fatigue.
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.
- Floating Popo Defense – A defensive technique used against Goten and Trunks. Named in the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game.
- 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. In Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, Mr. Popo creates his own set of Dragon Balls after Goku's resurrection and Kami's death. However his version of Shenron isn't as powerful and cannot be used to wish back deceased characters, but has the advantage of being able to be reused constantly after being re-gathered and capable of summoning someone as powerful as Legendary Super Saiyan Broly.
- 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.
- Immortality – Mr. Popo is the eternal caretaker of Kami's Lookout and assistant/teacher to the Earth's Guardians, he possesses ageless-immortality, enabling him to outlive all former guardians and help properly train the next guardian. However, it appears he can be killed as he was vulnerable to Buu's Chocolate Beam and the explosion of Earth.
- Faster than Lightning – Mr. Popo's Super Attack in Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle. Popo flies at the opponent on his Magic Carpet and hits the opponent with a rush attack.
- 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
- Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden (Z-Assist support character)
- IC Carddass Dragon Ball
- Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle
- Japanese: Toku Nishio (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler), Yasuhiko Kawazu (Dragon Ball Kai)
- English dubs:
- Portuguese dubs:
- Brazilian Portuguese dub: Cezar Marchetti (DB and DBZ), Tatá Guarnieri (The Return of Cooler and DBGT)
- European Portuguese dub: Antonio Semedo
- Spanish dubs:
- Castilian dub: Manuel Fernandez
- Latin American dub: Carlos Segundo (DB, DBZ, DBGT), Jorge Palafox (DBZ Kai)
- Croatian dub: Costa Ipsa
- German dub: Michael Bauer
- Greek dub: Giannis Papaioannou
- Hebrew dub: Simcha Barbiro
- Italian dub: Flavio Arras
- Thai dub: Kaiwan Wattanakrai
- In the event that Earth's guardian dies before finding a successor, Mr. Popo (who is immortal) is responsible for finding a new 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). However, it should be noted that Kami could speak this language in Dragon Ball long before he learned of his Namekian origins, as he is shown speaking the language during his battle with Piccolo in the Piccolo Jr. Saga.
- To some, Mr. Popo is claimed to be a variant of "darkie 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 Pokémon #124, Jynx, were derogatory stereotypes because of their black skin, big lips, and for Mr. Popo, lack of teeth. In 2004, Viz Media began to downsize Mr. Popo's lips digitally in the American release of the Dragon Ball manga. As the Pokémon franchise gained international fame, The Pokémon Company also began recoloring Jynx's face and hands to appear purple and not black.
- In Dragon Ball GT, Mr. Popo is responsible for the wish (to revive all those killed by Frieza and his henchmen) that resulted in the creation of Syn Shenron.
- ↑ Short profile at DBZGT Legacy
- ↑ Daizenshuu 7, 1996
- ↑ 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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