Sourman is a superhero from the planet Okakaumeboshi. When not in disguise, Sourman works as a reporter named Kenta Kuraaku (暗悪健太; lit. "dark-and-evil [generic man's name]", also pronounced as "Kent Clarke") for the Penguin News Network.
Sourman neither has a sense of justice nor real superpowers. Despite this, he changes his clothes in a phone booth, eating a dried plum to transform, rolls around with his belly on a skateboard, and throws grenades.
In his days on Planet Okakaumeboshi, Sourman was in the same preschool as Bubibinman and was nicknamed "Supercrybaby" because he was a coward. In grade school, he was known as Suppa-Mouth ("Suppa-chan the Piggy" in the English Dr. Slump manga) because of his major appetite.
Tomato, Girl Detective
Suppaman's first appearance is in Akira Toriyama's 1979 one-shot Tomato, Girl Detective. He is only seen in his secret identity Kenta Kuraaku and he has the role of the manga's antagonist, being suspected of several bank robberies. He manages to take hostages: a baby, a cockroach and ants, but he is still arrested by the heroine, the young Akai Tomato, in the end.
Sourman appears as Kenta Kuraaku in a brief cameo in the Penguin Village clothing store in the first Dr. Slump chapter, "The Birth of Arale". He appears again in brief cameo, as Suppaman this time, in the chapters "Something's Missing!" and "Arale Flies the Skies!". Sourman has a bigger role in the chapter "Our Hero, Suppaman", where he tries to impress Arale Norimaki and Gatchan, and finally defeats Arale at Rock-Paper-Scissors. He is seen in a crowd when Arale buys a bra in "Arale Goes on an Errand", and he makes a brief appearance when his rival Parzan is introduced in the series, as well as in "Sad, Sad Santa" and "Kick the Can". As Kenta Kuraaku, he attempts to rob the Penguin Village Bank in the chapter "Untouchable", but he is stopped by Arale. In "Heel, Achilles!", his girlfriend leaves him for a man who has a nicer car.
Sourman has again a major role in the chapter "Suppaman 2", in which he confronts Arale, Gatchan, and Chivil. He is seen among the residents of Penguin Village running after Arale and Gatchan in "Penguin Village Dom-Dom-Dom!" He has the role of Cinderella's stepmother in "Cinderella, the Musical". Sourman is a contestant in the race organized in the "Penguin Gran Prix" chapters, using a skateboard as his vehicle.
In the "Penguin Village Wars" chapters, thinking that the Earth he has to protect is vast, Sourman creates the Planetary Defense Academy and recruits Arale, Gatchan, and Oinkety Oink. During the battle against Dr. Mashirito and Caramel Man 003, Suppaman betrays the faction he created and joins Dr. Mashirito, but the Planetary Defense Academy is still victorious in the end. Later in the series, when Obotchaman leaves Dr. Mashirito, Sourman's house is taken from him by Obotchaman who literally picks it up and moves it somewhere else. Sourman spends the rest of his days living in a tent.
Kenta Kuraaku is driving on the road when General Blue, out of nowhere stood in front of his car, stopping him. He changes into Sourman and tries to intimidate Blue, but he fails when Blue shows his strength by crushing a phone booth with his arms right in front of him. Sourman then becomes completely loyal to Blue, letting him use his car and telling him the whereabouts of an airplane located at Senbei Norimaki's house. Once Blue leaves, Sourman says to himself he will let him go this time.
- Flight – He can be seen flying sometimes in Dr. Slump chapters and episodes where he does not play a prominent role. Otherwise, Sourman pretends to fly by lying on a moving skateboard.
- Sourman can smash one clay tile with his fist, but his fist will hurt after doing this.
- The Finger of Courage – He uses his finger to touch a piece of poop to show his bravery to people. This does not impress Arale, as she is not afraid to pick the whole thing up with her hands.
- Super Saiyan-like form – In the movie Dr. Slump and Arale-chan: Hoyoyo!! Follow the Rescued Shark..., Sourman transforms into a Super Saiyan in order to stop a runaway ferris wheel, but he fails and gets squashed by it.
Video game appearances
Sourman briefly appears in the Eastern Capital level on Super Dragon Ball Z, where he is seen rolling off across the street lying on a skateboard after a telephone booth is smashed by the fighting characters. He appears as an assisting character in Dragon Ball Z: Bakuretsu Impact. Sourman also makes appearances in Dr. Slump: Arale-Chan.
- Sourman's English name likely comes from the fact that he eats dried plums, which are usually sour, to "transform". His Japanese name Suppaman literally translates to "Sourman", while also obviously referencing to "Superman", the character on which his looks and names are based. Sourman's younger brother is called Syoppaman, which means "Saltyman" but again is referencing to Superman.
- Sourman's secret identity of "Kenta Kuraaku" is a play on Superman's secret identity of "Clark Kent"; both are reporters and both names are phonetically similar (when spoken in Japanese, "Kenta Kuraaku" sounds just like "Kent Clark"). Ironically, "Kent Clark" is the alias of Superman's evil opposite Bizarro.
- Sourman is a reporter for the Penguin News Network as Clark Kent reports for the Daily Planet.
- The Japanese Hiragana on his chest す translates to Su, which means "Sour".
- A character who looks similar to Sourman appears in the Dragon Ball episode "Elimination Round". Also, a character dressed like Sourman appears in the chapter "Return to the Tournament", and later when King Piccolo is defeated.