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Japan's Stop-motion Sensation 'Pui Pui Molcar' Zooming On To Netflix


What is the top anime of the 2021 winter season in Japan? Attack On Titan? Nope. Wonder Egg Priority? Guess again. According to Japan's media review company Filmarks it's a little show by the name of Pui Pui Molcar.

Molcar is not the kind of thing that western audiences will think of when they hear the word 'anime'. It's definitely not an obvious candidate for such popularity, either. Molcar is a short-form stop-motion animated series aimed at kids, originally aired as part of the Children's variety show Kinder.

From the country that brought you the Catbus comes the Guinea Pig Car. The name is a play on the Japanese word for guinea pig (Molmot) and car, from the country that gave us Pokemon. Nobody does cute quite like the Japanese- think about it in those terms and it starts to make sense. Of course there's a series about adorable Guinea Pigs on wheels.

Although it's best known for hand-drawn animation, Japan has a rich history of stop-motion. Many people don't realise that the classic Rankin Bass Holiday Specials such as Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer were actually animated in Japan

Molcar is produced by Bandai Namco Entertainment with veteran animation studio Shin-Ei Animation (Doraemon, Shin Chan)  and Japan Green Hearts. The series is created, as well as largely written and directed by stop-motion animator Tomoki Misato, who attracted international acclaim with the festival hit My Little Goat (which is decidedly not so cutesie). Misato produced the series with a small team of four animators at Japan Green Hearts, and each episode runs for around two minutes. The models are mainly made using cotton and wool. The way the humans are animate in the series may remind you of the style used in A Town Called Panic and its sequels and spin-offs.

The show has found popularity far beyond its original intended audience, probably primarily due to clips and gifs from the series going viral. It has also caught the attention of fans outside Japan, where it has become the most talked-about unlicensed shows of the year.

Now it has been revealed that the series has been picked up by Netflix, who will stream the show from March 25 (excluding some Asian territories where it has been licenced by a local distributor), so you'll be able to discover its charm for yourself!

In the meantime, Bandai released one of the episodes on YouTube so you can check it out, here