Mr. Popo (ミスター・ポポ Misutā Popo) is a character and deity in the Dragon Ball metaseries by Akira Toriyama. He is an immortal genie who tends the grounds of Kami's Lookout and is bound there eternally as the gardener and caretaker. He uses a magic carpet for Instant Transportation.
Though he may 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 every other guardian of the Earth in the past. Being the loyal and faithful servant that he is, his purpose consists mainly of tending to Kami’s Palace, keeping the Lookout clean, helping to reconstruct Shenron if needed, and most importantly, taking care of Kami. He also tends to the ancient butterfly garden that he planted thousands of years ago, and enjoys the more simple things in life. While Funimation’s English dubbed Mr. Popo speaks complete, highly sophisticated sentences, the Japanese version proves him to be a seemingly primitive figure. His grasp of the common tongue is less than the English-dubbed version makes it out to be, and in addition, the Japanese version has him commonly referring to himself in the third person, which is not done in the English version. However, he does refer to himself in the third person in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi. Although his skill as a martial artist not shown frequently, Mr. Popo is an excellent martial arts master. When he is introduced in Dragon Ball, he is far stronger than Goku when the two meet at the Lookout. He trains Goku for three years until the young warrior learns everything he knows, and 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 Super Kamehameha, a more lethal version of the trademark attack. When used against Piccolo Jr. in the World Martial Arts Tournament, however, the demon survives it with minimal damage. In Dragon Ball Z, Mr. Popo helps Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan get to the Planet Namek by showing Bulma the location of Kami's old spaceship. He later collects the Dragon Balls in less than day on Earth to resurrect all those who were killed by Frieza and his soldiers on Namek. He is later the one who comes up with the idea of having Trunks and Goten do the fusion dance after the other characters run out of ideas for who else can do the dance.
When Goku first reaches Kami's Lookout in the anime filler, he encounters Mr. Popo seated on a Persian rug (likely the same one he uses to fly with in Dragon Ball Z) and 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 better fight against the genie and attempts a Kamehameha wave at him, only to have it literally swallowed by him 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.
During the Majin Buu Saga, he has a brief match with Goten and Trunks in Super Saiyan form, respectively. During the fight, he blocks several hits and even dodges a kick. After Trunks manages to kick him once, he is seemingly uninjured; proving him a far stronger character than others assume he is.
Dragon Ball GT
Mr. Popo has a very small role in Dragon Ball GT. In the first episode, he prepared to restore the Lookout after Goku and Uub finished their intense training and damaged the place almost entirely. He remains as a background character for most of the show.
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. In 2004, Viz began to downsize Mr. Popo's large lips digitally in the American release of the manga.
- His seiyū was the late Toku Nisho, who originally played the character until the 2005 release of the videogame Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 in Japan. From 1997-1998, he was voiced by Chris Cason in the Ocean dub who also provided for Shu's voice, and is currently voiced by Funimation's Christopher Sabat up into the videogames.
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.
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 throws it upon the ground which, instead of actually touching the floor, opens up in mid-air and becomes his magical flying carpet. This was only seen during the Garlic Jr. Saga so it may not be considered canon, but it does signify as to how he had this magical item during the Vegeta Saga.
Unlike the Instant Transmission, he can teleport instantly to a desired location in the Earth without requiring the use of an energy signature to home in on. He is first seen using this technique when he teleported with Bulma on his flying carpet to Yunzabit Heights, which was the region where Kami's old spaceship crash-landed and needed to be restored.
Notes and references
|Kami • Korin • Goku • Bulma • Dende|