Popee The Performer – Review

Text & Art: Annie Hansen 

Popee The Performer is a 3D animated kids show created by Ryuji Masuda. The show aired on TV back in 2001-2003 in Japan and it lasted three seasons with 40 episodes that have around a 4-5 minute long runtime.

At first glance, Popee The Performer might look like a bizarre and creepy low quality project with ugly, lazy animation and filled with over-the-top violence and immature content. Some people might therefore turn their nose on it and not give the show a proper chance. But there is so much more to Popee The Performer and it’s 100% worth giving it a chance. Keep in mind, this is early 2000s computer animation so it’s not going to live up to today’s standards, especially not with the small budget and tight deadline the creator had to work with. Ryuji Masuda took all the limitations and used it to his advantage and really made it work. The unique and somewhat off-putting artstyle and movement of the characters work in the show’s favor, because it adds more spice to it’s already bizarre nature.

The plot is quite simple. The show’s two main characters are, of course, Popee the performer himself and his assistant, Kedamono. The episodes often start out with the characters trying to perform a circus trick or something similar, and it somehow always goes horribly wrong. Popee is a clown with severe anger issues and he loves to use violence to deal with all of his problems. The one who usually has to suffer through Popee’s excessive violence is Kedamono, Popee’s masked purple wolf assistant. There are other characters that are introduced later on, such as Papi, who is another clown with a very flamboyant personality that loves to challenge Popee’s violence with even more violence. There is also a frog, an alien and a sentient elephant car. 

The series is filled with slapstick comedy and is pretty similar to Tom and Jerry, just way more extreme and bloody. The characters die regularly in very gruesome and violent ways. Anything from getting shot or hit by a car to destroying the earth by throwing the sun at it or even fighting God, could happen in this show. Because of its short runtime things need to happen fast. The plot of the episode therefore always escalates quickly in very extreme and bizarre ways and it is always hilarious. The creator couldn’t afford voice actors so the show had to rely on visual storytelling and physical comedy instead, which is a great choice since it makes Popee The Performer completely universal. Anyone, no matter what language they speak, can understand and enjoy the show. 


Popee the Performer got pretty popular in Japan back in the days. Both the TV-station and viewers of all ages seemed to enjoy it and there was even some merchandise and a manga made. Now, twenty years later it lives on as a bizarre series of videos with a dedicated fanbase that you might stumble upon on the internet if you are lucky. Go check it out.

Boardgame playtesting mixed with fresh new ideas – Cuties and Monsters – Part 1

Text & art & photos: Ushiri

The idea for the game came to me at 2014 but I postponed it since I had other projects. I then started developing it again in 2018 and have been playtesting it through 2019 to this date intensly with people I know and not know at all in different groups, also over zoom from different places in Europe. Game eveluation sheets are handed out both physical and digital to all playtesters.

Playtest & combined open-source development

The way I playtest is a sort of combined open source developement variant where all people can speak their creative mind and we directly test it in the game without hesitation. I´m a strong believer that regardless of your own creative ego you can allways take input from others. This can of course be challenging to keep the red thread and not to steeraway from your intended vision of what you want to achive in the end.

Excerpt from a Childrens book based on ” Sötisar & monster”

Bad gamedevelopement & playtesting

I meet boardgame developers where their ego can´t stand pure clean critizism of bad gamemechanics and when the game suffers of being boring. Playtesting with tons of people is the way to make a good game and not take it personal if someone says they dont enjoy it or just think it´s plain dull. If they say this ask them why and what it is they don´t enjoy to get knowledge of why it does not appeal. Perhaps the game is not for them or there really is a strong truth in what the say. The most important of playtesting is to amass a ton of people that are not your real friends and just random people to get more honest opinions because they are not afraid to hurt your feelings.

Developement so far 2021-06-03: Optimize card text, redraw illustrations on cards bricks, colourize them and continue to develope/edit the layout for the gamemanual. Further playtesting to streamline the cards for the basegame. Add more objects art to the gamemap. Reach out to new playtestgroups that will do ” Blind gametests” which in practice means that they will playtest it with me silently being in another part of the room or sitting over the net watching them play without me.

Sötisar och monster / Cuties and monsters ( All art/design/rulesystem names are copyright Ushiri Stenberg©2021

Content: 16 cuties, 4 monsters, 2-sided gamemap, 1 manual, 1 box, 1 dice, bricks, cards. Playtime: 60min

A tactical cute boardgame that has more depth than meets the eye. Rules will be available firstly in Swedish and then, German, English. Possibly French & Spanish.

Instagram tag: #sötisarochmonster and some videos not uploaded here.

Future playtester?

Are you interested in being a playtester with 2 of your friends or over zoom, don´t hesitate to write me at ushiri@ushiri.com

Xerxes Rånby

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“I first met Ushiri behind a buzzing computer modem in the early nineties. Internet was not yet mainstream, but that did not prevent me to explore my digital surroundings.

While some of you may have dialed your friends or the hotline, I dialed the numbers of strangers Bulletin Board Systems, numbers that connected myself with these strange miniature digital worlds. Ushiri had such a world.

The modem gurgled, hizzed and finaly the lovely CARRIER CONNECTED message appeared when my machine connected with Ushiris digital world Necronomicon.

Necronomicon was a place for personal discovery, however if you stayed long enough inside this world you were caught by its guardian; the mighty Ushiri, who happily interrupted your search for knowledge in the digital realm of Necronomicon.

SYSOP INTERRRUPTION: all my keystrokes were now wired directly to the Ushiri brain…”

Carrot soup – Build your body with carrots

Text: Anna & Ushiri

In opposite to some people’s belief, meat protein isn’t really necessary when building muscels. There are seveal vegan athletes and body builders online…

today, to find the strenght to start this new site, we eat carrot soup.

Our opinions:

Ushiri: I feelt a strong urge to start infusing carrots in liquid form into my body since I feelt the taste was a bit weak and there for this seems like the most unlogical idea to get more carrot inside you 🙂

Anna: I like the texture with chunky bits of vegetables and cheese. The overall taste is a little bit anonymous but good anyhow…

Some months ago, Svenska Dagbladet also told about what good can come out of different carrot usages. If you have a scar for example, just put some carrot (like aloe vera) on it, and watch it heal. In all we give this Swedish carrotsoupfrom Felix 3 carrots in total.

If you have other recipes feel free to write to us 🙂

bkdove

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bkdove: Writer, pixel manipulator, sci-fi addicted, arts' admirer, retro gamer, hobbyist, game designer and messy wannabe musician. From Italy, based in Ireland. 

Ushiri: I met bkdove on steam because we share a strong interest when it comes to retrogaming and we´ve had some good sessions together, and we both to like to create worlds.
Contact: bkdove on instagram.

Paul Wahlström

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Paul Wahlström, Malmö, Sweden.

A poet (very few people know this but he is spectacularly famous!). His overuse of the swedish letter Ö in conversations defines him as a swedish poet, and a lazy one at that. In fact he is too lazy to be as crazy as he otherwise would be, which in every practical sense makes him a tory! (Oh, safety first. Ah, soft, silky flags. Cup o tea…) Indeed he might be considered the intellectual equivalent of a small country village. First published at Ushirimagazine netportal USHiRi.com.

Paul: We first met at a spa for retired proletarian writers where we both worked as “cursers” at the very popular shaming sessions held every afternoon at five.

Books published at Adlibris

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Helena Rosén

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Poet.

Helena Rosén lives in Berlin Germany, the biggest playground for adult people in the world. She loves to play tabletennis and hanging out in recordshops. She’s Is looking forward to enter the age of aquarious and worships Greta Thunberg. Published first in USHiRimagazine#2


Helena: I was living in a collective in Malmö 2005, I met Ushiri for the first time and I fell in love with the playful glimpse in his eyes.

Keith Globe

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Keith Globe: Writer in Finland.
Around 30 years ago, I won the most important competition in my life. I beat down billions of competitors and got the award. Around 15 years ago, I used the same skill to be qualified as ‘International Pool Lifeguard’ and got a living. Published first in USHiRimagazine#2

Ushiri:We meet through couchsurfing and became so good friends that we lived together for a short period in life.

Andreas Rosengren

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Andreas Rosengren Comicartist/fanzinecreator/ compulsive sketchmaker living in Malmö.
“I’m interested in psychology, philosophy, horror, pulp and lots more.” Published first in USHiRimagazine#2

Contact:
Twitter: @rosengrenandreas
Email: andreas_rosengren@hotmail.com


Ushiri: I saw his supreme chaotic artwork first on instagram and learned that we are living in the same town 😀

Emma Holtze

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Poet, model, Göteborg,Sweden.

Moonbeam Hiker Månvända and Life Equilibrist. Border Line Pirate, Will-o’-thewisp and a Kitty paw paw Pixie. Some kind of homeless artist without guidelines. I’m all about to silence the voices and noises and move my body from A to B. Published first in USHiRimagazine#2

Contact: combatcat@gmail.com


Ushiri: We meet, never actually. We have known each other mentally and have been connected since 90´s at the subculture site Helgon.net, I see her as a part of myself and the sister I never got biologically