Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel through time? To travel from place to place? If you could, what would you do once you reach the end of your journey?
Ai, Mai and Mii are three girls who live in a house with a large christmas tree and decoration. In fact, their house does not just look christmasy, but is infact a christmas shop. But the three sisters also hide a secret, they are actually time travellers and at some point, their house and all the occupants will suddenly disappear only to reappear somewhere else many years later. This movement comes at unpredictable times, sometimes it may take months, whereas others it may take only days. How will this effect those who meet them? And where are these girls headed in this strange house?
Popotan starts in a rather ecchi way, as a young boy enters the house believing it to be haunted, but happens to come across Ai leaving the bath leading to being stuck between her large breasts. Though the first episode does make the anime seem somewhat ridiculous and dirty, the anime actually becomes very tame starting with episode 2. Though breast shots do appear quite a few times during the anime, there is not so much attention drawn to this.
The story begins quite happily and the girls cheerfully move from place to place making new friends as they go, but as the anime goes on, you begin to realize that the girls are not as happy as first impressions would have you believe. Starting with Mai, the middle sister who seems to be the most levelheaded of the group, you notice that the constant moving of schools and abandoning of her friends is beginning to take its toll, and the anime begins to take a rather emotional turn. As the anime continues further, you notice that the girls not only travel through time, but also have some sort of special abilities, though these abilities are of little focus during the anime and are just shown as added extras, it would appear that Ai's ability to communicate with flowers is essential for their journey as they appear to be chasing after someone, though the reason they are chasing after them, even they do not seem to know.
Strange forces are at work, and the mental state of the girls is tested on many occassions, giving the anime a rather large change from comical to full on drama. I did not like this anime at first, having placed the anime on the shelf after watching the 1st episode. Then chancing to watch it again as I believe anime should be given a chance further than the first episode, I somehow found myself getting drawn in and now see this anime as one of the most interesting anime I've seen for a long time.
A little known fact about this anime is that most people have actually seen two of the characters without even realizing it. The most well known viral version of the Caramelldansen features both Mai and Mii dancing across the video, though the maker of the video may have intended for these characters to be recognisable to the fans, sadly this anime quickly faded into obscurity and is now little known other than for the characters images. I believe this anime is a must see for anyone who likes drama and tragedy, someone who does not mind a little bit of ecchi to see a good story. I would not advise just to watch this anime solely for the ecchi, if you are not interested in such stories as well.