No language barrier, the anime using fuzzy felt guinea pig cars drives its messages home with soft emotion, details and cuteness, charming international and domestic audiences alike.

Rei Miyake, for JAPAN Forward

Stop-motion animation Pui Pui Molcar featuring adorable woolly felt characters has become an unexpected smash hit. Aired on TV Tokyo every Tuesday from 7:30 A.M., its black humor and masterful filmmaking techniques have caused a sensation on social media.

The much-anticipated final episode was aired on March 23, and experts have high hopes that it will trigger a golden age of Japanese stop-motion animation.

Images provided courtesy of © JAPAN Forward

International Fan Base, 3.8 million Views on YouTube

Pui Pui Molcar follows the strange lives of Molcars, a portmanteau of “car” and “morumotto,” the Japanese word for guinea pig.

The animation is directed by Tomoki Misato, 28, a puppet animator who has received awards in Japan and overseas. The series has a total of 12 episodes which started airing on January 5 as part of the children’s variety show Kinder TV.

Pui Pui Molcar has gone viral for its strange combination of guinea pigs and cars, and its dark sense of humor. Its basic scenario involves Molcars becoming unwitting victims of human actions like bank robberies and traffic jams.

In the Molcar world, where guinea pig-car hybrids face a variety of situations from daily life problems to zombies, it’s easy to forgive the Molcars’ antics and mishaps. With episodes as short as 2 minutes and 40 seconds, it spread like wildfire on social media, accompanied by comments like “Humans are idiots.”

Despite being a children’s show, it has captivated many of its target audience’s parents, forming a huge fan base of adults in their 20s and 30s.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.