If you’ve looked around Twitter this month, you may have seen mention of Pui Pui Molcar. The stop-motion series is one of many short subjects featuring on children’s variety shows. But this one in particular has the Internet squeaking wiht excitement. Even Yoshihiro Watanabe of BEASTARS dedicated a whole thread to it!
We’ve seen it, and we agree: this fuzzy little series is a must-watch. But what makes it so great? If you really need more than “cars that are also guinea pigs,” we’ll break it down for you.
The unbearable cuteness of molcars
So what is a molcar? The term comes from the Japanese word for “guinea pig,” morumotto. In short, they’re guinea pigs that are cars. Or cars that are guinea pigs. We’re not sure which. They run around on little tire feet, humans (and animals) ride around in them… but they’re also clearly alive.
These squat, speedy little vehicles rescue animals from the summer heat and take part in high-speed car chases. They’re full of personality and energy, and you can’t help but love them.
Accurate piggie faces and squeaks
“Pui pui,” as you can probably guess, is Japanese onomatopoeia for the “wheek wheek” noise we all know guinea pigs for. You’ll hear a lot of that in Pui Pui Molcar, which uses actual piggie noises for its vehicular characters. Guinea pig owners will know the many and varied sounds well… and fair warning, our test audience of two piggies responded loudly in kind.
Their little faces are perfect, too. If you love the weird little mouths and flappy ears of guinea pigs, you’ll be happy to see them faithfully recreated here. They’re even cuter in action.
Unique stop-motion style
Stop motion is nothing new, but Pui Pui Molcar adds a cute twist. The characters themselves are soft felt critters with button eyes. That gives them the extra fluffy huggable piggie look, even with their tires and windshields. The set and people are more traditional rigid props, mking that fluffiness stand out even more.
Also notably, they look pretty ready to merchandise. And let’s hope they do. We’re here for our own little guineacar friends!
Keeping up with every show in a season can be daunting. But if you want to take in all of Pui Pui Molcar, it won’t take you long at all! Each episode is just a couple minutes long, so it can be folded into the larger variety format of TV Tokyo’s Kinder TV.
That also means if you’re ever in need of a quick pick-me-up, you can just watch an episode on the fly.
No localization necessary
Pui Pui Molcar doesn’t involve any dialogue (at least so far): just squeaks. And what makes it accessible for little kids also makes it accessible for international viewers. There’s no barrier to entry: you can enjoy without knowing any Japanese!
The down side is, you can only see so much of it online. Both the Bandai Namco YouTube Channel and the official Pui Pui Molcar Twitter post clips and an occasional full-length episode. But, as noted by others before now, it deserves to be seen by a lot more people. Here’s hoping its popularity will inspire the creators to give it a global push.
How about you? Are you ready for more guinea pig car cuteness in your life?