Something’s Fuzzy in the Fridge
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Comedy, Slice of life, School
- Airing Date : July 2007 – September 2007
- Producers : J.C.Staff
Potemayo is one of the stranger slice of life comedies out there, yet also one of the simplest and most endearing. While getting his breakfast, junior high school student Sunao Moriyama discovers a mysterious cat-girlish creature inside of his refrigerator whom he names Potemayo, a shortening of potato mayonnaise, after what he was eating. The two form a bond and Potemayo instantly becomes a big hit with Sunao’s class after he brings her with him to school. Potemayo is tiny, energetic, and child-like and can’t talk much besides repeating the unintelligible word ‘honi’ over and over again, although she learns a few words over time.
The plot basically consists of Sunao and Potemayo’s comedic day-to-day adventures and their growing relationship along with interactions with Sunao’s classmates: Mikan Natsu, a spacey but good-natured girl who has a huge crush on Sunao, her friends the tomboyish athlete Kyou Takamimori, absurd rich girl Nene Kasugano, male cheerleader Mudou "Mutan" Kirihara who is obsessed with Potemayo but doesn’t have much luck, and his friend Kaoru Hatsushiba who is heavily implied to have romantic feelings for Mudou. Early on, a small yellow bird called Tori (which just means bird) becomes Potemayo’s companion and is frequently seen sitting on her head. Sunao’s eccentric, wayfaring father also appears from time to time.
A similar creature to Potemayo named Guchuko later comes out of Sunao’s fridge as well. She is initially very violent, cutting through many things with a skull-topped scythe and powerful energy beams from her horns, but starts to warm up over time thanks to bonding with Kyou and her family. Unlike Potemayo, she doesn’t really speak at all, communicating with exasperated grunts often accompanied by embarrassed blushes.
Tasty Bits - What We Love About Potemayo
Potemayo, as a series, has a weird, infectious charm that leaves much of its plot buried underneath a slew of jokes and overwhelming cuteness. It has a surprisingly varied sense of comedy ranging from simple chaotic randomness to deadpan and slapstick, that does a lot within its framework without being too “out there” to be alienating. There are also some moments of seriousness, especially towards the end, but nothing too intense or groundbreaking.
Probably the greatest strength of the show is how well it creates humor and cuteness through Potemayo and Guchuko without relying on words. The series also has a good sense of balance that keeps each episode entertaining, utilizing repeated gags enough to make them endearing but usually not overstaying their welcome. The voice acting is also strong and really highlights Kana Hanazawa’s (Potemayo) range and quality in playing a mostly one-word, cutesy mascot-type character and, while maybe not good per se, Rie Kugimiya’s voice for Nene is hilariously over-the-top and memorable.
Furthermore, the sound design is noticeably good, with an exaggerated cartoon style complete with things like slide whistles and a bouncy, video game-esque effect for Potemayo’s steps. Likewise, the OP "Katamichi Catchball" by MOSAIC.WAV is incredibly well done, catchy, and captures the spirit of the show perfectly. The ED, "Utatane" by Chata, is sweet, soft, and relaxing and serves as a great cooldown after the sometimes manic episodes.
Potemayo Problems - Series’ Shortcomings
While there’s a lot to love about Potemayo, not everything is perfect. The biggest possible issue worth mentioning before jumping into the series is that many things are left unexplained and there isn’t a real conclusion. While this isn't too surprising for a slice-of-life series, it may be annoying to certain people. Is Potemayo an alien? Expired food gone good? Mass hallucination? Who knows, she’s cute at least.
Potemayo doesn’t have anything super exceptional going on in its art or animation either but is decent enough when focusing on the important parts, namely the character design and animation for Potemayo and Guchuko. Many of the backdrops are also pretty bare-bones, rendering background characters as motionless grey nobodies and such, but that itself has a certain intentional flair about it and doesn’t really take too much away from the series.
The only other major complaint that people might have is Kaoru’s apparent homosexual lust for Mudou being played up for laughs and implications that Mikan’s brother Yasumi might have inappropriate feelings for her. While not explicit, we’d argue that these elements do leave a little bit of a blemish on its otherwise very accessible story.
Overall, Potemayo is a comedy series that is decidedly different while still being approachable to most fans of the genre, and something we think is worth checking out in general if you like anime with a touch of the bizarre. With excellent pacing and a hefty share of cute and funny moments, Potemayo is a fun and lighthearted anime that’s easy to enjoy, has memorable music and voice acting, and an offbeat style that makes it feel unique and heartwarming.
As usual, please feel free to leave a message with your thoughts on Potemayo in the comments below, and check out more articles from us at Honey’s about your favorite shows, old and new! We hope you enjoyed this article even more than you would enjoy a mayonnaise potato and make sure to check your refrigerator! Honi honi!