As you might know, I’m a pretty big fan of a new web series called Bee and Puppycat. In case you have no idea what it is, and would like to know, you should check out my article here. As with being so in love with the world of Bee and her misadventures, I’ve come to notice some interesting connections between the series and a few classic anime of the past. So rather than giving you the generic review, let’s give a break down of some key scenes from the most recent episode of BaP that might remind you of something familiar.
Something about Episode 3 (known as Beach) reminded me a great deal of the work of Hayao Miyazaki. The way he draws the majority of his female characters is with a bit of softness to their shape, that brings about the childlike innocence that many of them still retain. This works greatly for Bee overall as a character, as she is very much like a kid in her mannerisms and ways of thinking.
Particularly in the beginning of this episode, Bee reminded a lot of Satsuki and Mei from My Neighbor Totoro. With the signature red skirt, and even just the framing of the shots, all I could think about was how similar these characters seemed.
Ironically, another character in the episode seemed to be covered in shades of another famous Anime hero. Bee’s landlord, Cardamon, could have easily been the long lost brother of Detective Boy Conan. The capri pants, the british accent, his extreme intelligence, the references never stop coming.
Maybe it was the hilarious hijinks of the situation, but something about the entire package of this episode gave me many Rumiko Takahashi feels. With a little bit of the awkwardness of Ranma 1/2 and the charm of her older work from the 80’s, this had much of Takahashi’s signature style all over it, in both comedic timing and style.
We then arrived to the beach scenes. Here there were many of the familiar queues of Anime’s past. From the cutting away during long dialog scenes to visuals that seemed not directly connected (but made sense), to even the smooth details of the animation, there was much to take in when it came to references. Lets take for example Bee’s signature Beach up-do:
Aside from rocking the buns like Princess Leia, did anyone get the feeling that this seemed very 80’s mahou shoujo to them? With the curvy shape and fluffy texture of the hair, Bee definitely was rocking some Studio Pierrot style cuteness this episode. A dash of Creamy Mami with some non-Pierrot Minky Momo thrown in, Bee could totally fit in with the Magical Girls of that Pastel covered decade.
As the episode progresses, we arrive to a scene in which Puppycat goes into a pool of water, and asks Bee to join him. She declines, and is joined in the refusal by a group of very hyper active cats. If you’ll notice from the screenshot below, when the cats begin to freak out near the water, their bodies turn into a sort of curvy, squiggle kind of shape. Like I mentioned above with Bee in general, this could be another Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki reference. Do you remember a similar kind of “blob”-like creature from their films that would freak out suddenly? If you guessed The Soot Sprites from Totoro and Spirited Away, you’d be correct.
Look at the distorted shape they become when angered and upset. The Soot Sprites (or the people reacting to them) tend to do this, to represent a frantic kind of emotion. The scene in Totoro, where Mei puts her finger into a hole in the wall, could be a source of inspiration for this particular shot.
But whichever way you look at it, Bee and Puppycat is definitely inspired in some way by anime. Whether it be the story or the visuals, you can’t help but notice in the little nooks and crannies that this web series owes a lot to the classic shows and movies of the past. Maybe more references can be found in the future. From the obvious Sailor Moon ones (look at the plushie in Bee’s apartment) to the not so easy to spot, I feel we have a lot more to look forward to in the coming episodes in terms of fun things to see.
So, are you caught up with Bee and Puppycat? What references have you seen? Tell us your favorites and what you’re looking forward to from the series!