Save me! Lollipop is a series you can safely skip over. That seems mean, though, and I don’t want to be mean to a series with a such a good message to teach us: Be Strong and protect the people you love! It’s almost a cliché in its own right, but so genuine, and they get the little tear sparkles in their eyes… How could I fail to recommend such wholesome entertainment?
The story starts off with a gulp, that of Nina Yamada, who unwittingly swallows the Crystal Pearl, an object highly sought after by young aspiring sorcerers as part of their final exam. So that’s about when Zero and Ichii (Oh just wait, those of you who recognize the pun on the number “one,” — it gets even better) drop out of the sky and declare they will protect her from all other examinees. Nina has this fairytale complex where she wants to fall in love with a prince, so having two declare their allegiance at once is positively overwhelming.
From here the story meanders along with most episodes introducing a new pair of throw-away villains with names like San and Forte, Nanase and Yakumo (indeed, more puns on numbers — eventually they get lazy and just use the English words). Now and then a backstory crops up, but mostly they are just there to cause trouble and show off their single personality trait: a sneaky effeminate boy who is mistaken for a girl, a boyish girl who will turn everyone into animals (resulting in an entire episode where the main characters look like furries), a guy with a crush on Nina who also vows to protect her, etc. And then there has to be a beach episode, right? Where everyone starts doing their magic transformations not for justice and peace, but out of hot-heated volleyball rivalry?
Actually one thing this show really has going for it are the names of some of these magic spells (“Ultra-dangerous-super-patriot-fire!”), but you only get them in the Japanese version. That, as far as I am concerned, makes the dub a complete failure, although the voices themselves are also pretty lackluster.The art is cute and colorful, though, and I especially love Zero with his blue hair. Unfortunately, the animation seems sort of cheap. I guess little kids don’t really need a lot of polish to be happy, but I still wouldn’t feed this to any kids I know, interviews with Japanese cast members (my favorite type of DVD extra) withstanding.
Too many stupid no-boobs jokes we’ve heard a zillion times, a lot of unresolved romantic tension, and a really goofy cop-out ending that seems like it was tacked on to avoid actually dealing with any of the issues that were going to arise via the outcome of the story the way it sat — and that, only after some drawn out, tearful melodrama — make this, yes, a series that will not tarnish your otaku cred should you wisely avoid it.