Photon: The Idiot Adventures (2024)

Photon: The Idiot Adventures (1)

Promo art for the 2023 Blu-ray release

Photon: The Idiot Adventures is a 6 episode anime OVA produced by AIC that ran from 1997 to 1999.

The series was created by Masaki Kajishima (of Tenchi Muyo! note fame) with directorial duties handled by Koji Masunari and with Yosuke Kuroda is the writer.

The main character, Photon Earth, is a young child who possesses superhuman strength, but is a bit simple-minded. While tracking down his childhood friend Aun Freya, who has stolen "the sacred artifact" (a marker) AGAIN, he gets lost and accidentally finds a crashed (space) ship. Made cranky by the fact that Aun ran off after he caught her, and by the fact that she wrote "Baka/Idiot" on his forehead while he was sleeping, he starts scribbling "Baka/Idiot" all over the walls of the ship in a rage.

Eventually, he writes it on the forehead of Keyne Aqua (who was in stasis after escaping from Sir Papacharino Nanadan) and then falls asleep on her, because she reminds him of Aun's older sister (who took care of him when he was young — but moved away after getting married). Neat little fact about marriage in that galaxy. Instead of giving each other rings, the guy will "claim" the girl by tattooing the symbol on his head onto hers. And guess whose doodling just activated the ship's wake-up routine?

A manga adaptation written by Hiroshi Kanno ran from 1997 to 1998 and had 3 volumes.

Not to be confused with the "other" major laser tag game franchise of The '80s, or the live-action Sci-Fi series (made to promote the previously mentioned game) produced by DiC Entertainment.note

This show includes:

  • Accidental Marriage: When Photon, who had the word "Baka" drawn on his forehead by Aun, takes out his frustration by drawing it on an unconscious Keyne. Where Keyne comes from, drawing your partner's crest signifies marriage. Also done at the very end to Aun, Lashara, and Keyne (again, after it was erased by Papacharino's meddling), but Photon still doesn't understand the significance.
  • Accidental Pervert: When Keyne strips as she searches for the tracker Papacharino put on her, he starts to rise out of the floor and is accidentally treated to a "nice view" for a few seconds. He then pauses for a few more seconds to enjoy this view, giving her a chance to destroy the tracker and escape (briefly).
  • Admiring the Poster: Photon stops to admire a large billboard ad in the market square that features a nearly nude woman with ample breasts. "Like nii-san," he notes, as the woman reminds him of who he looked up to as an older sister, who'd left the family home after being betrothed to a townsman.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Papacharino tries to convince Photon to help him peek in on the Women's bath, citing this as Man's Duty.
  • Armor Is Useless: All the Brain Crystals in the universe can't stop a punch from Photon.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Zig-Zagged. Nipples are shown, but the female characters aren't depicted with genitalia at all, male characters have their genitals covered by a black circle, the only exception is Photon whose genitalia is on full display.
  • Blind Shoulder Toss: Keyne Aqua gives Photon a bath in her starship's pool, starting by pouring shampoo onto Photon's head at the start of chapter two. She simply lobs the bottle over her shoulder to free up both her hands to begin lathering Photon's hair. Neither shampoo nor bottle are seen nor mentioned thereafter.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Photon gets trapped in a transparent cell with Keyne, who has been turned psychotic by the Evil Overlord. It's a lopsided cage match, since Photon has a Wouldn't Hit a Girl ethic. The Emperor does this purely For the Evulz. Keyne proceeds to pummel poor Photon bloody.
  • Broken Pedestal: Pochi #1 and Lashara are both heartbroken to learn that Papacharino, whom they loved, is a womanizer with multiple wives and sees women as trophies.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: The primary reason Photon took a liking to Keyne Aqua, even though she tried to zap him out of existence, is that her bare breasts remind Photon of Aun's older sister, who'd left him behind after being betrothed to a townsman. Aun is envious of Keyne's breasts, and Keyne loses no chance to needle Aun over their size disparity. However, both women are put to shame when Princess Lashara Moon joins them in the inn's hot spring. Lashara's breasts leave both Keyne and Aun gawking in awe.
  • Canon Welding: Photon: The Idiot Adventures (2)Word of God says that Sandy Planet becomes the titular planet form Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar.
  • Cleavage Window: Keyne Aqua's outfit combines a Bolero jacket with an exercise leotard that leaves a rhombus-shaped space which frames her breastbone.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Right to the very end, Photon is still unaware of what the female attention on him means. Or that he's effectively married three women at the very end.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: When Photon has to rescue Aun, he'll often just hit her on the head. Needless to say, she's not happy when she wakes up.
  • Cranial Eruption: A huge bump grows out of Aun's head whenever he knocks her out.
  • Desert Bandits: Three bandits waylay the lovestruck Aun en route to her idol, Laman, in the trackless sandy desert. They also have a weapon that can drop boulders on people, and decide to dispose of Aun with it after taking the Sacred Object from her. (Photon, as a favor to her older sister, saves her.) These three bandits appear again later, cornering Princess Lashara against a rock wall where the desert gives way to the edge of town. Once again, Photon appears to make short work of them.
  • Dismissive Kick: Papacharino acts as a Bad Boss to his corps of dwarfish servants called Pochis. Whether delivering good news, bad news or even a status update, the Pochis get kicked around like footballs by Papacharino. It's a wonder the Pochis remain so fervently loyal. Even a concubine he'd been seducing gets booted off the bed so Papacharino can take a phone call. He's that much a Jerkass.
  • Disney Death: Keyne sort of has one, though it’s actually a fake blown up doll of her. Unfortunately, Photon thinks it’s real and goes to hug it. He does so too hard and it deflates. Thinking he killed her he bursts into tears.
  • Drool Deluge: Photon tends to drool at the thought of mealtimes. A steady stream of saliva cascades from his mouth in episode 3, as Keyne prepares breakfast. However, she forbids Photon from sampling it before it's ready, and when the time comes, the villain appears and wrecks the layout. In fact, Papacharino does this at every mealtime, leaving poor Photon drooling rivers with hunger, yet not getting one bite that whole day.
  • Earth All Along: Implied with Sandy Planet when it's turned into the Green Planet at the end, it looks exactly like Earth. According to Photon: The Idiot Adventures (3)Word of God, Sandy Planet eventually became Geminar.
  • Fan Disservice: Any shot of Papacharino's lower half.
  • Fanservice: Five minutes in, and lithe Keyne is stripping herself nude in an attempt to find a tracking device in her garments. There is one, sewn into her panties. Later, as her starship is crashing on Sandy Planet, she goes to bed nude, which is how The Hero discovers her.
  • Forced Bath: When Keyne Aqua awakens to find measly Photon in her bed, she tries to obliterate him with "aho energy," but Photon is too dodgy to die. Resigned to merely conversing with him, Keyne detects a foul odor and asks Photon when he last bathed. "Two months ago," he replies. Keyne leads him to her starship's natatorium, where she strips him naked and tosses him in. Photon has a Wouldn't Hit a Girl ethic, so he puts up only a token resistance while Keyne pours liquid soap on him, and starts washing him vigorously.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When Keyne wakes up in front of Photon, she immediately goes on the offensive and attacks. It takes her a while to remember that she's completely naked.
  • Godhood Seeker: Papacharino's ambition and reason for chasing/abducting Keyne.
  • Hand Blast: Photon's flighty sister Aun can launch a stasis field from her fingers (or her mouth if she's panicking). She fires one off to freeze Photon's sand cart, causing him to topple off into a canyon. Keyne Aqua can shoot zap balls from her palm, but only if she's wearing an aho bracelet on that wrist. She fires off five of these at Photon, whom she'd found in her bed when she awoke.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Aun says this about Photon whenever it's brought up.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Chapter 4 has Photon, Keyne Aqua and Princess Lashara visit an inn for a rest and a meal. The inn turns out to be owned and operated by Aun's older sister. The inn also has a hot spring, segregated by gender. When Keyne learns that a mysterious power source keeps the water warm, she deduces that her grandfather's aho generator is the cause.
  • Idiot Hero: Photon isn't terribly bright, and he's supremely gullible. But he's super strong, has a kindly heart, and takes protecting his friends as his life's mission.
  • Inflating Body Gag: after being asked why she wasn't eating from her sister Aun inflates like a balloon after Keyne teases her about getting fat.
  • Kill the Parent, Raise the Child: If the wicked and capricious Emperor is telling the truth, then he and another man discovered the secret of aho energy. The greedy fellow killed his partner, then pulled a Switched at Birth trick, raising Lashara Moon as his own while leaving his rightful daughter Keyne Aqua to be raised by a rebel faction. This proves to be a Batman Gambit, since Keyne became a living key that unlocks the aho generator, which can grant its user godlike powers.
  • Large Ham: Papacharino Nanadan has a few opportunities to capture Keyne, but wastes time putting on an elaborate production to Chew the Scenery about how magnificent he is. This self-aggrandizing allows Photon plenty of time to wallop him before he lays a hand on Keyne.
  • The Load: Aun is this, constantly hindering the rest of the group and tossing the Idiot Ball into Keyne's hands, getting into petty arguments with each other.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: Played nearly straight bar some implications that Sandy Planet is a version of Earth. Photon: The Idiot Adventures (4)Word of God says it's Geminar.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Galactic Emperor is Keyne's father, and Lashara is not his daughter.
  • Lust Makes You Dumb: The Villain Papacharino Nanandan is a minor nobleman in the Emperor's court, and he harbors plans to attain godlike powers with which to seize the throne. His libido, however, tends to sabotage this effort. He has either 16 or 19 wives (depending on the source) and is wooing the Emperor's daughter Lashara Moon. He has a fine chance to capture Keyne Aqua aboard her starship, but pauses to leer at her while she undresses. He blows his cash on booze and floozies while staying at an inn, for which he has to work off his debt. Lastly, he tries to cajole his adversary, Photon, into punching a peephole in the rock wall that separates the men's hot spring from the women's. Instead, Photon applies a Megaton Punch to smash Papacharino completely through the rocks, which he somehow survives
  • Meaningful Name: Keyne Aqua is the key to unlocking the hidden power of the gods.
  • Megaton Punch: Papacharino is on the receiving end of this quite a bit.
  • Mistaken for Bad Vision: Photon sees his reflection in the mirror-like walls of Keyne's bedchamber, and notices the katakana for baka (idiot) on his forehead. Photon closes his eyes and shakes his head, as these marks must be an illusion. They're not: his flighty friend Aun scribbled them on Photon while he slept. Later, Keyne sees baka on her forehead, and likewise closes her eyes and shakes her head in disbelief. Alas, Photon drew the katakana on Keyne, because he couldn't think of anything better to do with a naked young woman lying on her bed.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The Galactic Emperor deliberately allowed himself to be assassinated by Papacharino.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Nudity is Played for Laughs just as much as it is for fanservice. One notable example is when Papacharino is communicating with his fiance...while hiding the fact that he's wearing no pants and that there's a naked woman in the room with him that he was just having sex with.
  • No-Sell: Most of the setting's Magitek and superpowers are based on Aho energy. Photon happens to be the focal point of anti-Aho energy, which allows him to No-Sell any Aho-based effects (and gives him Super-Strength).
    • And the Emperor, knowing this, uses anti-Aho energy against Photon, which everyone else is immune to.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: The wicked Emperor has used his powers to make Keyne Aqua Brainwashed and Crazy. He also keeps the soul of Keyne's mother inside his body, about where his liver should be. This disembodied naked soul escapes her prison after Photon manages to skewer the Emperor with his staff, whereupon she breaks the spell upon Keyne, restoring her daughter to sanity. Spirit mother and mortal daughter share a hug before the mother departs.
  • Panty Shot: Aun is a frequent source of these, what with her short skirt and all.
  • Phantom-Zone Picture: Aun gets trapped in one of these by Bulan. However, she still manages to punch Papacharino's head until it bleeds.
  • Punny Name: There is the plot-central Aho energy; aho and baka both mean, roughly, idiot.
  • Quivering Lip: Between Aun and Keyne feuding with each other, and Large Ham Papacharino wrecking the meals, poor hungry Photon doesn't get one bite to eat across two days' time. He gets Ocular Gushers and an oscillating lower lip as his meal gets spilled to the ground every time. Photon is even willing to eat the dirty food, but the women forbid it.
  • Sand Worm: One attacks a frightened Pochi, only to be skewered by Photon and devoured.
  • Shameful Strip: In Episode 3, Keyne strips Aun down to her undershirt and panties after Papacharino tracks them down and is sent flying, looking for the tracking device that Papacha had hidden on Aun. She takes the time to smirk at Aun's embarrassment.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In-Universe example, when the Big Bad, who's been manipulating the protagonists from the start out of boredom, effortlessly crushes Papacharino and tells him to take a hike.

    Emperor: I enjoyed having you as my jester, but this next scene is a bit too serious for you.

  • Super-Strength: Half of Photon's superpower. He is strong enough to lift boulders and spaceships, smash robots, and send people flying.
  • Tap on the Head: Aun gets knocked out fairly often, complete with Cranial Eruption. A lot of the time Photon does it when he has to rescue her.
  • Tattoo Sharpie: Photon is so annoyed after Aun writes "idiot" on his forehead that he does the same to a Mysterious Waif that he discovers in suspended animation. Although the visible markings eventually go away, it becomes a Chekhov's Gun when the Big Bad tries to transform her into a power source that will give him godlike abilities, and the marking confuses the computer and screws up the process.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Pochi #1 has a single central plait tied with a small bow; he's male. All the other Pochis, numbered 2 and higher, have no plaits and no bows; these are all female. Papacharino discovers this when they refuse to enter the men's hot spring at the roadside inn.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Aun is this, repeatedly alerting Papacharino to their location and falling for his obvious ruses and making poorly thought through plans without any though to the consequences. Hell, her plan of running after and professing her love to a singer who passed through their village while carrying the village's Sacred Artifact (a marker) falls flat because not only did she not bring any supplies with her for the cross desert trip, she never considered that the singer had a partner or that she was too young for him. Photon himself points out how dumb that was. She also repeatedly tries to ditch Keyne and pilot her ship back to the village with Photon, in spite of the fact that there's no evidence she can actually pilot that thing.
  • Uniformity Exception: All the diminutive Pochis look alike, only distinguishable by numbered collars. All the Pochis that serve the hammy villain Papacharino Nanandan are female, while Pochi #1 that serves Princess Lashara Moon is male, and is the only Pochi to have some of his hair drawn into a plait with a bow at the end.
  • Victory Is Boring: The Galactic Emperor reveals that he was bored with galactic conquest and wanted some new excitement.
  • Video Call Fail: Papacharino Nanandan is at home, screwing one of his concubines (or wives, since he has 16 or 19, according to the story) when a video call comes in from Princess Lashara of the Imperial Palace. Papacharino hurriedly puts on a shirt and kicks his lady love off the bed. His servants, the dwarfish Pochis, set up the video phone to receive the call. He conducts the video call with the Princess while only dressed to the waist. His dangly bits, knobby knees, and hairy ass are below the camera frame.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In an in-universe example, Pochi (all of them, it seems) are actually women, which surprises even Papacharino, their master/employer.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Photon gets trapped in a transparent cell with a Brainwashed and Crazy Keyne, who proceeds to pummel the stuffing out of him. Despite having a staff, and a Megaton Punch, Photon does nothing by way of defense, except cry "Keyne!" repeatedly. It becomes a "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight in close quarters, with Photon left battered and bleeding. Averted with Aun, though: the best way to deactivate her stasis field is with a jolly whack on her noggin, producing a dandy lump with Instant Bandages.
  • Wrong Bathroom Incident: A wall of huge rocks separates the men's hot spring from the women's at Photon's sister's inn. Horndog villain Papacharino instructs Photon to punch a hole in this rock wall to allow him to peek at the girls. However, Papacharino's callousness makes Pochi cry, for which Photon hits Papacharino with a Megaton Punch that smashes him completely through the rocks and into the girls' waters. Not only does he survive this, but Papacharino exults at getting such a close view. The three young women beat him silly and throw him out. The innkeeper then makes Papacharino a servant in order to recoup the necessary repairs to her hot springs.
Photon: The Idiot Adventures (2024)
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