What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this stylized cartoon series is hampered by a silly 10-year-old female character whose zealous pursuit of her crush entirely consumes her. When she's not smothering him with unwanted attention (including hugs and attempts to kiss him), she's tapping into her own inner warrior and fighting the bad guys who challenge him. Although his red-faced embarrassment shows his disgust at her advances, he never lets her know how he feels. While the show is aimed at the 6-11 age group, the plot (with the significant exception of the inappropriately obsessive love interest) is ridiculously simplistic and far-fetched for kids that old, leaving only the flashy violence to keep their attention.
What's the story?
Ten-year-old Pucca seems a sweet-natured (if flighty) girl who's content to help out at her family's restaurant and listen to the misguided advice of the three chefs who act as her guardians in her father's absence (he's traveling the globe in search of exciting culinary advances). But when it comes to Garu (Brian Drummond) -- the unlucky object of her affections -- Pucca becomes relentlessly determined to win his heart. She follows him everywhere and stops at nothing to win him over. Innocent Garu, who only wants to focus on honing his ninja skills, finds Pucca's smothering presence irritating -- and it's not long before viewers start to agree with him.
Is it any good?
PUCCA chronicles a young girl's exhaustive attempts to win over her one true love, who, despite her best efforts, remains focused instead on his career. But this isn't a soap opera, a dramedy, or even a movie of the week. Pucca is actually an animated kids' series that blends martial arts with a touch of magic and heavy doses of desperate, unrequited love. The mix is a recipe for disaster that will leave parents (especially those with daughters) with a bad taste in their mouths. While Pucca and Garu's problems could be resolved by some effective communication, the situation is complicated by the fact that neither of them speaks in actual words. Inexplicably, they're among the few characters on the show who rely on sounds -- mostly giggles and grunts -- to communicate.
Pucca is plagued by storylines and subject matter that can't find age-appropriate common ground. The complicated love/hate relationship and the prevalence of violence pushes the show toward the upper end of the age spectrum, but the otherwise simplistic plot drags it down and will bore older kids.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about relationships between boys and girls. What's the difference between liking someone as a friend and liking someone as a boy/girlfriend?
How can you let someone know that you like him/her? How does it feel
when someone has a crush on you? How would you react if the person you
liked didn't feel the same about you?
Can a crush be taken too far?
This show offers parents the chance to clarify their rules about dating
and might even be a starter for the birds-and-the-bees conversation.