Papillon Rose currently airs on Hulu and The Anime Network. Despite internet rumor, the series is only seven episodes long, including the OVA. All seven run 25 minutes. It's available for free viewers on both sites, but you have to confirm your age to watch it. Subscribers do not have to confirm age on Hulu. On Anime Network's Roku app, the episodes run commercial-free.
This is going to be a LONG story. I highly advise you to stop here, go to the bathroom, wash your hands, and then grab a snack and something to drink. We have a long journey ahead of us, and I highly stress that you grab something caffeinated. Trust me, you'll need it.
I just want to point out too that the following review features fowl language and extremely ADULT content.
If you are under age 18, SCRAM!! Go away!! Flee. I don;t care how "mature" you think you are, or what your mommy and daddy told you, or even how "cool" your friends think you are, if you are not yet 18, you are a kid and therefore I want you OFF my page. You can come back to me when you're old enough to vote.
And if you're a parent allowing your kid onto this review, shame on you!! It's an adult show, with an adult review, written by an adult. Have some decency, people!!
And to be up front, I'd like to thank the owners of the Papillon Rose Wikia, who went above and beyond to preserve just about all of the story content for the meta-series after the websites went dark. All of the Rose images come from them. The Sailor Moon pictures below are from my own collection.
Papillon Rose is the strange story of what happens when an internet hoax becomes reality.
So once upon a time, it was the 1990's. We had internet trolls, hoaxers, hackers and cyberstalkers, we just didn't have these cute names for them. We just called them "assholes" and grouped them all under the same umbrella.
We also had plenty of Otaku to spare, and it was pretty much a given that if you were going to make a website based on (let's say) a fanfic or an idea, you would make it clear "This is a fan-made story, it is not based on ANYTHING real, there is NO season for ____________ G, it's just a fanfic." and people would understand. If you didn't make it clear that this was not a work of your imagination, we had the right to call you an asshole, and let other people know not to buy your fake VHS tapes off of eBay. And this was a good system.
And then one day, an internet troll working under the alias "Shinji Tobita" came along and changed the rules.
Shinji Tobita's pen name is derived from Tobita Shinchi, the biggest brothel district in Japan, so that ought to paint a picture of where this article is going. He's also used the pen name "Ai Hanazono" which loosely translated means something akin to "Flower Garden of Love".
Tobita started his rule-changing career by making up a website, devoted to "Papillon Rose" which was an entirely made-up anime. He took a few pictures from Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Wedding Peach and Cutie Honey, and PhotoShopped them to look like original characters from this imaginary anime. He then went on to create several concept stories, complete with episode synopsis, and made it look like this was a full-fledged anime with multiple seasons, a manga and a movie. To enhance the hoax further, he enlisted fans as voice actresses, and had them provide sound clips to the imaginary characters. He even went so far as to venture to Comiket and hand out merchandise and manga books for the "upcoming" project. Anybody who ventured to the website would get en eyeful of sexually changed "jokes", artwork and stories from the fake episodes, which were all ripped off from Sailor Moon.
And then the damnedest thing happened. Papillon Rose went from being an internet hoax... to a REAL LIFE OVA?!?!
Somehow, some way, after fooling people for several years, Tobita got together a few people from the equally fictitious-turned-real studio "Pink Company" and found a real anime company "ECHIGOYA" to produce one 24 minute OVA in 2003 titled "Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose". It initially debuted on VHS at Comiket, and the VHS copy was later ported to DVD and then made air on Japanese television. The band Kuri-Zill performed the music for the anime. Shortly before production began however, Tobita had to make some emergency changes to the artwork, as he was still blatently PhotoShopping pictures from Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S, with one lone shot from SuperS and Sailor StarS. I'll let you view the evidence:
The character "Ranma" would later be named "RaMa" in some prints of the DVD, due to the fact that she's named after Ranma 1/2. She also had to undergo a complete transformation, because let's face facts here, IT'S FUCKING LUNA!!!
I shouldn't have to say this, but Toei Animation and Naoko Takeuchi were not said to have been 100% thrilled about the old designs, though they did get the joke.
And yes, the cat does have a condom on the tail. And that serves as your warning for the rest of the series.
So going forward, we have the OVA, starring the main character Tsubomi, a (tell me if you've heard this before) clumsy crybaby who is terrible in school. Tsubomi however has a heart of gold, and wants to do right by her friends.
Tsubomi is a lingerie model in her last year of high school, so thankfully, she's over 18. Considering the show's background, that was just about as high as I let my expectations get, and rightfully so. Aside from being a lingerie model, she also works at a maid cafe, which we don't see much of until later. In the OVA, it's a pub with the implications of it also being a strip club.
One day, while running late from school to get to work, she bumps into a mysterious young man named Hikaru...... who takes her to a love hotel and has sex with her, in an animation segment that drifts between lazy animation and a drug-induced dream sequence. In having sex with her, he awakens her long hidden superpowers. He then leaves a weapon for her inside her uterus (Okay, WTF??) and then leaves her passed out on the bed. As the story goes on, she ends up finding Rama, a bitchy Siamese talking cat, who informs her that those new powers are her hidden identity as Papillon Rose. She is awakened in time to fight Sister Biene, a Kaolinite clone who is trying to steal the sexual energy of everyone in Japan, beginning with all of the world's men, because she despises them.
I can't even begin to explain the fight sequence here. To summarize, Rose's "wand" is a giant *AHEM* "intimate massager" (you know what it is and where it goes) , which Hikaru left inside her uterus. No, I'm not going to point out everything medically WRONG with this scene, or I'll be here all day. Rose however can't use it right away, because Sister Biene is whipping her as hard as humanly possible. Hikaru, who actually doesn't have any powers of his own, appears in cosplay as "Dandy Lion" to aid Rose. How is it he implanted a magic wand into Rose, but has no powers of his own? Easy. Lazy writing. So anyway, he appears in costume to rape Sister Biene, which offers enough distraction for Rose to use her attack to kill Biene. Biene's death of course angers her boss Regina, who is a rip-off of Queen Beryl.
I apologize for the writing here. You must understand I was typing this out while gritting my teeth at the sloppy, lazy animation. Imagine view-master stills that your kid sister traced over, and you'll have an idea of what to expect.
Now after an OVA this awful, bordering on Hentai, you would think this would have ended the series once and for all. And if you thought that, shame on you. How dare you be a decent individual? OF COURSE a full fledged series was to follow..... sort of.
Between 2003 and 2005, Tobita returned to his habit of PhotoShopping pictures from Sailor Moon into Papillon Rose "episode clips" for his now defunct websites, again trying to fool people into believing that there was a movie and at least two seasons for Rose and her flock. Books were produced for Comiket only, showing episode "recaps" and even merchandise for Tsubomi and her future daughter Kotsubomi, who was modeled after Sailor Moon's first daughter Chibiusa, but named after Sailor Moon's manga-only second child Kousagi. (Ko- as a prefix means "little" in Japanese.) Each new story had the Tenchi Muyo effect, in which the characters remain the same, but the universes change.
For each story, Papillon Rose, and her "Senshi" (Yes, the word was used) Papillon Lily, Papillon Margarette, Papillon Dahlia, and Papillon Cosmos, each had to endure rape, drugs and rampant sexual acts, in order to discover newer and better superpowers. Dandy Lion would either be killed off or go mad in each universe, and was a serial rapist otaku, who becomes one of several love interests for Rose.
LOVE INTEREST??? I'm sorry, did we all just miss that last part? Dandy Lion is a serial RAPIST and even though he sexually assaults Rose, but she's willing to welcome him as a boyfriend??? Ah how about NO!! In what universe is this even acceptable??
You know what, to counter this crass idiocy, let me share with you all the link to RAINN which is fighting to combat sexual assault around the world. If you know someone going through what Tsubomi has with Dandy Lion, share the link and get them some help. Feel like making a donation? Their t-shirts are cheaper than store-bought and the bracelets are only $3.
Now if you had read some of these dirty stories from either the lost Comiket books or the website, you wouldn't believe for an instant that anybody would have ever granted this fool a TV run. And you would be wrong.
TVQ Kyushu, a subsidiary of TV Tokyo, offered to air a trial run of Papillon Rose episodes. But since this was a full-fledged network, some things had to be changed.
For starters, the drug references had to be dropped. Much of the sexual themes had to be dropped, but the costumes could remain the same as in the Comiket books and websites. (Thongs man, so appropriate.) The language had to be cleaned up, and Rama could no longer have a condom on her tail. To meet the compromise, Rama's tail now has a yellow bow on the end, the villains were replaced with easier to deal with enemies, Kotsubomi and Papillon Cosmos were dropped and Dandy Lion was killed off and replaced with his twin brother, Hibiki, a toned down ninja who fights under the name Torakage.
Another change involves Tsubomi's day-job after school. The pub/strip club was demolished in a "pre episode memory" and replaced with a maid cafe, which doesn't help when you consider that at maid cafes, the waitresses have to call every man "master" and behave like a slave to him. There's no sexual content in these scenes, but the whole "slave" thing just isn't a good enough replacement for the strip-pub. Ironically enough, mentions of Tsubomi being a lingerie model are left alone, so TVQ has basically decided that it's okay for a high school girl to model lingerie and save the world while wearing a thong, as long as she's off the pole. *clap, clap, clap* way to go, glad to see we can pick and choose our perversion. I'm just happy she's 18 or 19 by this point.
Papillon Rose's main TV show only lasted six episodes. Since it was made clear this was only to be a trial, the series wraps up the new story by the credit roll of episode six. They must have figured out early that there wouldn't be enough charity from TVQ to garner a second season.
The main TV show is set sometime after the end of Papillon Rose R and G, the two imaginary series that remains website clip only. In flashback scenes that are traced over Sailor Moon sequences, we find out that Dandy Lion was killed protecting Rose, and Rose's teammates have all had their memories wiped of the last year. So after regaining her own memories, Tsubomi sets out with Rama to convince Lily and Margarette of their past as superheroes. But while dealing with that, a new enemy arrives, fusing adorable, innocent, baby monsters, with random objects, in order to make them deadly enemies.
As if the weak script, sloppy ecchi toss-ins and lazy tracings weren't enough to infuriate you, there's episode two, (three on Hulu) where Tsubomi has to fight against "Babagappa", which was made from a baby Kappa, fused with the final energy of legendary wrestler Giant Baba. The Kappa-Dead-Wrestler hybrid is shown to be stupid, clumsy, and is very abusive towards the girls, more than the average baddie-of-the-day, and that's where I threw in the towel on this show.
Giant Baba was a saintly and charitable wrestler, who helped to found a wonderful company in All Japan Pro Wrestling and passed away from cancer when Papillon Rose was still doing Comiket and website hoaxes, and to see Papillon Rose degrade his memory to that of a joke villain is nothing short of sickening. This crossed the line of satire and went straight to tasteless. Sure, Papillon Rose is based off of shock value, but this went way too far. It was beyond tasteless and damn right dishonorable.
But then again, maybe being dishonorable is exactly what the animators of Papillon Rose wanted all along? If that's the case, then they succeeded. In fact, the show has left such a bad taste in peoples' mouths that both Hulu and Anime Network did not even care enough about the show to run it in order! On Hulu, the OVA correctly runs before the later six episodes, but all seven shorts have their titles mixed up, while Anime Network airs the OVA last. You know you screwed up when even the streaming services can't help you.
Papillon Rose attempts to bring shock-value humor to the magical girl genre, but fails to bring in laughs or even decent action. The writing is sloppy, and smacks of a desperate clown trying to write and masturbate at the same time. It's purely shameless, right down to the point where it almost seems like getting angry at it is giving it too much credit.
It doesn't just try to poke fun of magical girl Shōjo anime as much as it runs right out into traffic, screaming "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!! I can draw Sailor Moon with a mouse and add sex to it!! Aren't I funny? I sure showed THEM, didn't I?? LOOK!! I EXPOSED them and drew sex on top, worship me!!" and it behaves exactly like the internet troll that wrote it.
My best advice is to treat Papillon Rose exactly as you would an internet troll. AVOID IT. Do not give this show your energy. If you find this or it's creators on Facebook, hit the block option. Tell your anime friends not to acknowledge this show. There are other anime titles out there, and even better Hentai out there, so don't waste your time on this troll of a show.
In 2014, the series creator posted another website, promising to make another series for it. Do not give him that attention. Just walk away.
Codename Sailor earth
Codename Sailor Earth is a lifelong anime and wrestling fan. IRL she is cartoonist Koriander Bullard, formerly Koriander Ake, a happily married Chicagoan. Her favorite anime is Sailor Moon. A baby in the late 80's, the first anime titles she ever saw were Speed Racer, Voltron and Robotech.