Anpanman Character Reviews:
What fun is a villain who has to work alone? Sooner or later, any self-respecting series will succumb to the allure of more jerkholes to jerkhole things up...or, in this case, the creator will start to feel bad that his main antagonist has virtually zero friends compared to Anpanman's vast and loving social circle, and thus came Dokinchan, a ladyfolk of whatever Baikinman's species is.
In her very first appearance, Dokinchan sure was...something. She was the tallest and lankiest main character ever introduced, which I am still VERY much a fan of, and at least a little disappointed that it was so quickly dropped. Supposedly sent by Baikin Planet to aid Baikinman in his mission of conquest, she arrives in a giant egg already fully grown because it turns out giant eggs are just what Baikin Planet considers its "spaceships," so I guess we now know one more thing about these aliens, and that's that they share at least some of their technology with the planet Ork.
The towering spacewoman is almost Anpanman's most sinister opponent yet, whose very presence is supposed to make your heart pound faster and faster. Her menacing-looking spear only makes people grow or shrink depending on which end they're jabbed with, however, and she gets cocky enough to slip up and forget which end is which at a pretty critical moment. Giant Anpanman was not impressed.
The anime would go on to adapt this story almost point-for-point, but as we already saw, shrank Dokinchan down to the same squat troll proportions as everybody else. BORING! We've seen only one brief indication or two that she's hiding teeth like Baikinman's, and without either those perpetually exposed jaws or a Slenderman bod there isn't really all that much to her character design that I can get into, but at least her personality is kind of infectious. Germ jokes!
Dokinchan is technically only named Dokin, but everyone adds the -chan out of courtesy, and it's pretty much become her official name. You may know that the name is a play on "doki doki," the sound of a heart beating, but the "kin" here, as in "baikin," derives from kinoko, or mushroom. That's basically the end of any association between Dokinchan and any germ or mold theme, unfortunately. You could pretend she's a joke on the concept of "love sickness," but I don't think they even have that term in Japan.
Is it cliche for the female character to be a romantic seductress? Sure, but the hilarious thing about this one is that she's virtually the only one who sees herself that way.
Male Baikin-people seem to find Dokinchan foxy enough that she can get them to do virtually anything she asks, there's one major character who's just completely head over heels for her and we've seen a couple giant, evil monsters develop a crush on her...but pretty much everyone else in the setting seems indifferent to her charms at best, with some even outright dismissing her as "weird." We've seen a few regular folks in love with her when she's in some sort of disguise, like Baikinman, but only so long as the disguise stays on, so it's possible there's just something heinously off-putting about her in person that doesn't come across in the show's cartoon style.
Dokinchan's perception of herself is further demonstrated by her two official character songs, both of which are even more villainous sounding than any of Baikinman's. We don't have a full translation, but just give Doki Doki Dokinchan a listen at the above link. One of the lyrics basically states that people only need to hear her name to pass out from their pounding heart, and "take my word - they won't be getting up again."
Though she was generally written like a cute, funny character, the foreboding background music of this song was still used as Dokinchan's on-screen theme in the anime for years before they finally retired it.
"Watashi Wa Dokinchan" on the other hand is a little jazzier and more upbeat, but it still reeks of "villain song" whether or not you know any Japanese, and in case you don't, the standout lyric of this one is definitely when she sings "when everyone else in the world is gone, I'll still be alive; that's just the kind of person I am." Damn, Dokinchan, take a chill pill.
All of this only makes Dokinchan's character funnier and funnier, because while she's a terrifying, diabolical space vixen in her head, she pretty much gives up after her first defeat and settles all too comfortably into the life of a hedonistic slob. She helps Baikinman on a lot of his schemes, sure, she's even helped him build and pilot some of those giant robots of his, but she'll often just pick up and go home the moment Anpanman shows up, and spends the majority of her time eating, lounging, reading comic books or all of the above.
When Dokinchan wants something that isn't already in arm's reach, she'll just lay the charm - or guilt tripping, or plain old threats - on Baikinman to get it for her by any means necessary, and he's almost always JUST lonely and pathetic enough to do it at even significant personal risk.
There is, in fact, only one thing in the world guaranteed to bring Dokinchan's villain roots back out of hiding, and that's her dangerously obsessive, depraved lust for one Shokupanman.
Contrasting Baikinman's goal to destroy his bread-headed rival at all costs, Dokinchan wants nothing more than to find out if there's any possibility of half-bread monster babies in her future, and the depths she's willing to sink to in this quest are uncomfortable to say the least. We're going to just wrap up this page with a look at my top six Sleazy Dokinchan moments, beginning with:
Dokinchan Imprisons and Robs Cupid
Of course Cupid is a real literal figure in the Anpanman world, and Dokinchan knows exactly what she intends to do with that information by the time anyone even finishes explaining it to her. When the cherub refuses to do what she wants, she simply takes him hostage, steals his magical bow, and goes out on a "manhunt," literally stalking her crush with a weapon she hopes will enslave him to her forever. She fails, but man, that's pretty damn malevolent. That's really not the kind of thing anyone should just forgive and forget, but you know they do anyway, and as the series goes on they only treat this scuzzy gal like more and more of a welcome friend over Baikinman.
If You Love Them, Take a Hit Out on Them
Did you read my Shokupanman post? Do you remember me saying he's driven his little truck off of cliffs an unusual number of times? It's usually a freak accident, but there was one time Dokinchan caught wind of another character, I think a napkin woman or something, helping bandage Shokupanman when he sustained some minor injury.
So of course Dokinchan wishes she could be the one wrapping up his shattered limbs in gauze, so naturally, she realizes her only possible course of action is to make Baikinman follow him, ambush him and run him off the same treacherous mountain road at least two or three times. The fact that Anpanman showed up by pure coincidence and kept hanging around for the day is presumably the only reason she didn't get to spend her afternoon sewing his organs back in, at least assuming she would have given any of them back. I'm not so sure we can give her that much credit.
Dokinchan's Twisted Island Castaway Fantasy
Shokupanman may not be romantically interested in Dokinchan now...but what if he was simply trapped for the rest of his life with no other options left? Romantic, right?! All she needs to do is get both of them permanently stranded on an isolated, unmapped island together, a plan which also includes an anonymous love letter, tossing her own UFO or any other means off the island, and setting up a device that will cut Shokupanman's cape so he can no longer fly.
Unfortunately for her, the letter intended to lure Shokupanman to the island gets blown away in the wind, and accidentally lures someone else entirely into her trap after she already did the "cut off her own escape route" part.
Yeah, she deserves this.
To be honest though, it's kind of a cute episode. Dokinchan and Currypanman are not at all into each other, but they end up bonding a little as friends anyway as they camp out together and finally build a raft to get themselves home. There's even some little "...maybe?" glances traded between them under a romantic looking backdrop, but of course none of that is ever spoken of again once this episode is over.
Too bad, really; maybe they'd have kept each other out of trouble.
Dokinchan's Sexy Schoolteacher Scheme
Perhaps this one isn't so much creepy as it is pathetic. When Dokinchan sees Shokupanman and Mimisensei - the rabbit teacher - playing piano together at the school, she immediately assumes they've got something romantic going on, and hatches an ingenious plan to get Mimisensei away from the school for the day.
By this, we mean that she impersonates a mailman to give the teacher a phony letter calling her away from work to another location. This is what that letter looks like, which also suggests that Dokinchan is illiterate.
Rubbing salt into that wound, Mimisensei can't tell what the drawing is supposed to mean, and Dokinchan has to explain it to her. At least it still works, because in Anpanman's world, a professional educator is just someone with a whole two brain cells.
Dokinchan proceeds to disguise herself as a substitute teacher, Dokidokisensei, in a tight little outfit that includes pink fishnets, swirly cat eye glasses and twenty inch platform heels. Not gonna lie, that'd get my attention.
She proceeds to tell Shokupanman that today is art day and that he has to be their model. She stops short of demanding he strip for it, but she still ends up blocking the children's view and telling them his poses are "just for her."
Sadly, she gets only a little more creep on before Baikinman shows up and attacks the school, forcing Dokinchan to defend her own stalker-crush and accidentally look like a mysterious if questionably dressed hero.
Dokinchan and Munchausen's by ProxyThis time, Dokinchan reads a story about a beautiful and beloved nurse, and gets it in her head to make Shokupanman sick so she can take care of him. She even goes so far as to have Baikinman awaken Kazekonkon, a gigantic monster who can cause outbreaks of the common cold and that we'll probably review on his own one of these days.
A common cold obviously isn't that big of a deal, and especially not to a super-powered bread person, but Shokupanman totally buys Dokinchan's "Nurse-san" persona, and believes her when she says he'll need lots of bed rest while she personally tends to him, which includes trying to feed him imaginary medicine from an empty spoon.
I also love the detail of the rubber duck among her "tools," and I swear I didn't even know about this episode before my webcomic. I think the pail of sand is even more alarming, though. What...uh...what are you doing with that.
Dokinchan ends up doing such a pitiful job as a caretaker that Shokupanman keeps trying to pitch in himself, and she can't very well say no to him doing her dishes or cooking her food, so it's not long before her "care" consists of treating this sick man as a personal maid until he gets over his little bug and leaves, narrowly avoiding the moment when I assume she would have broken his legs with a hammer.
Dokinchan and the Time She Noticed That Shokupanman Liked Birds so She Became a Pterodactyl