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Suppaman, called Sourman in the FUNimation Dub of Dragon Ball, is a superhero-wannabe from a far away planet, Okakaumeboshi. He works as a reporter when in disguise as Kenta Kuraaku (暗悪健太; lit. "dark, evil [generic man's name]" But it's also Clarke Kent with the order of the names reversed).

Overview

Suppaman neither has a sense of justice nor real superpowers. Despite this, he changes his clothes in a phone booth, eating a pickled plum (or sour plums and vinegar plums) to transform, rolls around with his belly on a skateboard, and throws grenades.

Biography

Early life

In his days on Planet Okakaumeboshi, Sourman was in the same preschool as Bubibinman and was nicknamed Supercrybaby because he was a coward. In grade school, he was known as "Suppa-Mouth" ("Suppa-chan the Piggy" in the English Dr. Slump (manga)|Dr. Slump manga) because of his major appetite.[1]

Tomato, Girl Detective

Suppaman's first appearance is in Akira Toriyama's 1979 one-shot Tomato, Girl Detective. He is only seen in his secret identity Kenta Kuraaku and he has the role of the manga's antagonist, being suspected of several bank robberies. He manages to take hostages: a baby, a cockroach and ants, but he is still arrested by the heroine, the young Akai Tomato, in the end.

Dr. Slump

Suppaman appears as Kenta Kuraaku in a brief cameo in the Penguin Village clothing store in the first Dr. Slump chapter, "The Birth of Arale". He appears again in brief cameo, as Suppaman this time, in the chapters "Something's Missing!" and "Arale Flies the Skies!". Suppaman has a bigger role in the chapter "Our Hero, Suppaman", where he tries to impress Arale Norimaki and Gatchan, and finally defeats Arale at Rock-Paper-Scissors. He is seen in a crowd when Arale buys a bra in "Arale Goes on an Errand". He also makes brief appearances when his rival Parzan is introduced in the series, as well as in "Sad, Sad Santa" and "Kick the Can". As Kenta Kuraaku, he attempts to rob the Penguin Village Bank in the chapter "Untouchable", but he is stopped by Arale. In "Heel, Achilles!", his girlfriend leaves him for a man who has a nicer car.

Suppaman has again a major role in the chapter "Suppaman 2", in which he confronts Arale, Gatchan, and Chivil. He is seen among the residents of Penguin Village running after Arale and Gatchan in "Penguin Village Dom-Dom-Dom!" He has the role of Cinderella's stepmother in "Cinderella, the Musical". Suppaman is a contestant in the race organized in the "Penguin Gran Prix" chapters, using a skateboard as his vehicle.

In the "Penguin Village Wars, Part 1|Penguin Village Wars" chapters, thinking that the Earth he has to protect is vast, Suppaman creates the Planetary Defense Academy and recruits Arale, Gatchan, and Oinkety Oink. During the battle against Dr. Mashirito and Caramel Man 003, Suppaman betrays the faction he created and joins Dr. Mashirito, but the Planetary Defense Academy is still victorious in the end. Later in the series, when Obotchaman leaves Dr. Mashirito, Suppaman's house is taken from him by Obotchaman who literally picks it up and moves it somewhere else. Suppaman spends the rest of his days living in a tent.

Trivia

  • The name Suppaman is derived from the Japanese word for sour, suppai (すっぱい), and the English word "Man". "Suppaman" sounds similar to the Japanese pronunciation of Superman, Suupaaman (スーパーマン).
    • Suppaman's Japanese secret identity of "Kenta Kuraaku" is a play on Superman's secret identity of "Clark Kent": both are reporters and both names are similar when spoken in Japanese, Kenta Kuraaku sounds just like "Kent Clark" (Japanese put their family names first, and given names last).
    • He is also a villain.
  • The Japanese Hiragana on his chest す translates to Su, which means "Sour".
  • Mr. Satan, a Dragon Ball Z character, has a personality that is almost the same as Suppaman's. Mr. Satan was likely based on Suppaman in terms of personality.

References

  1. Dr. Slump chapter 36, "Our Hero, Suppaman"

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