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Once upon a time ... Pollon is a shōjo manga written and drawn by Hideo Azuma, published since 1977 by Akita Shoten in Princess magazine. An anime adaptation entitled Once upon a time ... Pollon, produced by Fuji Television, composed by 46 episodes and aired between 1982 and 1983. The manga was published in Italy for the first time in 2001 by Lexy Production in four volumes; then the distribution passes to Magic Press Edizioni, which publishes a new edition of the comic in two volumes in 2010 and the complete series in single volume in 2017.

In Italy the anime series was broadcast for the first time on Italia 1 in 1984, inside the popular container Bim Bum Bam. The Italian theme song is interpreted by Cristina D'Avena, is written by Piero Cassano dei Matia Bazar and Alessandra Valeri Manera, and is called Pollon, Pollon troublemaker. In addition to the Mediaset television channels, the series was also replicated on the local Crotone broadcaster Radio Tele International and was also broadcast in France by La Cinq under the name La petite Olympe et les dieux.

Plot

The story is about the adventures of little Pollon, the only daughter of the god Apollo, who lives with her father and all the other deities on Mount Olympus, but represented as a place similar to today's Earth, with television, supermarkets etc.

Basically, three periods can be observed. In the first episodes, Pollon is very clumsy and the curiosity that causes her to be in contact with the other gods, makes the girl get into a lot of trouble. Therefore, Pollon seems to mature and provide real solutions to the problems that plague his supporting actors. Pollon desires above all things to be able to become a great goddess in all respects: for this purpose his grandfather Zeus decides that every good deed of Pollon must be rewarded with a coin that will fill a magical piggy bank.

Together with Eros, the young god of love and his inseparable companion in misadventures, Pollon therefore goes in search of people to help, stumbling upon the protagonists of Greek myths revisited in a modern and fantastic way. To help her along her journey she also finds the Goddess of the goddesses, who encourages and saves her from bad situations, like a guardian angel, giving her a clip with which to contact her and use the Bon Bon Miracle, an amulet with magical powers.

The situations in which he finds himself are inspired by the mythology of classical Greece, with clear references to Japanese culture, often changing even the saddest tragedy in a humorous key. During the unfolding of the story the gods of Olympus, the heroes and the myths related to them are presented from time to time: they appear to the viewer as beings that are anything but divine, fallible and addicted to vice and subject to human weaknesses, always projecting situations from a humorous point of view.

As a last effort to become a goddess, Pollon saves the Earth from the evils that came out of Pandora's box: thanks to the hope, which remained at the bottom of the mythical jar of demons, the girl manages to imprison the monsters again and discovers that it was the Goddess of Hope. As a sign of gratitude for Pollon's efforts, the goddess gives her the title.

Characters

Main

Pollon (ポ ロ ン Poron?)

Voiced by: Masako Miura (original), Liliana Sorrentino (Italian)

Magnifying glass icon mgx2.svg Same topic in detail: Pollon.

Little girl with blond curls, sweet-looking, nice and graceful, she is the daughter of the god Apollo and wants to become a goddess at all costs. She considers herself the greatest showgirl of Olympus and despite being very out of tune, she forces everyone to hear her sing, subjecting listeners to real torture. Her favorite song is "... I am the daughter of Apollo ... the daughter of the god Sol ...". Often in the episodes he uses a magic powder with the power to restore the lost joy, always introduced by a song that announces its properties:

«It looks like talc but it isn't

serves to give you joy,

if you eat or breathe it,

immediately gives you joy! "

Eros (エ ロ ー ス Erōsu?)

Voiced by: Keiko Yamamoto (original), Fabrizio Mazzotta (Italian)

Pollon's best friend (with whom he constantly quarrels), Eros is the god of love, represented however as an ugly, short, clumsy boy, with tiny wings and a pronounced navel. Son of Aphrodite and Hephaestus, he is a total coward, but still gets caught up in Pollon's troubles, unable to resist the personality of his friend. She calls him Pennuto or Dwarf while he calls her Poppante. Eros is always naked, but he does not have the masculine attributes and sometimes he even reveals himself in love with Pollon. In episode 11 Journey to Hades, a girl named Pillon (paper doll created by Pollon) says she is beautiful and charming.

Apollo (ア ポ ロ ン Aporon?)

Voiced by: Akio Nojima, Shigeru Chiba (original), Guido Sagliocca (Italian)

Father of Pollon and son of Zeus, and even uncle of Eros (mentioned in one episode) is also the god of medicine and prophecy. He carries the steaming sun on a cart pulled by Dosankos, a nag with an unintelligent and sad look. He is not an example of seriousness and dedication to work (very often, instead of leaving on the chariot of the Sun, he prefers to play the lyre or sleep), and for this he is always scolded by Zeus; but he is a loving father, always ready to help his daughter, who also adores him. She is often looking for a mother for Pollon. In the first episodes he courts Daphne, then the goddess Selene and finally Atalanta.

Zeus (ゼ ウ ス Zeusu?)

Voiced by: Masashi Amenomori (original), Giorgio Bandiera (Italian)

The father of all gods (mentioned as the father of Apollo and grandfather of Pollon) is a womanizer always in search of new prey (an aspect that is also found in Greek mythology). Often his escapades are the source of Pollon's adventures and are promptly discovered by his jealous wife Era, who often repays him with a bolt of lightning or pits him against gigantic wasps. He dresses in a bear fur closed by a belt with his initials in katakana.

Poseidon (ポ セ イ ド ン Poseidon?)

Voiced by: Banjou Ginga (original), Romano Malaspina (Italian)

The giant red-skinned god of the sea. Despite the job, he cannot swim, also because the water reaches his waist to the maximum. Depicted with a beard and hair tied up in a sash (as seen in many Greek vase paintings), he dresses only in underpants and wears a sake amphora on his belt. He is married to Amphitrite and has a son named Triton who, like his father, cannot swim.

Era (ヘ ラ Hera?)

Voiced by: Eiko Yamada (original), Anita Bartolucci (1st voice), Rosalinda Galli (2nd voice, Italian)

Wife of Zeus, too often betrayed by her consort; she has a red dress and fishnet stockings, and often shows herself to be wicked and sadistic, punishing her unfaithful husband with lightning bolts she created herself. She spends a lot of her time gossiping, or wearing makeup in front of the mirror to compete with Aphrodite in beauty. In the episodes of the anime series, Hera is Pollon's grandmother and Apollo's mother, although in classical mythology, Hera is the stepmother of the child, because Apollo is an illegitimate son of Zeus, born of a love affair with Latona, while Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo.

Hephaestus (ヘ パ イ ス ト ス Hepaisutosu?)

Voiced by: Kenichi Ogata (original), Maurizio Mattioli (Italian)

God of metals, and also a great scientist: without his right eye (covered by a bandage similar to that of pirates), he appears unintelligent and very sympathetic, but he dislikes all male gods, especially Apollo, almost certainly due to of the latter's good looks, contrasting with his own. He is the husband of Aphrodite and the father of Eros even if the latter will never call him dad in any episode, but only by name, contrary to his mother Aphrodite.

Artemis (ア ル テ ミ ス Arutemisu?)

Voiced by: Rumiko Ukai (original), Alba Cardilli (Italian)

Goddess of the hunt and of the moon and also Pollon's aunt; he carries a scabbard with arrows over his shoulder. In this cartoon she is also the goddess of the moon alternating with Selene.

Aphrodite (ア フ ロ デ ィ ー テ Afurodīte?)

Voiced by: Youko Kawanami (original), Emanuela Fallini (Italian)

The most beautiful of all the goddesses precisely because she is the goddess of beauty, she spends most of her time in the mirror wearing makeup. She is the mother of Eros, she is ashamed of her son's ugliness, who forces her not to call her mother, but sister. She therefore has an ambivalent relationship with her son: in some episodes like the third, Aphrodite shows that she cares about Eros and has fun with him; in episode 36 instead she appears happy with the kidnapping of her son and when Eros discovers it, she is very upset.

Secondary

Azuma-Mushi (ア ズ マ 虫 Azuma mushi?)

Voiced by: Hiroshi Ohtake (original)

A strange talking animal very similar to an anthropomorphic insect that acts as a narrator. He makes his appearance in each episode at the beginning, during and at the end of each episode to provide explanations on the Greek myths covered in the episodes or simply to comment on the scenes; he never intervenes in the story, nor communicates with the characters except for some exceptions. Azuma-Mushi has the appearance of a winged insect with a human face (with blue hair and without an eye) and wears a nib and an inkwell on his head. This is probably the caricature of the manga's author, Azuma Hideo: it is no coincidence, in fact, that he bears his own name with the suffix mushi (虫?) Which means "insect" and in the anime it has such features.

Dr. Cha Cha Cha (Dr. ナ ハ ハ Dr. Nahaha?)

Voiced by: Shingo Kanemoto (Original), Vittorio Battarra (Italian)

A weird scientist, met by Pollon (for example in the episode of Apollo and Daphne). Despite her profession and her help, she combines all sorts of things by giving the little would-be goddess the worst potions and concoctions which, instead of improving the situation, only make it worse. He is the one who provides Pollon with the magic powder. He also has the bizarre gab, in fact, every time he speaks he always adds a "cha-cha" or "cha-cha-cha" either in front of a word or behind the word.

Eris

Goddess of discord. Just a wink is enough to instill hatred in the soul of living beings. She is apparently a very kind girl and receives the golden apple from Pollon, as the most beautiful goddess of Olympus.

Dionysus (デ ィ オ ニ ソ ス Dionysosu?)

Voiced by: Masaharu Satou (original), Luca Biagini (Italian)

The god of wine: bald and with a round belly, he loves to drink and always carries a bottle in his mouth or in his hand; he uses sunglasses on his purple face and several times he is seen with a cigarette in his mouth. Note that in this series Dionysus is not the son of Zeus.

Athena (ア テ ー ナ ー Atēnā?)

Voiced by: Kachiko Hino (original), Aurora Cancian (Italian).

Goddess of wisdom and just war, with black almond eyes, armed with a helmet. Because of her unpleasant attitude towards others, she is called by everyone "old maid". Strangely, her birth is seen in episode 18 The transformation of Myrrh but appears already adult in episode 12 Athena's revenge.

Eos (時 の 女神 Toki no megami?)

Voiced by: Kyouko Tonguu (Original), Aurora Cancian (Italian)

Goddess of the dawn, she always screams while ringing the gong to wake Apollo. In the Italian version it is called the Goddess of Time.

Duck (ガ ヒ ル Gahiru?)

Voiced by: Shioya Tsubasa (Original)

A duck friend of Pollon. At first he was a boy, but due to a magic of Artemis he turned into a duck, so Pollon decides to take him with him to his house to look after him as a pet, thus becoming good friends.

Sun

The talking, smoking sun who is always carried on the chariot by Apollo.

Hades (ハ デ ス Hadesu?)

Voiced by: Naoki Tatsuta (Original), Renzo Stacchi (Italian)

God of the Underworld. Bald and with a purplish complexion, he has a very thin physique that makes him look like a skeleton. When Hades is hit on the head, instead of seeing the stars, he sees only skulls.

Persephone (ペ ル セ ポ ネ ー Peruseponē?)

Voiced by: Tomie Kataoka (original), Francesca Palopoli (Italian)

Goddess of the Underworld and wife of Hades. She too bald and with a bluish complexion, unlike her husband she is a plump woman.

Goddess of Goddesses

A female divine figure who appears in the second part of the series and helps Pollon become a true goddess, giving her a divine power from time to time. In particular, he gives her a butterfly-shaped object, called "Bon bon miracle", which precisely has magical powers. It is a deity presumably superior to all the others, but in the last two episodes it turns out that in reality it is the goddess of Hope, remained locked in Pandora's box. She will give her powers to Pollon, making her in turn the goddess of Hope.

Dosankos (ド サ ン コ ス Dosankosu?)

Voiced by: Masaharu Sato (original)

The horse with which Pollon and Apollo run far and wide across the sky. Physically he looks more like a nag and proves somewhat clumsy.

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