Remember that Swiss otaku with a penchant for Yuudachi Kai Ni, the upgraded version of a character from the Kantai Collection (KanColle) anime/video game franchise who’s been made famous by her ubiquitous catchphrase, “poi?” He decorated every square inch of a bathroom with pictures of the moe girl’s face making her signature poi pose, only to apparently be overcome with emotion a few snapshots later and proceed to rip them all down in a fit of poi-ful rage.

It turns out this man isn’t the only one riding the poi train, because this particular catchphrase is currently experiencing a wave of popularity outside of Japan, poi–much to the bafflement and amusement of Japanese folks. POOOI!!

The KanColle anime began airing in January and just recently concluded after a run of 12 episodes. One of the most popular characters, Yuudachi Kai Ni, has won the hearts of fans the world over with her endearing/annoying (depending on how you look at it) catchphrase of poi, which is thrown on to the end of basically every sentence she says, poi.

▼ Experience the poi for yourself!

In fact, the catchphrase has blown up so much that a large part of the anime fandom outside of Japan have begun referencing the word on the web without even knowing exactly what it means. It appears that the appeal of poi is just too hard to resist whether you know it or not, POI!

Let’s take a moment to clear up any confusion for those of our readers who want to know, though. To put it simply, -ppoi (っぽい) is a common Japanese suffix which transforms the attached word into an adjective with a connotation like the English “-ish” or “-like.” For example: What’s the color of that new shirt you bought? It’s aoppoi (“bluish”). Is your 20-year-old brother acting really immaturely? Then he’s being kodomoppoi (“childlike”). See how it works?

With that in mind, let’s check out some of the poi-related posts that have been popping up online recently.

▼ Just how much does Yuudachi Kai Ni use her now world-famous catchphrase? So much, in fact, that a fan actually charted her poi-usage over the entire anime series (left to right, episodes 1-12):

▼ The phrase is so intrinsically tied to Yuudachi Kai Ni that the show’s English subtitles just leave it untranslated.


Here are some other screenshots from the show:

▼ Look at what this fan discovered, poi!

On top of all that, it seems that no one, not even people who’ve never heard of KanColle before, on the internet is safe from the ubiquity of poi. Case in point: players in the “poi-know” on the naval action-themed MMO World of Warships have recently been trolling the in-game chats with plenty of pois, much to the irritation of the clueless others (in case you’re wondering what this has to do with KanColle, remember that its cute girl characters are personifications of WWII-era warships.

▼ A World of Warships player comments that poi has become so widespread that it is now synonymous with a greeting in the game.

▼ Others, however, are not so amused.


Finally, just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what happens when you have too much exposure to poi:


Perhaps the whole poi phenomenon is best summed up with the following quote from a Japanese web user: “It looks like Japan has exported yet another useless thing overseas, LOL.” Indeed it does. Poi.

Sources: Yurukuyaru; h/t: Kotaku USA 
Featured image: Twitter (@Jayshun)