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Miss Puff Series Episode 1: “Miss Puff’s Hourglass”

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass",

When chinaSMACK first translated the animated short film “Miss Puff’s Goldfish Bowl” a year ago, it was a part of a sponsorship to promote young talent. Now, “Miss Puff” has become its own phenomenon and online series with regularly released episodes. At this time, nine episodes have been released so far, with a combined total of nearly 20 million views. The first episode, “Miss Puff’s Hourglass”, has over 3 million views by itself. Screened exclusively on Youku as a Youku Original, Miss Puff also serves as a figure in many of the commercials on the site.

While the theme of existentialism isn’t explored as much now until further in the series, several key elements still remain in these new Miss Puff “webisodes”. Smoking and drinking are still featured by the characters as well as scenes of titillation, and the key theme of finding love in the modern world. Miss Puff is a technologically savvy citizen of the modern age who uses social networking, micro-blogging, texting and online chatting as a method to extend and maintain her relationships. She lives in a society that is bombarded by commercialism, just we are hit with product placements just from watching this. This self-contradiction goes even further in the film as Miss Puff goes on Youku to watch online videos, a meta-awareness seemed to be aimed at a post-modern audience trying to sympathize with a cartoon character that lives in our reality.

A copy on YouTube (with our translated captions):

Can’t see the above video?

Translated transcript of dialogue and subtitles:

[Youku online video title] “I Have Something to Say”

INTERVIEWEE:
April Fools’ Day. Every April Fools’ Day, someone has to play a trick on me. Otherwise, it doesn’t feel right.

MISS PUFF (updating her RenRen social network page):
Today is April Fools’ Day, [and I will] give you an opportunity to tell the truth!

[Title Card] Miss Puff’s Hourglass

[Opening Credits]

[Title Card] Not long ago…

NARRATOR:
Rules for the “Hourglass Friendship Meeting”
Every participant has an opportunity to talk with every member of the opposite sex also participating in the activity.
The duration for each meeting is one turn of the hourglass.

[At speed dating event]

GUY #1:
Th–this is my first time… Is-is this your first time too?

GUY #2 (resembling Ge You‘s character in the movie “If You Are The One“):
The moment I saw you, it was love at first sight.

GUY #3:
Hey, girl, I have here an outstanding product I’d like to introduce to you.

GUY #4 (resembling and singing the song “忘情水” popularized by Hong Kong Cantopop celebrity Andy Lau):
Give me a cup of love-forgetting water…

BOY (folding his arms self-confidently):
Actually, there’s nothing much to say/talk about.
It’s all about the same.

BOY (as time winds down without the two talking):
Uh…
I think…

BOY (getting up as time ends):
I hope to be able to meet you again.
Really/I’m serious.
Can you tell me your name?

MISS PUFF:
Puff.

MISS PUFF (typed on her RenRen profile page):
Today is April Fools’ Day, [and I will] give you an opportunity to tell the truth!

[Miss Puff notices a new friend request]

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MISS PUFF (typing):
So, you actually managed to find me.

BOY (typing):
Haha, for someone like me it’s really easy!

[Shows the boy searching for “Miss Puff” in Google]

BOY:
Actually, I was a bit tired that day. Really. [because] I had met/talked with too many girls.

MISS PUFF:
How about now?

BOY:
Oh, now? Right now I’m not bad/doing good.

MISS PUFF:
[smiley face emoticon]

BOY:
Really, I’m telling the truth!

MISS PUFF:
Do you usually chat on the internet?

BOY:
Very seldom, there’s no point online, it’s all fake.

MISS PUFF:
Then why are you always talking with me?

BOY:
You, you’re different. Really.

BOY:
Do you have a boyfriend?

MISS PUFF:
Nope.

BOY:
I don’t have a girlfriend either. Really.

MISS PUFF:
How many girlfriends have you had in the past?

BOY:
Hehe, in that case, I’ve had plenty, perhaps fourteen or fifteen.

[In movie theater watching the ending of “The Truman Show“]

CHRISTOF:
Listen to me, Truman, there’s no more truth out there than there is in the world that I created for you. The same lies, the same deceit.

MISS PUFF:
Looking for me?

BOY:
Nothing really…
just that…
I like you.

[Lights in theater turn on]

BOY:
I want to meet you, really.

MISS PUFF:
Really?

Boy:
Yes, each word I say comes from the bottom of my heart!

MISS PUFF:
[Smiley face emoticon]

BOY:
Really, what I’m saying is the truth!

MISS PUFF:
Hm, in that case let’s play a game.
You tell the truth, and I’ll do a dare. If you lie, you can never see me ever again.

BOY:
Agreed.

MISS PUFF:
Let the game begin. You first.

[Title Card] Stage 01

[Three different stereotypical audiences are shown, a zhai nan (“otaku”) in his room, a husband and wife (possibly Shanghainese) around their computer, and a nonchalant worldly young man at an internet bar. Each of them are following the conversation on the social network.]

BOY:
Go outside and kiss…

[Miss Puff going recording herself with her iPhone leaving her house and kissing a pot-bellied man in the elevator.]

ZHAI NAN:
[squeals]

HUSBAND:
[giggles]

WIFE:
[glares at husband]

YOUNG MAN AT INTERNET BAR:
Qie! [Unimpressed “hmph!”]

MISS PUFF:
Very simple, next time try a little harder.

MISS PUFF:
How many girlfriends have you had in the past?

ZHAI NAN:
So difficult!

HUSBAND:
One, just one.

BOY:
Just twenty-five. A number doesn’t mean anything.

ZHAI NAN:
[squeals in shock]

HUSBAND:
[shakes head in disapproval]

YOUNG MAN AT INTERNET BAR:
Qie! That’s nothing.

[Title Card] Stage 02

BOY:
Then, do a handstand, until the sand [in the hourglass] runs out!

[Miss Puff performs a handstand, her skirt slowly lowering to show her thighs. The various male audience watch with anticipation only to be bitterly disappointed when time runs out before her skirt lowers any further revealing more.]

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MISS PUFF:
C’mon, that was too easy.

MISS PUFF (typing):
Can you satisfy your girlfriends?

BOY:
Of course I can.

[Title Card: “Stage 3”]

MISS PUFF:
C’mon, think hard. Can you make this one a little harder?

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 1:
Shout out “I love you” one hundred times.

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 2:
Jump off a building!!!

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 3:
Give me a kiss: I live at Silver Peak Family Garden, Building C, Room 402.

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 4:
Walk the Long March.

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 5:
Sing the song “The Rising Moon” until your voice goes hoarse.

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 6:
Shave your head bald! Haha!

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 7:
Cry for me to watch.

SOCIAL NETWORK COMMENTER 8 (YOUNG MAN AT INTERNET BAR):
Boring~%-*

BOY:
Go streaking, right this instant!

[Again recorded herself with her iPhone, Miss Puff slowly undresses as goes streaking. The audience watches her recording as uploaded on Youku.]

[Boy is sufficiently impressed, gets up and stretches.]

MISS PUFF:
If your girlfriend betrayed you, what would you do?

[Boy has flashback of when an ex-girlfriend cheated on him.]

MISS PUFF:
Actually, I knew right from the beginning that you had no way of winning this competition. Because I knew that everything you had said, they were all lies.

[Shows previous chat conversations. In the first chat conversation, Miss Puff asks Boy if he is at home alone. He says a girl has invited him out to eat although he is really at home alone eating instant noodles. In the second chat conversation, Miss Puff asks if he has every seriously liked/loved a girl. He says that girl is her, “really”, while he holds a photograph of an ex-girlfriend he can’t forget.]

BOY:
Perhaps I have lied before, but this time I’m for real/being sincere, I want to see you. Give me one more chance.

NARRATOR:

Miss Puff knows that many true lies is faked happiness and many false truths cannot be helped.

MISS PUFF:
April Fools’ Day is not actually a holiday for fools but an opportunity for liars to speak the truth. Let’s play the very last round.

ZHAI NAN:
You must [choose/seek] happiness [above all else]!

YOUNG MAN AT INTERNET BAR:
Will she really go [see him again]?

HUSBAND:
[meekly to wife] They will certainly be as happy as we are.

[Boy is waiting for Miss Puff.]

NARRATOR:
No one knows whether he was able to speak the truth in the end, nor does anyone know whether Miss Puff was able to do the very last dare.

Miss Puff’s hourglass, waiting for a liar to speak one truth.

[End credits]

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass",

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass",

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Note: The poster on the wall in the background behind the boy at his computer is of “暴学校” (“Exploded School”), a well-known and ultra-violent Chinese online cartoon made by Kuanger (website currently down, here is his Sina blog) featuring themes critical of the experiences children and youth suffer in Chinese society and the Chinese education system. There are a few more other references throughout Miss Puff.

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Comments from Youku:

天河又一城:

Wow! Very good! Extremely creative~ I’m telling the truth!

1234地方时56:

There’s a lot of product placements.

忧愁人、:

Alright, I admit, I’m shallow, I didn’t understand [the video], someone please explain.

你的瓦伦丁:

Women these days love fantasizing too much.

不能停止的风:

The writer must be post-80s generation!

53347448:

How come there’s no goldfish and fishbowl?

三千九龙焱炎火:

Not as good as the first one汗

hdd001002:

Better than the first one.

卢嘟嘟:

Very beautiful, I would fall in love with Puff, really, I’m telling the truth!

maomi66sc:

To tell you the truth, I didn’t understand [the video].

孤影不随风: (responding to 不能停止的风)

I’m post-90s generation, and I too understood [the film]. State of mind has nothing to do with age.

愤怒の花生: (responding to those who say they didn’t understand the message of the film)

If you understand the lies in the truth and the truth in the lies then that’s enough!

狂怒的星星:

Why is there an inharmonious pipe?

半生不死:

汗汗汗 An advertisement for Weibo and Xiaonei?

瘦得想哭:

Way too much product placement for a short 12 minute short film.

chuchang1988:

Smoking is unhealthy, don’t use smoking to create a mood… [don’t glorify smoking].

千辰如夕:

What is this?! I completely don’t understand…

prettyhart:

Is the game “Truth or Dare” for real??? I want to play it too…

豪宝:

What kind of garbage is this? After watching, I just want to puke.

柒流年:

It looks like its getting more and more forced as it goes along.

qchenjin:

I don’t get why this short film is so popular…… Looks like I’ve fallen behind the times.

帅帅酷:

An overly perfect woman; [she] can’t be hurt/handled.

落娴:

[Miss] Puff has guts/spunk! A unique girl!

阿可以:

Miss Puff is like Faye Wong~~ that song is even like the song Faye Wong sings~~~

QQ2289984182:

Me: Handsome fellow — why are you so good-looking? Answer: I’m good-looking because you flatter me [as being good-looking]. I then ask: Then am I pretty? The handsome fellow replies: You are already very pretty, so I won’t flatter you anymore. I was so happy I covered my face and ran [email protected]!@@@

雪莲冰瞳:

There’s something about Miss Puff that city women especially have.

tuzi19861118:

Puff is my idea of a carefree girl. Actually, I think every girl has that sort of impulsive desire to be just like her, hehe.

畦弘:

Puff? Isn’t that a kind of pastry? With cream on the inside? How could a [creme] puff be connected with a young lady? So strange, and actually quite weird.

What do you think? Did you like this Miss Puff episode? Did you understand the message of the story? Do you agree with it?

Screenshots from the Miss Puff Youku series, episode one: "Miss Puff's Hourglass"

Not a fan of speed dating? Personals @ chinaSMACK.

Written by terroir

Terroir is a gentle soul who doesn't enjoy sunsets but does like the company of those who do. He says no to Tia Carrera, yes to Bruce Lee, and walks the thin line between the top of a still, calm lake and below it, where it looks even calmer.

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