Sourman neither has a sense of justice nor real superpowers. Despite this, he changes his clothes in a phone booth, eating a pickled plum to transform, rolls around with his belly on a skateboard, and throws grenades.
Suppaman was born on the planet Okakaume-boshi, and came to Earth at some point to serve as its protector. In grade school, he was known as Suppa-Mouth ("Suppa-chan the Piggy" in the Japanese version) because of his major appetite.
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.
Main article: Dr. Slump
Sourman 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!". Sourman 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", and he makes a brief appearance 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.
Sourman 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". Sourman is a contestant in the race organized in the "Penguin Gran Prix" chapters, using a skateboard as his vehicle.
In the "Penguin Village Wars" chapters, thinking that the Earth he has to protect is vast, Sourman 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, Sourman's house is taken from him by Obotchaman who literally picks it up and moves it somewhere else. Sourman spends the rest of his days living in a tent.
Red Ribbon Army Saga
Main article: General Blue Saga
Kenta Kuraaku is driving on the road when General Blue, out of nowhere stood in front of his car, stopping him. He changes into Sourman and tries to intimidate Blue, but he fails when Blue shows his strength by crushing a phone booth with his arms right in front of him. Sourman then becomes completely loyal to Blue, letting him use his car and telling him the whereabouts of an airplane located at Senbei Norimaki's house. Once Blue leaves, Sourman says to himself he will let him go this time.
Dragon Ball Super
"Future" Trunks Saga
Main article: "Future" Trunks Saga He is seen at the Coffee Pot when Arale busts in to say hi to everyone on her way home.
- Flight – He can be seen flying sometimes in Dr. Slump chapters and episodes where he does not play a prominent role. Otherwise, Sourman pretends to fly by lying on a moving skateboard.
- Sourman can smash one clay tile with his fist, but his fist will hurt after doing this.
- The Finger of Courage – He uses his finger to touch a piece of poop to show his bravery to people. This does not impress Arale, as she is not afraid to pick the whole thing up with her hands.
Super Saiyan-like form
Main article: Super Saiyan In the movie Dr. Slump and Arale-chan: Hoyoyo!! Follow the Rescued Shark..., Sourman transforms into a Super Saiyan-like form in order to stop a runaway Ferris wheel, but he fails and gets squashed by it. While it resembles the Super Saiyan form in appearance (even having an identical aura), it apparently lacks the raw power of the Super Saiyan form (as Sourman would have been easily stopped the Ferris wheel if this form had the same level of power as Super Saiyan).
Video Game Appearances
Sourman briefly appears in the Eastern Capital level on Super Dragon Ball Z, where he is seen rolling off across the street lying on a skateboard after a telephone booth is smashed by the fighting characters.
He appears as an assisting character in Dragon Ball Z: Bakuretsu Impact.
Sourman also makes appearances in Dr. Slump: Arale-Chan.
Sourman appears in Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle as part of the "Arale Crossover Summon" event.
- Sourman's English name likely comes from the fact that he eats dried plums, which are usually sour, to "transform". His Japanese name Suppaman literally translates to "Sourman", while also obviously referencing to "
", the character on which his looks and names are based. Sourman's younger brother is called Syoppaman, which means "Saltyman" but again is referencing to Superman.
- Sourman's secret identity of "Kenta Kuraaku" is a play on Superman's secret identity of "Clark Kent"; both are reporters and both names are phonetically similar (when spoken in Japanese, "Kuraaku Kenta" sounds nearly identical to "Clark Kent").
- Sourman is a reporter for the Penguin News Network as Clark Kent reports for the Daily Planet.
- The Japanese Hiragana on his chest す translates to Su, which means "Sour".
- A character who looks similar to Sourman appears in the Dragon Ball episode "Elimination Round". Also, a character dressed like Sourman appears in the chapter "Return to the Tournament", and later when King Piccolo is defeated.
- As stated in an extra feature in the Dr. Slump tankōbon release, Suppaman was originally the main character of a manga Akira Toriyama pitched before creating Dr. Slump, but it was rejected by Kazuhiko Torishima, his editor, who didn't think "an idiot like that" would make a good main character.
- In Dr. Slump, the character of Bubibinman (who appears very similar to Sourman), claimed to go to kindergarten with Superman. The manga chapter debuted prior to Sourman's first appearance in the series, however, when the Dr. Slump anime adapted the story, Sourman was already an established character, and appeared later in the episode. Despite this, Bubibinman still claims to have gone to school with "Superman" specifically, and in the beginning of the episode, a parodic version of Superman appears bearing Sourman's face but resembling a more traditional version of the character. It is unknown if the parodic Superman and Sourman are intended to be the same character or not, as Bubibinman does not seem to recognize Sourman later on.