Watanabe Poemi is a girl with an identity crisis. She is intent on calling herself “Kobayashi” and wants to pursue a career as a voice actor, despite her annoying trait for not shutting up long enough to make it all come true. She also has a crush on Kei-kun, a fellow classmate, and calls Nabeshin, her father, “Director” and her mother “Kumi-Kumi-san”. And then comes the day when an old nemesis of Nabeshin’s decides to pay him a visit… and Poemi must transform into Puni Puni Poemi to save the day!
summary by Kain
Highs: The first OVA; Watanabe-inspired insanity; Nabeshin’s utility fro
Lows: The second OVA; plot?
As a spin-off of the cult favorite Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemi retains much of the same method of madness that was made famous by its predecessor, thanks in large part to the maniacal genius that is director Watanabe Shinichi (Nabeshin to his fans).
What separates the two, however, is that Excel Saga actually has some logic underneath all the unending parodies and slapstick. No such thing exists in this anime. Often times I felt that Puni Puni Poemi was trying too hard to be laugh-a-minute funny; the humor must come naturally and not be forced. I know Nabeshin is capable of this because he has done it before. Finally, the big fan service joke at the end was just done in poor taste. And while I did chuckle at it, I felt uncomfortable with the explicit nature with which it was approached.
Not to say there isn’t plenty to like about this short OVA. If you revel in comedy that takes no prisoners and promises to offend the weak-hearted, then this anime is your perfect match. Everything from Nabeshin’s MacGyver-like fro to the Aasu Sisters’ varying physical proportions never quit tickling my funny bone. The opening sequence is a riotous, and strange, indication of things to come. Be aware of subtle details like Poemi calling herself “Kobayashi” and wanting to be a voice actor; Kobayashi Yumiko is Poemi’s seiyuu and is also the woman featured in the opening.
If you liked Excel Saga, you will like Puni Puni Poemi. There are no two ways about it. Keep in mind that since Puni Puni Poemi is an OVA and not a television series, it was afforded less restrictive censorship guidelines. Believe you me, this anime took full advantage of that.
Highs: Nabeshin and Poemi; most of the first OVA
Lows: Just about everything else
In my honest opinion, there is a very fine line between humor and complete tastelessness. Throughout the madness of these two OVA episodes, Puni Puni Poemi constantly bounces back and forth across this line. One minute I’m laughing, the next I’m raising my eyebrow wondering how they got away with what they did.
The first OVA did manage to keep me entertained the entire way. In fact, I laughed quite often at it. With a wacky barrage of slapstick and oddness, it’s easy to tell that Puni Puni Poemi is spawned from Excel Saga. It was also a breath of fresh air, poking fun at the popular magical girl genre of anime. Sure, I love magical girl anime as well, but a little satire never hurt anyone. To put it simply, the good points outlasted the bad points in the first part of this anime.
And then, we have the second train wreck… err… OVA. Some will like the second half of this show, some will love it and others (like myself) will abhor it. The big deciding factor if one likes the second OVA is how well they accept the comedy in form of fan service. Remember when I mentioned this anime bounced between funny and tasteless often? To me, the second OVA was simply tasteless. I don’t think I laughed even once during this last episode, and I’m considered to have a healthy sense of humor.
Die-hard fans and veterans of Excel Saga will probably be accustomed, or even delighted, by Puni Puni Poemi. Others may be put off by the random craziness. Then there are the folks who will dislike some of the “humor,” such as myself.
Puni Puni Poemi can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.