Title: Puni Puni☆Poemii
Alternate Titles: Puni Puni Poemy, ぷにぷに☆ぽえみぃ
Aired: March 07 2001 to December 19, 2001
Director: Shinichi Watanabe
Studio: J.C. Staff
Voice Actor(s): Yumiko Kobayashi as Poemi “Kobayashi” Watanabe, Yuka Imai as Futaba Aasu
OP: “Punipuni Densetsu-poi” by Shinichi Watanabe, Toshio Masuda, Yumiko Kobayashi
ED: “Yume Warai Uhyohyo” by Yumiko Kobayashi
Poemi Watanabe (aka Kobayashi) is a 10-year-old girl with aspirations of being a famous voice actress. Unfortunately, her school grades are bad and her voice acting is even worse. But when a mysterious alien kills her parents and wrecks havoc all over Tokyo, Poemi grabs a talking fish, skins it into a wand and becomes the magical girl Puni Puni Poemi to save the day. All information comes from My Anime List. Everything after the cut spoils the entire series. Please don’t read unless you’ve seen the anime. This manga & review should be read by readers who are 18 & older.
Originally intended to be side joke in the anime, “Excel Saga”, this OVA expands on that joke a little more. “Excel Saga” is a 26-episode anime, and 27 volumes of manga, by Rikido Koshi. The anime is also directed (and even includes!) Shinichi Watanabe. It’s a parody series of every genre and talks about the society of modern Japan and what ACCESS can do to control it.
Instead of talking about “Excel Saga”, we’re going to talk about “Puni Puni☆Poemii”.
The first impressions I had about the anime is wondering if it’s going to be as funny as “Excel Saga”. Granted, a lot of people didn’t like the humor in “Excel Saga” but it is a hit or a miss, depending what type of humor the viewer has already. Since I did previously enjoyed “Excel Saga”, I wondered if it’s going on the same vein, but rushed.
In the first episode, we’re introduced to POemy Watanabe along with her adoptive parents, Nabeshin (whom she calls “Mr. Director”) and Kumi-Kumi. Right away, we see the magical girl, Poemi, fighting the classic and iconic magical girls (up to this point in time) and it seems actually pretty serious.
The comedy here is pretty funny, since it focuses on referential humor and dealing with Koyabashi’s wastefully energetic personality. Granted, newer viewers probably won’t get the references, especially the older magical girls, but it’s still funny. There is an alien who swings … an extension of itself and ends up killing Nabeshin, his wife, and the pet robot dog they had only for Kobayashi and Futaba, the parody and more hardcore version of Tomoyo Daidouji from “Card Captor Sakura” and Kobayashi’s best friend, finding their bodies crucified.
From there, Futaba manages to convince her sisters (who do everything together and who are various ages and different points of life) to let Kobayashi stay with them. Apparently, though, it’s revealed that the Aasu Family not only does everything together, but they also protect the Earth as well.
Unfortunately, they can only defend and it’s right around here the first episode ends.
The second episode is when everything simultaneously falls apart and shows it’s true colors. It’s a lot more explicit and while the first episode did have some nudity and fanservice, they decided to just go all out in the second episode.
It got to a point where the reason why the alien wanted to take over the world was because: he’s an erogame enthusiast. He also apparently hates voice actresses and flat chested girls (which is what Koyabashi is, and especially the fact she’s not a very good voice actress either).
When you break it down and look at each individual Aasu sister, one could realize that these women weren’t magical girl tropes or archetypes – instead they’re the tropes and archetypes for erogames. There’s only one scene where they imply they’re doing something sexual to them (if it wasn’t blacked out, I wouldn’t even post this review due to my rules) but would I even bother to call it fanservice? They never really bother trying to hide anything unless the person was underaged, or a human man, and there just nothing really funny about it anyway – unless that’s your type of humor.
The script could have been easily ripe for a genuine magical girl parody but by the middle to end of the second episode, it seemed more of an ero game parody at best. It would been fine had it been an ero-game parody OVA in the first place.
Despite the attempt at writing the parody, the musical score is actually pretty good and it fit the themes rather well. The opening and ending is sung by Koyabashi’s voice actress and it really does do a decent job of parodying magical girl openings. It also sets the mood right for the tone it’s about to ruin with a joke or more referential humor.
The animation, for its time especially, is almost on par with “Excel Saga” since it was made around that same time frame. Not only that, it was made it the way that it was to allow the voice actress to do a lot of speed talking and made it seem that she was also moving along with her characters’ actions. Granted, one of Aasu sisters looks almost exactly like Hyatt but with much bigger breasts but eh.
I really wouldn’t recommend this to anyone since a lot of the sex jokes really made me feel uncomfortable (especially since it made the underaged characters do really suggestive stuff) but if you don’t mind the sex jokes and if you don’t really mind absolute nonsense, then this magical parody is for you!