The anime OVA a two-part original video animation spin-off from the Excel Saga comic and TV animation. It features some that series' secondary characters and many of its staff, primarily director Shinichi Watanabe. Like Excel Saga, it is a parody of other anime, manga and various aspects of popular culture, though in this case with the magical girl genre providing its primary focus and general structure. The series was originally an in-joke from an episode of Excel Saga; Watanabe decided to take the in-joke to its most extreme logical conclusion, creating the series.
Puni was banned in New Zealand in December 2004, on the grounds that it "tends to promote and support the exploitation of children and young persons for sexual purposes, and to a lesser extent, the use of sexual coercion to compel persons to submit to sexual conduct." A New Zealand anime fan, Simon Brady, applied to have the decision reviewed, but in June 2005 the review authority reached a similar conclusion about the show's legal status.
Puni Puni Poemy
comprises two episodes, both around 26 minutes in length.
- Part 1 - Poemy is in a Bad Mood
- It's already the start of a new school year for the motor-mouthed and over-energetic Poemy Watanabe, and things get off to a typically hyper-energetic start as she strives to do her best to become a voice actress, an ambition she loudly proclaims six times in this episode. But things go from bad to worse when she discovers that an alien with peculiar fashion sense and even more peculiar genitalia has executed and crucified her parents, Nabeshin and Ms. Kumi-Kumi, plus their robot dog, in order to pave the way for an impending invasion by eliminating the combatant Watanabe-family! Her home destroyed and her parents now corpses, Poemy moves in with her best friend, Futaba Aasu, and her six sisters, but there's only time enough for a group bath, the rout of an alien voyeur, and an active time in bed before a massive alien mecha attacks the city, whereupon it turns out that Futaba and her sisters are actually and covertly a team of super-powered heroines dedicated to defending the Earth, also known as Sol III. Unfortunately they're strictly defensive Specialists, and no match whatsoever for the rampaging robot - but perhaps Poemy, gratuitously gifted with a magic fish that transforms her into Puni Puni Poemy, the only offensive Specialist, is! After a typical Magical Girl transformation, however, she promptly throws away her wand, forgoes the use of magic, and attacks the mecha in melee combat. Interestingly, as an in-joke the casting director of the English productions cast Hilary Haag for the role of the Magic Fish, after hearing her disappointment at being cast as the dog Menchi in Excel Saga.
- The series begins with Poemi fighting (and, at least once, killing) various other magical girls such as the famous Sailor Moon, Majokko Tickle, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Megu and Non of Majokko Megu-chan, Mahoro of Mahoromatic, Cardcaptor Sakura and the first magical girl Sally, the Witch, whom Poemy uses a Sharpshooter on.
- Part 2 - With a Dream Greater Than Earth
- Now embodying the will of Earth itself, the wastefully energetic Poemy uses her new powers to literally tear through the alien mecha (passing salarymen and one copulating couple within it along the way), pursue her career as a voice actress (loudly referred to nine or ten times), and right wrongs as she sees them throughout the planet. Being wastefully energetic, however, the cure is worse than the disease! Sending a nuclear missile off-course, completely destroying an entire country that speaks in vegetables, breaking the neck of an otaku playing an ecchi computer game ("Playing pervy games starting in the afternoon is also evil! I mean, those are for nights!" – Poemy) prompts less angst for Poemy than awaiting a pager message from K which never comes. For that matter, the Aasu sisters don't take too kindly to a new magical girl horning in on their family business, sinecure though it was! A brief confrontation between Poemy and the sisters leads to them discovering her identity (and another impressive group bath); this takes the strain off, but when the alien invasion's final phase – a giant Death Star en route to destroy the planet – suddenly begins the next morning and the sisters are captured and Poemy's first voice actress job is rudely interrupted, it is up to Poemy to rescue them from the clutches of the very boy she has a crush on.
- The second episode parodies numerous H-anime and H-manga (more commonly known as hentai among non Japanese) clichés. As Poemy says, breaking the fourth wall, "You customers out there sure got your money's worth." A short time later, after a sequence in which the video is censored by replacement with innocuous images, she proclaims, "That footage was rather satisfying just by using your imagination!" There are also other cultural references and parodies in this episode. The mechanical planet seen in this episode closely resembles the Deathstar from Starwars. The fighters it releases also resembles that of Starwars, as well as having a loosely rendered version of the Imperial March play during its appearance. The episode includes a parody of Devilman's closing credits, and later Poemi prays in front of a home-made shrine (cardboard box) with the 1, 3, and 4-star Dragon Balls atop it.
- The star of the show, Poemy Watanabe is ten years old and hyperactive beyond comparison. Described as "wastefully energetic" by most, she's actually otherwise quite normal – she's an eager student, she's got a crush on the popular boy in her class, and she really, really wants to be a voice actress. Or rather, she would be quite normal, if she wasn't so unable to stay in character that she shatters the fourth wall by constantly referring to herself by the name of her own voice actress, Yumiko Kobayashi. She's the adopted daughter of Nabeshin (who she refers to as "The Director," since that is in fact who plays him), and his wife, Kumi-Kumi, but when they perish in an alien attack along with their robot dog, she moves in with her best friend, Futaba Aasu.
- When an alien mecha attacks the city, Poemy is following Futaba into action when she abruptly encounters a mysterious and silent shamisen-strumming man whom the script apparently refer to as her father; he gives her a fish which stinks. By gutting the fish, however, it turns into a wand which transforms Poemy into Puni Puni Poemy, a magical girl embodying the will of Earth itself, with lots of traditional superpowers that prove sufficient to blow the mech up and right wrongs across the Earth.
- Shinichi "Nabeshin" Watanabe (ワタナベシンイチ Watanabe Shin'ichi, ナベシン Nabeshin)
- Nabeshin is the animated alter-ego of director Shinichi Watanabe, who previously appeared in Puni Puni Poemy's forerunner, Excel Saga. At the conclusion of that series, he married Kumi-Kumi, and at the beginning of this show, they have an adopted ten-year-old daughter, Poemy (who, in her consistent inability to properly recognize the fiction of the show, keeps referring to her father as "The Director"). But it's still business as usual for Nabeshin, as he finds himself hunted down by an alien assassin with peculiar genitalia. He has the power to generate lots of super deformed versions of himself from his afro.
- Introduced in Excel Saga, Kumi-Kumi was a simple mountain girl who rescued Nabeshin from an avalanche and attempted to feed him soup. But Nabeshin isn't too good with hot foods, so he refused, only to have her pursue him across the rest of the series. He finally relented, marrying her at the end of the final episode. At the start of Puni Puni Poemy, she and Nabeshin now have Poemy as their adopted daughter. Despite being killed by the alien along with Nabeshin, Kumi-Kumi is able to save her husband using acupuncture, because he is after all the Great Director Watanabe a la Great Teacher Onizuka.
- K is one of Poemy's classmates, but unfortunately for Poemy, her wild crush on him isn't reciprocated. In the second episode, K discovers that he is an alien who had been raised as a human, and he takes charge of the invasion of the planet, which is generally focused around ravishing Japanese women since hentai transmissions have given the aliens the idea that that's what Japanese women are really like. Unfortunately for the aliens, Prince K's body is composed entirely of tentacles. Fortunately for them (and perhaps the Aasu Sisters), he's more talk than action. Prince "K" and his family parody the Mars People from the game, Metal Slug. K's family home very closely resembles the photographs of UFOs supposedly taken by George Adamski in the early 1950s.
- A mystical and mysterious figure, the precise nature of the Mage Queen is ambivalent. Initially her somewhat threatening monologue seems to count her an enemy of Earth, but she greets the eventual arrival of Puni Puni Poemy with joy and considers the invading aliens a threat. Her reign as Queen was quickly and tragically cut short when she was assassinated by one of the two alien henchmen.
- These extraterrestrial assassins dress like colorblind pimps from the waist up and speak in an undeciperable hipster jargon. Their genitalia, which look like Bungee Balls that hang down to their knees, can be used as defensive shields in a manner not unlike Itsue's whip. Alien #1 has one testicle; Alien #2, logically enough, sports two. No reason for this anatomical difference, which is the cause of some amusement, is ever given. Neither of them, ultimately, are whom they appear to be. Alien #1 does spend a majority of his time hanging out at the Aasu household completely unnoticed.
- - Alien 1
- - Alien 2
The Aasu Sisters
Futaba is but one of the seven Aasu sisters, the protectors of Earth itself. Aasu
is the Japanese pronunciation of Earth
, and each of the girl's names is derived from a number, in reverse order, with the youngest being 1, and so on. All of the girls have impressive magical powers, but given that these powers are purely defensive in nature, the family is useless as an offensive unit. It is worth noting that aasu
is also the Japanese equivalent of the English word, arse
, which is comically exploited in the English dub, such as the narrator's description of "The Peace of Aasu."
- At 28 years old, Nanase is the eldest sister, who works as a data processor in an office. Her power is the Earth Dance of Flowers, the ability to summon a whirlwind of flowers, to absolutely no effect. There are many hints that she would like to be a transsexual. Her name is derived from nana, the Japanese word for "seven" (for which another word is "shichi"), thus she is the 7th of the Sisters.
- Mutsumi is 22 years old, and much to her own surprise speaks with a Kansai accent for no apparent reason (translated in the English dub as a Brooklyn dialect). She has something of a complex about the small size of her breasts, and possesses probably the most useless power of all the seven sisters - the Earth Breakfall, which means she can fall over safely. Her name is derived from mutsu, the Japanese word for "six" (for which another word is "roku"), being the 6th of the Sisters.
- The 19-year-old Itsue is working her way through high school as a dominatrix, and is prone to plying her trade for physical punishment on her sisters when she gets angry. Her super power, the Earth Barrier Shield, is probably the most functional of all the sisters' inasmuch it enables her to generate a protective energy shield. In the one instance she is shown to use it, she focuses the ability through her whip, which she spins over her head, forming a dome. Her name comes from itsu (five) (for which another word is "go"), making her the 5th of the Sisters.
- It's not hard to spot 18-year-old Shii's most distinctive feature - her colossal breasts. She often announces how heavy they are, and knows their exact weight (8000 grams each). They're problematic in her day-to-day life, necessitating that she frequently rest them on whatever is handy (she had smothered the family cat with them). With Poemy's arrival into the Aasu household, her head becomes a favourite resting place. Her special power is Earth Healing, and her name comes from shi (four), the reason why she is the 4th of the Sisters.
- Shii resembles Hyatt from Excel Saga, both characters also have the same voice actresses.
- Cute and energetic, Mitsuki is 15 years old, and seems to play an active role in the running of the Aasu household. Her power is the impressive if not particularly useful Earth Acceleration, enabling her to run at vast speeds. Her name is derived from mittsu (three) (for which another word is "san").
- Poemy's classmate and best friend, is madly in love with her - a fact to which Poemy is (usually) oblivious. Futaba's power allows her to pacify hostile creatures, making them happy and harmless. Rescued from alien clutches by Poemy, she combines this power with Poemy's, and since Poemy is a representation of Earth, this act pacifies the planet's population, resulting in world peace. Her name comes from futa (two) (for which another word is "ni").
- Futaba is a parody of Tomoyo Daidouji from Cardcaptor Sakura; in addition to visually resembling the character, she is in love with her magical girl best friend, as was Tomoyo. The only difference is that Futaba is jealous of Poemy's love, where as Tomoyo encourages Sakura's love. Although in the spirit of the show, Futaba's fantasies go a lot further...
- The youngest of the Aasu sisters, at only 3 years old, Hitomi's in a hurry to grow up (and grow breasts). She possesses a powerful, infallible precognitive power that allows her to foresee the alien invasion (when it's forthcoming) and to announce the obvious (when the mecha is standing in front of her). She is not entirely potty-trained, however. Her name comes from hito (one) (for which another word is "ichi").