Puni Puni Poemi
"The Heavens call, the Earth calls, the Fans call!
And heads will roll if this video doesn't sell!
By accepting the power of magic,
Puni Puni Poemi makes her big debut!"
Puni Puni Poemi is the Spiritual Successor OVA to the Excel Saga anime, made by the same production team. It crams even more off-the-wall surreality and self-reference than its predecessor into just two episodes, thus creating a black hole that absorbs all reason around it.
Poemi Watanabe is the adopted child of Nabeshin (the Author Avatar of director Watanabe Shinichi) and Kumikumi, a mountain girl who married Nabeshin at the end of Excel Saga. Poemi has simple ambitions in life; she wants the attention of her cool classmate K, and she wants to be a voice actress. Unfortunately, K doesn't even acknowledge her existence (given Poemi's Motor Mouth and Genki Girl personality, that's saying something) and she has trouble staying in character, as she constantly refers to herself as "Kobayashi" (the name of her real-life voice actress) and calls Nabeshin "Director".
One day, a mysterious alien with creepy dangling inappropriate parts fatally attacks Poemi's adoptive parents. After taking advantage of this fine opportunity for dramatic voice acting, Poemi moves in with classmate Futaba Aasu, who has a not-at-all-secret crush on her, and her six sisters, the hereditary Defenders of the Earth. With great responsibility does not come great power, however, since the sisters possess talents like the ability to land safely from any fall and summoning a whirlwind of flower petals. Therefore, when an alien robot begins rampaging around the city it falls to Poemi to save the day by using a magical dead fish to transform into Puni Puni Poemi! With her newfound powers, Poemi tries to balance her dreams against the burden of being Earth's representative.
For a large part, the show is a merciless parody of Magical Girl anime, possibly up to and including the nonsensical plot (or lack thereof). Along the way, however, it also makes fun of the concept of Fan Service and takes care to self-reference as much as possible. All this is tied together by nonstop gags. Those not put off in the first few minutes will enjoy it tremendously and will take in happily all other Gag Series.
Not to be confused with Pani Poni Dash!
- Animated Actors
- Author Avatar: Nabeshin
- Banned In New Zealand: Having a four-year-old among the Fan Service-crazy Aasu sisters (though thankfully, not actually participating) made some Moral Guardians wary of toddlercon potential.
- Biting the Handkerchief
- Blush Sticker: Poemi gains them when she transforms.
- Clark Kenting: Spoofed when the sisters fail to realize that Poemi and Puni Puni Poemi are the same person. Then when they finally do realize it, they wonder why they didn't figure it out sooner.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Parodied in the scene in which Poemi knocks down the cross in which her father (and mother. And robot dog) is crucified, leading her to repeat the scene with the usual uber-dramatic sound effects. Plus, this takes place Against the Setting Sun.
- The Danza: Played with: Poemi is convinced that she's actually a voice actress named Kobayashi... and is played by voice actress Yumiko Kobayashi.
- ...even in the dub, thereby completely killing the joke.
- ... except that it works when you consider it implies she thinks she IS the original VA, like with weeaboos refusing dub voices no matter what. It's an extra layer of parody.
- ...even in the dub, thereby completely killing the joke.
- Death Is Cheap: Nabeshin and Kumi-Kumi come back to life thanks to Kumi-Kumi's acupuncture skills.
- Defictionalization: The whole show started as an in-joke among the production staff of Excel Saga, and then became a Show Within a Show on in, and finally an actual OVA.
- The Determinator: Parodied: Poemi notes that she is "too stupid to know when to give up."
- The Ditz: Poemi's stupidity is a constant source of jokes and Lampshade Hangings.
- Drives Like Crazy: Poemi does this with a foot-propelled scooter.
- Enjo Kosai: Poemi used her usual subtlety to deal with a Gyaru on a subsidized date
- Expy: Shii Aasu, of Hyatt from Excel Saga, and probably Futaba as well, who looks and acts a lot like an exaggerated version of Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura.
- Poemi is a younger Excel, obviously.
- Mutsumi Aasu DOES look like Ropponmatsu, doesn't she?
- Faceless Masses
- Fan Service: Played with -- the show's creators essentially nudge and wink at the audience whenever any fanservice occurs -- while "accidentally" obscuring the worst of it.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Episode 2, Menchi can be briefly seen on the aliens' dinner table.
- Funny Afro: Nabeshin. This is probably the reason his English dub actor was told to think of him as "a white Richard Roundtree. You know, Shaft, only white."
- Funny Background Event: Constantly.
- Furo Scene: Group one at that. It's apparently family tradition.
- Gag Boobs: Shii Aasu. In all other than maybe 3 scenes, she's seen groping them.
- Gag Penis: The two aliens have very strange and prominent dangly bits.
- Gainax Opening: The deathly serious intro to Episode 1 (see article picture above).
- Gainaxing: "NUCLEAR BOOBS!"
- Genki Girl: Poemi
- She makes Excel seem a calm and rational person by comparison.
- Girlish Pigtails: Puni Puni Poemi
- Gratuitous English Parodied in a scene where a bunch of soldiers are supposed to be speaking English, but instead are just yelling out random food names.
Soldier 1: * runs towards a fallen Soldier 2* : Banana! Banana!
Soldier 2: Cucumber...eggplant!
- cut to strategy meeting*
Soldier 3: Caviar!
Soldier 4: Papaya!
Soldier 5: *pounds the table* GIANT ASPARAGUS!
- Hentai and Eroge: Both get mercilessly parodied in the second episode, which includes a number of related tropes:
- Homoerotic Subtext: Poemi and Futaba, especially during the ending.
- The Idiot From Osaka: One of the Aasu sisters inexplicably speaks in Kansai dialect, translated as a Brooklyn accent in the English version
- She lampshades it, wondering where the accent came from.
- Idiot Hero: Poemi, with an emphasis on the "idiot."
- Inferred Holocaust: Subverted: This time when the Death Star gets destroyed, it does destroy the nearby planet.
- Insistent Terminology: Even while transformed, Poemi still prefers to answer to "Kobayashi".
- It's a Small Net After All: Subverted, when the aliens trying to use the Net to learn about Earth find nothing but porn.
- And they are absolutely fascinated by it.
- Japanese Politeness: Parodied when Poemi meets the sisters and bows so enthusiastically that she cracks her head on the coffee table.
Mutsuki: Oh, you don't have to bleed over everything just to be polite.
Poemi: It's just the Japanese etiquette!
- Kappa: One stole Poemi's scooter and is seen outside the Aasu house riding it.
- Large Ham: Poemi is the main one, although there's plenty of ham throughout the cast.
- Late for School: Played straight in one instance, but inverted in another where Poemi leaves at four o'clock in the morning and still hurries toward school. She arrives so early she falls asleep in class the next day.
- Loudspeaker Truck
- Magical Girl: Parodied mercilessly
- Mars Needs Women: K's reason for why the aliens are invading Earth.
- Marshmallow Hell: Shii Aasu
- Meaningful Name: The Aasu sisters are named after the Japanese pronunciation for the English word "Earth"... oh, and "arse".
- Menstrual Menace: When one of the Aasu sisters hears an explosion in another part of the house, she assumes that her younger sister either is having her period or has missed her period.
- Mentor Mascot: Parodied in the form of Poemi's dead fish advisor/magical token
- Modesty Bedsheet
- Motor Mouth: Poemi may beat even Excel at this category.
- Mutually Fictional: Exists as a show within the Excel Saga universe, and Excel Saga is a show in the Puni Puni Poemi universe -- a math problem in school involves the number of cels used in each episode of Excel Saga.
- No Fourth Wall: Not so much a case of breaking the fourth wall as a case of never even considering building one. Considering Poemi's tendency to refer to herself with the name of her real-life voice actress and to Nabeshin as the director, she seems to be having trouble with other walls besides the fourth.
- No Indoor Voice: Poemi. Between that and the Motor Mouth, Poemi's English V.A. remarked that she blew out her voice on the first day of recording.
- Oblivious to Love: Parodied: K is oblivious to Poemi's crush on him, despite the fact that she's about as easy to ignore as a stampeding rhino, and Poemi is in turn oblivious to Futaba's crush on her, despite the fact that Futaba makes no attempt to hide her feelings and even gets Poemi naked and into bed with her at one point.
- Ocular Gushers: "This is making me cry waterfalls!"
- Older Alter Ego
- Oracular Urchin: Spoofed by Hitomi, who has accurate but completely useless visions of the future.
- OVA: A two-episode microseries, but it's designed to look like two episodes from the middle of a full-length season.
- Petal Power: Parodied with Nanase's ability, since the only "power" of her "Earth Dance of Flowers" is that they look pretty
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Used for some of the faceless background characters and for K's parents.
- "Previously On...": For non-existent previous episodes at the beginning of the first episode
- Red String of Fate: Treated as a corporeal string that forcibly drags Poemi around the city
- Refuge in Audacity
- Relax-O-Vision: Mercilessly used to cover up the various "tortures" in Episode 2.
- Rose-Haired Girl: Puni Puni Poemi
- Serial Escalation: The entire point. All the insanity of a full season of Excel Saga, now available in two episodes.
- Condensed and distilled to boot
- Say It with Hearts: When Futaba tells Poemi she wants to see her transformation
- Say My Name: Futaba and Poemi get a really long series of these towards the end of the second episode.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Parodied by Futaba, whose inexplicable lust for Poemi could only be more obvious if she wore a neon sign reading "TAKE ME, I'M YOURS". Poemi still doesn't notice, though, despite the fact that Futaba actually does get her between the sheets on at least one occasion. Talk about oblivious.
- Shout-Out: Obviously Excel Saga, also Sailor Moon and several other shows
- A Stand shows up that looks more than a little bit like Star Platinum.
- "It's a stand-off!"
- There's also the Death Star. and Poemi collecting Dragon Balls at one point to try and bring Nabeshin back to life.
- The picture by the description seems to be giving Poemi some serious Utena vibes. Though Futaba as Anthy could be considered unhealthy.
- The opening sequence has Poemi beating the living daylights out of Sally the Witch.
- And the ending is an homage to Space Runaway Ideon
- The opening quote of used in this article is a parody of the same one used by Kamen Rider Stronger
- Show Within a Show: Puni Puni Poemi began as Show Within a Show on Excel Saga, and Excel Saga is a show in Puni Puni Poemi.
- Standing in the Hall: Lampshade hung when Poemi complains about the punishment being outdated in modern Japanese schools
- Stock Footage: Parodied
- Strange Salute: At one point, the Aasu sisters all do a very peculiar salute which one of the English voice actors described as the "international sign for cameltoe."
- Stylistic Suck: The opening.
- Take That: One sequence involves Poemi beating up a stereotypical kogal girl, a guy partaking in Enjo Kosai, a bunch of Delinquents, a stereotypical Otaku, and a guy playing an Eroge.
- Theme Naming: Each of the Aasu sisters' given names is derived from a number from one to seven, starting with the youngest one -- which means their parents were counting down. What would have happened had they reached zero?
- Zero is no problem: just call her "Rei". -1, on the other hand...
- Third Person Person: Poemi. Er, I mean, Kobayashi.
- This Is a Drill: Futaba... brandishes a hand-drill while imagining doing... well... something... to Poemi
- Token Yuri Girls: Futaba in Puni Puni Poemi is both an extreme parody of this character type, in particular of Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura, who is an example of this trope herself.
- Tomato in the Mirror: K finds out that he's a tentacle monster alien. Never mind that he lives with his parents, who are obviously tentacle monster aliens. Or that apparently his limbs are all fake and that they pop off easily to reveal tentacles. Or that in one scene he goes to school riding a UFO.
- Transformation Sequence: Parodied with a transformation involving a dead fish which automatically strips Poemi naked -- except for her socks, which she has to remove manually before she can take her magical form.
- Transformation Trinket: A dead fish.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: inverted -- out of all the Aasu sisters, only Itsue has a power that proves even vaguely useful.
- Whip It Good: Itsue Aasu, who is the only one of the Aasu sisters with a useful ability. Justified because she is a dominatrix.
- Widget Series: The fact that this one was forgotten is kind of mind-blowing...
- Wrestler in All of Us: Poemi lands a German Suplex on a guy for playing h-games on his computer during the day. Well, playing them in the afternoon, anyway. She also performs a textbook Sharpshooter on totally-not-Sailor-Moon-honest in the very first scene.
Puni Puni Poemi (Called Kobayashi): I mean, seriously, these are for nights!
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Three of the sisters have blue and two have purple.
Puni Puni Poemi. When Excel Saga isn't enough.