OP Sequence

OP: 「PUNCH LINE!」 by しょこたん♥でんぱ組 (Shokotan ♥ Denpa Gumi)

「パンツパニック」 (Pantsupanikku)
“Panties Panic”

Goofy, ecchi, silly, quirky, and without a lick of sense in sight, Punch Line is either the triumphant return of old school GAINAX-style anime (of the FLCL vintage), or an incomprehensible mess. Or both.

What The Hell Just Happened?

“I don’t get it. How does that have anything to do with an asteroid?”
“You don’t have to overthink it. If you don’t want to end humanity, don’t get excited. That’s all that matters.”

Well, you can’t fault the show for not being self-aware.

I have a feeling Punch Line will be extremely dependent on personal taste. That’s true of all things, but this isn’t a situation where people will say “It’s good, but it’s not for me.” It will either be “Wow, that was fun!” or “What the fuck did I just watch?” Punch Line strikes me as more style and attitude over substance (also, pantsu), where the plot is senseless to an intentionally bad degree.

Case in point: the exchange I quoted above. It feels like they’re covering up for lazy writing by hanging a lampshade on it (trope!), and to be clear, that doesn’t make it any better. It does sort of work, though. (Or not! Your mileage may vary (trope!)) It’s clear they’re being goofy, and saying “Don’t get caught up in the details. Just have fun!” Whether you can do that is totally up to you. Me, I can dig it to a degree—this first episode didn’t exactly wow me, but there were some fun parts, and a few things that hinted at something more, so I’ll watch another episode or two at least. (Plus, pantsu) I don’t think I’ll ever have to engage my brain, though. Not when main character Iridatsu Yuuta (Inoue Marina) can travel back in time every time he accidentally destroys the world, which robs the story of any kind of tension. Which is probably the point.

Art, Animation, Characters, OST

If the plot is kookoo for cocoa puffs, what about the rest? Whether you like the character designs is up to you, but they hearken back to old school GAINAX animation as much as the bonkers plot does, so sign me up for the nostalgia train! (Also, pan—boobs) The animation was fluid and well done, so no complaints there. I especially liked the OST—I’m not usually one to notice the soundtrack, but there were moments where it was striking without distracting from the scene. Turns out getting a big name in Komuro Tetsuya to do the music was a good idea (see the preview for more info).

As for the characters, they remain largely one-dimensional so far, but not entirely. From Hikiotani Ito (Kotobuki Minako) watching the bus hijacking to intently to Daihatsu Meika (Kugimiya Rie) making a good luck charm for her friend Narugino Mikatan (Amamiya Sora), they both introduced us to the characters swiftly and are laying down the foundations necessary to flesh them out, should they decide to do so. (And yes, the good luck charm was mostly so Meika could get stripped, but it was still touching and whatnot.) Plus Chichibu Lovera (Tomatsu Haruka) on the moaning, eyecatches made me laugh! You’re trying too hard, Tomatoes. Dial it back.

Looking Ahead – That’s Twice Now

Earth has already been destroyed twice now, because Yuuta got too excited, and those things are linked because REASONS. (Don’t think about it too much, Stilts. Nothing good will come of it.) I’m not planning on blogging this weekly, but I’ll probably be watching it, so feel free to follow me on twitter to see my impressions.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Goofy, silly, ecchi, & w/out a lick of sense, #punchline is either the return of old school GAINAX-style anime, or a mess. Or both #パンチライン

Random thoughts:

  • Not sure about Inoue Marina in the main role. Unlike a Shiraishi-Ryoko-playing-Hayate kind of situation, I don’t think Yuuta is supposed to be girly, so his voice sounds off. I mostly got used to it, though.
  • Mashiro-tan, what are you doing as a ca—ahhh, who am I kidding. That’s perfect casting right there.
  • After so many magical girl shows playing the transformation sequence trope straight, it does my heart good to see someone spoof it.
  • The ED is super cute. I like it a lot.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Cut away the boring bits, Sheet music, Wage Slave Rebellion is officially in print, and From LEGO to author.

Full-length images: 10, 44.


ED Sequence

ED: 「蜜蜜蜜」 (Honey Honey Honey) by Ayumi Kurika Maki


    1. It’s a world where you’ll kill everyone just for having a libido. It’s better off gone =01. No man(or boy) should have to live in a world where he can’t get a boner…

  1. It’s fun, I actually likes this kind of anime, the kind that if they want to go random just go all the way. Don’t expect something too hard/deep of the plot and just enjoy the ride.

  2. I honestly don’t get what more than one person sees when they call it “GAINAX-style”. It just looks like a studio TRYING TO COPY them instead and not quite getting it.

    1. A lot of people agree that they got it right, it’s really a lot like FLCL in terms of mixing hilarious madness, vibrant dynamic animation and in-your-face ecchi … i don’t see how they didn’t get exactly when they got all these elements right.

      1. By saying “like Gainax” it means dynamic and lively animation, it doesn’t have to copy the exact same style … a lot of anime have that aspect in their animation but they don’t have to look exactly like Gainax anime .. it’s just that Gainax are the company most known for that so people immediately associate dynamic lively animation that has a lot of energy with Gainax the most.

  3. While I understand the need for a variety of shows in order to appeal to a variety of people, nothing makes me more sad and frustrated than the fact that this kind of show occupies Noitamina’s only slot this season. (Especially, given the shrinkage of 2 slots to 1…..)

  4. Well…(fyi, not my normally watched anime but only because there’s apparently nothing else of interest during Friday afternoons PST…)
    …”off the wall ridiculous fun” is the only thing TL;DR I’d say about this premier.

    I mean, right off the bat you have villans running wild in a supposingly superhero anime, and a MC that have the oddest superpower activation and restrictions (now with more restrictions due to the fact that he’s ‘spirited away’ now). Yeah, not the anime to be super analytical about. Just pure fanservice material.

    ps. transformation COMPLETELY disillusioned… Thx Punch Line (=,=)

  5. Well, this is one single clusterfuck, plain and simple. While FLCL was just an episodic adventure without anything that happen to be like plot, riight from the title Panty Line (panchi rain/punch line) is trolling us in such way that is clearly inviting us to just DROP this.
    Among other things, we got another BETA AS F… MC that can go Super Saiyan God by simply looking at panties (what?) and can destroy a planet if he goes SSG-II just because (what?!), a phantom-like cat-guide that can’t seem to give a F… about this whole mess, bodyjack, low budget magical girl that can do Matrix, hiki girl, megane-tech-girl, useless adult chocolate girl… and lots of (incredibly not censored in this PG13 era) panties (WTF?!!)

    It’s not so bad that it’s good, it’s just a bunch of scrambled things disjointed.

  6. That was one beautiful mess, i laughed out loud many times at the hilarious madness happening (that cat spirit and his cat sex videos were both hilarous XD), when an anime’s first episode starts with an epic bus hi-jacking and daring rescue for a tangerine kick-ass-esque low-budget heroine (the transformation sequence in the end was hilarious XD) and ends with the main character getting kicked out of his body, traveling back in time and destroying the world twice in the process you know you are in for a treat XD

    Of course i can’t ignore the elephant in the room, the panties .. the show is clearly obsessed with them as much as the main character (even the title is a pun related to panties) .. it can be a little bit cringe worthy but for me it’s overridden by the sheer silliness and madness of the show (and the fantastic action scenes XD)

    I’ll apply the 3 episode rule and see how crazier things will get (really love the FLCL vides).

  7. “Punch Line is weird as F..k” Is my impresion as i watch the first episode. The first half is just confusing we got a hijacking right out of nowhere with super saiyan MC. And then he become a ghost? What the f..k?

    Aside from confusing story telling the premise itself is entertaining. But the story is just a mess. i want to watch the show but i can’t handle the mess. I Hope the next 2 episode they at least bring the story down just to make sure what kind of sh.t we watch.

  8. Well, this can be the New “Highschool DxD” Anime Style. But this time not with Oppai’s, no this time with Pantsu Flashing
    . Is there a Nippon word for this kind of flashing?

    Yes, this Anime do not take itself Seriously, so we should not expect that ourself. Think in the class of To-Love RU: Darkness Ecchi, just that he do not fall every time in the middle of the Legs of Girls

  9. The thing is that whole meteor thing isn’t fun. How is that supposed to be fun? Why didn’t they just leave it at the blood spurting from his nose? I guess I’ll give it a couple more episodes.

  10. So goofy, ecchi, no sense in sight with dynamic animation is (good) Gainax style anime?
    Until I started following RC( some 1.5/2 years ago) I never paied attention at things like studio,source,director etc…I just found anime based on summary that I liked and thats it…Looking “behind the scene” to say gave one new interesting dimension to watching anime.

    But i never really understood what people meant by comparing something to Gainax(and almost always to FLCL). I mean if I read somewhere avout characteristics it was either ‘it was ecchi’ and ‘it made no sense’ -_- Considering how many times I heard negative critics because something was ecchi(well, more fanservice-y) or not really making sense it really puzzled me since it seems that there is great wish (and nostalgia ) for Gainax.
    Oh, and as example was 99% of time stated FLCL (didn’t watch it) and personally for me it seemed unusal to define one studio/style by one anime and have so nostalgic feels.

    1. FLCL is just the greatest exemplar of the style most people are referring to. Other ones had the style as well, including (off the top of my head) He Is My Master and, more recently, Panty & Stocking. It’s also important to remember that it’s ecchi + goofy + ecchi + the art style … without that last element especially, it can have all of the other hallmarks (and many shows do), but no one will call it old school GAINAX-style.

      1. Well, for me if i need to remind me an Anime of GAINAX, there is “Neon Genesis Evangelion” that come into first in my Mind

        This FLCL never watched, but i bet “Gunbuster 2″(also GAINAX) come nearly into the same Style i think

      2. @ Ebisu

        Truuuue. That’s actually bothered me as more people equated GAINAX-style to ecchi + goofy + ecchi + the art style, while ignoring the common link between those kinds of GAINAX shows and the Evangelion wing. The link between Evangelion and FLCL was that both actually MEANT something (as bonkers as that thing could be, in different ways), so if Punch Line doesn’t develop into more than craziness for craziness’s sake, it’ll be GAINAX-style in appearance only.

      3. Ah, things have more sense now.

        For me, when I hear about Gainax I think about Evangelion so it seemed weird not to mention certain aspects of it when talking about Gainax.

  11. I think my reaction was more along the lines of “What the heck did I just watch!?” I don’t think the summary for this series does it any justice. I read the summery and thought “Huh!?” The concept made no sense so I was hoping that I could understand by watching the first episode. Then I saw the opening and discovered that this was a noitamina show and got excited. The resulting cluster**** of episode one left me disappointed. There are elements to this show that could be used to create a great story but as the titles implies. It’s all about sneaking peaks at panties. This show caters to a very niche audience, which I don’t think the anime industry can afford to do right now. I’m curious to see how successful it ends up being but I’m definitely not watching it.

  12. I don’t know if this is a series which could be judged with one episode. Not even three, so I think I’ll stay to see more.

    1. Direction. Punch Line does it right. Some other shows were trying to do some kind of colorful-manic-energic style and failed on it (for me personally, one latest example is Rolling Girls, although I heard it gets better). This one didn’t miss a beat, interesting enough to keep my interest and has great music. I’ll stay in a show which could do just that.

    2. Writer. Uchikoshi Koutarou. Writer of Ever 17 series and Zero Escape series (999 trilogy). One of the biggest VN writers who finally coming to write an anime series (after big names such as Gen Urobuchi, Tanaka Romeo, Jun Maeda, so on). If there’s a writer who is able to pull this kind of premise into something else, he is one of few who possibly could do that.

    So based on those two factors, I’ll follow this. I also recommend people to at least wait and see if this change into something great or not.

    1. I had the same what-the-hell-did-I-just-watch reaction after watching, but I’m definitely following this due to Uchikoshi. A friend aptly summarized this as Uchikoshi’s take on Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective – can definitely see why.

  13. I personally am really looking forward to how this show will develop. Then again, that because I know Uchikoshi Koutarou is the scenario writer, and as someone who was a big fan of his previous works I have a better idea of what the foreshadowing is being set up to do.


    Show Spoiler ▼

    For those that didn’t read because they want to avoid spoilers, basically it’s saying I trust Uchikoshi, and that things probably aren’t as they seem. While it isn’t Uchikoshi’s normal atmosphere currently (he normally starts super serious and stays super serious) I know he’s a good author, and I expect this to be a show where you will want to re-watch after some revelation later in the series in the same way Madoka eps 10 changes the previous 9.

    The series of images after the world blows up the first time is probably really important, with a bunch of foreshadowing for future events (we already had one set of images from that series of images come true so it isn’t a stretch to assume the other will occur too).

  14. Ep 03:

    My thoughts about Ep 03:
    Show Spoiler ▼


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