DVD Review: Puni Puni Poemy


Puni Puni Poemy

ADV Films





Puni Puni Poemy is an example of the ‘wacky comedy’ genre that was popular in anime between the late ’90s and early ’00s.  Within that genre, this particular entry isn’t that distinguished, but taken on its own, it’s a decent sixty minutes.

Poemi Watanabe is a young girl who speaks rapidly and largely nonsensically.  She often refers to herself as ‘Kobayashi,’ which is the name of her voice actress, and her father as ‘the director.’  This sort of meta-fictional element was common in the wacky comedy genre.  The writers focused on defying logic and sowing confusion; breaking down the wall between what is and what isn’t (what’s part of the show, and what’s part of the ‘show’) turned out to be a highly effective means of doing that, one that was oft repeated.

And that’s sort of my issue with this genre.  For all its emphasis on strangeness, it ended up getting pretty repetitive.  The same tropes and characters were trotted out again and again to go through the same dance.  It got old.

The nice thing, for people looking at this title today, is that all the old stuff is now forgotten, and Puni Puni Poemy can stand on its own as the cute little oddity that it is.

Ostensibly, Poemi is a parody of the magical girl genre.  Poemi discovers her magical powers and uses them to fight an alien menace.  She isn’t a deep character.  Her only discernible character traits are fast talking and overreaction.  She’s a passable lead for a two episode comedy show, but isn’t memorable beyond that.

Joining her in the cast are the seven Aasu sisters, one’s a three-year-old, one’s in love with Poemi, one has big breasts, and then there are four more that I can’t remember anything about.  The aliens they fight have large testicles which they swing around like flails.

Talking about the story is fairly pointless, as it’s really just a rough framework upon which the jokes are placed.  I guess it makes sense, and comes to a conclusion by the end; but it’s not dramatic or engaging in its own right.

The jokes themselves are amusing, though not hilarious.  There are a lot of references to other anime, which people may or may not get.  The rest of the humor comes from outrageous situations, which you either find funny, or you don’t.

There are some nice moments, and given the relatively low time investment, it’s probably worth watching if you have easy access to it, though you shouldn’t go too far out of your way to find it if you don’t.  Puni Puni Poemy is an okay product of its time.

The disk, from ADV Films (now Sentai Filmworks) is fine.  Credits and the main title are changed to English and look cheap (as all of ADV’s edits did).  Episode titles are left in Japanese.  Japanese and English audio are included, along with optional English subtitles.