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volume 3 issue 8

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9 home / august 2002 / feature Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Animefringe Coverage:
Puni Puni Poemi
By En Hong

Before we begin with Satoru Ishino's mad Excel Saga spin-off Puni Puni Poemi, I want to take a minute and examine anime's obsession with la fantastique (aka sheer, unadulterated, weirdness). There's no denying that this anime is odd. What genre of “normal” entertainment routinely (and for no apparent reason) sports Mecha sprouting out of the ground, characters who look like girls who are voiced over by girls but are really guys and, of course, gravity defying nipple-less breasts? Not that there's anything wrong with those things, especially the last one.

This is all purely subjective of course, but I've got a Dante's hell hypothesis for the weirdness factor. You've got your moderately normal stuff in anime-purgatory such as Noir, Cowboy Bebop, and Samurai X. Most anime isn't strange enough for hell, so they wind up here in limbo. Then, you've got your outer rings, where it's a little odd, but most people can handle it -Evangelion (excluding those last few episodes), Dragonball and Nadesico to name a few. Stuff gets weirder as you go down past the circles of Dual and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Little things like sanity and reason start failing as you pass Lain, Perfect Blue and those last episodes of Evangelion. If you're one of the courageous (and completely insane) few who finally reach far down enough to where the aura of oddness is so overwhelming that you start wishing for hallucinogenic drugs so that 'everything will just make sense', you'll see Excel Saga and think, 'finally, this has got to be the epicenter of anime hell. Then you look up and notice the mind-ream that is Puni Puni Poemi.

Extended metaphor aside, Puni Puni Poemi has got to be the most on-crack anime that has ever been made for consumption by human minds. I'm talking afro-with-uzi, testicle-nunchuka, and fifth-grade-lesbian-sex grade blow here. I mean, this is some serious shit. The main character, Watanabe Poemi... wait, I can't think too closely about what I watched without going into a series of epileptic-esque muscular convulsions.

Someone hold my tongue so I don't accidentally bite it in half.

Where was I again? We begin with the main character Puni Poemi taking on robotic schoolgirls in mortal combat one by one up a flight of mechanical stairs. I'll assume this is somewhere in space, because to tell the truth, I really have no freaking clue. After a bit of completely nonsensical dialogue, Watanabe Poemi flies down to earth on a magical rainbow and goes home to her loving father and mother, none other than Nabeshin and Kumi-Kumi of Excel Saga fame.

As in any anime, their happiness cannot last for long before a testicle-nunchuka-wielding alien appears and proceeds demolish Poemi's home and crucify Nabeshin and Kumi-Kumi. So, Poemi decides to go off and live with the Aasu sisters whom have powers such as break-falling. They use these "amazing" powers to protect the earth when they're not at their day jobs of being S&M mistresses and the like. Somewhere along the line, Poemi is given a talking fish which she 'uses' (by uses, I mean rips its head and spine out ala Mortal Kombat) to become the magical Puni Puni Poemi. If that last paragraph made any sense to you, then I want whatever you're on, 'cause I still don't get it.

Created by the same demented team that brought you the twisted Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemi is offered up as a two-part OVA series currently available as import or fansub. It features gratuitous random fornication, aliens who want to subdue the human race, and sailor-scouts gone horribly, horribly wrong (or right, depending on your point of view,) all framed by the touching story of a girl who just wants to be a voice actress. Of course, what anime would be complete without the little forest dudes from Princess Mononoke? Yes, they're in there too. Oh, for those who aren't extra fluent in Japanese, you'd better get ready to read very, very fast - because Poemi is on speed all the time.

Now, I'm not saying that Puni Puni Poemi is bad; the animation is top-notch, the voice acting is good, and the 'action' is 'furious'. It's funny, too. All you need to do is overlook the fact that NOTHING MAKES SENSE! If you like dropping acid (that's d-lysergic acid diethylamide folks), but dislike the harmful and potentially life-threatening side effects, Puni Puni Poemi is a perfect not-so-harmless anime substitute. Or, if you're like the rest of us and still possess sanity, only watch this if, umm.. well, I really can't think of a reason to... Oh yeah, 10-year old lesbians.

Poemi Watanabe

Yeah, she's the star. She's on speed. She's a sailor scout armed with a talking dead fish. What more could you want?
Hutaba Aasu

A fifth grader. Got this girl-on-girl crush thing going on with Poemi. I've already suppressed the details of this relationship deep in my subconscious.
Itsue Aasu

The bondage mistress sister. Not sure what her power is, but I'm sure I don't want to know.
Mitsuki Aasu

Power: Earth Acceleration
No enemy can ever catch up to her! Not that running around really fast helps in combat anyway.
Shii Aasu

Power: Earth Healing
She's also got these gigantic mammary things that are totally unrelated to her Earth Healing power.
Mitsumi Aasu

Power: Earth Breakfall
She can break her fall against any attack! What a power!
Nanase Aasu

Power: Earth Flower Dance
Umm, she makes flowers. Grow and stuff. Yeah, I know, it's impressive.
Hitomi Aasu

Power: Earth Prediction
"It's already here!" She's also the smallest of the Aasu sisters.

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