Pani Poni Dash! - V.1 Lethal Lesson (ep.1-5)
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10th grade class plus 11 year old university grad teacher (you do the math).
It's a lesson in comedy that'll just kill ya.
Episodes 1-5 with optional video-notes. Reversible cover.
Audio: Japanese (2.0), English (5.1)
Rated: PG in Canada
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Rebecca Miyamoto is a ten-year-old genius who just graduated from MIT, and has a job as a high school teacher in Japan. Unfortunately, Rebecca's first days in Class 1-C do not go smoothly, since the class is dazzled by her amazing cuteness and youth. And her depressed stuffed bunny Mesousa has his own problems involving a creepy cat in a vending machine who claims to be God.
Also, saucer-headed aliens have selected Rebecca to represent the entire human species. No, I'm not kidding.
The stories: a student becomes depressed and hides in the rabbit hutch when Rebecca calls her "boring," since she won't bother to learn her students' names. Then Rebecca rips out hyperactive Himeko's cowlick, and must synthesize a replacement after the aliens steal it. Class 1-C goes to stay at a hot spring to study for an upcoming test, but little studying is actually done. And finally, a class camping trip becomes even weirder when the class encounters hangovers, UFOs and a giant salamander (kero).
There is a lot of weird anime in the world -- think "Nerima Daikon Brothers," "FLCL," "Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi," just to mention a few. But honestly, "Paniponi Dash" is easily the weirdest. It's a relentless barrage of insane gags and bizarre plots involving aliens, cowlicks, fairies, clones, a depressed stuffed bunny, soda pop cans, salamanders and a robot.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The first episode spends most of its time wondering where Ms. Miyamoto is. The students in the classroom are bored and speculating all about her, while Rebecca is late and busy getting lost. She and her pet talking bunny, the perpetually sad Mesousa, are stuck in a national forest, where they come upon a vending machine. The vending machine is full of warm drinks, which confuses them until the machine opens up while Rebecca's back is turned. Inside is a human-sized, very simply drawn cat who offers Mesousa some more drinks that have been warmed by his body heat. Mesousa freaks out. The cat also claims to be God and continually pops up in vending machines and elsewhere to torment Mesousa as the show goes on. Finally, Rebecca arrives at school, only to find out that the students have decided to call her "Becky." And then they reduce her to tears and she has to go hide behind the window drapes. This happens a lot in the series, and the rest of the characters constantly have to figure out how to coax her out..
The bulk of the first volume takes place in the school. The second episode is mostly about Becky's refusal to learn her students names, which leads to her nicknaming the kids of the main cast (the rest of the students in the class all look exactly the same, they don't move, and their colors are washed out compared to everything else in the show). But she names one of them "Boring Girl" because of her lack of distinguishing features, and has to spend the rest of the episode trying to get her from sulking in a corner. And on it goes. There's also a camping episode and a slumber party/hot springs episode in this volume, both of which are hugely fun.
This show is really a blast. There are a lot of non-sequiturs, as the chalkboard in the classroom is constantly changing and filled with weird statements, and lots of random stuff appears in the background and other places on the screen where the action isn't happening. ADV is helpfully included a fully loaded Vid-Notes feature on this, which helped a lot with their last two reference-laden, wacky animes- Excel Saga and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. So a lot of the stuff that just seemed bizarre the first time around would be explained when seen a second time with the pop-up Vid-Notes turned on. I particularly liked the scene-changing Behoimi wipe, a quick picture of a magical girl in full costume that has nothing to do with the show itself. Except that Magical Girl Behoimi is a student in the classroom next door.
The dubbing is really well done. I'm sure purists will be put off by the colloquial American the girls speak, but I think it works for the tone of this show. Hilary Haag brings her high-pitched voice to the role of Becky, and does a pretty good job. Except that she sounds almost exactly like Tara Strong's Toot Braunstein character on Comedy Central's Drawn Together. That bugged me until I figured out the resemblance somewhere around the 4th episode. Anyway, this looks like it will be a very fun show, and I recommend it to fans of wigged-out anime. It might be a little extreme if you aren't as familiar with anime in general, but that's why ADV's Vid-Notes feature is so helpful.
The only people I can see not enjoying this are anime fans who are solely interested in mecha/action anime. Otherwise if you have a pulse you need to check this out.
Pani Poni Dash is huge phenomenon in Japan, it combines the comedy of Cromartie High School, Puni Puni Poemy & Galaxy Angel. The central storyline revolves around the new 11 year-old teacher of Peach Moon Academy and her students ... I mean the weirdos that go to school.
There are parodies of famous movies like Casa Blanca, Reservoir Dogs, Beetlejuice, The Ring, Friday the 13th, Batman returns to name just a few, most of them are represented with characters in the background, pictures or casual conversation between the main characters. Also reference of characters from other animes, like when Rebecca pulls Himeko's ahoge out and then a thick pink cloud comes out from Himeko's head, this act represents Majin-Boo from Dragon Ball Z.
The animation is fluent with vivid colors ( sometimes is too bright though ), excellent character design, the English version has a top-notch cast of voice overs, Sasha Paysinger ( Nanjo ) is great, I think the girl that gives the voice for Rei could work a little more on her character ( she sounds too bored ), the Japanese track is as always perfect.
So, if you're into animes with nonsense comedy then you can not skip this one, you won't be disappointed.
Forgot to say. Amazon doesn't have a rating for PPD. The DVD is rated TV-PG. I say at least ten and up for a liberal-minded individual while thirteen and up for a conservative minded one for: violence in a comedic sense, bad language like a, h, and d words along with bleeped out uses of the F-bomb and a bird flippage, and some suggestive themes. 13+ is fine. Well, watch PPD and enjoy!
"Don't worry, I'm God. Want a soda? It's warmed by my body heat..." says the giant cat in the vending machine to the sad pet rabbit Mesousa.
This is all after the very first scene is a reference to "Planet of the Apes".....
Insane. Absolutely, positively, insane. It's very good, too.
It's kind of like Azomanga Daioh on crack...
The only sad thing is that I have to wait over a month for the next disc to come out....
As a hint, don't eat the sweet rice dumplings in the very first episode. (poor Mesousa).