Okay, so there’s a lot going on here. The episode begins with a bus hijacking and its subsequent attempt at being thwarted by a giant-bendy-straw-weilding girl who goes by the name of Strange Juice, who ends up failing. The protagonist of the story manages to save the day after he gains super powers from glimpsing her underwear. However, after that his spirit somehow leaves his body, and a ghost cat tells him it’s because his body has been posessed by something else, which forced his own spirit out. He can’t go back to his body because whoever’s taken control of it has covered his room in anti-spirit wards. However, he may be able to return if he can find the sacred Indian text – the Nandala Gandala, which is apparently hidden somewhere in his appartment complex, but his ghost-status makes it difficult for him to interact with his environment so he can’t do much other than pass through the walls into the different rooms. He shares this appartment building with numerous girls – including Strange Juice – and he ends up seeing their underwear a lot, which is a bad thing, because if he sees too many underwear and gets too excited, an asteroid will destroy the world. Which actually does happen once in this episode because this dude is weak as hell and gets boners at the drop of a hat, so he and the ghost cat have to go back in time and try again. And that’s the actual, real plot of this show.
Hey, remember when the noitaminA slot used to mean something? Those were the days. I feel like now any show can get it so long as it has suitably ‘unique’ animation, and it’s really disappointing. It used to be for ‘different’ anime that challenged what the medium could accomplish, and yet Punch Line seems either like it was devised by a board room composed entirely of 13-year-old boys or it’s a fake anime that some kind of crime drama invented, that you’d see on TV in the background of the house of ‘one of those weird anime perverts’.
I get that it’s meant to be a joke, and that its parodying a lot of dumb anime tropes…but I still don’t understand how celebrating those tropes creates humour. Otaku anime’s fixation on panty-shots is juvenile and puerile at the best of times, so an entire series focused on that is even more so. Is the joke meant to be that teenage boys are weak? Because that’s all I’m getting from this, and it’s a joke that isn’t funny and wears out its welcome less than halfway into the episode.It’s full of yelling and screaming and repetition, which are other things I’m really sick of in anime, and if it weren’t for how nice the show actually looks it’d be like it had been lab-synthesized deliberately to annoy me.
Because the show does look nice – it’s got an attractive colour palette, fun character designs and a really nice attention to background details, especially in the different designs of the room interiors. It meshes really well with the trancey dubstep soundtrack, and both the opening and ending are really, really good. The look of the show is so attractive that I want to watch at least one more episode solely for that – and for the hopes that things get better.
Maybe, maybe it will turn out to be one of those shows that manages to do great things with an idiotic premise – I mean, I loved Space Dandy after all. Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself that this can’t possibly be the entire plot – I mean the script writer is, oddly enough, the guy who did the game 999. I’m willing to give it one more chance, but at present it’s a childishly loud and annoying mess that tries way too hard to be quirky.