Punch Line Episode 1 Notes

April 9th, 2015.

The 4-Koma That Couldn’t:

Ah yes, one of the flashiest PVs. Boy gets powers by seeing panties. MAPPA’s style, a notable puzzle game writer. Let’s see.

Presentation:

Punch Line anime Episode 1 notes - Strange Juice kicks ass

OP – It feels as if they couldn’t settle on an opening theme and instead had samples of 2-3 different ones. It’s colourful, it’s energetic, but it’s a mess, and not in the good way. Just feels utterly… random, and fails to actually create an enjoyable or even memorable experience.

ED – I liked the visuals. Nice sound. Unlike the OP, it actually feels like a cohesive piece, which is definitely an upgrade.

This show has good voice actors, and I noticed several of them right away, but while the music is solid, the voice acting is just not good in this show. There’re also voice balance issues, of the sort I remember from OreImo, but it was hard to enjoy what was going on when the acting wasn’t up to snuff, and it was basically at every scene where anyone other than Kugimiya Rie, or the protagonist, voiced by Inoue Maria, spoke.

Art style, energy, zaniness? How it started the very first shot with us deep in the action rather than building up to it? This show, at least in terms of overt atmosphere, really does feel like a cross-up between Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda, FLCL, and Gatchaman Crowds. That’s good.

The character designs did feel a bit flat at times, but the 2-dimensionality somewhat helps with the “zaniness” and coloursplosion, I guess. The whole bit with the cat felt too flat. Very “I’ll now explain to you what’s going on semi-infomercial” anime sometime pull, but eh.

I like the designs, and while the fanservice is definitely there, it doesn’t really feel as gross as in many other such shows, it feels more like a thirteen year old going, “Yay, panties!” which brings us to the next section.

Themes / Plot:

Punch Line Episode 1 notes - Chiranosuke tells Yuuta to not get "excited"

As I watched this episode, my opinion of it went down. I kept thinking, “Hm, this feels like a 4-koma adaptation,” and then the way the first episode ended really felt that way. Except, the short skit that should’ve lasted 5 minutes was somehow stretched into 20 minutes. I did laugh, once, during this episode, when Yuuta pushed his fingers into his nostrils to stop the impending doom from coming down upon us, and it also reminded us of Naruto.

“Justice Juice, squeeze the soul of evil!” and then her weapon is a straw. Very droll. Everything feels like part of a 4-koma joke, except whatever it was the villain whispered to our protagonist. Probably the soul-switching bit. The whole “The Incredible Machine” bit felt lifted straight out of Tonari no Seki-kun.

The cat describing things to the protagonist, how none of it made sense – who knows he’s going overdrive and thus sending an asteroid? That’s where it felt the most FLCL, except it felt like it wants to be FLCL, like it just wants to give us a zany premise it could play with, and repeat, and then had the gall to flat out tell us it doesn’t really matter – “See panties, world doom. Repeat it again!” is the way to generate jokes.

This show could actually go places. I can feel it can be the setup for something much better and more serious behind all those jokes, all the fan-service. It can be another Gatchaman Crowds, or Zvezda, or FLCL. It doesn’t just look like them, but they too straddled the line between the crazy and mundane, of treating the extraordinary as your everyday.

But something tells me that here, it truly is just a setup for funny situations. All the times it kept skipping around? It didn’t feel like it was trying to paint a larger picture, to give us more details. It just felt like it lost its structure, lost its place. And this is the first episode.

I’ll give it another episode for it to show us whether it wants to go somewhere, or it’s content to spend most of its run telling “funny jokes”, but I’m not impressed.

Return to the Punch Line Episodic Notes page.

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