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Dai Mahou Touge
With limited time available to me, I have to plan what I watch and read when it comes to anime and manga as there is simply so much to watch and read (my anime DVD backlog is just insane). So, to get me to squeeze in something new, it usually takes a big splash of some sort. In this case, it was the viral marketing of a clip featuring suicide vegetables that was so twisted and funny, I had to know what anime this came from. When I learned it was Dai Mahou Touge and that it had been licensed by Media Blasters as Magical Witch Punie-chan, I figured I'd better save my pennies and buy this.|
Story-wise, what little plot there is centers around a magic girl named Punie whom is the heir to the throne of her magic world. However, part of her training includes spending time on Earth. From here, the writers go to parody and skewer the mahou shoujo genre with black humor that it twisted in a mostly delightful way (though some of the bone crunching was a bit over the line for my tastes). This starts with the main character Punie, who seemingly is a cheerful airhead magic girl type until threatened in any way, at which point her other dark personality comes out along with an assortment of wrestling submission moves with much more devastating effect. So fearsome is "Punie-sama" that those vegetables commit suicide to make sure the club she's helping has a winning curry.
Since almost every mahou shoujo title has the magic girl with a mascot character, the writers make sure to skewer that by having mascot Paya-tan have two personalities as well. The story of how Punie gets Paya-tan as a mascot from the Exciting Mascot Village is just wrong from the moment she arrives and is also a parody of both the American western and the Japanese samurai movies.
Of course, what is a mahou shoujo title without our magic girl having opponents both from her own world and from Earth? Punie's conflict with magic girl Elise von Barbaroque is funny enough on its own but the writers used it to reveal the dark, ugly truth behind the magic world. Then, Punie's strange relationship with the yankee gang leader Anego-san ("anego" actually being a term for an older sister, but that's how female gang boss characters are usually addressed) helps keep things off balance to a degree because you just never know what Punie is up to. Then, there's Punie's little sisters (nonidentical twins who are also magic girls) who would like to inherit the throne themselves.
While the main focus of the anime is to darkly poke fun at the mahou shoujo genre, the writers also rip into cliched anime/manga elements such as the school culture festivals, the school sports festivals, a first love and first date scenario, the dreaded school exams, etc. So, the more anime you've watched or manga you've read where these things have played a role in those stories, the funnier these twisted parodies of them will be.
Finally, the writers decided to do some parodies outside of normal anime/manga field, a lot of them coming from American sources. I've already mentioned the general parody of Punie's visit to Exciting Mascot Village and its American western/Japanese samurai parody. However, there were specific parodies done in the anime with a surprising focus on Vietnam War movies. The parodies I noticed were 2001, Alien/Aliens, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Deer Hunter, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. (I'm informed by others that the movie also had parodies of True Lies and Hamburger Hill but I just didn't catch those as most of the parody stuff happens fairly quickly but will look for them next time I watch this OVA series.)
I've tried to keep the story elements fairly spoiler free because this anime is something best appreciated unspoiled. Even knowing that it is going to be dark and twisted, the real enjoyment comes in seeing how the writers continue to do the unexpected, which of course provokes lots of laughs.
On the Media Blasters front, this is a subtitle-only release, which isn't a problem for me since I watch everything in Japanese anyway. The subtitles contain the Japanese honorifics, which as long time readers of mine know is a big thing for me. Unfortunately, Media Blasters decided not to license the omake shorts. Considering that Punie-chan is a niche title already, one would think that an extra four minutes of animation would not break the bank, but apparently it was for whatever reason. That's unfortunate.
Bottom line: If you like dark comedies and don't mind seeing the mahou shoujo genre taken apart nor some traditional moments from school-based anime and manga titles being ripped AND you can handle some gore and broken bones, then this twisted anime might just be for you.
Note: this review was also published on my blog.
Last updated Sunday, November 14 2010. Created Sunday, November 14 2010.
Dai Mahou Touge
Wow I was BORING, then when she pulled the Dokoru chan on everyone I was like OMG! Keep the small children away from this!|
More after I see more.
Edit : Episode 3-4 are out. They are about 3 different people who to be King of the magical world. Funny but I'm thinking Dokoru-Chan was better.
Last updated Monday, July 17 2006. Created Sunday, April 02 2006.