PaniPoni Dash! - 21: A Demon With Clothes

Title:PaniPoni Dash!
Episode:21: A Demon With Clothes
Drama Club member Serizawa Akane is engaged in battle with her mysterious opponent from the Movie Club when she is abducted by Suzune, Media and Behoimi. She comes to, and finds the members of Class 1-C wearing strange costumes. Rei explains that the PTA has been "arguing over Becky and trying to find fault with her". The PTA members have been showing up unannounced, looking for an excuse to do away with Becky. They are at Peach Moon Academy today, but Becky has disappeared, which is liable to get her fired. Since none of the Class C members is a convincing lookalike, they want Serizawa to serve as Becky's double. At first she flatly refuses, but Rei cleverly flatters her into accepting the role. A trial run is performed in front of Class C, and Serizawa gets a crash course in Becky's idiosyncrasies. The curiously dressed PTA members arrive, and Serizawa nervously ad-libs in front of them. "Right now" she tells herself, "I am Rebecca Miyamoto!"...
This one had a continuing plotline to tie things together, which does a lot of good to instill a sense of order in what might otherwise be a bewildering mishmash of cultural "in" jokes. The plethora of amusing eyecatch scenes really makes my job of selecting illustrations for these episode reviews easy! I was flipping back and forth between the episode itself and the "Detailed Notes", and sometimes found that half a page (or more?) of pop cultural references had gone by without my noticing a single one. You might say that the humor of PaniPoni Dash is on two levels--the jokes anybody could understand, and the ones that would only make sense to a true otaku. The conventional humor and loveable cast could carry the show along on their own, while the parodies/homages to other anime series (and various other forms of entertainment) are a priceless bonus. It's sort of like taking a test, to see just how truly otakuistic you are. very humbling...

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