PaniPoni Dash! - 4: To Praise The Clear Sky, One Must Wait Until Dusk

Title:PaniPoni Dash!
Episode:4: To Praise The Clear Sky, One Must Wait Until Dusk
ADV Title: Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

One day, Becky casually mentions that there will be a surprise test tommorrow, with serious repercussions for those who fail. The girls are horrified; since Miyako studies hard, they ask her for help. Ichijou suggests a sleepover study session. Becky decides she'll come too, as a chaperone, and students from class 1-A turn up as well. The "study session" soon becomes a pajama party and Miyako and Becky seem to be the only ones doing any actual studying. The others discuss possible techniques for cheating on the test (even though Becky is present) and enjoy the nearby bathhouse...
If you are anything like me, you really must watch this show at least twice before you figure out what is going on. There are so many characters that the first time around I didn't even try to keep track of anyone other than the six girls of Becky's class. As I was rewatching this episode I caught so many things I'd missed the first time that it was almost as if it was an entirely different show! PaniPoni Dash is just chock-full of humor and clever touches. My first impression was that it might never get licensed in North America because there are so many obscure cultural references; but as someone else pointed out, if Excel Saga got licensed, anything can! I now think this show might just be a breakaway hit, the Azumanga Daioh of 2006. Good thing I got on the bandwagon early!

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