With a tagline of “If he sees underwear, humanity will be destroyed!?”, what would you expect? I came into this show with a lot of mixed thoughts, but what I didn’t expect it to start with a bang, as a well executed (and crazy) show with amazing humor, one I would love. Kotarou Uchikoshi, You’ve done it again.
I’ve been hyping up Punchline! for a while, ever since I learned that my favorite writer, Koutarou Uchikoshi (of Zero Escape fame ) was involved. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this show, given it’s premise... really, how could I? After reading about the plot, what would you expect, especially given how vastly different it really is to everything he’s done, or anything in general? From the source itself,
If he sees underwear, humanity will be destroyed!? An original anime series from the noitaminA block, PUNCH LINE centers on Yuta Iridatsu, a high school student, with a peculiar habit. When he sees a girl’s panties, he gets so excited he faints! After a certain incident with a ghost cat, his soul gets separated from his body. Using his special powers, Yuta watches the daily lives of the inhabitants of an apartment and sometimes plays tricks on them. Eventually, Yuta decides to unlock the secrets to why Earth will be destroyed and tries to save it!
Mind = Blown, right? I came in expecting a stupid, WTF show that has just a ridiculous amount of fanservice, and I got that... but what I didn’t expect was how just well executed it was, and how they would manage to infuse humor extremely well into such a premise. In hindsight, I probably should have put more faith into MAPPA and Uchikoshi as they’ve done great stuff, but with a premise like that, I had to be a little bit skeptical.
Really, you guys have to watch this show: I haven’t seen a show that made me laugh this hard in a long time, and Punchline! sinks you in like no tomorrow, doing everything extremely well. The show manages to get you to be entertained by being so absolutely over the top that it’s really quite ridiculous, but they way it pulls it’s punches is tight and focused, following every absurd action with an explanation so it’s not stupid all the time. It’s timing and pacing are absolutely perfect, and it keeps you entertained no matter what. The way it executes this absurd premise is actually a pretty smart at times, but you should really expect this, because, Uchikoshi. The punchlines are great, the writing is entertaining, the art is just amazing (seriously MAPPA is doing a great job. It’s really nice to have two Madhouses :P.), and everything about this show is just so well that it makes for an an experience that is just insane. It’s a show that gets you laughing, and keeps you laughing. it’s an amazing
I’m really also just super surprised how much of Uchikoshi’s influence is really here, and how much it reminds me of his previous works. This show feels like it has homages to them, from that picture above that screamed EVER 17 to how similar the cat Chiranouske is to Zero the 3rd but more enjoyable because you’re not supposed to hate his guts, this show is an Uchikoshi work, and it even has the sci -fi elements! am loving how much it feels like the other works I’ve seen of him. I fell in love with his works because of how well thought out they were, how well they used sci-fi, and even in a show with this stupid premise, they still manage to pull that off, which is very impressive.
Even more impressively, the fanservice was handled really well! Yes, this isn’t a show you’ll want to watch in public (JAPANNNN!!!!!!!), and if you are a really prude person you still will be bothered by this, but if you’re watching this, they just play off the scenes in such a way you can’t help but laugh at them, you can’t take these seriously. Hell, I’m probably one of the most prude people on AniTAY but I still loved the hell out of it, as they were just handled really well. Sparkly effects, stupid scenarios, this show goes out of its way to make these scenes not really about fanservice, similar to Kill la Kill, and the effect works well. On that note, this show is very much so like Kill la Kill, with great character art from the great Shouta Iwasaki (who also did Kill la Kill), a plot scenario where most people focus on the fanservice but isn’t really the main point, and it’s just so absurd that you can’t help but laugh. If you loved Kill la Kill, you’ll probably get something out of this as well. I’m personally enjoying this a lot more, but that’s a personal bias, really.
This show has cemented it’s place at the top of my guilty pleasures, even after one episode, and that’s saying something. It’s blown me away, in a way I’ve never been blown before... and I can’t help but appreciate everything about it. Honestly, go watch it now. It’s absurd, it’s stupid, it’s amazing, and you will not regret it.
Rockmandash is a frequent writer of Visual Novels and anime on his blog and theAniTAY Blog as well. Come and check them out if you are interested in reviews and opinion pieces on these topics! For an explanation of my review system, check this out, and here’s my biases in reviewing.