Punchline: Episode 1 — Well That Was Confusing

The transition from writers moving from the visual novel format to the anime one has produced mixed results (at best) with no real successes – although it’s too early to condemn Plastic Memories despite me being less than impressed with its premiere. Let’s see if the director of Dantalian no Shoka and the writer of Ever 17 can overcome that curse, especially with Mappa supporting them.

*30 minutes later*

I really have no idea what to think, let alone say, regarding Punchline so far. It’s like someone is trying to purposefully make a “so bad it’s good” show, but it’s questionable whether he’s actually succeeding at it. I mean it did keep my attention, although that’s mainly due to me questioning the choices this anime took in order to tell its story – which wins points for originality to be fair. It’s very obvious that this thing was written by a guy who usually writes for video games, because the entire logic and progression of this show is video-gamey. Hell, even the main character points out how artificial the logic is.

Which is one identifiable problem I have with the show: the self-awareness. I’m fully aware that this anime is supposed to be a satire of the fanservice genre (and many other anime genres too in a KLK sort of way), but unless you go for something really stylized like those Muppet movies, I generally don’t like it when the show is on the joke to as large a degree as this show does it. The “magical transformation as seen in reality” joke was kinda chuckle-worthy, but I’ve seen that joke used many times before and it was one of the better self-aware jokes in this show as well. Everything else simply wasn’t funny. Oh wait, there was that one joke when the talking cat (whose voice is annoying, but not as bad as in the PV) was looking at cat porn. That was amusing. And I did laugh when the brown-haired glasses girls (whose name is Meika according to MAL) had her sweater unravelled mostly due to how ridiculously forced the setup was. But two or three chuckles ain’t enough to cover up the fact that so far, we’ve got yet another anime with no real established story as of yet and a really light tone. If you’re going to be this light in tone, you have to be “funny”. Great Teacher Onizuka and Air Master, this show is not in terms of ecchi humor appeal.

If there’s anything I can coherently say I enjoyed about the show, it’d be the aesthetics. Hey, it’s Mappa, and you know they ain’t going to half-ass it when it comes to pleasing the audience on a visual level. But unlike some other studios who usually deliver in terms of pristine stuff, they actually do interesting things with their art direction in everything I’ve seen of theirs. The fight scene at the beginning of the show was pretty damn good to look at in terms of choreography and even though the jokes didn’t click with me, they were directed pretty well in an artistic sense to the point that they didn’t bore me when they fell flat. We’re not talking Kyoukai no Kanata/Zvezda levels of “soulless action despite the prettiness” here. This thing does interesting things with its style and fully commits. Well, as much as you can fully commit whilst being in that “self-aware mode” at any rate.

Other than those identifiable points though, I don’t know what to say about the show, good or bad. I mean I don’t think the show is good so far, but I dunno if I’d call it bad yet given how I’m kind of interested in what’s going on in the background and the logistics behind these weird powers. Is everything written by this guy like this? Granted, I doubt fans would be happy if an Ever 17 anime was made and it had the video-gamey presentation this thing had, but…agh! It has enough hooks and I’m watching worse stuff as is, so I’ll keep this on for now. But I better have an actual opinion by the second episode.

One response to “Punchline: Episode 1 — Well That Was Confusing

  1. I was at a loss of words by the end, aside from saying that this premiere was quite weird. Now I’m wondering how many times that kid will bring about the end of the world before this anime ends.