Magical Witch Punie-chan
Also known as: Dai Mahou Touge
Punie-chan is the princess of the Magical Kingdom who will one day inherit the throne. In a kind of trial, the princess must spend a year on Earth, so Punie transfers to a high school. She makes a few.. "friends" and is assisted by her puppy like companion Paya-tan. Things might get bad as some of her enemies find ways to disable her magic. That's no problem for Punie-chan, as her forte is brutal grappling martial arts!
While looking like candyland from the outside, the Magical Kindom is in fact a savage place where only those strong enough to survive can rule. Punie was sent alone to Earth to survive continous assaination attempts by rivals and even her sisters.
The strong can survive, but only a champion can rule!
You'll need to be able to appreciate pretty twisted humor to get this one. If you can, you'll find there's more than enough laughs to make this worth the watch, however I think true appreciation of Magical Wich Punie-chan comes with the hardcore fighting action.
The hallmark of the humor is basically the extreme contrast between the apparence of a magical girl show, and the grim brutal reality of things surrounding the magical kingdom. For example Punie's first encounter with cute puppy like companion Paya-tan in "Exciting Mascot Village" might sound adorable, but it was more like an apocalyptic old west brawl. The characters aren't anything new, but fit in perfectly with the theme.
The similarities are easy to see between this and Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan, and both titles had common ground in staff who worked on each. While somewhat similar in approach, Dokuro-chan was over dependent on its shock value, and felt like a one trick pony. By toning down the extreme contrast, and not attempting to making graphic violence silly, Punie-chan feels better constructed. Punie-chan is more refined with better characters, a story which is as good as the magical girl stuff it parodies, and is less offensive. But if you want extreme, it's still hard to top the Bludgeoning Angel.
Magical Witch Punie-chan is often billed as a magical girl parody, but this title parodies a wide variety of material, from samurai drama, school slice of life anime, and explicitly Inital D at one point. A more general appreciation for satire will go a long way for this title, assuming you get where the references are coming from.
Weird silliness aside, I liked the action in this anime. Modern anime is mostly filled with implied "flashes" of action, but Magical Witch Punie-chan is technically exceptional with accurate renditions of pro wrestling moves. They're not high frame rate elaborate sequences, but they are well choreographed and thought out. I'm half tempted to rate this as excellent just because Punie uses the Camel Clutch (most awesome move ever fyi). While intended to provide contrast for comedy, it's kick ass in its own right. About the only thing Punie chan is missing fight wise is... mercy. I guess in the magical kingdom people haven't submitted until you've broken many bones in multiple places.
Magical Witch Punie-chan is now available in a "special edition". It features a conspicuously more ominous cover which I'm supposing is to discourage parents getting it for little kids. (Those stories about "I thought Fist of the North Star was an cartoon about astronomy and bought it for my 1st grader son" never get old). This version also includes a dub which is decent, but I think Japanese is the way to go for this series. The contrast in Punie's voice when she's cute or in "business mode" is a major point in this anime, and it just didn't happen in the dub. Also her voice gets this reverb effect when she's calling out her moves, and "Princess Choke Sleeper" sounds way cooler with a slight echo. The special edition has short extra episodes where, Punie's friend visits the magical kingdom and sees for herself what kind of cute yet brutal world the princess comes from. Not much to say about these episodes aside from "oh mah god, the unicorns..."
I'm totally the target audience for this show, so keep that in mind. In the beginning I wondered what kind of silly lame cute show I had gotten myself into, but by the end of the first episode I thought this anime was one of the most awesome things ever. EVER. It's random, it's weird, and it's pretty brutal. I'd highly recommend it to some, but you'll have to decide for yourself if this is the kind of title for you. It's certainly not for everyone.
Anego: W-What's with those simple but painful looking moves?
Punie: Striking is unnecessary in a fight. A champion uses submission holds!
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