If you told me that I would be tearing my hair out in excitement at 4am in the morning after reading Punch Line’s synopsis, I would’ve laughed at you. But oh, my goodness.
Remember that post I did about not judging an ecchi by its cover? Ladies in gentleman, I might have found the perfect example.
After escaping a bus hijacking with the help of masked superhero Strange Juice, Yuuta Iridatsu finds his soul separated from his body and in the care of a perverse cat spirit, Chiranosuke. As a spirit, Yuuta wanders around his residence, the Korai House, aiming to regain his body and observe the other residents: Meika Daihatsu, a genius inventor; Mikatan Narugino, a cheerful idol; Ito Hikiotani, a shut-in NEET; and Rabura Chichibu, a spiritual medium. After catching a glimpse of Narugino’s undergarments, Chiranosuke reveals to Yuuta that he becomes exponentially stronger upon seeing panties. However, if he sees another pair while he is still a spirit, his power will cause an asteroid to crash into the earth, ending the world and killing his friends.
Punch Line follows Yuuta as he unravels the mysteries surrounding Korai House, its residents, and a villainous organization attempting to end the world. Will Yuuta be able to save everyone, or will the ever-present threat of panties result in their doom? (From MyAnimeList)
After that synopsis, I was excited. The entire premise sounded ridiculous. Not quite trashy, but ridiculous, yes.
And I was correct. It was ridiculous. But my goodness, it was also absolutely incredible.
Now, the ecchi is still a big focus of the show. After all, the main character, Yuuta, gets his ‘super powers’ every time he views a pair of underwear. When this is a central part of the plot, you have to come to expect a generous amount of panty shots. However, this is a perfect example of ecchi adding to an already good plot, rather than being there for the sake of selling a few more figurines.
A plot? I hear you say. Can there really be that good of a plot?
Punch Line is a difficult show to talk about, not because I have nothing to say. But because the show really does take such a drastic change in direction around a quarter of the way through. I went in expecting comedy, and whilst I was given comedy…I also got a broken heart and a headache from thinking so hard about everything thrown at me.
Without ruining any plot points that Punch Line, the best way I can think to explain the direction it went in would be to name some anime I was reminded of whilst watching it:
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Zankyou no Terror
Every one of the listed anime has been heralded at some point for doing something special, and I believe that it’s time that Punch Line got a special mention too.
It can be difficult to do a complete 180 (or at least a 90 degree) change in genre part way through a show, especially one with such a silly premise to begin with, but Punch Line really pulls it off not only well, but to the extent that I think that it wouldn’t have been nearly as good had it not started off how it had.
I know it’s common for many to try the ‘three episode rule’ with anime, but for Punch Line, I’m begging you to stick it out until at least when you sense that something is changing. Because believe me when I say, the change is for the better.
My rating – 9/10
Will you be checking out Punch Line? And if you’ve already seen it, what did you think? Do you enjoy genre twist anime?
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Until next time!