Punch Line Review

Action, Panties, Superheroes, and perverted cats. Sounds like the synopsis for something many would avoid like the plague. Surprisingly enough, it’s an amazing case of bait and switch that many people didn’t see coming, and many unfortunately will never experience. A great show amidst a pervy start?

Screenshot 2015-04-10 18.51.22Synopsis
After a busjacking incident, Yuta finds himself separated from his own body and stuck trying to solve the mystery behind the spirit that has taken control of it.  While watching and interacting with the four girls who live at his apartment complex, he learns of an odd ability that he holds and the fate of human kind.

If he’s aroused by panties, he gains super human strength.  However if he sees too much, the world is struck by a meteor.  As confusing as that is, it only gets worst as he soon discovers that there’s a plot to cover up the meteor that comes to destroy Earth, and that the girls would soon find themselves involved in the situation.

Story
As alluded to earlier, Punch Line is a classic and solid case of bait and switch.  Its first 4 episodes were character introductions disguised as silly antics and a bit of ecchi fun.  However this mood shifts substantially as it moves on from this point and begins molding into what the show is truly about.  The serious tones take root, the ecchi humor is only sprinkled in, and the comedy slowly gives way to the bigger picture.

The story begins to bring on the elements of cover ups, murder, possession, and (while jokingly revealed before) the fate of the future.  I found it astonishing that I laughed at the demise of mankind when the first meteorite destroyed mankind, but I grew to dread it later.  The humor I once had for a gimmick changed to a love for the characters and a desire for their survival.

Not only that, but a clever use of time shift mechanics felt natural and fitting for the situation at hand.  Almost a ground hog day scenario that never felt broken or trying to be too smart.  It’s rare for time travel scenarios to feel natural, and it’s even more rare to have time be used and not have holes constantly ruin the storytelling.  It all just worked, and worked well.

Of course a bit of this show takes its credit from a solid cast of characters.  Thanks to a gradual bread-crumbing, we got insights into each character and their circumstances to the story.  Some may be simple cases of “wrong place, wrong time,” while others take the forefront due to their backstory to the overall plot.  Though most of the good tie-ins never really came to light until the later segments of the show to keep the mystic about the entirety.  It’s something I can truly appreciate after its conclusion.

Animation
I never seem to be disappointed by Studio MAPPA (well, perhaps Garo).  They never seem to keep to one style and each of their shows have their own flavor.  Their work with Punch Line is yet another shining example of their great work.  The characters are well animated, the action is fantastic, the use of bright and lively colors are excellent.  Even better than before, their use of CG is very limited here and yet everything remains solid.

Verdict
Studio MAPPA has managed to create yet another fantastic original series.  The only unfortunate side of it is that the first 4 episodes can turn some people away.  Even still, beyond that point, the show really shines into a great story that I truly loved seeing through to its conclusion.  A show that I can easily find myself recommending to people long after it has left the social media circles.

It’s odd because a side of me feels a bit cheated that the ecchi humor was removed pretty early and rarely touched again, but another side of me is glad what it turned into.  For that reason the show feels a bit jarring, however none of this takes away what I got from it in the long run.

Solid characters, great twists and turns, and a conclusion that I never seen coming.  It all just makes me hope that Sentai Filmwork does it justice during its physical distribution.  Love Chunibyo / No Game No Life style Collector’s Edition please?

Want to check it out? Sentai Filmworks has licensed distribution but it is also currently streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

THUMBS UP!

REVIEW VERDICT:
Great!

Goods:

  • Surprising plot twists
  • Fun characters and humor
  • Takes a serious turn
  • Great animation and action

Bads:

  • Its ecchi start may bother some
  • A few slow points
Share on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.