This is one of the more complicated, convoluted shows I have seen, up there with “Mekakucity Actors”, “Steins;Gate” and “Chaos;Head” in that you are not really certain what is going on. The fact and/or problem that it also has to deal with the concepts of time travel, physical possession and grand conspiracies make “Punch Line” (“Panchi Rain”) a rather hard show to follow.
Yūta Iridatsu (the only boy up there) lives at the Korai House apartment complex with four girls (left to right): Rabura Chichibu, Meika Daihatsu, Ito Hikiotani, and Mikatan Narugino. One day, following a bus-jacking incident, Yūta finds himself ejected from his own body and becoming a ghost of some sort. Guided by the cat spirit Chiranosuke, Yūta must learn to master his spirit powers in order to protect his housemates from the various circumstances they find themselves in. However, if Yūta sees a girl’s panties twice in a row, the Earth will be destroyed by a meteor. OK, that sounds simple, but the execution is lumpy. It doesn’t help that we are seemingly trapped within the same time frame (December 21 to 31) and unable to correct or change the circumstances.
Also, with Yuta a ghost for the first half of the show and Chiranosuke really a huge caliber of tyrant, this makes for a confusing situation. We slowly learn the rules and logic of this realm he is in, but also the limitations that he has.
It is difficult to explain this show without being a spoiler to the hidden tales and the secret lives that all these ladies lead, plus the sordid background that binds some of them together, but Yuta is charged with a tremendous task that only he can achieve and must achieve or else, it’s all for naught.
It’s just that the story line is scattered to the four winds and it almost appears that things are set up in a confusing manner so that we can explain things better when we get a caliber of mulligan to try and make things work. This show really takes a lot of effort to watch and events and actions are sometimes done just to show they can be done. If things were more coherent and less chaotic, this could have been a better series than it was. If you did like the Semi-Colon shows (that is my collective term for “Chaos;Head”, “Steins;Gate” and “Robotic;Notes”), then you will like this series a lot, as you have to be diligent in watching.
Another concern is the art style, which is rather free-wheeling and reminded me of “Fooly Cooly”, not only in approach, but execution. This may also be the only series that I recommend that instead of watching two episodes back-to-back, you may want to watch the same episode twice, just so you can understand things a mote better. Things come at you fast and furious and it is quite easy to miss something that becomes germane in a later episode.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Bright and energetic)
Plot 6 (Not as solid as you might think)
Pacing 7 (Can get really frenetic)
Effectiveness 6 (Too many loose ends)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 6 (Really hard to follow)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You must find the Nandala Gandala.
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