Anime Spotlight: Magical Witch Punie-chan

Magical Witch Punie-chan is an eight-episode anime OVA series based on the manga series by Hideki Ohwada. Each episode is roughly 12 minutes in length. The anime was directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and was produced by Studio Barcelona. The OVA was released in Japan between March 3, 2006 and October 21, 2008. As of this writing, no one holds the North American distribution rights for Magical Witch Punie-chan. Because of this, I had to watch fansubs of the anime on YouTube.

Punie Tanaka is the main character of the series, and she is a young princess of Magical Land. In order to become the queen, Punie must go to Earth and become a transfer student in a Japanese high school. During the series, there are several enemies who follow Punie and try to assassinate her. Among them are her younger twin sisters, Pyun and Potaru. Unfortunately for the assassins, Punie not only has magical powers, but she is also skilled in martial arts. Punie has a magic rod that looks a lot like a candy cane. While looking sweet and innocent, she uses the following incantation to activate her rod: “Lyrical Tokarev, Kill Them All.” And this “Jeckyl and Hyde” routine is a core part of Punie’s character and is an important component of the series.

Paya-Tan is Punie’s companion from Magical Land. Paya-Tan kind of looks like a dog, except for the fact that he has a single horn coming out of his head. He became Punie’s mascot after she defeated him in combat with her Princess Head Lock. However, after that defeat, Paya-Tan swore that he would try to kill her. During the series, he will act cute one minute, and then turn around and attempt to assassinate her.

Magical Witch Punie-chan is a parody of magical princess anime, and the series often uses a juxtaposition of cute characters with brutal violence. With these qualities, it goes without saying that there are shots with blood included. There are also some panty shots, especially in the re-used footage when Punie casts her incantation for her magic rod. I would also go so far and refer to this series as being an “absurdist comedy.”

When it comes to the violence, I was the most uncomfortable with students being shot at with guns during the sports festival in Episode 9 and having this being played for laughs. In this day and age of shootings in America, especially school shootings, I simply can’t find any humor in this particular scene.

I have to say that while I understand that Magical Witch Punie-chan is meant to be a parody, I found it to be over the top. I especially found the talking vegetables being willing to sacrifice themselves to be added to a curry to be a little disturbing.

I also noticed some in jokes in the first couple of stories. In the first story, when Punie helps with improving a curry at the school festival, characters who resemble the father and son from Oishinbo are tasting the curry and commenting on it. In the second story, when Punie tells a friend about getting Paya-Tun at a mascot town, the friend imagines famous Japanese mascots, such as Doraemon; however, the faces are blurred. There may have been other references in the series as well, but I either missed them or they didn’t make an impression on me.

I have to admit that I’m personally not a fan of this kind of absurdist humor. However, I’m not going to say that this series is bad simply because I don’t particularly care for this kind of anime. Even though I might not have cared for it, I still recognize that it’s actually well-made for what it is, and I think viewers who are fans of absurdist comedy and parodies will find something to enjoy in Magical Witch Punie-chan.

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