Punchline Episode #05 Anime Review

Punchline Episode #05 Anime Review Ito’s past boils to the surface when Turtle Man returns to Korai House.

What They Say:
If he sees underwear, humanity will be destroyed!? An original anime series from the noitaminA block, PUNCH LINE centers on Yuta Iridatsu, a high school student, with a peculiar habit. When he sees a girl’s panties, he gets so excited he faints! After a certain incident with a ghost cat, his soul gets separated from his body. Using his special powers, Yuta watches the daily lives of the inhabitants of an apartment and sometimes plays tricks on them. Eventually, Yuta decides to unlock the secrets to why Earth will be destroyed and tries to save it!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
What’s this? A fairly restrained episode of Punchline, it seems, unless I’m just getting used to the madness. There was no ridiculously absurd image this time, so I went with a stylish image from the sequence retelling Ito’s bullying at her old school. This episode basically belonged to Ito, what with the title being “Ito Dies,” and it filled out the last bits we didn’t know about her character. It’s overall fairly somber and serious, without any bizarre comedy setups or bizarre animation gimmicks.

The episode opens on Yuta observing Ito’s body, lying dead in the snow at Ishinogari Shrine, apparently somewhere near the premises of Korai House. (From this information it seems that Yuta is not bound within the walls of Korai House, as might have been assumed previously.) He mourns the death of his friend until Chiranosuke reminds him he can travel back in time. He wishes himself back to the early evening of the 29th in order to try and prevent her death.

Once he arrives, he sees Ito reading an email demanding she come to the Shrine if she doesn’t want any other of the people from the urban legend video killed. With thirty minutes to act, Yuta needs to come up with some way to prevent Ito from going to the shrine alone. With cinnamon’s help, Yuta possesses Rabura and shows Mikatan the urban legend video and email. Mikatan is able to get Ito to stay at Korai House and tell her story.

The reason she stopped attending school was due to the bullying she experienced after a teacher drove her home one night after school. A popular girl had a crush on this teacher, and so Ito’s life was made miserable for revenge. Once the girls cut off her previously long hair, Ito stopped going to school, and was then later disowned by her family. The urban legend video was actually created by Ito as a prank meant to scare the girls that bullied her. However, someone appeared to have edited it to include Ito’s own name, and started carrying out the threats to kill those mentioned in the video. Ito feels incredibly guilty for these girls’ deaths.

Mikatan, somewhat surprisingly, also tells Ito of her past at Yuba Labs, where she grew up with another girl and a boy. This triggers Yuta’s own memories, establishing with some certainty that both Mikatan and Yuta were the children at the lab. Yuta was clearly Pine, although his hair color has changed, but it’s somewhat uncertain which girl Mikatan was? In telling Ito her story, she says “I… I mean, we, grew up at Yuba Labs,” so it’s not impossible that she’s some kind of melded version of the two girls, either. When Chiyoko was threatened by a doctor, young Pine “yubafied,” or transformed into a super powered version of himself. Yuta and Mikatan seem to have retained this power to Yubafy even today, although Yuta’s Yubafication is now triggered by seeing panties.

Ito’s life is saved, but the next night, Turtle Man breaks back into Korai House and chains Meika up to once again steal Yuhi the bear. Turtle Man leaves a message for Ito with Meika, saying that the kidnapping is payback for not coming to the shrine. It thus appears that Turtle Man is the one who killed Ito, edited the video, and killed her classmates, although we’re dealing with Uchikoshi, so we can’t be too sure. Regardless, Turtle Man is a serious threat, so to save Ito’s life, Yuta decides to email Turtle Man and lure him into a trap. Using Meika’s inventions to disguise themselves, Meika and Rabura stage an ambush on the roof, but everything goes wrong almost immediately when Rabura’s position, which should be hidden by the cloaking outfit, is given away by snow that’s landed on her. Meika is shot, as is Miyazawa Kenji, who was preparing to save the day just offscreen.

Miyazawa falls from the roof to the ground, where all appears lost. Ito approaches the fallen hero, and when Miyazawa gets a glimpse up her skirt, he powers up. It seems pretty clear that Miyazawa Kenji is Yuta’s physical body, although we still don’t know who exactly is possessing it. Knowing Uchikoshi, it may be a future version of spirit Yuta himself. Or is even that too easy?

Other important things of note:
– Rabura tells Mikatan that a protective charm is missing from her room
– Meika detects noise in her satellite link, and when examining her satellite dish, notices an unusual control panel she seems not to recognize
– Mikatan has a huge jar of the pills we saw her take at the end of the last episode. She only puts two or three in her case at a time, and she’s nowhere near running out like I had presumed.

In Summary:
The episode ends on the night of December 30th, and next week’s preview shows the meteor approaching earth. As the show reaches the halfway mark, it looks as though we’ve ended our first real runthrough of the days approaching the apocalypse. Will the world end, and will Yuta end up going back a week earlier to re-live his earlier experiences? Or will something even more unexpected happen? I’m having a tremendous amount of fun with this show either way.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony VAIO 20″

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