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Anime / Pani Poni Dash!

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Rebecca Miyamoto. Born of an American father and a Japanese mother. Graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the youngest graduate in the school's history. She then returned to Japan to become a high school teacher. However... she was only 10 years old at the time!

That's just the beginning. Rebecca's class consists of six students and several cloned extras, and she also has to deal with the general mayhem that ensues at Momotsuki Academy. Did we mention that she's accompanied by a mopey, luckless rabbit named Mesousa, and is being monitored by aliens? Then there's the strange cat-like creature who claims to be a god, likes to hide in vending machines and keep the sodas warmed-over with his body heat, and seems to be following Rebecca and her class...

It's a Studio Shaft, reference-a-minute, madcap comedy series best described as early Negima! Magister Negi Magi meets Excel♡Saga. It was based on the manga Pani Poni by Hekiru Hikawa, which was serialized in Square Enix's Monthly GFantasy magazine from 2000 to 2011. The anime was originally licensed by the fine folks at ADV Films, and is now licensed by FUNimation.

This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Ichijou is well and able to subdue ninja, bungee jump with her hair, infiltrate spaceships, attack people with strings, summon the rain, create Hammerspace boxes and turn them into a plot device, and even plays a mean shamisen where she manages to break the strings without even strumming it.
  • Adaptation Title Change: Pani Poni Dash is the anime adaptation of the manga Pani Poni.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Becky, ten year old teacher, is both adorable and precocious for sure.
  • The Alcoholic:
    Mr. Saotome: You were out drinking again last night, weren't you?
    Miss Igarashi: No, actually, it was this morning.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Ichijou. She has a body count and often willingly makes everything worse for everybody, but it's hard to tell if she's actually "evil" or just crazy.
  • And the Rest:
    Rebecca: Well, before I send you all home for the day, I should probably get around to taking attendance, so is there a Miyako Uehara here today? Sayaka Suzuki. Himeko Katagiri. Rei Tachibana. Kurumi Momose. And everybody else.
    Rei: That's efficient.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call attention to Miyako's rather-large forehead, she might just burn you with the reflection off of it. Also, don't call her a "worm". In fact, on most days saying more than two words to her will piss her off.
  • Big Red Button: Ichijo has one on the back of her neck. Himeko presses it. Square Enix explodes.
  • Black Comedy: Characters die sometimes...then are brought back in the next. However, it can also zig-zag; the 14th episode has the 1-C class being blown up, by only being slightly burned, with poofy hair, but in the 18th episode, after a bomb blows up, we don't see if they're okay or not...
  • Blush Sticker: Many of the characters have them sometimes, but Mesousa has it almost all the time.
  • Butt-Monkey: Otome (thanks to Shiratori) and Kurumi are the main victims. But don't worry, everyone has a moment of this.
  • Censor Steam: In the form of clinging hair and a very conveniently mobile rubber ducky during the bath scene on episode 4.
  • Character Blog: The most notable PPD Twitter accounts include Becky, Kurumi, Sayaka, Otome, Nanjo, Hibiki and Media.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Happens when Ichijou's little sister accidentally being teleported onto the alien's ship apparently results in Class 1-C contracting a mysterious virus in the next episode, and a mushroom that appears on Himeko's head in THAT episode is revealed to be an alien that possesses her body in the episode after that. Neither give any indication that they're going to be important in the next episode, and can be easily lost amongst the numerous sight gags.
    • Also, the Ichijou Festival. Originally just a bizarre creation by Ichijou that pops up from time to time and occasionally eats somebody, but by the end of the anime it grows to humongous size and tries to destroy the Earth.
  • Chest Blaster: Rei gets boob missiles during the dream sequence episode. She's not happy about it. Rei's mad mainly because Himeko grabbed her and shouted out said attack, when Rei was trying to think up of one of her own. Himeko's extremely fortunate they couldn't remember what happened when they woke up.
  • The Chew Toy: Mesousa, sometimes literally, and Himeko at times.
  • Child Prodigy: Becky, of course; ten year old with a teaching degree.
  • Chuunibyou: Behoimi acts like a Magical Girl, though she grows out of it over the course of the series.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ichijo once cut a conversation with Miyako short by rocketing into the stratosphere, and when Miyako caught up with her again and mentioned it, she went "What are you talking about?"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: When Miyako did an episode preview she starts to degrade into yelling "Dammit!" at the end of every sentence. In fact, this happened twice.
  • Cool Car: Miss Igarashi drives a 60's British sports car known as an MGB, though the series mistakenly calls it a Midget. They are two very incredibly similar looking vehicles, but cool nonetheless.
  • Corner of Woe: Call Kurumi "plain", and she'll retreat to the rabbit hutch, to sulk with the bunnies, while mumbling "la la lu". She's also been known to slowly turn invisible, when a rabbit hutch isn't readily available.
    • She instead gets pretty annoyed being called that by the second half of the anime, but no longer gets depressed.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Yuzuku Kuruso is one with her and Akane in a strange relationship of friendship without the customes but natural enemies in costume due to the war between drama and film club. Her rooster costume also gets passed around to other characters.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: While most of the jokes are based around Japanese pop culture and anime, there are moments where people like Colonel Sanders and Chuck Norris are mentioned.
    • Among many others. This is, after all, Studio SHAFT.
      "Hey Rei, what's a Chuck Norris?"
    • Episode 15 has Himeko imagining their bus crashing onto the Discworld
  • Custom Uniform: Girls have the option of wearing neckties or bows of varying sizes. Some girls also wear cardigans of different colors. Legwear is evidently not regulated, as girls have different socks or stockings at different lengths and colors.
    • Behoimi's "Magical Girl" costume is actually just a pink-and-white version of the school's yellow-and-blue uniform, just with different accessories.
    • Misao wears an almost-all-white version of the uniform, with just a little blue trim.
    • Rei starts wearing a plain white shirt with necktie, beginning in episode 9.
    • Media joins the school in the same episode, and simply wears a maid's uniform. She does briefly wear a regular uniform in episode 26, though, by forcing Behoimi to switch with her.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon
    Behoimi: So the long-awaited teacher has finally arrived? Come on lets go check her out, guys!
    [the class begins to march out single file]
    Old Geezer: You step one foot out that door and I'll be standing by your pillow every night!
    [the class stops and begins to march single file backwards]
    Old Geezer: What a damn buncha cowards.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Episode 8 is entirely about Behoimi as she comes to realise that she's not a real magical girl.
    • Episode 10 is Behoimi (again) and Media, revealing a Mysterious Past between them, as well as saving the school from bombs.
    • Episode 19 is almost entirely about Class D.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: One episode had a segment that was possibly inspired by Schindler's List, where everything was black and white except for the girls' uniform ties and Mesousa's bandana.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The United States Defense Department of Defense.
  • Depending on the Writer: The last 4 episodes written by Sarah Alys Lindholm and Christine Auten (voice of Mesousa, and even directs these episodes) on the english dub goes into this direction by making the dialogue more looser than usual. Here's a sample from the most notably changed epsiode, the 26th episode:
    Rei: (snaps fingers) Too cool for school, daddy-o.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Happens in episode 25.
  • Digging to China: At one point, the cast went through the Earth and ended up in Brazil — just in time for the Carnivale.
    • When Media said "bottomless quicksand", she wasn't kidding.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: An adorable and very polite little girl named Taeko, a "Jinx in Training," asked Mesousa if he could "please be unhappy" for her. She ends up placing a bomb on his forehead without him realizing it. Over the course of the episode, Becky, Behoimi, and Medea use Serazawa as a test dummy to develop a way to remove the bomb. By the end of the episode, they find Mesousa and tell him they found a way to safely remove the bomb! All the other girls start praising Becky for being the little genius that she is.... *BOOM*
  • Emergency Impersonation: Played straight in that Rebecca disappears just as the PTA are about to sit in during her class and her loyal students all but force Serizawa to use her magnificent drama club skills to impersonate Becky at the last minute, or as Akane herself thinks, a "kagemusha". This trope is also subverted in that Rebecca had been present all along, using her disguise skills to appear as various other members of the cast (finally revealing herself as the school principal that was part of the PTA). This is revealed in a sequence that pays homage to Cutey Honey. She did this because she hated such visits from the PTA.
  • Emoticon: The show makes good use of 2chan emoticons. Especially on Kurumi's face when she's so absolutely befuddled that she has no clue what's going on, or when depicting certain periods of Japan's history.
  • Emotionless Girl: Ichijo, though you might want to also tack Beware the Quiet Ones on there as well. She has no qualms about killing or leaving people to be killed whenever she has the chance.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Old Geezer. It's suggested in one episode his name might actually be Old Geezer (Watanuki was too disinterested to do more research on him).
    • Played straight with Alien Captain and his two Alien Subordinates. And Ichijou's little sister.
  • Evil Chef: Ichijo kills Mesousa by the end of the first episode with her poisoned sweet rice dumplings. But hey, this IS Ichijo we're talking about here....
  • Evolving Credits: Every closing sequence has subtle differences per episode, whether it's new chibis for the first sequence, or shuffling the playing cards around for the third and bookending it with two new tarot cards.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Rebecca is TERRIFIED when people have eyes on their hands, so her students use stickers to take advantage of this.
  • Fanservice: From each of the main girls at various points; Rei gets it the most (white dress shirt + exploding soda = strategic nudity), while the Kashiwagi Twins are practically made for it.
  • Forehead of Doom: Miyako. Himeko takes this to its logical extreme in her dreams.
  • For the Evulz: Taeko, the Jinx Trainee, plants a bomb on Mesousa because she's training to make people be unhappy. She even asks him if she's doing a good job at making him unhappy. She's very polite about it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The chalk board gags, among other things.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Misao Nanjo is an extreme animal lover with many, many exotic pets that she often brings to school, ranging from crocodiles to giraffes to kangaroos. In one episode, she's convinced her father is a fish.
  • Funny Background Event: Though, in fact, the scenes with the production crew place them in the foreground...
  • Gag Series
  • Gag Sub: Used in episode 22 as a joke itself, where the scenes frequently shift to an isometric RPG view, complete with text boxes and character portraits. By the end of the episode, the text boxes are having a completely different conversation from the characters.
  • Genki Girl: Himeko.
  • Genre Savvy: Nanjo. She notices most characters' stereotypes.
    • Done with Behoimi on the beginning of episode 8.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One of them appears in episode 15. It was noted later that Ichijou's sister could have convinced it to get them off of the cliff.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: Happens a few times across the series, but first off in the 2nd episode when Kurumi is shocked when Becky called her boring.
  • Gonk: Yankee is the trope picture, dotcom.
  • Great Detective: Himeko dresses up and acts like Sherlock Holmes in the OVA.
  • Greek Chorus: The aliens.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Kurumi getting a cold on the 23th episode. Doubles as Nightmare Fuel.
  • Honest Axe
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Suzune and Zola. Zola, particularly, is gigantically muscular and incredibly masculine in appearance, in addition to being the school's best athlete. Interesting to note is that she barely appears in the series.
  • Humble Goal: Ichijo claims her ultimate desire is to be a domestic kind of woman, like her mother. This is probably the most ordinary anything she ever did in the show.
  • Humongous Mecha: It only appears in a few episodes, but there is a giant mecha called Pani Poni X.
    • Also there's the upgraded version Pani Poni X Turbo R.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes
  • Idiot Crows: Shows up in a dream of Himeko's, but they have her cowlick on their heads and say "Maho! Maho!"
  • Idiot Hair: Himeko.
    • This is actually her most distinctive physical trait and is central to the story in multiple episodes.
  • I'll Kill You!/Ineffectual Death Threats: A running gag that is more noticeable in the english dub version. Becky's line below is a small example.
    • Miyako LOVES this. She always theatens to kill someone due to her rage, but of course, she never really gets the rage get to her too much.
      • She was seen almost choking Kurumi on the 9th episode, however.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Mostly averted, in that there's no male students in Class 1-C. There are, however, 2 male students and 2 male teachers... and 1 Mesousa.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Becky.
  • Jerkass: Suzune, Becky, Miyako, Rei, and the cat in the vending machine.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Episode 12 sends the class into Himeko's head.
  • Karma Houdini: Just because she can, Ichijo creates the "Ichijo Festival", which is basically an entire universe existing within a fruit box. It later ends up being a threat to the entire planet, so it's up to Class 1-C to put a stop to it. Does anyone ever blame Ichijo for creating it or try to punish her for it? HELL NO.
    • She does get pulled out from the scene in case she ruins an emotional scene. She also indeed has slapsticky moments every once in a while.
  • King of All Cosmos: The cat. (Maybe?)
  • Large Ham: Many of Nanjo's interactions with Tsurugi are her playing up the scene for as much (non-existent) drama as it's worth.
    • Himeko, as well. The dub pushes her hamminess even further.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Becky.
  • Living Prop: Parodied with the background students.
  • Magical Girl: Behoimi. Well, not really — she's just deluded into believing she is and wrote a convoluted backstory for herself as one. Probably.
    • This is really subverted since she's not actually a magical girl and comes to realize this during the anime ridding herself of the pink hair, magical girl outfit, etc. Of course, it's then played straight when she actually does become a magical girl in the spinoff manga series.
  • Mascot: Mesousa is a parody of the cute mascot character.
  • Master of Disguise: Akane Serizawa has impersonated others with such accuracy that would make The Chameleon proud. Though, her Cat-ears hair tends to stick out.
  • Meganekko: Rei, Miyako, eventually Behoimi, sometimes Becky, and sometimes Serizawa.
    • Serizawa became one when she became a stand-in for Becky.
  • Meido: Media; additionally, the entirety of class 1-C don maid outfits for the school festival, as they are running a "Fighting Maid Cafe".
  • The Men in Black: Mister Incredible Bruce looks like Tommy Lee Jones.
  • Meta Guy: Miyako often points out the insanity only to have everyone else shrug and dismiss it out of hand. This happens to Kurumi sometimes, as well.
  • Motive Rant: Miyata has a total nervous breakdown that quickly turns into one of these when she hears that, in mysteries, it's always the least conspicuous person — even though she doesn't fit the profile and didn't actually do anything.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Rei will think of anything to help turn a profit. Even if it means selling coffee made from used, week-old coffee grounds.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rei Tachibana.
  • Mysterious Past: Media.
    • In the early part of the series, Behoimi would have you believe she's a magical girl from the Magical Kingdom; later it's revealed that this is bunk. Media and Behoimi have, however, apparently served in "The Organization" and worked together on "The Battlefield." It's never explained what they did, but this has seemingly led to their advanced knowledge of weaponry.
  • Naďve Everygirl: Sayaka Suzuki, alias Rokugo: Number 6.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Tsurugi. Inugami.
  • Negative Continuity: Surprisingly averted for a comedy series. There's a lot of handwaving, but a lot of plot elements from earlier episodes are referenced in later ones.
  • Nerd Glasses: Rei. More so in the manga than in the anime.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ichijou sometimes seems to do this deliberately.
  • No Fourth Wall: Occasionally the camera reveals them to be on a TV set, using a production crew, or at least using a lighting rig. A banner in Episode 9 welcomes the Pani Poni Dash film crew to the island; the crew can be seen shadowing the main characters throughout the episode.
    • The anime series itself does NOT break the fourth wall by referencing the audience, its voice actors, or that it's an animated production.
    • The characters themselves DO break the fourth wall in recognizing every once in a while that they're in a show — such as Himeko crashing into the camera in the first episode, Becky mentioning the number of episodes left near the end of the series and Kurumi hearing, then talking to the narrator in episode 23.
    • From the first episode:
    Rei (turns to the direction of the viewer): Have you ever wondered what the hell happens in this school?
  • No Name Given: The Alien Captain and his subordinates, and also lampshaded. One scene confirms that they have names, they just don't use them.
  • Not Himself: Himeko in episode 20, after the mushroom that has inexplicably replaced her cowlick (Don't Ask) gets punched repeatedly by Rei, then shocked with a million volts by Ichijo.
  • Only Six Faces
    • Played with with Giant Salamander, who has a different voice in each appearance in both Japanese and English dubs.
  • Physical God: Lord Cat-Sama. He is God, after all. He just likes to live in a vending machine. He also likes eat living cans with his VERY long prehensile tongue. Also, the cans scream for their life!
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The Kashiwagi Twins. Yuma is an extreme extrovert, Yuna is an extreme introvert. Yuma maliciously sabotages Yuna's hopes of being more accepted just to stay in the spotlight herself.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • Becky has an extreme emergency in the episode "Even a Thoroughbred has its Habits" while holding a time bomb.
    • Otome repeatedly gets diarrhea because of a Pressure Point.
  • Precision B-Strike
    Kurumi: After all that bitching, she's added to the discussion.
    • Later in episode 11.
      Miyako: Don't call me a worm, you bitch.
    • And then there's Nanjo and Serizawa calling each other bitches in the English dub of episode 19.
  • Puni Plush
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Akane Serizawa tries to leave after masquerading as a NASA robot agent.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Regal Ringlets: Misao Nanjo.
  • Rocket Punch: Somehow, Akane Serizawa can do this in her Roboko costume.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: Hibiki Watanuki, who considers herself a three-in-one reporter/detective/spy.
  • The Scream
  • Serious Business:
    • There have been several all-out wars within the Film Club about what film medium to use. Not to mention the intense rivalry spanning generations between the Film club and the Drama Club.
    • In the School Festival episode, Rei sees the cafe as a financial endeavor to make lots of money and obsesses over various cheap methods to earn maximum profit. She even says, "As long as there is monetary transactions involved, this is serious business!"
  • Ship Tease: Misao Nanjo and Tsurugi Inugami. The two clearly have a Tsundere-ish thing going on in the show proper, but the ending theme of episode 9 probably had the most explicit case—during the "A B C!" part, Misao and Tsurugi both show up, Tsurugi looking backwards at Misao, who has roses surrounding her face and smiling in a flirty manner, Tsurugi seemingly blushing in response. As always at that particular point in the song, a giant heart appears in the center of the screen...
  • Shout-Out: Almost constant. At least 50 per episode if you count all the chalkboard references.
  • Slapstick: Himeko often receives physical abuse from Rei, Miyako, Becky and was also once received a Suzune karate chop. Otome is usually on the receiving end of Suzune's chops. Serizawa is also blown up quite a few times.
  • Something about a Rose: Nanjo's face is perpetually framed by roses in one episode. The frame even follows her around as she moves.
  • The Stinger: Used in almost every episode in between the credits and the next episode preview, and is typically reserved for some bizarre Shout-Out.
  • Stylistic Self-Parody
  • Super-Deformed: At least a quarter of pretty much any given episode is spent with the characters Super-Deformed.
    • Ichijo's little sister is Super-Deformed by nature.
    • There's the first closing sequence, "Girluppi", which features characters in all their chibi-chibi glory.
    • Even when she's not SD, it's a rare occasion when Ichijo's face isn't locked in a noseless SD expression with black circles for eyes.
    • Becky usually does this whenever she cries.
  • Supreme Chef: Rei is a damn good cook. She can make any Chinese food with enough firewood. After all, Chinese food is all about firepower! She's even good at substituting ingredients in a pinch. Poor giant salamander....
  • Surreal Theme Tune: The three openings get progressively weirder. See for yourself:
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Episode 1.
    Alien Captain: ...Hmm? ...I wasn't sleepin'! I've been awake this whole time! I was... just restin' my eyes, man!
    Alien Subordinate: Let me give you some time to think up a better excuse.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the OVA, Media and Behoimi set up a booby-trap to prevent Team Fail from kicking the can. The trap consists of M18 Claymore anti-personnel mines, an infantry mortar, a grenade launcher, and two tactical robots (one mounted with a machine gun and another shaped like a small tank), all sensor-activated. Once again, this was all to stop the other team from kicking a can.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Becky.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: There are at least three:
    • Serizawa and Kuruzu fits the trope the most.
    • Behoimi and Media. Not so much, but Behoimi is not that very girly after quitting being a Magical Girl anyway.
    • Otome and Suzune
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Himeko loves crab. Well, sort of; the stuff she eats is of the artificial, canned variety, and she has no idea what real crab tastes like.
  • Verbal Tic: Several, particularly Himeko, who is possibly the example. "Himeko Katagiri, maho!"
    • Also her habit of attaching "omega-" and, less frequently, "mach-" to words.
    • Yankee likes to add "dotcom" to the end of his sentences.
    • Kami-sama likes to add "nya" to the end of his sentences, the same for the giant salamander and "kero" and the Tanuki with "nyansu."
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Ichijo tends to keep her little sister tucked away inside her shirt. It bothers Miyako.
  • Wacky Homeroom
  • Weirdness Coupon: "Don't worry about it. It's Ichijou."
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Mesousa has a number of crossdressing scenes, usually trying to pass himself off as another student... usually while in the presence of that student. The Tanuki qualifies as well, though he never fools anyone.
  • Wingding Eyes: Himeko gets a perpetual case of starburst-eyes when she's possessed by the mushroom alien.
  • Word Salad Title: Particularly since "Pani" and "Poni" went untranslated.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Sayaka does an Argentine Backbreaker in the dreamworld. Everyone else present is rather unimpressed that this was the most fantastic special attack she could think of, since they were shooting forehead lasers and boob missiles.
    • Serizawa/Roboko does a German Suplex at one point.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Ichijou, the Class Representative, appears to have inexplicable (and unexplained) powers that ignore the laws of physics, reality, and sanity. For example, she once cut a conversation with Miyako short by rocketing into the stratosphere. When Miyako caught up with her again and mentioned it, she went "What are you talking about?"
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Class 1-C contracts a mysterious virus, Rebecca and Class 1-D attempt to find the original carrier. Unfortunately, 1-D starts trying to use Mystery Tropes to find him/her, blaming Akira for being a minor character and thus the one everyone would least suspect, and then Rebecca herself for bringing up the whole issue in the first place, and thus also the one everyone would least suspect.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Just when Mesousa is being respected and celebrated by Becky and her students for supposedly shrinking Ichijo's little sister back to normal, the space aliens retcon the entire scene to cover their own mistake, relegating the rabbit back to Butt-Monkey status.
    Alien Captain: Well, that's just a rabbit.
  • You Are Number 6: Sayaka is sometimes referred to as "Number 6" or "Rokugou" due to being the sixth girl named Suzuki at the school.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pani Poni


Pani Poni Dash!

Becky gets one at the worst time possible.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / PottyEmergency

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