ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Anime Reviews: Paniponi Dash

Updated on July 22, 2016
2005; Director: Akiyuki Shinbo; Studio: GANSIS/SHAFT
2005; Director: Akiyuki Shinbo; Studio: GANSIS/SHAFT

Momotsuki Academy is a very strange place to go to school. The teachers are weird, the classrooms look more like studio soundstages, and there’s a cat living inside the vending machines claiming to be God.

They’ve just hired a new homeroom teacher for class 1-C—little Rebecca Miyamoto, an eleven-year-old prodigy fresh out of MIT. Her first day at her new job gets off to a rocky start when she oversleeps and turns up late to her first period, and that’s before she meets her new students, a class of thirty or so of whom you only need to know six: Rei the schemer, Miyako the brainiac, Himeko the spaz, Kurumi the plain-Jane, Sayaka a.k.a. “Number Six” the good girl, and Ichijo the class rep who’s more than a little unusual. Add to this Mesousa, a rabbit with low self-esteem, an endangered lizard thing, and some aliens watching over them all from orbit, and you have either Madoka Magica director Akiyuki Shinbo’s 2005 series Paniponi Dash or a Disney Channel sitcom on crack cocaine, LSD and caffeine pills. Judging from the fact that it’s from Japan, it’s more likely the former of the two.

It is very easy to draw comparisons between this show and Azumanga Daioh—they both feature six Japanese high school girls, a bratty teacher and an omnipresent cat, and at least one of them has skipped a few grades, and much of the humor comes from gags entirely out of left field—but that is where the similarities end. As random as AzuDai gets, barring the occasional appearance of Chiyo-Dad, it is still fairly grounded in reality. Paniponi Dash, however, is just random. There isn’t much of an overall plot to it; every episode is fairly standalone and chuck full of non sequiturs and trans-Pacific pop culture references (one of the reasons I chose not to exchange my ADV singles for FUNimation’s box set—one version has pop-uptext blurbs that explain the more obscure Asian references, the other does not.) Not to mention they throw little things in the background in every scene--every NPC student might look like a potted plant or a stuffed animal, the scribblings on the chalkboard in classroom scenes change with every cut away, there are fourth-wall gags where some of the “stage crew” are accidentally in shot. So if anything, it’s more like a shoujo Excel Saga.

Also like Excel Saga, the show is no stranger to recurring jokes. There are catch phrases such as Himeko punctuating every other sentence with “maho” and Number Six saying “something something of the year” on numerous occasions, and other repeated gags are peppered throughout--Mesousa gets confused or depressed, Becky runs crying and hides behind a curtain whenever her feelings are hurt, Kurumi mopes in the rabbit hutch whenever somebody calls her plain, et cetera. Around the halfway point these gags gets a little tiring, but fortunately around episode nineteen it starts picking up steam again, and even develops some continuity towards the end.

Another way the show is different from AzuDai is its use of a much larger cast. While Azumanga Daioh has a very small group of main characters, Paniponi Dash occasionally cuts away from class 1-C to peek in on one of three other first year classes, each with students and teachers just as eccentric as the main seven, including an old geezer, a magical girl, a maid, a drama nerd, a klutz, a fanatical animal lover, a pair of identical twins, an investigative reporter, and an alcoholic teacher among others. The character diversity inherent here is good for the show, as each distinct personality bounces off another and keeps it interesting. And let’s not forget about the aliens…

You can pretty much pick and choose your favorite things about this show: favorite episode (the mecha parody in episode 25), favorite main character (Ichijo), favorite side character (the twins). Whether it’s the characters, the cuteness, the self-aware humor, or just the rampant weirdness, there is always at least one thing about Paniponi Dash which keeps it entertaining.


Completely random, non sequitur humor and large, diverse cast keep things interesting
Some gags get repetitive; contains pop culture references that may be obscure to foreign audiences

Paniponi Dash: awesome or crap?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)