It's difficult to talk about this anime at all without mentioning its far more successful sister program, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan. That anime is a rather witless escapade, repeating the clichés of the ecchi sudden girlfriend genre without satirising them - its sole funny conceit merely being that the abusive side of this cliché is carried to its natural extreme. As geysers of blood are basically the only joke it has, Dokuro-chan is a classic example of diminishing returns.
It is therefore astonishing that the less popular version does everything right that Dokuro-chan got wrong, and in spades. This is a straight-up satire of the magical girl genre, and is so hilariously sadistic and gleefully sharp witted that even someone never exposed to that kind of anime may be in stitches. Subverting the tropes of its genre with aplomb, the humour then even subverts our own expectations of the subversion - or does an expected comic transition with a hysterical gag.
If Dokuro-chan is, at its core, about a good natured girl who just goes a wee bit overboard with the smashing, then Dai Mahou Touge's core values are the burning eyes of Satan staring back at you through hellfire. Alright, that's overstating it just a tad, but this one is the unapologetically black comedy I had so desperately wanted the other to be. Though deliciously dark, it's far too self-evidently silly for anyone to really take offense at.
Bottom line: Unlike far too many comedic anime, this is a finely oiled laugh machine, producing successful set-up after set-up. The premise really should get old. It doesn't.
This isn't a high budget production by any means, but the cheery and cute visuals are an ideally deceptive compliment to the superb humour. Highlights would include the garish, candy-coloured look of Magical Land, and the Mascot Village. The use of CGI when it appears is pretty obvious but not distracting. It was through witnessing one truly insane moment seen in the opening song that I knew I had to see the series - that incident promised so much cheerily savage humour.
The opener is deliberately generic fluff (notable for its twisted lyrics) and the closer is peculiarly mock dramatic, as if someone based a magical girl series off Unforgiven or something. I'm copyrighting that idea right now, so if I see any anime production involving Clint Eastwood in a skirt I will sue. Speaking of Eastwood - well, let's just say there's a wide variety of excellent vocal performances, including one that may call to mind those manly loner types he was once known for.
The simplest thing I could say about the characters would be to laugh a lot. Rare indeed is it that an anime has such an excellent ensemble, and I wouldn't want to say too much so as to spoil many of their introductory jokes. They can be cruel, stupid, treacherous, psychotic, adorable, (or psychotically adorable) but they're almost always sidesplittingly funny. Many are wonderfully skewed takes on various magical girl tropes - and others are, well, really bizarre.
While our heroic magical girl is comic in ways you might expect - and even some you may not - there's another character whose moments are so filled with mirth that this figure practically steals the show. I was admittedly uncertain about the potential of some characters introduced at the start of the show, but they were wisely underplayed so their comic value didn't run dry.
This is an unassuming little thing, wrapped up in mediocre production values and cheesy music. It never really feels like the sort of weighty classic people will still be yapping about for years to come. None of that matters a whit - it makes me laugh, then laugh some more, and with much greater frequency than shinier, more polished anime comedies.
So it's without any kind of exaggeration that I say this is by far one of the funniest anime I have ever seen. Also, this is unquestionably one of the biggest surprises I've ever had, having gone in with low expectations and been richly rewarded with this brilliant gem. Fans of black comedy, satire - and yes, Dokuro-chan - are much advised to check this out.
Punie is a princess of Magical Land who is in line with the throne; but before she can inherit it and become the queen, she must travel to Earth to prove to her mother, Esmeralda, that she has what it takes. In this new strange land, Punie is a cute girl who is very easy to get along with; but when she is upset, she uses her magical staff to take care of business! And when magic isn’t an option, Punie uses wrestling moves known as “Submission” to take down her enemy like a true queen. Together with her mascot Paya-tan, Punie will make new friends and take down new foes with style!