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Pugyuru Review

September 27, 2004

story 8/10

Pugyuru screenshot The setup for this show is ridiculously simple. A girl (whose name we never learn aside from it starting with "Ma") has her parents suddenly leave on a romantic cruise, leaving her alone in the house. To help her take care of the house, they have hired a maid--a tiny girl named Cheko. Come to think of it, she’s actually not very much a girl at all... More like a somewhat body-shaped mass with a girl’s head on it. This leads to 13 quick 3-minute episodes about the misadventures of Cheko, "Ma," and several of Cheko’s weird friends that are introduced over the course of the show. The humor is of the "crazy mayhem" variety, which has always been my favorite kind of anime humor, exemplified in shows like Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemi, Ippatsu Kikimusume, Abenobashi and occasionally (but to best effect, IMO) in Azumanga Daioh. In fact, that’s what this show reminded me of the most—the hilarious "dream" sequences in Azumanga Daioh. There really is no "plot," and the only recurring note in the show are Ma’s attempts to discover what in the world Cheko actually IS. The general plotlessness would likely get old after any extended period, but in a show that goes by this quickly, I found that it never lost its charm. Cheko appears to be equal parts robot, alien and some random ingredient that is constantly changing, always leaving you wondering if there’s ANY rhyme or reason to her at all. The sequences are very effective as comic fodder despite the low-budget animation and even the less hilarious episodes make you smile, if only at just the "WTF factor." Many episodes are flat out hilarious, and in general, I found Pugyuru to be highly entertaining

animation 4.5/10

Well, no bones about it, the animation quality of this show is pretty awful. There is little (if any) detail, character designs are highly crude, and there is just nothing about it overall that suggests anything but the most meager of budgets. Let me be equally clear, however, that this doesn’t really hurt the show very much. In some ways, the low budget visuals add to the off-the-wall feel of the show. But still, this is likely the lowest budget animation I’ve ever seen in an anime. If animation quality is highly important to you, this show is likely not for you.

sound 7.5/10

The OP and ED are simple and cute, the ED is great in particular, with Cheko chirping "Pugyu! Pugyururu!" at you in an impossibly cheery voice and a short song about a maid that changes episode to episode. The voice acting is also quite solid, and effectively conveys the characters’ unusual personalities. Ma’s voice in particular is great at expressing her stunned disbelief at the craziness going on around her.

characters 8/10

There is little time to develop the characters, and they all remain quite one-dimensional, but they are also all hilarious and memorable. From Mizore the huge-breasted yuki-onna (a mythological ‘ice princess’ literally made out of snow) to Kanato the hooligan schoolgirl with a rather inappropriate obsession with some objects of destruction to Nachiko, a squid that literally wears a human head and dreams of being a great maid, the characters seem out of a fantasy land all its own, and that uniqueness adds a lot to a bite-sized show like this.

overall 7.5/10

Pugyuru clocks in at about 40 minutes total—not even the length of two ‘normal’ length episodes—and as such, its aims cant help but be different from most animes. Rather than make a likely futile attempt at a plot or any amount of character development, this show accepts the limitations of its length and budget cheerfully. It serves up a barrage of quick, off-the-wall skits that will certainly weird you out and almost as certainly make you laugh, and while it likely won’t stay in your mind for too long after you watch it, fans of random, chaotic comedy who don’t really mind low budget animation are in for a pleasant surprise.

Anime Info

  • TV (13 eps x 4 min)
  • 2004

In a normal neighborhood in a normal city, a young maid arrives from the maid village to help out a young unnamed girl. But this battery-operated being is no ordinary maid! Not only can she remove her head and turn her body into glue (amongst other things), Cheko-chan also has the wackiest of friends. From Mizore, the edible snow spirit from the north, to Nachiko, a large squid who likes to change faces, to Kanato the Yankee, the bully who is the strongest of them all, it seems the craziness has just begun in the life of a once typical high school student.

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