Pani Poni Dash Complete Box Set DVD Review

Right. Genius teacher with a class of girls, all older than them? That's Negima!. Based on a 4-koma? I could drop Azumanga Daioh! in there, and probably Doki Doki School Hours as well. All of those shows, including Paniponi Dash!, have a certain frenetic feel to them and a tendency not to make much sense in places - that's not necessarily bad, but it has to be done right if you don't want to leave the audience wondering what the hell is going on, and after watching the first five episodes I was thinking that this was the series that's least successful at doing that.

The second problem, at least in the beginning, is a lack of likeable characters. Becky herself starts off annoying in the extreme, switching between obnoxious brat and picked-on-girl-in-tears at the drop of a hat. As for her class, there are so many of them - and the series takes so long to flesh out their personalities, in its frenzied need to always be moving on to something else, that it takes a while before you begin to warm to any of them. It does eventually happen, though, while Becky herself also mellows as the series progresses.

Add in an alien side-plot that really serves no purpose other than to provide an occasional change of scenery and that makes even less sense than the rest of the show (they're observing Becky, for reasons never revealed), and my first reaction to the series was to scratch my head and wonder "wtf!?". Not the best of first impressions, and f I'd been being the series as single discs you can bet I would never have made it past volume one.

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