Excel Saga (1999 IMDb)

Categorization

Parody.

Subject

Two death-prone girl agents of an evil organization adore its hugely shoulder-padded leader and go on various missions to further his ideals. Each mission (episode) demolishes some random genre or combination of classics, but a coherent storyline still manages to creep in and take over at times.

Commentary

Remarkably extreme metatelevision, even going so far as to make an episode without gags, where the show very nearly takes itself seriously. Some jokes drag on unbelievably far past the point where you'd think it impossible, and it usually works. It helps to have seen large quantities of anime. You really learn to love the music. Manga-based, and it's not afraid to point that out.

Japanese production animation series

Spin-off:

Puni Puni Poemi (2001 IMDb)

Categorization

The same sort of wacky parody, now focused on the magical girl genre (particularly Cardcaptor Sakura (1998)). Almost as saucy as episode 26 of the original. Still very metafictive.

Subject

At the very end of Excel Saga, Nabeshin (known here as “Director”) married Kumi-Kumi (a minor character). This OVA is about their ten-year-old daughter Poemi and her quest to become a voice actress and/or save stuff.

Commentary

Centered on the new fast-talking seiyuu. She sings the intro (live action on a drab-looking beach) and has a live appearance in the epilogue. Otherwise, it's more of the same with different characters.

Japanese production animation magical girl series