Reviews of Excel Saga (1999) and related work

Excel Saga (1999Moving picture, 10 hours)

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.

Parody. 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 Japanese animation. You really learn to love the music. Based on a comic, and it’s not afraid to point that out.

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series

Puni Puni Poemi (2001Moving picture, 60 minutes)

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 (Poemy) and her quest to become a voice actor and/or save stuff.

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. Centered on the new fast-talking voice actor who 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.

moving picture spin-off animation Japanese production fiction series magical girl