(ぱにぽに, Pani Poni
?), also known as through its anime adaptation Pani Poni Dash!
(ぱにぽにだっしゅ!, Pani Poni Dasshu!
?), is a Japanese series that utilizes parody, frequently referencing Japanese and American pop-culture in many ways. It features several first year students and their teachers in a school in Japan, though the main focus is on class 1-C.
first began as a manga series by Japanese mangaka Hekiru Hikawa which was first serialized in the Japanese manga magazine G Fantasy
, published by Square Enix, in November 2000. Currently, there have been ten separate volumes released. Later, the series was adapted into a TV anime series which aired in Japan on TV Tokyo between July 3, 2005 and December 25, 2005 with its title renamed as Pani Poni Dash!
. The anime has since been licensed in the United States by ADV Films, though the manga remains unlicensed. In 2008, the anime became one of over thirty ADV titles transferred to Funimation Entertainment. There have also been several drama CDs created based on the TV series and manga.
Each episode features numerous parodies and references to popular culture. Some examples include The Exorcist
, Super Mario Bros.
, and Little Black Sambo. While much of the humor can be understood by all audiences, the series contains many jokes and references to Japanese culture and language, making the series a bit cryptic to foreign viewers. Japanese Internet culture, such as on the infamous Japanese message board 2ch, is another pillar of Pani Poni Dash!'
s humor, with many references to Japanese emoticons. At some stages in the series a character's facial features will be replaced by these emoticons.
Each episode is almost entirely standalone and only loosely connected to the central plot. Most of the jokes in the series rely on satire, established character behavior, Japanese Internet and anime culture, or non sequitur comments and actions (especially by Ichijo). Another characteristic of Pani Poni Dash!
is that the name of each episode is based on an adage or proverb that applies to the episode in some way. Much like other 26-episode anime, Pani Poni Dash!
features different opening sequences, with both new art and new music, but unlike other shows, the endings are chosen at random, shuffling from episode to episode with different seiyū from the series singing the themes.