Pani Poni Dash is a hard series to review, because a review requires you to string words together in a sensical order, and Pani Poni rejects any kind of sense whatsoever.
Half-Japanese/half-American M.I.T. graduate and all-around genius Rebecca Miyamoto returns to Japan to begin teaching at a local high school. Perhaps the most distinct part of this is that she’s a child prodigy and 11 years old, making her younger than her students; and she’s being watched by aliens as an unknowing sample in the study of the human race.
This isn’t even the strangest part of this series. That would be Miss Ichijo.
The plot of Pani Poni, such as it is, relies heavily on parodying other anime and genre tropes, and Japanese culture in general, especially Internet forums. It doesn’t have a specific plot arc and is mainly composed of standalone episodes driven by the characters; but if you suspend your sense of disbelief and reality, it is hilarious! Since it focuses on four first-year classes, homerooms 1-A through 1-D, with occasional outside characters (and the aliens, of course), there’s too many people to really get into here–which is a shame, because there’s no way to explain how rib-crackingly funny this series can get without laying out the characters. But even hearing about them isn’t as good as seeing them! Luckily, we can help you with that.
The manga of Pani Poni is 17 volumes and ran from 2000-2011, and is unfortunately not translated into English. (The puns are probably the main hindrance, but you’d think if Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo could get translated, they could pull this off too.) The anime Pani Poni Dash is, however; it ran in 2005 for 26 episodes, and was licensed for English by–quelle surprise–Funimation. There’s also an OVA that was released in 2009, but it–like the drama CDs (similar to an audiobook, only all the voice actors get together to voice their characters and there are generally sound effects, making it more like an audio production than the usual one-reader-audiobook) and the Internet radio shows–has not been translated to English either. The whole run of the anime is available in Evergreen Indiana, just down the road at Plainfield!