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Pile of Shame
Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman

by Justin Sevakis,
One thing you can say about Butt Attack Girl Punisher Gautaman (and its sequel OAV, Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman R), you know pretty much exactly what you're getting: a cut-rate early-90s dirty comedy OAV about a girl that beats dudes down with her butt. It offers no surprises in terms of quality, humor, wit, watchability, or draftsmanship. Several American distributors used to release titles like this one in the American marketplace back in the VHS era, and they never really amounted to more than a blip on the radar for fandom at large.

Mari is a devout Catholic who dreams of becoming the next Mother Teresa. She's starting at a new school called Perfect Religion Academy, a boarding school of religious tolerance where kids of all faiths study their theologies together. She is quickly befriended by her roommate, a tomboy named Saori (a Hindu), and starts to acclimate to life on campus. Mari is a shy girl, clumsy and weak-willed, and the two quickly establish a pattern where Saori looks out for her.

Mari soon discovers the dark secret of PR Academy, the evil cult known as Dark Buddha, which kidnaps students and converts them against their will. When they kidnap Saori, Mari feels helpless, and begins praying to God for help. But instead, Buddha appears before her, and gives her a magical fundoshi (sumo wrestling loin cloth). A magical girl transformation sequence later, Mari is Gautaman, a scantly clad superhero that attacks the bad guys with her exposed butt-cheeks. She jumps in and saves the day, sending the forces of Dark Buddha running. A few minutes later, she's back to normal, and completely horrified at the fact that she was presenting herself like a Mandrill, and Dark Buddha is regrouping to find out who this mysterious Gautaman REALLY is.

Based on a manga by Masakazu Yamaguchi (creator of the similarly mediocre ecchi OAV My My Mai), the two part OAV is little more than a lazy, facile parody of Sailor Moon-esque magical girl tropes, which were somewhat fresh in 1994 but has since been thoroughly beaten into the ground. Beyond the initial shock humor at its campy premise, the show has nothing else to offer. At a total running time of 90 minutes, the two episodes drag horribly, with few other jokes to make and no ground to explore that is either well constructed or unexplored by countless other, better shows. I expect with an audience of semi-drunk nerds this show might be a good time, but in the stone silence of one's own living quarters, the show pretty much lays there.

I will admit that the idea of a girl attacking people in a sexually lurid manner in the name of "freedom of religion" is a pretty amusing concept. There are so many opportunities for such a thing to go bizarrely awry. What happens with Gautaman saves someone who believes it's a sin to look at a naked woman? Would Gautaman fight against the enforced atheism of a communist government? There are so many opportunities for jokes here, it's difficult to imagine a show not going for ANY of them! But I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that this OAV can't be bothered to even do basic research into the faiths of its characters. Mari is catholic and idolizes Mother Teresa, but even the concept of a nun is not mentioned or acknowledged. Besides Dark Buddha and Mari's Christianity, no other faiths are explored even superficially. More than anything, it's a lazy, cynical and utterly uninteresting story, interested in doing nothing but fulfilling the most basic expectations of the perverted comedy genre. It's a total waste.

Instead, the show opts for dopey magical girl/Japanese superhero hyjinx, including a romantic subplot that most anime fans will see coming a mile away. There are a few amusing lines here and there ("The boys have come to their senses by looking at Gautaman's shining bottom!"), but unfortunately no amount of wacky compensates for dopey.

The title "Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman" is ridiculous enough that, a couple of years ago when a fansub group dusted off an old script and made a DVD-sourced remaster of the show, it set a few people buzzing, likely more out of curiosity than anything. I was able to find quite a few blog posts and reviews of the show online by English speaking fans, but reaction was pretty much uniform: funny premise, dull show. The show seems to have been otherwise completely forgotten.

Japan pretty much stands alone in its ability to openly and brazenly send up world religions, but it really feels like whenever it attempts to do so, it does it without any real effort to know what it's talking about, or without anything of intelligence to say. Not that I was expecting intelligence out of Gautaman, but any small indication that even knew the most basic things about its subject matter would be nice. Even for a dumb, cheaply made, pervy magical girl parody, I don't think that's too much to ask.

Japanese Name: 臀撃おしおき娘 ゴータマン (Dengeki Oshioki Musume Gōtaman)

Media Type: OAV Series

Length: 2 X 45 min.

Vintage: 1994

Genres: Comedy, ecchi, parody, magical girl

Availability (Japan): An unsubtitled and barebones DVD came out in Japan years ago, and was in print so briefly that most stores don't list it. The disc also censors out the school names, which were probably parodying something that some lawyer must've gotten nervous about. The LD and VHS releases are untouched.

Availability (English): The fansubs are likely all we'll ever get.

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