Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sgt Frog Season 1 Part 1|
Actors: Todd Haberkorn, Brina Palencia, Cherami Leigh
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Little Frog. Big Mission.Keroro is Sgt. Frog ? the leader of a platoon of warriors sent to conquer planet Earth. But when the Amphibious invaders discovered how much humans enjoy dissecting their comrades, the troops were ... more »
Hilarious, wild, crazy fun!
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 09/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unique, fun and gut-bursting humor! "Sgt. Frog" is probably one of the most odd and crazy anime series you'll ever see. Hilarious in Japanese but the writing for the English dub definitely takes things up a notch!
Since 1999, the manga series "Keroro Gunso" (aka "Sgt. Frog") by Mine Yoshizaki ("Arcade Gamer Fubuki", "Chibi Kero" and "Seven of Seven") has been entertaining readers. Since 2004, the anime series has been entertaining viewers and both continue to be popular long-running series in Japan. Now the award winning series gets its first US anime DVD release with the first 13 episodes now arriving in the US.
The anime series is directed by Yusuke Yamamoto ("Welcome to the NHK, "Sakura Taisen", "Mobile Suit Victor Gundam" and Arjuna") and features character designs by Fumitoshi Oisaki ("Romeo x Juliet", "Ontama" and "Kaleido Star"). The series is known for its use of parodies of pop culture and in the Japanese case, you will see a plenty of pop culture references to anime and video games. While, the English dub features a slightly different script than the Japanese and utilizes American pop culture (which I will describe more in the video and audio segment of this review).
The series revolves around an alien race of frogs who have come to conquer the planet Earth. But somehow along the way, things didn't go as expected and the leader of the platoon, Sergeant Frog finds himself living with the Hinata family. Always up to mischief and trying to find a way to conquer Earth, he is befriended by the weak and paranormal/supernatural obsessed boy Fuyuki, beaten to a pulp by his strong sister Natsumi and given a place to live by their mother (and manga editor) Aki who uses him as a source of ideas for her new manga.
With his obsession for Mobile Suit Gundam models, television and snacks, Sgt. Frog gets too used to human life, that is until his fellow platoon finds out that he has been neglecting his duties.
"Sgt. Frog - Season One, Part 1 features a total of 13 episodes on two DVD's. Each episode consists of two mini-episodes, most often at times are related to each other. but sometimes you get two different stories per episode. Here is a spoiler-less summary:
* EPISODE 1- Meet the Sergeant! - The introduction of Keroro and how he came to live with the Hinata family.
* EPISODE 2- Bag of Secrets! - We are introduced to Momoka Nishizawa who is in love with Fuyuki Hinata. We are also introduced to the alien frog, Tamama.
* EPISODE 3 - Amphibian On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - With Tamama getting all the things he wants, Keroro is bored by living at the Hinata home. Meanwhile, a mysterious thing has been spying on the Hinata's.
* EPISODE 4 - Blood Violence Death Kill! - We are introduced to Corporal Giroro and Giroro comes up with an idea to make Keroro more of a warrior.
* EPISODE 5 - The Day Gundam Cried! - Keroro wants a Gundam at a toy store and needs Fuyuki's help.
* EPISODE 6 - Ghost Kiss-Perer! - Momoka invites Fuyuki to a private island and next thing you know the Hinata family and frogs are all coming. Will Fuyuki and her butler Paul be able to make Fuyuki like him?
* EPISODE 7 - Apocalypse Later! - The Lord of Terror makes her appearance. Meanwhile, we learn that Tamama is jealous of her.
* EPISODE 8 - Base: The Final Frontier! - Keroro builds a secret base inside the fridge.
* EPISODE 9 - Desperately Seeking Brains! - Mutsumi Saburo introduces a member of the Armpit Platoon... Kururu. Meanwhile, Kururu creates an age manipulation gun that can make anything many years younger and Aki Hinata volunteers.
* EPISODE 10 - Sgt. Frog versus the Cavitians of Cavity 9! - Keroro is suffering from a cavity (alien invaders have taken control of Keroro's cavity) and Kururu comes up with an idea to take them on.
* EPISODE 11 - Fake It `Til You Make It! - Celebrities from a galactic TV show want to do a show on Earth at the Hinata home.
* EPISODE 12 - Pop Startled! - A pop star (a third runner-up of "Galactic Idol") visits the Hinata home. And Giroro loses his weapon's sash.
* EPISODE 13 - Viper? I Hardly Knew Her! - The introduction of Dororo and Koyuki.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Sgt. Frog" is presented in 4:3. For the most part, the entertaining part of "Sgt. Frog" are its characters but also the little Japanese pop culture references, especially Keroro's love for "Gundam" (which the model kits are featured in the anime series). The colors are vibrant and for a television show, the animation works great for this series. Keroro and his members of the Armpit Platoon are frogs with a cool and cute character design, that it's no surprise that this series has an extensive merchandise collection in Japan.
As for audio, the English dub is featured in Dolby Surround Sound and the Japanese is featured in stereo. For the most part, I have watched both in English and Japanese and the voice acting on both are great. As for audio quality, I preferred to watch the series with my receiver setting at stereo on all channels but for the most part, the English dialogue is front and center channel driven if watched via 5.1 Dolby Surround.
Now when it comes to audio and watching it on both languages, there is a difference between the English and Japanese version. For the most part, the English version has a rewritten script that utilizes the same storyline as the Japanese version but features American pop culture references and more dialogue. So, for example, when the Japanese dialogue is quiet, in the English dialogue, you may hear the narrator speaking.
Although I tend to prefer watching anime in Japanese, I have to admit that I found the English dub quite wild and crazy. For example, during one scene in which Hinata siblings and the aliens meet a fellow Galactic pop star, in the Japanese dialogue there is discussion of how popular she is. While in the English dub, they use "American Idol" references to showcase her popularity.
Granted, some people may not be familiar with the American pop culture references (especially since certain situations are taken from that time period, for example the Miley Cyrus and Asians comment) and may easily fly over the heads of those who are not familiar with American pop culture but for the most part, the rewritten screenplay by Jamie Marchi, Jared Hedges and Joel Bergen will easily make people laugh. For those familiar with what Joel Bergen did with "Crayon Shin Chan" will know what kind of humor to expect from the series albeit a more PG rating.
Subtitles are featured in English.
"Sgt. Frog - Season One, Part 1 comes with the following special features:
* Pekopon Invasion Recon Data - Using your remote, you can cycle through various data such as the school uniforms, the vacuum cleaner, the watermelon, afro and more.
* Textless Opening Song - Ribbit March - (1:32) Textless opening theme
* Textless Closing Song - Afro Gunsou - (1:32) Textless closing theme
* Trailers - FUNimation Entertainment upcoming releases
Crazy, enjoyable and just all out fun! I have to admit that I was completely unfamiliar with the story of "Sgt. Frog" before watching this DVD. I knew about the character Keroro and the platoon members through the various merchandise seen at many Japanese and Chinese shops but I really didn't know anything about the series.
And what can I say, after watching "Sgt. Frog - Season One, Part 1, I've become a fan! I really don't think anyone can be disappointed with this DVD set as its absolutely fresh, wild and crazy. As people are wanting to find a series that is fun and unique, I think that anime fans that are into comedy-based series can find something to like about "Sgt. Frog".
Having watched the episodes in Japanese and English, the Japanese version was hilarious but being an American and familiar with the pop culture references in the dialogue and the Japanese pop culture references on the show, I had a great time watching it with the English dub. You can tell there was great care on the American side into utilizing the time of the series to create additional dialogue and of course, coming up with something new to make the characters much crazier for an American audience.
It's important to note that FUNimation Entertainment went with the original names for the dub, so for those who saw the test episode on YouTube and were not satisfied with the name changes, FUNimation Entertainment did fix that up with only Giroro's cat keeping the name "Mr. Furbottom" and the voice talent changed for the final cut.
As for the parents who are wondering if the show is safe for children, although the series is rated TV PG, there is no naughty talk or any profanity.
There is only one scene in episode 9 in which a young Aki Hinata (who looks like Fuyuki) is hugged by Momoka Nishizawa and in the process of that hug, Nishizawa who wraps her arm around Aki and her hands on the side of her chest, she wonders why Fuyuki has breasts. And of course, there is a lot of mayhem and some fight scenes but seriously, the series is quite tame and is even aired to children in Japan (as evident by its targeted merchandise towards children in Japan) and various parts of the world. And I also shared the series with my six-year-old son who absolutely loved the series.
Overall, this is an anime series that is worth purchasing! For those who enjoyed "Crayon Shin Chan" (US dialogue version) may enjoy this much tamer but hilarious anime series. But really, this series really can't be compared to anything. It's that fresh, wild and crazy. One can definitely expect "Sgt. Frog" to be a series that has cool and fun characters and outrageously written episodes, definitely make this anime series worth the purchase!
As Unique as it is Funny
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 09/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sgt. Frog is one of those rare anime properties that could only be made possible by global cooperation. The look, the feel, the animation-style (heck the main character perhaps most of all) are all of Asian influence but much of this particular set's charm stems from its American dub work. In all honesty, it would seem very easy to screw things up the way Funimation went about combining the artistic influence of two very-different nations but after having just completed this collection, I can state with confidence that they defied the odds with this one! But before we get ahead of ourselves here, let's take a look at the cold hard facts, shall we?
Funimation has recently acquired the rights to the show and has wasted little time in getting the first part of the first season (Episodes 1-13) release out to the North American public for the first time ever. Coming in at a total runtime of 325 minutes, Sgt. Frog Season One Part 1 spans 2 discs and comes packaged as a pair of thin packs within a cardboard slipcase.
The show wears an appropriate if slightly conservative TV PG rating, which is presumably based more on adult-themed references and cartoony violence over nudity, foul language or gore.
Language options are typical sub & dub meaning the option of original Japanese dialog track (stereo) or an English dub (5.1 Dolby Surround) and English subtitles available under either language choice.
Extras include Pekopon Invasion Recon Data, textless songs and a host of Funimation trailers.
The story, which actually works far better than I can possibly summarize here, goes something like this: Keroro is an adorable member of a militant race of Space Frogs (a sergeant in fact) who arrived to earth as part of an early attack squadron intending to conquer the planet. Once the invaders discover that humans aren't quite the pushovers they initially perceived, the mission is aborted and the few frog troopers in the first wave of attack are abandoned.
Of course that first wave includes the title character, Sgt. Keroro and we follow along on the adventures of he and his adoptive earth family which includes a 9-year-old boy nerd, a 13-year old tom boy girl, and their mother- a crotch-rocket riding comic book artist. Best of all they give our hero a room that was a former-bomb shelter beneath the stairway of their house that just so happens to be haunted by the ghost of a tortured young girl.
Keroro isn't quite ready to abandon all hopes of planetary conquest despite the fact that he discovers that he is actually growing quite fond of the human race and worse still, has developed an addiction to anime (Robotech), toys (Gundam models) and of all things, karaoke.
As the show progresses, he discovers that some of his fellow frog troops are actually right in his own neighborhood and have been adopted by human families as well. Their collective mission remains in the hopes that their entire army will one day return to fulfill the goal of conquering earth but in the mean time there is plenty of adventure to be had on the "blue planet".
If this sounds a little goofy to you so far, don't worry it is. Although the overall theme harkens back to the type of animorphic-action that was big here in the U.S. in the late 1980s (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyone), the truth is this show works on an entirely different plane. Namely it's funny. No not just witty banter between its lead characters but pop-culture funny with references that come fast and constant. Little things like "Boy this is just like the beginning and ending scenes in all of the Jurassic Parks" or "You're more picky than (David) Fincher!" or perhaps even "This will allow me to become invisible like the conceal option on Facebook" should provide an indication of the tone here. While some may argue the original Japanese dialog is funny enough to stand on its own merit, I must counter that Funimation went the extra mile in the English dub to keep the humor on point!
It's common knowledge that Funimation spent a lot of time screening early versions of the dub to North American test audiences (including making clips available for review on Youtube) before being satisfied with the dub. The good news is that the attention to detail pays dividends. The bright over-the-top cutes-ness of the visuals will keep the younger set interested while the dialog (sociological references especially) will ensure that the adults will be snickering.
This is one of very few times I will go as far as to say that the English dub is superior to the original Japanese dialog track. Yes, it really works that well.
In all I would be exaggerating if I were to say that this is an animated show for everyone but it will certainly appeal to a wide audience thanks to a near-endless succession of little gags and bits that work on many levels. The grand story arc, while in no danger for being mistaken for a modern day masterpiece, is just quaint enough to keep the situations advancing from episode to episode. It's the humor and zing of the characters within (and that includes the narrator and subtitles) that steal the show. Kudos to Funimation for recognizing the potential of the source material and for custom-tailoring it to appeal to its target audience."
Waiting for this to be licensed for a long time!
Chihiro | Boston Ma | 11/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great show for young and old alike. Frogs from space try to invade the earth but instead get lazy and go native. Young kids will enjoy the cute characters and wacky antics. Grown ups who know about Japanese Animation will get the old in-jokes. Sgt Frog is the patron saint of Otaku Culture. Part dog and cat movie, part densha otoko, part invader zim without its fangs."