Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
January 27, 2010 by Dennis Amith
Unique, fun, wild and crazy! The Armpit Platoon continues their plans of world domination and crazy hijinks in the latest volume of “Sgt. Frog”!
Image courtesy of © Mine Yoshizaki/Kadokawashoten, SUNRISE, TV TOKYO. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 1
DURATION: Episodes 27-39 (325 Minutes)
DVD INFORMATION: 4:3, English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, Japanese Stereo
COMPANY: Sunrise TV/FUNimation Entertainment
RATED: TV PG
Release Date: January 26, 2010
Based on the manga by Mine Yoshizaki
Chief Director: Junichi Sato
Director: Yusuke Yamamoto
Series Composition by Mamiko Ikeda
Script by Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Kuniaki Kasahara, Mamiko Ikeda, Masahiro Yokotani, Satoru Nishizono, Yasuko Kobayashi
Character Design by Fumitoshi Oisaki
Animation Director: Asako Nishida
Sound Director: Yota Tsuruoka
Anime Production by Sunrise
Featuring the following voice talent:
Akiko Hiramatsu/Jamie Marchi as Aki Hinata
Chiwa Saito/Cherami Leigh as Natsumi Hinata
Houku Kuwashima/Leah Clark as Fuyuki Hinata
Haruna Ikezawa/Monica Rial as Momoka Nishizawa
Kumiko Watanabe/Todd Habekorn as Keroro
Etsuko Kozakura/Brina Palencia as Tamama
Jouji Nakata/Christopher R. Sabat as Giroro
Takehito Koyasu/Chuck Huber as Kururu
Takeshi Kusao/J. Michael Tatum as Dororo
Keiji Fujiwara/R. Bruce Elliott as Narrator
Mmiko Noto/Carrie Savage as Angol Mois
They came. They saw. They built a spa in the basement! Keroro and his elite team of fighting frogs crossed the galaxy on mission to invade planet Earth, but they got distracted by things that were – well – tons more fun. Who needs ray-guns and amphibious mechas when you’ve got surprise parties, clandestine trips to the zoo, starring roles in school plays, and dinosaur-themed theme parks? Not these frogs of war. In fact, the Sergeant and his comrades are hard at work creating their own frog-centric anime! It’s got action! It’s got adventure! And it’s got romance! Romance? Yes, even a battle-scarred soldier like Giroro turns lily-pad lothario at the sight of a certain pretty Pekopon.
Unique, fun, wild and crazy! “Sgt. Frog” continues the obnoxious humor, crazy hijinks and plans for world domination in the first part of the second season!
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 continues with its first part of the second season courtesy of FUNimation entertainment.
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. In the first season, we saw how the members of the Armpit Platoon reunited and worked together to accomplish certain missions. With the first part of the second season, the group continue to work together in finding ways to defeat the humans but as usual, things don’t work as well as they hope.
The main characters of “Sgt. Frog” are:
The Hinata Family
Fuyuki – A boy who just wants to be best friends with Sgt. Frog (Keroro) and always sees the positive in him. An odd kid who is obsessed with paranormal and supernatural things, really doesn’t have any friends and runs a high school club based on the paranormal and supernatural with no members. Possesses Keroro’s weapon of mass destruction (because his sister told him to hold on to it).
Natsumi – Athletic and very intuitive when it comes to what is going on in her home. Natsumi is hot tempered and not very appreciative that her mother let Keroro live with them. Whenever Keroro (and the other frogs) misbehave, she’s quick to beat him to a pulp.
Aki – The beautiful mother and a manga editor who lets Keroro live with the family. Not for kindness but mostly to get ideas for her new manga. She also gives Keroro one of the rooms to the house for him to live in but mainly because a ghost has been inhabiting the room and also because it’s messy and expects him to clean it up.
The Armpit Platoon consists of:
Sgt. Frog (Keroro) – The green frog is the leader of the platoon. Despite being the sergeant of the platoon, he is quite a daft and lazy frog. He enjoys building Mobile Suit Gundam models, eating and watching television. He knows that each time something breaks, Aki and Natsumi Hinata will be on his case so he is somewhat mindful of the Hinata family. Also knowing that if he does chores at home, he can use his allowance to buy Gundam models. But he knows his role in Earth and that he and his platoon needs to conquer the Earth but most of the time his other hobbies get it in the way of that.
Corporal Giroro – The red frog with a scar on his face who happens to be a weapons expert. Loves combat and is a gung-ho type of character. He is the main person in the Platoon who has a disdain of Sgt. Frog’s leadership and is the one often yelling at him to remember their goal. But he also has a soft side and that is the fact that he is attracted to Natsumi Hinata’s strength and temper. So, much that he has fallen for her and will do what he can to protect her. He lives in the back yard of the Hinata’s home and finds friendship in the neighborhood cat Mr. Furbottom.
Private Second Class Tamama – The black frog with a tadpole tail and the youngest and most experienced member of the Platoon. When pushed, he can be quite destructive (shooting beams out of his mouth). Known for his gas problems and also for his major jealousy complex. He lives with the wealthy Momoka Nishizawa and gets everything he wants. But is very jealous of the female alien Angol Mois (who is in love with Keroro) and gets very upset that someone else likes the Sgt.
Sergeant Major Kururu – The yellow frog and the platoon’s intelligence and strategic planning officer. Very intelligent and loves building things but despite being a superior to Keroro, he defers to him because he’s somewhat of a mad scientist. In someways, when testing his creations on Keroro, he enjoys seeing people getting in bad or painful situations the experimenting on those creations. Also, loves listening to music in his earphones. He originally was taken into the home of Mutsumi Saburo but has built a base under the home of the Hinatas.
Lance Corporal Dororo/Zeroro – The blue frog and a member of the Elite Assassin Squad and the Armpit Platoon. Looks like a ninja by the mask he wears and is even more deadlier than Corporal Giroro. When he was younger, he didn’t have any friends and was befriended by Keroro and Giroro (because he was rich and had a large collection of Gundam’s). Each time he went out with Keroro, he would get hurt badly. He is starting to learn that his friends when he was younger really weren’t that good of friends and thus, has resentment towards the Platoon (because they all forgot about him) and thus changed his name from Zeroro to Dororo. Spends his time with ninja Koyuki Azumaya taking on aliens and protecting humankind (Pekopons).
Other significant characters:
Momoka Nishizawa – The daughter of a billionaire and very much in love with Fuyuki. Does what she can to get close to Fuyuki but the emotions that she is feeling, doesn’t necessarily come out the way she wants when she says it. Has a distrust towards any female near Fuyuki and can’t stand it when anyone interferes with her time with Fuyuki. The alien frog Tamama stays at her place.
Mutsumi Saburo – Very intelligent and excels at almost everything. A DJ and a lover of Gundam, he happens to be a guy who Natsumi Hinata likes but her brother Fuyuki doesn’t like him at all. The alien frog Kururu once stayed with him and even taught Saburo some tricks.
Paul Moriyama – Momoko’s butler and guardian. Known to have great fighting skills and has sworn his life to protect Momoko.
Angol Moa – An alien from another tribe. Also known as the “King of Terror” wand was supposed to destroy Earth in July 1999 but arrives 500 years early and thus went to sleep in orbit. She wakes up but finds out that she is five years late. She is known for using a cell phone which she inputs in order to create a major weapon which can destroy the Earth and the ability to shoot powerful blasts. But because of her love for Keroro, she will do what he says and thus, decides not to destroy the Earth. Although she is doesn’t know it, she is the rival to Tamama (who can’t stand Angol Moa’s smile and kindness) and will do whatever she can to protect Keroro.
Koyuki Azumaya – A ninja who joins Natsumi’s school and has athletic ability that rivals Natsumi. Friends with the alien frog Dororo and together they take on aliens who pose a threat to the Pekopons (Earthlings) and also has a thing about sniffing people.
Jessica Harpie – A member of the galactic Interpol and catches criminals around the galaxy.
Omiyo – The ghost that lives in the Hinata house and occupies what is now Keroro’s room.
“Sgt. Frog – Season Two, 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 27 – Should I Spa or Should I Go Now? – The first half features Sgt. Kero trying to prepare for his father’s arrival, while the second half features the Armpit Platoon trying to create their own spa.
- EPISODE 28 – Das Snow Boot – The first half features the Armpit Platoon creating snow in order to make Planet Earth defenseless. The second half features Sgt. Major Kuru up to no good.
- EPISODE 29 – Actor Shmactor! – The first half features Natsumi taking part in the play “Peter Pan”, the second half features student journalist following Sgt. Frog (trying to disguise himself as a man) around.
- EPISODE 30 – Extreme Makeover: Momoka Edition – The first half features the arrival of Private First Class Taruru of the Garuru Platoon, the second half features Sgt. Keroro making Momoko to a beautiful woman.
- EPISODE 31 – Lost in Transportation – Sgt. Keroro’s vehicle arrives but when he gets lost with it, his friends try to find him.
- EPISODE 32 – Animal Army Attack! – I the first half, Sgt. Keroro wants to use Earth’s animals for his army by converting zoo animals to hybrid animal/humans. The second half features Corporal Giroro creating a pendant for Natsumi.
- EPISODE 33 – The Episode We Wanted to Call Tiny Toons or Animaniacs, But Those Were Already Taken – Sgt. Keroro and his platoon become enamored for the anime series “Captain Geroro”, that they try to create their own anime series.
- EPISODE 34 – Hot Spring Hilarity! – In the first half, Momoko feels left out. The second half features Fuyuki falling for a girl.
- EPISODE 35 – The Birthday The Earth Stood Still – Everyone tries to come up with an idea for Natsumi’s birthday.
- EPISODE 36 – A Frog In Winter – Sgt. Keroro gets his bonus and wants to go shopping but Fuyuki doesn’t feel like it because of the snow, thus the Armpit Platoon tries to stop it.
- EPISODE 37 – Storefront Shinobi! – In the first half of this episode, the Armpit Platoon go through ninja training. In the second half, Sgt. Keroro uses Kururu’s mind control device and time machine device to get dinosaurs to join their army.
- EPISODE 38 – One Potato, Two Potato, Sweet Potato, Amore – In the first half of the series, Sgt. Keroro creates a Natsumi clone. In the second half of the series, Sgt. Keroro comes up with an idea of using Natsumi to join his platoon.
- EPISODE 39 – The Space Frog Who Stole Christmas – In the first half of the series, Sgt. Keroro comes up with an idea to steal Christmas presents and sell them on eBay to pay off his debt. In the second half of the series, Sgt. Keroro plans for a New Year’s Eve plan by having his platoon clean up his mess inside the house.
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. The English dub tends to use quite a bit of references to American pop culture. Granted, some people may not be familiar with the American pop culture references especially if you watch this anime several years later but overall, FUNimation has done a fun job of making this series more appealing to the American crowd.
Subtitles are featured in English.
“Sgt. Frog – Season Two, 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, ski wear, Nishizawa Family Snow Machine 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
“Sgt. Frog – Season Two Part 1” continues the craziness and fun where the last volume left off! The episodes are more winter themed this time around but still the same story of Sgt. Keroro trying to find ways of dominating the Pekopons (humans) and trying to find ways to grow his army. From changing animals to hybrids, going back in time in trying to get dinosaurs to even using Natsumi to join his platoon. So, one can expect the crazy hijinks that they have seen from the first season.
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.
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 but at the same time, there may be some mature humor or when Momoko is angered, she starts to say certain things that it’s probably not best for the little children to be around.
Overall, this “Sgt. Frog” is an entertaining series, full of gags and crazy hijinks that fans who enjoyed the first season, can go no wrong with this first part of the second. Check it out!
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