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Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 2 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

March 23, 2010 by  



More hijinks!  More fun!  And more destruction in this latest volume of “Sgt. Frog”!

Image courtesy of © Mine Yoshizaki/Kadokawashoten, SUNRISE, TV TOKYO. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 2

DURATION: Episodes 40-51 (300 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

Mimiko Noto/Carrie Savage as Angol Mois

 

How long can it take to conquer a planet whose inhabitants are constantly distracted by glorious celebrations, exotic foods, and all the anime you can watch? Apparently, a really, really, really long time. But fear not, citizens of Keron, for Sergeant Frog and his courageous comrades have vowed to stay in the trenches, feverishly building model mechas until this invasion is back on track!

No stone will go unturned, no sweet potato dango uneaten, no manga unread, and no floor un-vacuumed! Those puny Pekopons better watch their backs because the Kero Platoon will not rest until humanity trembles at their webbed feet!

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 second 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.

In this second part of the second season, Sgt. Keroro and the Platoon come up with more ideas in order to dominate the world and beat the Pekopons.

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 2” (which is actually the final episodes for season 1 in Japan) features a total of 12 episodes on two DVD’s. Most of the episodes consists of two mini-episodes but sometimes an episode can be a full-length episode. Here is a spoiler-less summary:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 40 – We Don’t Needs No Education! – The Armpit Platoon’s New Year’s tradition and how they take advantage of Corporal Giroro.  In the second episode, Sgt. Keroro receives a delivery from HQ.
  • EPISODE 41 – A Low Down Dirty Game! – Fuyuki and Natsumi take part in a large size board game.  In the second episode, Lance Corporal Dororo encounters Mr. Kogoro and tells him about how he feels he has no presence in the Armpit Platoon.
  • EPISODE 42 – War of the World’s Cup! – The Armpit Platoon comes up with an idea of creating a soccer team and beating the Pekopons (humans).
  • EPISODE 43 – Springtime For Hitters! – Sgt. Keroro comes up with an idea inspired from a story about the “Blue Demon”.
  • EPISODE 44 – Domo Arigato, Aki Roboto! – Sgt. Keroro challenges Fuyuki in a competition for world domination.  In the second episode, Sgt. Major Kururu creates an Akibot.
  • EPISODE 45 – V For Valentinedetta! – Sgt. Keroro comes up with an idea to take advantage of Valentine’s Day by utilizing his dumplings to surpass chocolates.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 46 – Ghost in the Cell! – Omiyo the ghost makes her presence known to everyone.
  • EPISODE 47 – Frogs and Dolls! – It’s “Girl’s Day” and Fuyuki and Natsumi are transported to another dimension.  In the second episode, Sgt. Keroro tries to bribe Natsumi by supplying her concert tickets for Dancemaster Afroman.
  • EPISODE 48 – Lazy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down! – Sgt. Kiroro is upset that Natsumi thinks he is a slacker and thus Keroro decides to test a device to make human to slackers.
  • EPISODE 49 – How to Succeed in Pekopon-Conquering Without Really Trying! – Keroro and Giroro are jealous that Natsumi and Fuyuki are being nice to Kururu.  In the second episode, Momoka uses a supercomputer to see if she can become closer to Fuyuki in a simulator.
  • EPISODE 50 – No More Mr. Nice Frogs! – Giroro wants to revert back to fighting the Pekoponians but something happens to Natsumi.
  • EPISODE 51 – A Farewell to Arms, Legs, And Other Froggy Parts! – The Armpit Platoon receive an order from HQ that they must return back to their home planet but they must erase Natsumi and Fuyuki’s memories of them.

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.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 2” 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 Transport Plane, The Wall Clock and Step Ladder, Costumes and more.
  • Textless Opening Song – Ribbit March – (1:32) Textless opening theme
  • Textless Closing Song – Afro Gunsou – (1:32) Textless closing theme
  • Textless Closing Song – Three versions of the new closing theme plus one version with each of the five members of the Armit Platoon.  This feature consists of: Official Keroro Platoon Character Drawing, Song, Wildly-Welcomed Version, Keroro | Giroro | Tamama | Kululu | Dororo
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment upcoming releases

“Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 2” features more  crazy ways (to fail) for the Armpit Platoon to defeat the Pekoponians and more “Sgt. Frog” wackiness.

The first 51 episodes have been quite intriguing and fun.  But with over 307 episodes having been aired in Japan, it makes me wonder if FUNimation Entertainment plans to continue the series or end it with this volume.  Aside from the “Dragon Ball” related series in which all combined is over 400 episodes and other ongoing anime-related series like “Naruto”, “Bleach” and “Inuyasha”, the fact that this series is ongoing in Japan, it all comes down to fan dedication here in the US.    The main difference is that “Sgt. Frog” is a series based on hi-jinks and comedy while the other longer series are action-driven.

In “Sgt. Frog – Season Two, Part 2”, the series ends with what could be seen as a proper open-ended finale but in this latest volume, one can expect a good number of episodes such as Sgt. Keroro taking on Fuyuki in a competition, the ghost Omiyo finally making her presence known and more Hinata family craziness with Aki discovering a destructive robot based on her and more.

Overall, the latest volume of “Sgt. Frog” has a fine share of fun and crazy comedy-driven episodes.  These episodes do not require one to watch the previous volumes (maybe with the exception of the first volume to learn of why the Platoon has come to Earth and their backgrounds) but more than likely, if you enjoy the series, you will want to watch each volume.  And if you have been dedicated to the series and purchasing the first three volumes, this fourth one will not disappoint.

If you are a fan of “Sgt. Frog”, definitely give this latest volume a chance!

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