Movie: Those familiar with Japanese animation will understand that often enough, a set of characters will be played with several times from series to series. Sometimes, this means the characters will be younger and other times, it means a paradigm shift in terms of how they interact with one another. These characters don't always follow the same continuity, a prime example being the multitude of Tenchi releases, and often enough, they are tweaked in an effort to find an audience. One such series is Nuku Nuku TV 1: Keep The Peace On Earth!.
For those who've read my reviews of Nuku Nuku Dash, know that the primary focus of the series was the adventures of an android female that had the brain of a cat but the advanced technology of an alien race. The series was kind of serious, in the end even resulting in death, but this one was more of the comedy centered style like Urusei Yatsura. Nuku Nuku is still a cat-brained androbot with awesome powers, and her closest associate is still Ryunosuke Natsume, although he's much younger in this iteration of the series. Nuku Nuku is the creation of Ryunosuke's father, Kyusaku, not a machine on the run. Mishima Industries is still the bad guy, led by Hell Mishima, and the time line is still in 2013 Maneki, Japan. The city is the testing ground for the company and occasionally a machine will go crazy, wreaking havoc on the populace. Here's a breakdown of the episodes on the first DVD of the TV series:
Enter Nuku Nuku! Keep The Peace On Earth!:
This episode sets the premise and some of the parameters of the series. Nuku Nuku starts school and ends up saving the day from a washing machine going crazy, threatening all the students of Maneki High School. Ryunosuke's mother, Akiko, is shown as a top executive of Mishima Industries who gets hurt fighting Nuku Nuku (not knowing her identity).
Nuku Nuku Vs. Ancient Ruin. Legendary Giant God Appears!:
Most of the episode showed the interpersonal dealings the cast had with one another and their pecking order. The rest of the episode had Nuku Nuku fighting a large clay Mech-robot of sorts, using Kyusake's enhancements to her androbot form (which apparently don't work as well as he'd like).
Nuku Nuku's Cooking School! Non-chan's Love Attack Plan!
At a demonstration of two new Mishima Industries machines, a huge freezer and an equally huge microwave over, things go awry when the two robots start attacking the crowd. Nuku Nuku is the only one capable of saving the family but she is nowhere to be found. Will she make it in time or will they be seriously hurt?
Nuku Nuku Sings With All Her Heart! Family Vs. Family Singing Contest!:
Karaoke is a big thing in Japan and the cast go head to head in a karaoke contest of epic proportions. This is one time when Nuku Nuku is an unwilling participant, trying to avoid the contest at all costs.
I wasn't the biggest fan of Nuku Nuku Dash when I watched it but over time it became a show I could enjoy as a guilty pleasure. This version of the characters and premise were somewhat less appealing to me because while I like comedy anime, the focus here seemed directed at a younger audience (without the subtle jokes that often accompany such shows for the older crowd). It had a few cute moments and I look forward to seeing future volumes in order to see if it gets better but overall, I think this one barely gets a rating of Rent It.
Picture: The picture was presented in it's original 1.33:1 ratio full frame color, as originally released in Japan. The colors were a bit faded and there was some pattern noise but most of the time, the biggest limitation was the limited style of anime. The cartoony nature of it all, which included large blocks of graphics describing the characters names and hobbies was weird but appropriate to the type of show. I didn't see a lot of other visual flaws but it really looked a lot older than it was.
Sound: The audio was presented with a choice of either a 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese track (the original track) or a recent English dub. I liked the dub here more than the original track in terms of quality and sound effects but each had their own merits. The dynamic range was limited as was the separation between the channels but the audio fit the visuals quite well.
Extras: The extras were limited to a clean opening and closing, some trailers, and a paper insert listing the chapters.
Final Thoughts: If you're looking for a child's comedy, this one might suite you just fine. Keeping in mind the limited nature of the release, I've given it a rating of Rent It but I suppose it'd be okay for people to drink heavily to as well. The picture and audio were not exactly cutting edge and the animation itself seemed weak but fans of the Nuku Nuku Dash series may enjoy it somewhat more than I did.