Although the first volume of Nerima Daikon Brothers that ADV
released received mixed reviews, I was interested in seeing the show
the director, Shinichi Watanabe. He was
behind one of my favorite comedy animes, Excel Saga, where he had a
role in the
show as the show's director. (You'd have
to see Excel to understand.) That first
show was so outrageous and off the wall, I had to see how this musical
would fare. (Yes, you read right, this
is a musical.) Turns out it is hilarious. With all the irreverent and bizarre
occurrences that you'd expect from a Watanabe show and some wonderful
songs this show is a must-see.
Hideki is the owner of a daikon (a variety of large radish)
farm in the Nerima area of Japan.
He, along with his brother Ichiro (who works
entertaining ladies in a host club) and their cousin Mako (a
former pop idol) have a dream of erecting a large domed concert arena
in the field
where their farm is now. There they'll
perform sold-out concerts every night for their legions of fans. The only thing stopping them?
They need about $36 million dollars to build the dome. So the trio, along with a panda that happened
to wander into the daikon patch and decided to stay, have to come up
way to raise the cash.
What they do is discover someone who is ripping people off,
stop the criminal activity, and then try to make off with the
ill-gotten gains before anyone notices that it's gone.
It's the last part they have trouble with,
always ending up with less than they started with.
When they run into trouble fighting the
baddies, as they always do, they turn to the bizarre owner of a rental
played by the director of the show. For
the price of a song, he rents them just what they need to foil the
plans of the
Added to this strange mix after a few episodes is Inspector
Widgett, a sexy but bumbling and pretty incompetent detective who is
the group is somehow involved in the crimes that have been plaguing the
city. She just isn't sure how and starts
These shows are very formulistic, but that's not a bad
thing. They come across as one big
running gag. When Hideki and Ichiro run
into trouble with a crook, you just know they're going to run to the
store and receive some bizarre object.
(The get such seemingly useless items as cream pies, a giant
drill, and some large vegetable costumes.)
The jokes are broad and often crass, yet hilarious.
One word about the two language tracks. I
viewed the first episode in the original
Japanese with subtitles, and found the show rather dull.
There the jokes just didn't work and the
songs weren't funny. That's because the
translation was fairly literal and the humor just didn't survive the
change. For the second episode I tried
the dub and found it hilarious. I went
back and screened the first episode again in English and it worked
better. That's because the dub track
changes some of the dialog so that jokes work in English.
This is especially true for the songs, which
are outrageous in English and just dub if you're reading the subtitles.
A good example of this is the closing song. The
subtitle track give the following lyrics:
Is it a dream or an illusion?
Or could it be money?
It's a trap of sweet seduction
My girl's heart wavers
I jump right into the fantasy
With a special feeling
Melt together more!
Oh I just can't stop anymore!
Nerimas Very much
A Nerima-style senorita
Nerimas Very nice!
A Nerima style que sera, sera
The feelings that communicate the strength
To believe are very max!
Don't go away
Don't go away
A barrel of laughs, huh?
Compare that to the English dub:
Now you've seen
What I think we mean
When we say "don't think too hard today."
And it's true that the things that we do
mean a lot to the people we play.
But we're just some actors
Drinkin' beer after work just like you
We're glad that you bought this
We can pay for our beer thanks to you!
Very much, very much
We have jobs thanks to you
Thank you very much
Very much very nice
Very much now we'll go
Work on the next show
In the show you see on TV
Don't go away
Don't go away
The dub is just much more humorous. If
you've seen an episode in Japanese and
didn't enjoy it, I'd strongly recommend watching a show with this dub.
The one complaint that I do have is that there's a lot of
repetition over the course of the show. Animated segments get used over
over again in different episodes, which may not be as noticeable if
watching one show a week, but when you zip through these in a couple of
sticks out like a sore thumb. I was also
disappointed that there weren't more song in the show.
Each episode did have three or four songs,
but the tunes are used over and over again. While the lyrics are
match the situation I would have appreciate a bit more variety over
As I mentioned in the main body of the review, I really
enjoyed the dub on this show. The
Japanese actors sounded fine, but the subtitle track was much more
humorous. The English voice actors did a
good job with their roles too and the comedic timing was very good. This is one of the few series where I think
the dub is significantly better than the original language track.
The full frame picture looks pretty good. The
colors are bright and the lines are
tight. There is some aliasing in the
background, but it's not significant.
This looks like a typical anime of recent vintage.
A lot of the extras that ADV put on their volumes have been
stripped from this FUNimation release, which is too bad.
There's still a clean opening and closing,
and commentary tracks on every episode with the director Shinichi
various members of the cast and crew.
These were generally fun and much more interesting than English
A hilarious and outrageously funny show, even if it does get
a bit crass at times, this program is a winner.
Just make sure you give the dub track a try, since the show
better in English than it does in Japanese do to cultural differences. It's only too bad that a second season was
never made. In any case getting the
whole series in one set is great. Highly