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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Save Me! Lollipop: The Complete Series
Save Me! Lollipop: The Complete Series
FUNimation // Unrated // February 24, 2009
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted April 15, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:

Yet another show that FUNimation saved when ADV went through some hard times, Save Me Lollipop is a light, mindless comedy series that's aimed at kids.  When a 12-year-old school girl finds that she's the prize in a contest among candidate magicians from another dimension, the poor girl has to run for her life.  Luckily two hunks lads, who are also part of the contest, come to her aid and protect her.  With a lot of cross-dressing and maniacal action, the show is short on plot but long on loud brash humor that will entertain the younger crowd.

Nina, a typical 12-year-old girl is eating cake with her friends in a restaurant one nice afternoon when she comes across an unexpected small hard ball.  She assumes it's a piece of candy used to decorate the cake, pops it into her mouth, and accidently swallows it.

Big mistake.

The next thing Nina knows, two really cute boys, Zero and Ichi, appear who are looking for the ball.  When she explains that she swallowed it, they come close to panicking.  It turns out that the ball was really the Crystal Pearl, a magical item that is used in an annual tournament that takes place in another dimension to determine who gets to become a professional magician.  Zero and Ichi are part of the contest, but as soon as they explain what's going on a literal stream of contestants fly at Nina at breakneck speed.  She's saved by a magical shield that Zero and Ichi erect, but the contestants will be back.

The two boys contact the leaders on their home world and inform them that Nina has eaten the Crystal Pearl.  Those wise men inform the magician candidates that they can distil a potion that will remove the Pearl from Nina without any side effects... but it will take until Christmas to create it!  In the mean time Zero and Ichi have to protect Nina from the other candidates who want to remove it forcibly from the girl.

This was a very short series, running only 13 episodes, and it's a nice twist on the magical girl genre.  Instead of the main female character having the magical powers like Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor, the main character is helpless and has to rely on two very cute magical boys.  It's a nice thing they kept the anime so short and sweet too... this is pretty much a one trick pony.  After the initial twist on the genre things settle down to a quiet and predictable formula.

The show is meant to be funny, it's a wild and chaotic show with lots of broad humor and a fair amount of cross dressing.  It's definitely aimed at a younger audience though.  The jokes are pretty simple and easy and the plots are even more so.  Think Pokemon but dumbed down a bit.

Since it is for kids, the animation is all done on the cheap, and it really shows.  There are pans over static images, backgrounds are reused way too much, and the CGI is fairly crude and does not blend in with the traditional 2D animation.  While this isn't distracting, it does nothing to endear this show to viewers.

The DVD:


Funimation puts all 13 episodes on two discs which come in a single-width clear keepcase with a reversible cover.

Audio:

Viewers have the choice of the original Japanese soundtrack or an English dub, both in stereo.  (There are optional English subtitles.)  The audio sounded fine, though a subwoofer track would have been appreciated.  The sounds of explosions, blasts, and buildings imploding are loud but don't pack the wallop that I was expecting.  Other than that the series sounds fine with both tracks being acceptable.  Some of the girls voiced in the dub track were a little too high for my tastes, so with the exception of a couple of episodes I screened this with the original language track.

Video:

The full frame image quality is pretty good, even though the animation itself is a bit lacking.  The lines are tight and the colors are decent.  There is some minor aliasing in the background but nothing major.

Extras:

There are a few nice extras include on the second disc.  First off are three interviews with the Japanese actors who play the leads.  These ran from 5-10 minutes each and were pretty typical Japanese interviews.  There's also the first chapter from the manga, and a clean opening and closing.

Final Thoughts:

Eh.  This was a mildly amusing show in parts, but it never really managed to rise higher than that.  While it's aimed at young children the show is pretty forgettable with one episode feeling exactly like another.  On the plus side, it is a quick watch, being only 13 episodes long.  If you're into magical girl shows, this might be one to check out, but make it a rental.
 

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