FUNimation keeps chugging along with their Sgt. Frog releases. The latest collection is Sgt. Frog Season Three Part Two and the 13 episodes on these two discs are just as irreverent, wacky, and fun as the previous 65 installments. To quote FUNimation's catch phrase, "you should be watching."
Series Background: The Earth is in danger. A ship full of troops from the planet Keron are in orbit and ready to invade, but first they send down a squad of five frog-like reconnaissance soldiers led by Sgt. Keroro. Unfortunately for the invaders, Keron is an idiot. Soon after landing on Earth he meets up with the Hinata family, mother and manga creator Aki, son Fuyuki, and daughter Natsumi. In the first episode Fuyuki takes Keroro's very powerful control ball and accidently sends a signal to the invasion fleet to flee the planet, leaving Keroro and his comrades behind.
Aki quickly agrees to let Keroro stay at their house, in exchange for some 'light' house work (so she can chronicle his adventures in her manga.) He agrees and basically goes from intergalactic soldier to slave in one quick motion. The frog lives in the spacious basement which sounds like a sweet deal until he discovers that the Hinata's house is built on the ruins of a mental hospital which was built on top of an old cemetery and the basement is haunted by the ghost of a wrongfully committed female patient. There's always something, isn't there?
In addition to Keroro, there's the rest of his command, the Armpit Platoon. This consists of Private Second Class Tamama who goes along with whatever Keroro says; Corporal Giroro, the group weapons master who is constantly irritated by Keroro's lack of an invasion plan; Sergeant Major Kululu, the intelligence expert who invents various items at the drop of a hat; and Lance Corporal Dororo, who follows the ways of the ninja and has vowed to protect Earth, even from his team mates.
Though he's trapped on Earth (or Pekopon as it is called on Keron) that hasn't stopped the soldier from trying to conquer the planet... his love of Gundam models has. He spends all of his free time building models and recreating famous Gundam battles, and only thinks about destroying humans when he has to.
This Season: The 13 stand alone episodes (though they frequently refer to earlier adventures) included in this latest release are just as goofy and strange as the earlier batches. One of the better installments is House of 1000 Floors-es, where Keroro with the help of Kululu redesigns the Hinata house, just like on a popular house restoration TV show. Their new domicile is a bit over the top though. They use a two-person railroad car (a left over prop from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? To go from floor to floor, it has a horror movie room complete with real ghost, a kitchen with stadium seating like in Iron Chef, an M. C. Escher-esque starcase made from cemented anti-gravity pylons and the whole thing is run by the mystical power of pyramid... marketing. If you're wondering how they got all that into the Hinata's house, there's an easy explanation: Kululu is an honorary Time Lord.
Another great episode was Ribbited Away, a delightful parody of Spirited Away, where the Hinata family passes through a strange tunnel and ends up at a bath house resort... that's owned by Kerero. They've set it up as a spa for aliens and it works quite well. They even get a huge amorphous blob-creature, a Derorin alien from the 53rd planet of the Sea Slug Constellation. The bicycle in his head is just a fashion thing so he's "cool like a River Spirit without the environmental message." Of course things don't go smoothly. A banana gator egg hatches in the warm water, and it goes downhill from there.
If you've seen the other volumes, you can expect more of the same. Yeah, some of the shows miss and are just sort of stupid but those are few and far between. It's a hilarious show that's filled with solid laughs.
This two-disc set contains episodes 66-78. They come on two single-sided DVDs each in its own thinpak case. The cases are housed in an attractive slipcase.
This show comes with the original Japanese soundtrack in stereo and a DD 5.1 English dub (with optional subtitles). I viewed the show in Japanese and spot checked the dub track and found them to be both fine, if unexceptional, mixes. There are not a lot of effects in the show, but the 2.0 track has some good separation and the 5.1 option does make some good use of the rears in the occasional action sequences. The rare explosions do sound better on the dub track though they aren't as forceful as I would have liked. Whether you prefer watching anime with subs or the dub, you'll be pleased with this set.
The show was made in 2004 and features a 4:3 image that looks very good. The colors are solid and bright, the lines are tight, and the blacks are deep. There was a bit of aliasing in the background, but nothing too tragic. Overall this is a nice looking show.
Not much in the way of extras. There are clean versions of the opening and closing. That's it.
Filled with more puns, quips, and jokes, this set is just as uproariously funny as the earlier seasons. Sgt. Frog is easily the best humor anime currently in release and deserves to be in everyone's anime collection. Highly Recommended.