"Sparkling vampires are just twisted fiction from a mad woman's mind." - Natsumi Hinata
Woo-hoo! Otaku in Region One finally get new episodes of Sgt. Frog! FUNimation has continued with the series after a long 16 months hiatus with no new episodes. It was worth the wait, as Sgt, Keroro and his Armpit Platoon are still hilarious with their bizarre and off-the-wall plans for taking over the Earth. Sgt. Frog Season Three Part One is another 14 episodes of goofy fun.
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.
Season Three has more irreverent wacky goodness as the Armpit Platoon continues to try to take over Earth. All your favorite supporting characters make appearances in this set, including "Queen of Terror" and planet destroyer the cute Angol Mois, the ever-smiling Space Deputy Kogoro, and another member of the Viper clan, Cool Big Brother Viper, who is out to avenge the defeat of his brother.
One of the better episodes has Keroro and his squad visiting ancient cities and ruins after watching a TV show on ancient aliens. They immediately recognize that old sites as being constructed by aliens and decide to investigate, hoping to find weapons they can use. The Great Pyramid of Giza turns out to be a haunted house, the ruins of Machu Picchu (which the narrator points out is NOT a pokemon) is an ancient roller coaster ride, Stonehenge is a cosmic deep fat fryer, and the statues on Easter Island turn out to be a giant Whack-a-Mole game. Yes, that's right... aliens visited Earth in the distant path and turned it into an amusement park.
Another favorite from this set is "Dial M for Maybe I can Solve This Murder" where Keroro decides to become a detective and the first case he tackles is the murder of Space Deputy Kogoro! Is the tofu found near his body a clue? What about the white model paint on the floor? And how did the killer get out of the locked room? Don't rely on Keroro to come up with any sane answer.
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 (like the first episode in this set) but those are few and far between. It's a hilarious show that's filled with solid laughs.
This two-disc set contains episodes 52-65. 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.