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Sgt. Frog: Season Two
While fans are patiently (or not so patiently as is often the case) waiting for the further adventures of Sgt. Frog to be released here in Region 1, FUNimation has decided to put together the second season into one nice-sized boxed set. I would have much rather a set of new episodes, but this release is a good sign. At least they haven't forgotten about the diminutive alien and his mission to conquer Earth. Clever, witty, and hilarious, this show consistently delivers irreverent fast-paced comedy and is a 'must-buy' title.
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 collection presents more of the same, and thank goodness for that! These 24 episodes have Sgt. Keroro and the Armpit Platoon still trying to conquer Pekopon, but mainly bickering among themselves and getting into odd (and hilarious) predicaments. This time around the Armpit Platoon gets pulled into a school play, Peter Pan - A Tale of Terror, they present a parody of
In Keroro's Sweet Patato Dango the sergeant decides to raise some money by selling chocolates before Valentines Day. The only problem is that he gets conned into spending his limited capital on a truck load of sweet potatoes, so he makes a confection out of them and tries to convince everyone that sweet potato candy is a better gift than chocolate. One of the better episodes was How to Succeed in Pekopon Conquering Without Really Trying, where Kululu becomes nice and starts to help the Hinatas for a change. They're all so grateful that they give him cookies and other nice things. The whole platoon decides that they'll be good too, gain the Earthlings trust, and then turn on them. Keroro has a hard time however, and isn't sure what a good deed actually is.
Like the other collections, just about every episode on these discs has some good laughs. One of the best this time around is the Christmas episode where Keroro decides that Santa is a rival alien trying to conquer Pekopon and sets out to kill him. Or tickle him, whichever is easier. There's also a funny parody of practical joke shows where the space pop-idol Sumomo gets into a Natsumi disguise and tries to 'punk' Giroro by getting the frog to kiss the human on TV. It's not as easy as it sounds.
Even the shows with weaker plots are funny because the show is filled with rapid-fire puns and jokes; so many that you can't catch all of them the first time around. Not all of them are aimed at kids either, such are the time that one character pulls out "A weapon so horrible even
This four disc set contains the entire second season, episodes 27-51. They come on four 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. The second and fourth discs include a clean opening and closing as well as a text 'Pekopon Invasion Database' which is a gallery of character designs.
Filled with more puns, quips, and jokes, this set is just as uproariously funny as the earlier season. While there are no new episdoes, and if you have the earlier releases you can safely skip this one, Sgt. Frog is easily the best humor anime currently in release and deserves to be in everyone's anime collection. Highly Recommended.