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Sgt. Frog
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Sgt. Frog
Sgt. FrogSgt. Frog
Sgt. Frog
Anime DVD Review

This is the twelfth time I've tried to write this review. And there's still no easy way to describe Sgt. Frog. Can I liken it to ALF? Or perhaps that weird alien dude in American Dad? No, it's more like this: imagine you locked a dozen fanboys in a room and told them they couldn't leave until they had written the ultimate "original" fan-fiction that didn't involve Harry Potter. And then you gave them a budget to actually make their creation live.

Or, imagine that Sgt. Frog *is* the ultimate fanboy, but he just happens to be ALF. No, that's not it either...

Let me start from the beginning. Ok. you've got this alien frog living with this family... Okay, maybe that needs to be explained as well (you don't get to see the first episode until the second episode, which actually explains this). There was this invasion of Earth that didn't go well, and some of the alien frogs are now stranded on Earth. One of them, the titular character, has taken residence in the basement of a normal... okay... maybe not so normal ... Japanese family. Oh, and there's a Ghost in the basement... But, we'll get to that later.

Sgt. FrogFunimation has done a bang-up job "translating" what is essentially an un-translatable series. Because Sgt. Frog uses a plethora of Japanese cultural references as fodder for the jokes (as well as anime references, puns, language-specific wordplay, etc..), these needed to be Americanized so that you can understand what's being said (as the dialog flies by a mile-a-minute and the subtitles that try to explain all the Japanese typography fly by pretty quickly too, so, stand by with that pause button), and so it can be placed in context of the viewing audience (so that we'll laugh at the referential humor, since a joke about a particular prefecture isn't going to work over here)...

For example, references to a Japanese Pop-idol may be replaced by a reference to Brittany Spears.. And so forth. But rest assured that it's done in good taste and true to the spirit of the series if not the actual dialog. Personally, I'm enjoying the confused narrator, because the show itself is just plain CRAZYYYYYYY... The voice-acting is spot-on, really true to the nature of the characters. And more than a few times I've found myself laughing out loud at the totally bizarre, screwball comedy that is the signature of the series.

Sgt. FrogAnyhow, this Frog wants to continue his mission to take over the world. Except that he's a lazy-ass fanboy and would rather spend his time surfing the internet, building Gundam plastic model kits, and watching TV. And doing the chores, which is how he seems to be earning his keep while the mother "studies" him as inspiration for her writing job (she writes manga— and curiously, Sgt. Frog reads a manga named Captain Frog. Hrmmmm).

It's not often I laugh in front of the TV... Well, there's the Daily Show. But seriously. Sgt. Frog is da bomb. It's hysterical. And with 263+ episodes coming through the tubes, there's more than enough material to keep me entertained for a loooong time. When you consider what a job it was to translate this show, you realize that they really ended up writing a whole new show— and it works! It's funny!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, November 2009

Below: Scenes from Sgt. Frog.

Sgt. Frog

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Sgt. Frog Website Links:

Keroro Gunso website (Japanese)

Sunrise's Keroro Gunso website (Japanese)

TV Tokyo Keroro Gunso website (Japanese)

Official Keroro Gunso Movie Website (Japanese)

Keroro Gunso episode guide

Sgt. Frog in Taiwan (Chinese)

Official Tokyopop Sgt. Frog manga website

Funimation's Sgt. Frog Official English Website

Sgt. Frog (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Keroro Gunso (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Sgt Frog entry at Wikipedia

Below: Trailer for Sgt. Frog.

Below: The Japanese opening titles for the first season of Keroro Gunso.

Below: Promotional artwork for Sgt. Frog.

Sgt. Frog: Promotional Artwork

Sgt. Frog: Promotional Artwork

Below: Covers from the Japanese Sgt. Frog manga.

Sgt. Frog manga

Sgt. Frog manga

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