Fuccons Vol. #2 (of 3) (Mania.com)

By:Mike Dungan
Review Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2006



What They Say
Can poor Mikey withstand the horror of the horribly improper twins, Tony and Charles? Will he be able to keep up with the schedule obsessed Time Boy? Will his amorous ambitions for the lovely Emily ever come to fruition? Or will he succumb to the wily and convoluted plans of his devious cousin Laura and her partner in crime Brown? The answers will be revealed in the smash comedy hit that's so popular in Japan that it even has its own restaurants! Take a deep draught of the insanity and get plastered with the second mind-roasting volume of The Fuccons!

The Review!
The innocent Mikey is introduced to the argumentative twins Charles and Tony, Emily's big brother Brown, the strict Time Boy, and a curious boy named Why?

Audio:
For the purposes of this review, I watched this show in both the original Japanese and in English. Both are very well recorded, though the English is a bit quieter than the Japanese.

Video:
Not surprisingly for such a recent show, the video transfer is very good. I had no problems with pixelation, drop outs or other artifacts.

Packaging:
Mikey is seen on the cover in front of the twins, all against a blue background. The back cover has several images from the show, with the copy text written in a large and clear font. The inside cover is an image of the extended Fuccon family at the beach. The disc is a black and white image of the twins. The design of it all is clean and simple, but still eye-catching.

Menus:
There are two sets of menus, depending on which language you want to watch the show in. The menus are identical, except for either a Japanese or an American flag, depending on language selection. The chapter titles are on the main menu, but because there are so many, you have to select "more" or "previous" to scroll between the different selections. The reason there are two different menus is because you can't change language selections while watching the show. ADV chose to keep the title cards for each episode in Japanese for the Japanese version of the show, and made new English title cards for the English version of the show. Rather than using alternate angles, ADV separated the two versions of the show. Unfortunately, if you want to switch language while watching the show, you either have to skip chapters to find the other version of the episode, or return to the main menu, select the other language, hunt for the title through the different main menu screens, then finally watch the episode in the other language. It seems an extreme step to take to avoid using alternate angles, something their Texas neighbors Funimation have doing successfully for years..

Extras:
The only extras are previews for several show, including Vermilion Pleasure Night, the show that spawned The Fuccons.

Content: (Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Mikey Fuccon and his parents James and Barbara are Americans who have come to Japan to live and work. They are also mannequins. Everyone in the Fuccons are mannequins. There's Mikey's girlfriend Emily, his devious cousin Laura, and several others. The first couple of episodes introduce Mikey to Charles and Tony, the twins from England. They're constantly arguing and rude to everyone around them. Time Boy is a boy with a giant clock around his neck who is constantly obsessed with schedules and time. We meet Brown, the big brother of Mikey's girlfriend Emily. Brown is as devious as Laura, and is more than willing to help her with her many schemes. He's also not above seducing Mikey's mom, who turns out to be an easy target. In other episodes, we meet Raymond, a fundoshi-lovin' college classmate of James'. Then there's the story of how James and Barbara met, told from each other's point of view. My favorite episode didn't feature the Fuccons at all. Instead, we meet the Kawakitas, a family much like the Fuccons, but recently arrived from Kyoto. They're poor and languorous, tired and disaffected, a perfect counter-point to the forced joviality of the Fuccons. They're so good, they make up the next volume preview, with their son Satoru droning on about how great the next volume will be.

In Summary:
There are 18 episodes on this disc. Well, really, there are 36 episodes when language selection is taken into account. Even though each episode is only three minutes long, that's still a whole lot of Fuccon nonsense. (Sorry, I had to slip one Fuccon pun in there somewhere.) The idea of using mannequins to highlight the artificiality of modern society is clever, but it's also funny. The show, in both languages, is overacted to perfection. Not having to match mouth flaps must have been a joy to the actors in both languages. I was never that wild about Vermilion Pleasure Night, the show that gave birth to the Fuccons, but the Fuccons was the one part of Vermilion Pleasure Night I always enjoyed unreservedly.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: TV PG
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 19.98
Running time: 55
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fuccon Family