Fuccons Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 14 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 52
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Fuccon Family

Fuccons Vol. #1

By Mike Dungan     May 29, 2006
Release Date: February 28, 2006


Fuccons Vol. #1
© ADV Films


What They Say
Forget about giant monsters! A not so typical American family has invaded Japan, and the land of the rising sun may never be the same! The cult hit series that replaces flesh and blood actors with mannequins is already a huge hit around the world. Now, the most dysfunctional family ever to escape from a plastic factory is returning to their "native" soil in a special edition lovingly crafted by the original creators. They're weird! They're wacky! They're Fuccon crazy! And once they're in your DVD player, they'll refuse to leave! Take a stiff one America, and relish in the insanity that is The Fuccons!


The Review!
Audio:
I listened to this show in both English and Japanese. With only 52 minutes worth of show, it's no great tax on my time to watch it both ways. Both versions have a good clean audio mix. Since it's just mannequins, there's almost no action, which means the dialogue doesn't have to compete with the sound effects to be heard. Nor is there background music to compete with. Both dubs use actors who really play their characters over the top. Rob Mungle as James Fuccon, Christine Auten as Barbara Fuccon and Kira Vincent-Davis as their son Mikey are all excellent, and are clearly having fun with the show. The Japanese cast is likewise playing it up big, throwing everything they've got into the lifeless mannequins.

Video:
This is a recent show, meaning the video is very clean and crisp. The transfer is up to ADV's usual high standards. Of course, we're talking about filming mostly motionless mannequins, so the video quality should be good. There was no problem with video that I could see anywhere.

Packaging:
Much like ADV's release of The Super Milk-chan Show, this show comes in two versions: Japanese and American, although both are contained on the same disc. The Japanese version is, not surprisingly, in Japanese, with Japanese title cards. The American side is in English, with English title cards. Interestingly, the American side doesn't include the episode numbers. When watching in Japanese, the title cards show the episode numbers, and they're not in order. Or rather, ADV is skipping forward every once in a while. With the 3 minute episode format, ADV decided to group episodes together by storyline instead of sticking to a strict episode order, which would be much more scattershot in how the story is told. It's a format that might annoy some, but truth be told, I prefer it this way.

Menus:
The menus are simple and easy to navigate. Once you've decided which language to watch it in, the titles are displayed while random quotes from the show (in English) are heard in the background. There are no transition animations, and each menu loads quickly. The random quotes are fun rather than annoying, especially heard without their proper context.

Extras:
There are no extras.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
A typical American family consisting of father James, mother Barbara and son Mikey, have moved to Japan. These 17 3-minute episodes introduce us to the family and some of the secondary characters. James and Barbara dress like the typical '50s American family, and Mikey's a simple, innocent young boy. First, we meet Laura, Mikey's cousin. She's visiting and is a typical bored American teenager. We also meet Emily, Mikey's girlfriend. Then there's Teacher Bob, Mikey's teacher who talks so quietly, his mother goes everywhere with him to translate. She's known as Bob-mama, and is a rather intimidating woman. There's also James's parents, who come to Japan to visit.
The episodes are short and sweet, with some often-times bizarre humor. From James and Barbara worrying that Mikey has learned they "do it" to Mikey overcoming his hatred of milk, we get to know the character's personalities. And the truth is, they're pretty shallow. James is a horndog who is looking for every opportunity to get some on the side. Barbara is a conniving woman who values appearance above all else. Mikey is a small drink short of a Happy Meal in the brains department.

In Summary:
You won't find any deep storylines here. Just mannequins living lives of not so quiet desperation. Taken as a whole, it's almost too much. But if you stick with it, the humor really starts to sneak up on you. At first, I was watching this and wondering what I had gotten myself into. Then I started laughing. A lot. Despite looking like a college film class project gone horribly wrong, the humor really appealed to me. I found myself laughing not only at the dialogue, but at the zero budget style of filming. This show is fun without pretense, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles

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

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