Nerima Daikon Brothers Vol. #2 (also w/box) - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: TV MA
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98/39.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Nerima Daikon Brothers

Nerima Daikon Brothers Vol. #2 (also w/box)

By Chris Beveridge     February 20, 2007
Release Date: February 20, 2007


Nerima Daikon Brothers Vol. #2 (also w/box)
© ADV Films


What They Say
Why can't the best damned blues band in all the world find cash to build their Concert Dome, get a recording contract, and make their dreams come true? Well, the best blues band in all the world probably can, but what about the Nerima Daikon Brothers?! Thrill to the sounds of Nerima's OTHER number-one host boy as he dukes it out with Ichiro, and plies his trade on unsuspecting housewives! Convulse with laughter as you witness Mako's fascination with a fortune-telling hag, and Hideki falls prey to his love for Mako. All this, plus another bushel full of hot chicks!

The Review!
With the need for cash paramount to all else " except for Hideki proposing to Mako " the Nerima Daikon Brothers continue on with their schemes to build their Daikon Dome.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language adaptation. The English mix for this release has received the 5.1 treatment and it works out pretty well as there is some good action on the subwoofer side of it. The rear channels don't seem to get quite so much though but it's not surprising since it's based on the stereo mix from the Japanese. The forward soundstage really comes across well though and the music, singing and dialogue is strong. We checked out both tracks during the course of the disc and had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2006, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Bright and colorful, the transfer for this show is pretty much spot on throughout. Being such a recent production and being as stylish as it is, the transfer really manages to showcase this well. On occasion there is a bit of softness and some noise in the backgrounds but these moments are brief and few between. Colors in general are very strong and maintain a solid feel. One area that will pleaser a number of people is that the end credits sequence is done in a paged format and it looks great. This was a very welcome change.

Packaging:
Hideki takes the second cover with a great looking piece that has him in his usual outfit but not quite providing the same kind of fanservice that Mako could with the first volume cover. There's also headshots of some of the bad guys they have to face along the way. Overall, it's nicely tied together and Hideki, though not quite as enticing as Mako, makes it work. The back cover uses the dream dome as the backdrop and places a lot of little picture bubbles along one side to show off the animation. The summary is straightforward though with a bit of emphasis in it for the musical side while below it is the listing of the discs extras. Production information is clearly listed as is most of the technical information which suffers from having a bunch of mini logos to squish in there. While there is no reverse side cover, an insert is included. This piece serves as a bit of a glossary and key phrase set of liner notes that's mixed with lots of colorful shots from the show.

With the second volume of the series, following a new trend from ADV Films, a disc + box version is also available. The box for this is decent with its artwork but it's got a solid chipboard form. Both of the main panels have a shot of the three leads against a brick wall doing something out of the Blues Brothers The spine is cute as it shows the three from behind and some of the bank teller girls while the logo is between them. The top makes up for the cuteness factor with a few different panda shots. Having the same artwork on each main panel isn't a bad thing, particularly when you've got three leads to cover, but it feels like they could have done so much more with it. It's a serviceable box and one that will nicely hold everything, but with no included bonus items and nothing really outstanding for the artwork it's not something to rush out for.

Menu:
The menu design for this volume is rather cute and definitely in theme with the show as it has you looking in at the rental shop from the show with the selections on it. While the first one had a bit more to it in terms of animation and appeal, this fits in well with the show. With ADV's discs reading the player presets properly, their minimal menus aren't all that much in terms of navigation but I continue to like that they give you quick episode access right from the top.

Extras:
The extras for this release are a bit deceptive since they don't seem like a lot but they're actually very solid. The standard and welcome inclusion of the clean opening and closing sequence kicks things off. Extras from the Japanese release have been brought over, which includes two episode commentaries by Nabeshin and others which are just simply amusing and enlightening. While we don't have any music videos this time around, we do get an extended promotional video that shows how the series was marketed early on. The two remaining extras are ones that are more critical to this release. The first is that they have a separate sing along subtitle track so you can get all the words to the English language songs. Sometimes some of the words are hard to understand or they go by fast so this helps to flesh that out. The other solid extra on here, one that involves a significant amount of work, is the Vid-notes which covers these four episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a first volume that was essentially unlike anything else out there, the second volume of Nerima Daikon Brothers doesn't have quite the same kind of surprise value to it. The show continues on much in the way it has set itself up with by doing very episodic tales that revolve around three pretty basic points. Get the cash. Love your cousin in the wrong way. And resist the temptation of finding your inner panda.

Each of the episodes has its own theme to it, though none come across quite as racially bad as the Korean one did, The secondary cast of characters, which is basically all of the villains that make our leads work hard for the money that they want, are one dimensional in their own way but have some very amusing moments to them. A couple of other characters do fit in as real secondary characters, but it's hard to qualify them in the same way. Yukika has more importance in this volume and turns into a bit more of an interesting character to watch since she gets a bit more range. She still comes across as the weakest of the leads though even if she does add a bit more fun for the Brothers. The panda is also something of an odd character in that I wouldn't quite call him secondary but without him so much of the humor disappears. Much of the same can be said of the Nabeshin character as well.

The four storylines that appear on this disc don't quite move the show forward since the Brothers just end up getting further in debt but the humor is just spot on in both languages. The opening episode has a wealthy gent who does what Ichiro does for a living but deals in a different trade for it. He's popular, attractive and apparently wealthy since he drives a Ferorri but as it turns out he has a far darker secret to his real life. Amusingly, the Brothers decide to ease his money problems by swiping the loot but they run into a far darker situation when they learn what his life is really like.

Another episode revolves around a woman who predicts peoples futures and naturally she's got the hots for Ichiro. Similar to other episodes, which include later ones here that has a disingenuous lawyer and a company president, it's all about getting the cash and dealing with whatever problems come up. More often than not, Ichiro finds himself being caught up in the action and kept out of the scenes with Nabeshin though they make do amusingly enough without him. Nabeshin also mocks them nicely in one sequence about their music that just cuts to the core of the issue with the way the show is built on repetition. It works beautifully in a weekly format but is harder in this form with the second volume.

Where the show has some decidedly odd but highly humorous twists is in the romance department. We've already got the strange relationship that Ichiro and the panda share but we also have Hideki's love of Mako. It gets a little more intense in this volume as Hideki pursues changing the constitution in order to make it legal for him to marry her and that's just starting to freak her out. Yukika's interests become more apparent in this volume as well as she's going after both the panda and Ichiro. Ichiro's not so bad but her songs of panda lust just make you feel all weird inside. Well, after you laugh at how insane they are with all the daikon imagery. Add in all the others that have their various interests and lusts and it makes for a pretty perverted show no matter which language you watch it in. Though the English one of course takes it up several notches.

In Summary:
Nerima Daikon Brothers is just as funny as it was before. But with eight episodes now behind us, its faults are showing if you view it in large batches. Best as a weekly show alongside other situation comedies, it provides plenty of laughs, raunchy humor and wonderful musical numbers. There really isn't a lot to compare it to that's been released in the US before. The length of the series is definitely coming into play now though and with only one volume left it's likely to be "just enough" without overstaying its welcome. Though I don't doubt that the English language voice actors worked hard on their roles, it sounds like they're having nothing but fun and loving the chance to really do something different. It's infectious and makes this all the more engaging. Highly recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,AD Vid-notesâ"˘,Commentary with Nabeshin and Shigeru Matsuzaki (Hideki),Commentary with Nabeshin and Showtaro Morikubo (Ichiro),Sing Along with the Daikon Brothers subtitle track,Nerima Daikon Brothers Extended Promo,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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jnager 3/13/2012 8:25:26 PM

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