Nerima Daikon Brothers Vol. #3 - 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
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     May 02, 2007
Release Date: April 24, 2007


Nerima Daikon Brothers Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
Could it be?! Could the Nerima Daikon Brothers actually make a deal that will give them their very own concert dome?! Could baseball, apple pie, and blues music actually come together to make the daikon field a thing of the past?!!! Pick up volume three of Nerima Daikon Brothers (right now!), and pop it in your DVD player to answer these and other burning questions such as: What's wrong with Mako's face? Why is she so interested in plastic surgery? Who is this Yukel Hakushon fellow? Is he really a 'Thriller'? Is there a Pandaikon pandemic? Can Hideki, Ichiro, Mako, Yukika, Pandaikon, and all the rest sing ever-more hilarious songs in their quest for justice, peace, and wheelbarrows full of money? This is it folks, the last volume of Nerima Daikon Brothers. No collection of hilarious, fast-paced, song-filled anime is complete without it! Whaddaya waitin' for?! (We're making absolutely no mention on this volume of the bushel-full of hot chicks.)

The Review!
When a financier enters the scene, Hideki is all set to hit the big time with the Nerima 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:
Ichiro takes the final cover with a scene that has him in one of his usual moments where his expression is just priceless. Everyone's favorite panda is hanging in there as well as a few shots of some of the villains for these stories. The cover art for this series has been good and the theme for them overall has been very consistent which is a big plus. 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 time around it covers the roots of the series which goes into the privatization concept and why it was such a focus at the end here. The reverse side of the insert has a two panel spread of the trio and the panda that looks really solid.

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 stage at the farm with the selections around it. Similar to the second volume, there isn't a lot of real motion here but it's another good in-theme menu. It's also rare to see multiple menus from ADV Films when one menu will serve for all the volumes in a series so I have to give them a nod for that. 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. A new set of music videos make their way onto this volume and they're quite fun as it's all about the Money Dancers. One is short and the other one is a good bit longer but it's just great to see the dancers in the outfits going at it. 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 cover these four episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The end of Nerima Daikon Brothers was something that I was really curious about. With the structure of the show to date being one that is highly predictable, would that attempt to break that in order to tell something that'd have a real sense of closure? While something of an overall arc is introduced into it the structure remains relatively the same.

Things kick of pretty much at the start as a wealthy developer enters the picture named Donabe. He's intent on buying the field that the Brothers own and build a dome there but only if Hideki will sign it over. To entice Hideki, he offers the possibility of doing it as a dual use dome where sports and other events can be hosted as well as the Nerima Daikon Brothers. Hideki is head over heels about these guys plans since it brings their dreams to fruition but the others aren't so sure. Even worse for Hideki, he starts to do all of this without direct input from the other two and that sets them even more against the idea. As the dome wouldn't be built using their own hard work and sweat it doesn't feel like its right to them.

Along the way there are a few more people that end up becoming involved in this though Donabe is fairly consistent throughout it. The introduction of Yukel, a Michael Jackson parody distortion that's just even more amusing in English because of the accent and inflection, feels a bit off at times because similar to Donabe it presents the show as spinning its wheels more than anything else. That's not to say that each of the musical numbers aren't hilarious and that the comedy overall is solid. It's simply that as a progressive plot it doesn't add a lot to things. If anything, things feel like they're slowing down a bit even if it is building up towards the end when the Lions Club is introduced. That alone takes the series to an even more unrealistic setting with a flying parliament. It does however provide a positively great send-up of former Prime Minister Koizumi which is great if you follow politics there. Thankfully for those that don't, the insert provides some good background on the situation.

There are a lot of good moments on this volume that are generally unrelated to the storylines in some ways. Yurika takes on a very amusing role this time around as she gets closer to the gang in general. Be it her doing the money dance, hitting on Ichiro a bit or doing song and dance numbers with them in proper costume she manages to finally grow into someone that doesn't make me want to throttle her off the show. Her panda humor continues to be amusing but the change in her nature here a bit helps to make her a lot more amusing. Equally fun to watch is the way Mako and Ichiro get closer throughout here as Hideki goes off on his dome plans. It gets pretty weird to see naked Mako cuddling up to Ichiro but when it brings her into a kind of competition with Yurika it all works out great.

Though the series doesn't end with a real sense of closure it does bring about a conclusion that in a way feels like it closes things out well enough. These last four episodes are fun as they try to break structure a bit but still end up adhering to it for the most part. A bit more background is given to the cast, they face a big time challenge separately and then together and come to realize what it is that really drives them. The biggest appeal of course continues to be the music and I really have to say that this series has a great amount of replay value. Listening to both versions isn't exactly a completely different show because the plots are the same but the comedy allows for some really diverse moments. I'm by no means a fan of changing translations but this is one of those rare exception shows where it's almost required because of the music.

And if I haven't said it enough in the previous volumes, the leads in this series just have done some truly amazing work. Chris Patton's Ichiro is one of the best roles I think he's ever done while Greg Ayres just blew me away with the kind of diversity he brings to his many roles. Having listened to him in a lot of shows, including other ones during this release, this is the one that I will remember for quite a long time. And I certainly can't be remiss in talking about how great of a job Luci Christian did with her role as Mako in bringing it the right kind of sexiness with the accent she was using. Separately they all did fantastic jobs and rose to the occasion but together they went above and beyond. While the stories may be predictable and too structured the show is one that is a rarity and a real treasure in this marketplace.

In Summary:
Nerima Daikon Brothers comes to a close and it's been a great ride. Smartly released in three volumes with appealing cover art, great adaptations and hilarious performances it hits all the right notes on a regular basis. Though I do think it's the kind of show that's best off watching an episode a week, it is a show with a lot of replay value to it. The comedy across both versions is solid while the singing is just as good. There aren't many of these kinds of shows made and comedy is so hit or miss to begin with that it's easy to see that this one is a real hard one to get out there. It is one that is definitely worth taking a chance on though as it's likely to be an "undiscovered gem" for a lot of people in the next couple of years as it filters about the market. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,ADVid-notes â"˘,Commentary with Nabeshin and Showtaro Morikubo (Ichiro),Commentary with Nabeshin and Ayano Matsumoto (Mako), Sing Along with the Daikon Brothers subtitles to the songs,Video short "Money Dancers Live!",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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