Ninja Nonsense Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ninja Nonsense

Ninja Nonsense Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     August 25, 2006
Release Date: September 26, 2006


Ninja Nonsense Vol. #2
© Nozomi Entertainment


What They Say
It's Super Explosive Pervy Ninja Insanity in Right Stuf International's latest release: NINJA NONSENSE DVD 2: PSYCHEDELIC SUMMER!

Take the comedy of SOUTH PARK, combine it with one totally cute (and naive) ninja-girl trainee, a horde of ninjas under the perverse tutelage of her headmaster: a strange, yellow, spherical, pudgy... creature... named Onsokumaru, and you get the craziest, most hilarious anime show ever created!

Rising temperatures provide a perfect opportunity for Onsokumaru to get Shinobu and Kaede into in their swimsuits " and hopefully into a lusty embrace as well! Things are heating up for Miyabi, too... she's got a crush! Will the Ninja Pharmaceutical Group's special love potion help things along? Then it's from the frying pan into the fire - Onsokumaru gets sent to Hell! But, Hell can't be all that bad...! There are demon schoolgirls, demon wives, demon in-laws... well, the demon in-laws could be kinda bad...

Since the summer sun's so fierce, it's too hot to train; the ninjas have little to do but sit around and read dirty magazines. Maybe a little summer festival could brighten the mood? But the party's short-lived, because a typhoon is coming! With Shinobu stuck at Kaede's house, the ninja manor turns into a terrible sausage fest! And last but not least, when Onsokumaru lends his wisdom to a mushroom picking expedition, the ninjas are in for a magical ride! Especially when their tasty treats end up being poisonous and hallucinogenic!

The Review!
Ninja nonsense goes for a lot more blatant and upfront slapstick humor and firmly sets Sasuke as the ninja all ninja must aspire to

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. With it being a kind of wacky comedy series, there are a lot of things going on across the screen which means characters flying every which way and an audio mix that has to handle that. There are some really good standout sequences where the dialogue moves around beautifully across the forward soundstage and really helps the scene work even better. We listened to a good bit of the English track as well and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either track.

Video:
Originally airing in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The source materials are in fantastic shape here and the encoding has captured a lot of the visual beauty of the show in its rich palette of colors. There's a great mix of colors between the traditional ninja motif and that of the normal world and they blend very well. In particular, the many gray outfits of the ninjas maintain a very solid feel while the backgrounds and sky areas don't show any blocking. The animation quality is quite good and fluid and the lack of cross coloration or aliasing means this is great looking transfer.

Packaging:
With a lot of heavy inking along the character designs, it's an extra bit of appeal to an already good looking cover as it features the female leads enjoying a summer day in the river while an oversized Onsokumaru ravages the landscape behind them. The cover is bright and attractive with lots of eye-catching colors and a really nice layout overall. The back cover is broken out into a couple of sections where each of the episodes is covered with a short summary and an accompanying shot from the episode, shots that highlight Onsokumaru a lot and point to the weirdness of the series. The discs features are clearly listed while the technical information covers everything in a quick to easy form. The cover is also reversible though the only change, a good one though, is that the logo is swapped out from its English version to its original Japanese one. The included booklet appears to do a lot of translating from the Japanese ones as it has a few production journals that are illuminating, some character profile pieces and a number of very useful liner notes to the various gags and visuals in the show.

Menu:
The menu replicates the design of the front cover and expands upon it a bit with some simple but effective animation; there's a great bit of mild animation to it of waves splashing in the spring, just above the selections, while in the overall background you have the rays from the sun rotating around. Set to a bit of bouncy vocal music from the show, it's a good looking menu that's easy to navigate and with quick access times. In another plus, the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
There are a few extras included with this first volume that are fun to check out. There are five of the original TV spots promoting the series, something that I always love to see since it's interesting to see how shows are promoted differently, as well as a clean version of the third opening. Also included are a brief set of character bios.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The further I get into this series, the more I see it as a sort of spiritual successor to the Urusei Yatsura series as the two have so much in common. This volume brings three more episodes out, though technically it's six as they do split episode stories, and the staff behind it manage to work the short-form comedy very well as there's no real lulls here that you'd get if the episodes were actually full length.

One thing that becomes much more apparent with this set of episodes is that as much as we would like to believe otherwise at times, Onsokumaru is indeed the lead of the show. The first volume gave the illusion well that it was about Shinobu primarily and then her relationship with Kaede, but as it progresses you get the impression that it'd be easier to call the series "The Onsokumaru Show" and just let the little yellow guy get all the glory he wants. This isn't a bad thing mind you as I can't help but admit I love the perverted little guy and all the weird things he says, does and perpetrates on everyone else. There'd be plenty of comedy without him but he's the one that's able to send it completely over the top.

Like most "slice of life" shows, Ninja Nonsense hits up a lot of traditional concepts to tell its stories with its slightly off kilter angle. We get the summer heat wave where everyone is just laying about trying to survive and find some way of staying cool. Piles of Sasuke's laying about in various clothes is disturbing enough but they go even further after they find Shinobu and Kaede in a small blow-up pool outside. Proving that the team behind this is mocking everyone with their fanservice, the ninjas all dress up in various swimsuits (while still keeping their masks on) and put on a fashion show that actually calls it a "Moe" event in the title. The also follow through on another summer concept in doing the summer festival where the girls dress up in yukata's and everyone else works stalls and events, again in various outfits but still with their headgear on. Onsokumaru wrecks havoc throughout both of these events as he oversees all the debauchery that he wants to have happen during them.

There are some fairly wacky adventures that happen along the way as well; one episode has at typhoon hitting the town and everyone's stuck indoors, which means it's like the summer heatwave in that the Sasuke's all come up with bizarre indoor games and trade their "Costume Removing" porn magazines around. Onsokumaru has a great bit here where he sneaks out and goes in golden yellow human form and takes up residence in Kaede's house and tries to put the moves on her. Another similar episode has the girls going into the mountains for mushroom picking and Onsokumaru and all the ninjas end up picking hallucination inducing mushrooms. It was doubly amusing having just watched another show that dealt with mushrooms and odd spellings of them.

The show doesn't really change much from the previous volume in that it carries through on a lot of slapstick humor, wordplay and self-mocking fanservice moments. Some scenes go a mile a minute and others are a touch slower but this is still a very active show for the most part and it's still just as funny. Without having to go through the setup and introduction as they did in the first episode, it just barrels right through here. There is a hint of something bigger going on as implied but an offhand comment or two in the very last episode but it's not something I see as overtaking the series as a whole or diminishing what it is right now, which is just too funny.

In Summary:
Ninja Nonsense manages to hold onto the style of comedy it set forth in the first volume and really I think takes it up a notch or two here as it gets more familiar with its characters and doesn't work hard to keep Shinobu or Kaede in the forefront of things at all times. I love the perverted nature that gets played up in here but in that at the same time it mocks itself so it's not trying to take itself too seriously. Comedies can be so hit or miss but this one just hits all the right marks with me and has me laughing plenty, if not smiling all the way through it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,TV Spots 5-9, Textless Opening 3,Liner Notes

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 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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