Ping Pong Club Vol. #2: Love & Comedy - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ping Pong Club

Ping Pong Club Vol. #2: Love & Comedy

By Chris Beveridge     November 05, 2002
Release Date: October 22, 2002


Ping Pong Club Vol. #2: Love & Comedy
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Watch and laugh as our heroes come face to face with their worst nemesis: An all-female team! Will it be love, or war?

The Review!
As these episodes continue to simply overwhelm me, I can’t help but wonder how wrong it is to laugh as hard as I do at this show.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. While not an old show, things here are very much dialogue based with it being comedy oriented. Dialogue is mostly through the center channel and comes across without any noticeable distortions or dropouts. It's a fairly typical soundtrack.

Video:
Originally airing back in the mid 90's, Ping Pong Club has it's own style. The animation looks a lot like Urusei Yatsura at times in how its done, which is generally cheap. But while this serves the shows humor, it doesn't make for a striking looking disc. The transfer is decent with hardly any cross coloration and minimal shimmering, there's a bit of softness to it and some slight fuzziness. It's a good serviceable looking transfer.

Packaging:
The cover provides a rather creepy image of Maeno getting ready to launch his own special attack as lightning cracks against the dark clouded sky. This segment in the anime is among the more twisted things in there to be sure. The back cover has a couple of animation shots and a little summary of what the show’s style is. The discs features and technical aspects are clearly listed. The reverse side through the clear keepcase provides the chapter listings on one side with another look at the front cover while the other does dual language cast listings and general production information.

Menu:
The menu system is fairly typical CPM, with a hard piece of animation/menu selections being themed after an animation from the show loading up. The menu transitions feature dub material and jokes, which slows things down in more ways than one. Selections are nice and fast and moving around is laid out pretty well.

Extras:
The extras are, for the most part, what we’ve seen on other volumes. We’ve got the opening and ending sequences in clean formats and we’ve got the shows trailer. The new extra here as an original How to Play Ping Pong clip set to pieces of the show while English text plays over them.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Another four episodes, and another hour and a half of my mind being taken in directions I’m sure it was never intended. Ping Pong Club continues to do things that simply should not be done, but I can’t help but to watch, laugh and reminisce. They get into things really good with this batch as the team ends up dealing with a lot of women this time around.

Their counselor ends up taking them to an actual retreat for practice this time, after we get told about the previous year when they were forced to go with the baseball club instead, due to a lack of funds. This year promises to be better, though at such a far out of the way place, none of the guys are particularly trusting. When they arrive and it’s a gorgeous place, they can’t believe it. That’s not a bad thing either, cause they get forced to stay in the place that’s being torn down shortly instead, just to eke out a few more coins by the manager. The manager being a monkey.

Seriously.

The guys mood does change though, as there’s a group of women there who are also ping pong players, which leads to some amusing match-ups with Maeno and Izawa. There’s a great amount of interplay between them and the girls, especially when they slip under their robes and “become” them with the girls still in them. Takeda gets a good storyline from all of this as well, as it turns out that the male half of a double suicide a few years prior is the spitting image of him. So it’s little surprise that the woman’s ghost has come back to haunt him. After a bit of fun with Takeda, they all go off in search of the ghost to try and free her soul, which it seems is something that almost every series must participate in at one time or another. With this group, it goes in bizarre places.

Another episode has a great match-up when their counselor gets an older woman’s group to take them on. The guys figure college girls, but he’s really got a group of women whose average age is about fifty. With the art style only this series can manage, we get some of the most truly hideous looking anime women ever. And most of them end up being at the least half naked, which just kills your eyes. And while Maeno has his hidden pecker move, it’s freaking scary the kind of things that these older women come up with as their secret moves to win.

Seriously. SCARY.

The place I had the most enjoyment though dealt with an actual competition at their age level against another school. For the most part, they figure they’ll be easily defeated and they can go on with their lives. But Iwashita changes everything when she promises to give them the “free sex license” she has to the one who wins the competition, with it to be valid for an entire year. You’d swear half of them would just explode and die right there, but they go through the competition to varying levels while dreaming of what to do with Iwashita. This episode, combined with the date between Iwashita and Takeda, proved to be some of the best material on the disc that just had a ton of laughs.

This show in many ways goes far beyond South Park. It’s sick in many areas, disturbing in others, but almost always funny. Provided you’re as sick and twisted as I apparently am for enjoying this.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,How to Play Ping Pong,Textless Opening & Closing Credits

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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