Ping Pong Club Vol. #3: Goes Too Far - 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: 29.98
  • 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. #3: Goes Too Far

By Chris Beveridge     December 21, 2002
Release Date: December 03, 2002


Ping Pong Club Vol. #3: Goes Too Far
© Central Park Media


What They Say
A new teacher has arrived who is so cheerful, so perky, and so completely annoying, that Maeno and the team just have to take action. The twisted freaks of the ping pong club unite to form the Losers’ Community, a class of losers, for losers and by losers. Together, they fight for slackers everywhere!



The Review!
Another installment of some sick episodes that just really do go beyond the limits of what’s acceptable – and still it’s hilarious.

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 it’s 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:
An almost decent looking “family” portrait is the cover here, though a naked Izawa does his best to make things not go as smoothly as could be. 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 here are fairly minimal, with the only new one really being the small art gallery. We get a repeat of the textless opening and ending sequences as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the release schedule being so odd for this series, this third volume is actually the final volume, as the fourth and fifth was released already. So in its own weird way, we leave the series in the middle, but with having seen the ending prior to the beginning. It’s almost fitting for this series.

This volume was probably one of the better ones of the series with some really consistently funny and disturbing material. When the class’s regular teacher goes off on medical leave, the new substitute teacher is so eager and so positive in his approach to the class that it sets everyone into different directions. Whereas the entire class would previously hate all teachers, especially by going by the “class rules” that Maeno had set up, they instead end up falling victim to the teachers passion for learning and youth and come to his side. The way the two sides go at each other is just priceless.

An area that was really disturbing had Kinoshita dressing up as a girl and managing to pull it off so well that Tanaka couldn’t tell the difference, and ends up having his first full on “falling in love” moment with him. Through an eerie look into an adults past, we get treated to another first love story that just really goes and shows how life can suck all the good out of it. But the main focus continues to be on everyone groping and fondling Kinoshita and Tanaka’s mad love-on with him. It’s just so twistedly funny, especially when they try to prove he’s a man, that Tanaka continues to win out as the creepiest of the group.

One area that worked well was the setup of Kinoshita’s birthday, where all the girls are bringing him presents, but Maeno and Izawa screen them. When one of the girls has a certain look, Izawa finds himself madly in love with her but he opts to use the situation to build her into something that Kinoshita will want, since that’s what she wants. His training and education of her, and her willingness to call him Instructor after the things he does to her is just evil. But credit where credit is due, Izawa’s smart enough to give her a shirt far too small to wear.

Probably the most frustrating but most humorous area on this disc is where Izawa inadvertently stops a rape from happening and ends up being invited to this very rich girls house. He brings Maeno with him as he intends to show him how he’s going to rise above his station and to really shove it in Maeno’s face, but ends up instead being cast aside as the family is more twisted than expected, and the father adopts Maeno into the family instead. Maeno with money is a series of events not to be missed.

The Ping Pong Club has been a truly entertaining diversion from what most anime released in the U.S. is like. I don’t think I could handle multiple series like this, but one or two every now and then is just perfect. It’s not a series for everyone, but it’s one that should be seen and experienced at least once.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Textless Opening,Textless Closing

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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