Keroro Gunsou Movie 4

Posted by DiGiKerot in Random Stuff at December 15, 2009 on 11:21 pm

I was disappointed.

I mean, after the HK DVD releases of the second and third Keroro movies proved to be such a comedy goldmine, I had high hopes for the release of the fourth movie. Alas, as it turns out, it would appear that this time around they actually hired someone with at least something of a grasp of the Japanese and English languages – they aren’t what you’d consider perfect, but the subtitles were not only legible but looked to be pretty accurate as well.

That said, my disappointment was short-lived, as soon as it hit the opening credit sequence, something happened with immediately won me over…

Yes, that really is Zinedine Zidane ‘nutting Keroro. Laugh? I had to rewind to movie just to expel my doubts over what I’d just witnessed.

The Keroro movies are a bit of an odd kettle of fish. The average story in the Keroro TV show lasts about ten minutes – maybe a full episode if you are lucky – and is typically a combination of entirely stupid and overbearing attempts to invoke nostalgia. If you are watching Funimations magnificent US dub, it’s entirely the former, as they go out of their way to make every line of dialogue dumb. In either case, it’s not exactly the kind of thing which stretches out to the length of a movie, which is presumably why the movies have this distinct tendency to go all SERIOUS BUSINESS on you. Well, as serious as Keroro can get.

I mean, any movie which starts with Natsumi being turned into Gamera can’t really be classified as serious as such (though I have to say, I really can’t see how staging an Ultraman-esque battle in a miniature city is going to help Keroro take over the world). It’s a comparative thing, really, in as much as it tries to have a plot with at least some sense of gravitas.

In the case of this particular movie, a series of mysterious giant blue arches have appeared over cities world wide, but with nothing interesting going on around them, humanity soon gets bored. Except for Natsumi, who complains that they shadow prevents her washing from drying. The Keroro platoon, however, have spread themselves across the world to investigate, with Giroro in New York, Dororo in Africa and Kururu in Sydney. Meanwhile, Tamama is in France, visiting Momoka’s wealthy friend Shion.

You can tell she’s French because she wears a beret. The thing is, Tamama mysteriously disappears, and then they lose contact with the rest of the Keroro platoon. To the surprise of no-one, given that she’s the only significant new character to be introduced, it turns out that Shion is a practitioner of black magic, with a curious obsession with turning Keronians into Charizards.

I mean Dragons. The transformation process apparently wipes their memories as well. That’s about par for the course of the Keroro movies – they usually come up with some way to distance all the characters like this (in the first movie it was something to do with telepathy making them hate each other, whilst in the third they were all made invisible to each other) just so that they can ultimately be reunited by THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!

Anyway, all this Dragon business is apparently something to do with the the forthcoming birth of the Dragon of the Earth, something which Shion insists is an entirely pleasant thing, whilst the rest of the cast, upon discovering what’s up, figure that it’s likely to be about as pleasant as Angol Moa slamming that staff of hers into the planet – that is, kind of world ending. This means Shion obviously has to incapacitate them for a short while whilst she Dragon-icates Keroro.

I don’t think Shion was really counting on the appearance of Powered Natsumi F-91, though, who makes short work of her weaker butlers in conjunction with Momoka. Fuyuki is, as normal, entirely pathetic.

Then there’s the epic encounter between Paul and French Paul (aka Pierre). You can tell they are high-level butlers because of their stylish moustaches, and anyone who”s familiar with Hayate will know that all high-level butlers have at least one or two ultimate techniques…

Ken vs. E. Honda – FIGHT!? Not really, the scene pretty much just ends here – as does much of the movies sense of fun. Which is kind of a shame, given that it’s spot on the movies halfway mark. The rest of the picture is pretty much SERIOUS BUSINESS as it crawls towards exactly the same conclusion as all the Keroro movies with progressively fewer gags to stop matters becoming too dull.

When I started this post, I was going to say that this particularly instalment was disappointingly dry, not really having that moment where it just cut’s entirely loose and goes crazy for a while, which is really what you kind of want when they are playing with movie-quality animation. Going through taking the screengrabs for this post, though, I just reminded myself how much fun the first half of the movie was. Then I reminded myself how much fun the second half of the movie wasn’t. It also has a huge CG dragon, and not in the Fate/Stay Night sense. Well, OK, it is the FSN sense in so much as it looks kind of crappy, just not in what it’s implying. In that it’s actually a Dragon and not a replacement for something that’s unacceptable on TV.

Truthfully, though, it’s unfair to call the movie disappointingly when the rest of the movies are pretty much the same way – I knew what I was getting myself into. I mean, the frist movie isn’t quite so bad thanks to it running less than an hour long, but at least this movie is a brisker watch than the two-hour long third movie. Not as boring as the second, either.

Still, the DVD does have the sixteen-minute long Kero-Zero, the story of the Keroro Platoons dramatic departure from Keron for the invasion of Pekopon. It’s actually a lot of fun, too.

And I’m not just saying that because of the extended appearance of Keroro Hitler (aka Keroro’s Dad). I don’t know, it’s probably bad of me, but he just makes me laugh for some reason.

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