Keroro and company are back for thirteen more episodes of alien antics. In the second half of the season, there are new friends, new adventures, and more Gunpla than you can shake a stick at. Fans looking for more froggy antics surely will be satisfied by this second hilarious volley of Sgt. Frog.
The biggest change to the series is the addition of Dororo: the fifth and final member of Keroro’s platoon. Unlike the rest of the platoon, Dororo has a true sense of honor, and a deep love of the planet he’s supposed to be invading. Because of his strait-laced attitudes, Dororo often plays the straight-laced man for the more manic members of the Keron crew. Like the other frogs, Dororo brings a human keeper into the story. Dororo’s keeper is the fashionable ninja girl Koyuki. Koyuki is a new student at the school, where she latches on to Natsumi as a friend and not-so-secret admirer. She provides the token “country bumpkin” character with a constant smile and a want for the simple things, like a day of shopping. Plus, she’s a ninja. When aren’t ninja freaking awesome?
The episodes themselves prove to be more of the same, as Keroro and company continue to try (and fail) to conquer the planet. The settings change, but the overall structure doesn’t change in the least. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. The rapid pace and large variety of stories help to keep the show from getting stale, and the format continues to remind me of Galaxy Angel, which is a very good thing.
The absolute highlight episode of this batch of episodes goes to “Wet Hot Beaches.” In this episode, Keroro and company end up going to the beach. Unfortunately, all of the adults are busy, so the group needs a chaperone. In this case, Kululu saves the day, by forcing poor Natsumi to grow up… forcibly, with some crazy age-modifying ray. Things continue to get worse for poor Natsumi, as she finds herself under Keroro’s whims, as he forces her to speak in either a Kansai accent, or a series of old fogey-ish rhyming puns (“So you’ll see, honeybee” for example). But why do all this to go to the beach? Well, the local committees are holding a comedy contest, and the prize is a super-rare knockoff Gundam toy. The whole episode is simply packed with delicious wordplay that may or may not resonate with the audience. As a fan of manzai comedy, this reviewer found it hilarious, if slightly cheesy.
Those who aren’t fans of wordplay would probably enjoy The Ultimate Festival Challenge more. As one can expect, Natsumi, Angol Mois, and the human characters attend a local festival. The Keroro crew is there, but they’re definitely up to mischief. It’s a great balance of comedy and fast-paced action that doesn’t rely as heavily on the cultural minutiae that Wet Hot Beaches does. There’s a great balance of visual gags and parodies that will leave most viewers with a smile by the end.
Afro Gunsou is officially out. The new closing theme, Pekopon Invasion Song, comes into play after the Ultimate Festival Challenge episode. While it absolutely captures the feel of the episode, the song doesn’t seem to fit the overall oddball feel of the show itself. As a result, it seems out of place in the credits for the rest of the season.
Keroro shows no signs of slowing down, as the first season rushes to a hilarious close. Fans of the first half of the season should be absolutely tickled by by the Keronians’ latest misadventures. To those who haven’t seen the first part of the show: what are you waiting for?