With the likes of Takeshi’s Castle on UK’s screens, when we headed out on our recent trip to Japan there were high hopes for crazy cartoons and wild game shows. Indeed, Chris Tarrant loves to suggest that the broadcasting Japan is by far and away the most abstract on the planet, further fuelling our preconception.
Every morning and after returning to our hotel each night, we turned on our TV set in the hope of wacky entertainment to flood inspiration but all we found was more than slightly disappointing. Even across Europe there’s great entertainment to be had from their cheesy soap operas, Tokyo television however could only muster a couple of generic cartoons.
Finally, one sleeplessly hot night, channel 9 had a UFC-come-WWE series, with fighters apparently pummelling each other, whether it was real or fake we’ll never know, and then the day before we left the emergence of a little frog called Keroro salvaged our hopes.
Spearheading a program called Keroro Gunso (titled Sgt. Frog in English speaking lands, and due for import in the near future), the talking frog is the leader of an army platoon sent to conquer Earth. Upon crash landing in Tokyo, his group end up living with a local family, essentially becoming housekeepers, and their adaptation to normal life is simply hilarious.
Beyond the TV anime series, there’s a manga, film and plethora of toys to keep the fun going (a number of which will be photographed for our next issue), so perhaps Keroro is taking over Earth after all but you can’t help but love him.