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Shin-Chan Season 3 Part 1 Anime DVD Review

7 min read

After two years…the ass dance has returned…

What They Say:
Open the door to your mind’s eye and take a mystery trip with Shin and his merry band of buds. You’ll get so high on cosmic comedy that you’ll never come down – but don’t freak out. Try to maintain, man. This ride’s not about bummers. It’s about butts. Shin’s butt, man! He’s unashamed to drop his pants and live free, at peace with the universe.

Come along on Shin’s interstellar caravan of laughter. The journey will take you from the beaches of a tropical pleasure island to the depths of the toxic Ench Cave and beyond. Your fellow travelers will include slutty Young Republicans, a mutant or two, and athletic adult entertainers. Joy will bloom in your consciousness like mushrooms after a sacred rain!

The Review:
Contrary to most anime releases, Shin Chan has always sported the English-only audio, and this edition is no exception. Because the dub is so drastically different from what’s presented in the Japanese version, they’ve decided not to even bother with throwing in the Japanese audio. The English audio isn’t of any particular special quality, as it is only presented in stereo sound. It’s about as good as a dialogue-based series needs. There were no distortions or anomalies of any sort, so on the whole, it was a pleasant listening experience if you don’t mind the lack of Japanese audio.

Certain episodes of this series are presented in 16:9 ratio, while others are presented in 4:3. It’s a bit strange, but it works, regardless, since the animation all looks equally ugly. The actual video of the series is nothing too impressive. It’s grainy, obviously old, and at times, a bit ugly; but that’s always been a part of its charm, I suppose. The series won’t be winning any beauty contests, but considering the source, there is only so much that can be done through the encoding process. There are no video inconsistencies (other than the aspect ratio) or random pixelations, so the actually quality check checks out, but the series still shows its age. This is a release that would have very little to gain from a Blu-Ray version, so it makes sense that there isn’t one.

FUNimation did a great job for this release. The whole theme of this set is a psychedelic, hippie, trippy color scheme. It goes along with the description on the back of the box. The whole thing is covered with a cardboard box. The front has “Shin Chan Season 3 Part 1” in big letters, and on top kneels Shin with glassy eyes holding up two peace signs. Below him are trippy shapes and colors consisting of little-to-no logic. The back of the box has more trippy colors along with pictures of several members of the cast on the top half. The bottom half is the series description and all the copyright information.

Inside the cardboard box is a cardboard tri-fold DVD holder. The front of the first flap contains Shin kneeling down in shame, clearly having just soiled himself. Flipping the box over, there is a picture of an excited Hima. If you flip open the first flap, it reveals a a crying Maso. Each of these characters are surrounded by trippy images and colors. On the opposite of the crying Maso is the list of episodes, and if you open the flap with Maso on it, you see the two flaps with both DVDs on them. Both contain similar swirly-target design scheme.

The entire box is ridiculous and off the wall, but it does fit the series. The theme is cohesive throughout the box, and it makes it very nice to look at.

The menu design of the set is simple. The first disc is a variation of the cover, with Shin on his knees with his hands up in a peace sign. The disc only offers two options: “Play” and “Episodes,” and it works well enough. Disc two offers a variation of the picture of Hima on the back of the cardboard trifold. The options are the same with the addition of the “Extras” option. In the background of both menus, the theme from the end of the show plays loudly and proudly. Like the box set, this menu has a cohesive feel to it and doesn’t clash with the cover art.

After two years of no Shin Chan to speak of, I was at least hoping for some sort of extras this time around. Outtakes, inside stories, anything. The series is definitely a unique one in the U.S. so any sort of insight would have been wonderful. In the past we’ve had commentaries, auditions, etc… Unfortunately, this time around, they didn’t feel the need to bother with extras. It’s quite disappointing, though I’m sure the cost required to produce said extras is the main reason there weren’t any. It’s sad, but all we have this release are some trailers. Overall, I suppose it’s relatively standard fare.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Everyone’s favorite kindergarten flatulence connoisseur has returned after an extended absence, but rest assured, everything you still loved about him is still there, fully intact (and even all the things you love to hate). Things have been rough in the two years since we’ve last seen everyone. Super Happy Fun Time American School has faced some legal issues and is now in the process of reopening its doors, Penny and her mother find themselves going through withdrawals after months of a lack of domestic abuse, and Maso is still no closer to convincing the world that he’s straight.

It’s been a long time coming, but FUNimation has finally gotten around to continuing their unique and unabashedly adult series. Having covered a great deal of material in the first two seasons, the writers really went out of their way this season to produce an even more disgusting and tasteless show, and I am happy to say that, for the most part, they succeed.

Back when season one aired on Adult Swim, the series managed to do the impossible: get me to laugh at toilet humor. It was a shtick I thought wouldn’t last, but here we are in season three, and it still manages to click with me on most levels. All the same jokes and personalities I loved had returned, and have somehow turned out even funnier than before. But the writers are, by no means, ready to just rest on the laurels of their previous jokes.

Apart from the continuation of the sick and potty-mouthed humor that the show is well known for, one of the more enjoyable parts of the set is the continuation of story elements from earlier seasons. Things that may have seen like nothing more than throwaway jokes from season one have now become plot points and emotional triggers for certain characters (i.e. Penny’s continuing parental struggles). There was a particularly interesting episode where Miss Polly’s sex addiction results in her having to go to a therapy meeting, where we get introduced to sub-sicknesses such as food sex addiction and bag sex addiction. It’s a certain level of class that can only be rivaled by a show like South Park. Unfortunately, also like South Park, this season has a tendency to be hit-or-miss with its episodes.

Like the old two seasons of the series, the actual mini-episodes of each episode are a mixed bag in quality. The majority of the episodes are laugh out loud funny, don’t get me wrong, but there were a few where the jokes just weren’t there. There are two different cases in most instances. One is a case where the source material is weak, and the writers seem to be grasping at straws. Even the funniest of lines can fall flat if it feels forced, and unfortunately every so often, that’ll happen. A good example of this problem is the two-parter where one of the men Shin goes up to snow with is a vampire and is actually trying to suck the life out of Nanako. It was a funny joke at first, but forcing the concept into two-episodes was just too much.

The second case has to do with characters. I’m looking specifically at the character known as “The Flamer,” an obnoxious workout enthusiast who thinks he and Shin are some evolved species of human. There were aspects of him that are funny, but he just became so grating after awhile that it was hard for me to sit still during a full mini-episode with him. Luckily there weren’t more than a few mini-episodes that fall into this category. These shortcomings in the series are nothing new, so any seasoned fan likely won’t be swayed by the considerably weaker moments.

In Summary:
Series aficionados will be more-than-pleased with this entry into the Shin Chan mythology. It has everything the first two seasons had and more. Though, unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot to offer to those who found the series despicable to begin with. If Hitler jokes and a constant barrage of insults against the Republican Party bothers you, you will not like this show. If the basic idea of an after-breakfast enema disgusts you, you will not like this show. And if the idea of poking fun at a character’s drowned baby sister offends you, you will not like this show. Everyone else, eat your heart out.

English 2.0 Language, Original Trailers

Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: B-
Video Grade: C
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: D

Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
MSRP: $39.98
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL-40EX400 BRAVIA EX400 LCD hdtv 40 inch. Sony SLV-D370P DVD Player. Electrohome ELE-HTB920E 5.1 Channel Surround Sound Home Theater Speaker System

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