Keroro Gunso is a mostly clever show with plenty of funny moments and fantastic characters. No other anime series have had so many characters I care so much for, except for Detective Conan. The Keronians and the humans. Aside from being funny it has some great action scenes every now and then, and the romantic elements are for the most part really sweet. I have never cared about romance in animation, for some reason, you know those hardcore, slightly crazy fans who desperately want characters to become couples. Well, I now care so much about some of the characters I really want to see them get together, Momoka and Fuyuki and actually Dororo and Koyuki. I know many people want Giroro/Natsumi. But for some reason, I'm not interested in this romantic subplot, I guess because it's played so much for laughs and there are so many sleazy moments. Besides, he's in his 30's or 40's and she's 13-14.
Speaking of which, if I had to rate the show a month ago, I would probably have given it a perfect 10. But the show has progressively shown other sides to itself, sides that I'm not particularly fond of and in the last couple of days I have seen some episodes that...well, I was disappointed that the show would "go there". I initially got into the show because it seemed like a sweet, lighthearted alternative to so many other hyper violent anime shows with questionable to perverse material. The violence here is pretty tame, no blood and when it is featured once in a while, it's comedic. But the innuendo, holy cow, it's not particularly subtle either. Episode 99 Part A has 3 seconds of a very awkward situation that looks like fellatio, and it made me feel...uncomfortable in so many ways. Episode 11 gets real creepy towards the end with two perverted aliens, and episode 197 Part B is just insane with erection gags and penetration and drills and whatnot and it's just...well, I don't know what it is, inappropriate to say the least. I do NOT mind the gay and lesbian characters on the show, I think that's great. There are some lesbians in Natsumi's class including Koyuki. Tamama and Kululu are both gay or at least bi-sexual for the latter, and they both love another character in the platoon. The Koyuki episodes are so sweet. Episode 111 Part A is one of my favorite episodes.
But hey, hey, hey, I complain about innuendo, and yet episode 111 Part A is one of my favorite episodes? When Koyuki basically says "Let's get to third base tonight", that doesn't bother me. And it's simple, Koyuki is such a sweet, nice, naive character, she doesn't fully know what it means. I'm not an uptight jackass, and I think the PTC are some of the biggest morons ever put on this earth, really how is a discussion about breast feeding in "Ponyo" labeled as "sex". Something wrong with those people, so they're saying that when they were breastfed by their mothers they were having....never mind. Anyway, let's be real here, Japan has some pretty twisted, sadistic, supposed erotic pornographic material, some of it animated. So every time the show has some pretty objectionable material, I envision some dirty old man drawing this, panting so much his pacemaker struggles to keep up with him. In other words, I don't believe that NO ONE noticed how wrong certain moments look like.
It's strange how it flip-flops, one moment it's inoffensive and harmless, then it just goes crazy with this really inappropriate content, and I wouldn't mind if it wasn't so darn obvious. The Yatterman 2008 series and even Arcade Gamer Fubuki, with all their gratuitous shots of breasts and panties didn't bother me. Why? Well, I'm not quite sure, maybe because I feel this show is targeted to children to a bigger degree than Arcade Gamer Fubuki. I haven't seen as many Yatterman episodes as I would've liked, but that show never went as far as Keroro sometimes does. Lately it has really spun out of control with numerous innuendoes, especially Natsumi gets into some embarrasing situations, like constantly losing her top or bra, and the Giroro erection gags has got to stop, an upcoming episode has a volcano rise from the ground and shoot out molten lava in the background as he gets excited. These jokes are hardly brilliant, just subpar Austin Powers stuff. I guess it wants to have it both ways and in the end it's an uneasy mix of harmless cuteness and questionable material.
Even though the show wants to have it both ways, putting some of the underage female characters in peculiar, humiliating situations, they still can kick butt. I like that the girls are stronger than the guys. The characters are by far the best thing about the show, I like all of them except Saburo because he is such a bland character and is just there to be a pretty boy and another love interest for Natsumi. The frogs are great and have unique personalities, selfish Keroro, cute psycho Tamama, lovestruck soldier Giroro, traumatized ninja Dororo and twisted, perverted Kululu, or Kururu as it's pronounced. I wish the show would...just do something with the relationships, I mean, they're hardly doing any progress at all. But hey, I love Momoka's various schemes and operations. And some of the characters are really...I won't say stupid, but really, Natsumi can't figure out that Giroro and Koyuki loves her? And Keroro can't fgure out that Tamama loves him? Oh, but the entire platoon figures out that Kululu is gay for Giroro in the third episode the writers play around with this plot?
Keroro Gunso is a terrific show, okay it's a bit hit and miss, but hey, that's anime for you. I don't expect top quality from every single episode, with over 300 episodes, a lot more if you count the episodes with two different stories as 2 episodes instead of 1, there are some absolute terrible duds and a fair amount of mediocre episodes. But when it's funny, it's really funny. I wish I could give it a 10, but the innuendo involving underage girls sometimes really bothers me, and the later seasons have an even higher mediocre episode ratio. But still, this is one cool show, I have no idea why it's not more popular, the ratings are in a freefall even in Japan. Regardless, any show that makes me stick around this long is something of an achievement. Oh, and I wish Melody Honey would appear more often.