Hideki, leader of the Nerima Daikon Brothers, has a dream to build a dome in his hometown of Nerima to hold a concert for his band. Together with his cousin, Mako (whom he has a crush on), Ichiro, and Pandaikon (a panda he found in his yard that resembles a daikon), they strive to make money any way they can, and in the process, rid the world of evil-doers and steal their money in the process. With help from a rental guy, Nabeshin, who rents them outrageous items that always seem to help them defeat the bad guys, the Nerima Daikon Brothers sing their way to victory but always manage to lose the money they stole in the end. Even under the investigation of Inspector Karakuri, they never fail to fight for justice the Nerima-Daikon way.
Nabeshin, most famous as the afro-sporting director of Excel Saga, thrives with material no one in their right mind would even think to create. With Nerima Daikon Brothers, he molds the story of two brothers, their cousin, and a soft... VERY soft... panda, who want nothing more but to turn their paltry daikon field into a concert dome where they can perform their music. But this is Nabeshin, so there has to be a catch, and it's a doozy... you see, Nerima Daikon Brothers is an anime musical. Singing, dancing, and lots of it.
Every episode deals with the Nerima Daikon Brothers looking for a break, finding corrupt rich people, and taking their money then losing it all once again. Though the episodes are formulaic, enough elements carry over and alter the story so no episode is exactly the same as the last. Ongoing jokes seldom get old.
The characters themselves, including a shadowy Nabeshin, are not so much in it to grow or learn, but to wreak havoc, and they do it in spades. Hideki is a loudmouth horndog, Ichiro is a monotonous douche, and Mako is a materialistic bitch. They're selfish, foul, and incredibly loveable. Though they are nothing more than caricatures of themselves, the whole show feels like a caricature of itself, so it works well. Even when a certain infamous pop star becomes a recurring role, it just works because at that point, you're willing to believe anything the series throws at you.
The art as zany and colorful just like the show's atmosphere. Much of the time it straddles the line between American animation and Japanese. This gives it a unique and fun look, energetic but never sloppy, that can really be appreciated after the same constant anime designs over and over for the average otaku.
Also keeping in mind this is technically a musical, the show thrives on the sound element. Dialogue turns into well-timed puns with bizarre numbers on panda sex and following inane laws. The energy and pure randomness of it really sell it though. Recurring numbers such as the money song and rental shop song are fun, catchy, and brilliantly written to keep in line with the series structure. The dub especially so.
Nerima Daikon Brothers is a show you don't have to think about when you watch. It's pure, zany fun beginning to end. Many comedy shows these days are full of more cynical, deadpan humor, but Nerima's selling point is it's cartoonish brand of comedy that is actually funny more than it is groan-worthy. For a good belly laugh, just pop this in and enjoy. It's nothing memorable, but it's a solid 12 episodes of fun.
Overall, I give Nerima Daikon Brothers an 8 out of 10.read more
While watching this show, I really had to question myself if I was being subjected to some new form of humor miles beyond my comprehension. What was happening onscreen looked like comedy, it sounded like comedy, but lo and behold I wasn’t laughing. Was I just not getting this show’s formula or something? Was I too simple-minded to understand its complexity of wit and cleverness? But around halfway through the show, it hit me. It wasn’t clever, it wasn’t wit, it wasn’t even humor. This show was just fucking annoying.
The only way I could imagine this show being made is if a group of 3 in-between animators from Sailor Moon got together and asked themselves “How do we make a musical anime?”. Apparently you do so by recycling a ton of lifeless animation, reusing a ton of clichéd musical numbers, and bringing in a bunch of voice actors that can’t sing. Slap on a boring, easily repeatable plot and you have a musical masterpiece, right?
So what’s the premise of this musical masterpiece? The Nerima Daikon Brothers, a trio of siblings who run a Daikon farm in the middle of a town, dreaming of a time when they can play in a band sometime in the future. The typical formula of an episode follows as so:
The Nerima Daikon Brothers are broke.
Somebody elsewhere is doing something scandalous or illegal and getting lots of money.
The brothers and a police friend complain about each of their love lives.
They all check out whoever is raking in the money.
They go to a clerk to ask for something that will help them defeat the moneymakers.
They defeat the moneymakers.
The people who got scammed get their money back.
Rinse and repeat 12 times. Every episode is the exactly the same, and if you saw one, then you saw them all.
The characters are just as pathetic as the so-called “plot”, inventing some of the most annoying one-dimensional people that you could possibly ask to carry an anime. Each of their characterization is made up of a simple adjective to describe their personalities, as well as another character that they are automatically attracted to, no mater how much it fits or not. I’d much rather take the blandest of bland tsunderes than follow these thin and pasty excuses for personalities. By the time the show ends, nobody changes or leaves a memorable impact. Each of their romance plotlines ends up being laughably shallow or just more attempts to shove more generic overdone anime comedy aspects down our throats. It was a chore to spend five hours with them, and I pray that I never cross paths with them in the future.
The comedy is indescribable as I’ve sat here for half an hour trying properly describe it in terms that make immediate sense. The closest I got was the physical manifestation of Hitler’s asshole, but I doubt that will give you a sense of how insultingly horrid it really is. It’s like someone went through every anime made for little kids and took out all of the groaner jokes that didn’t work to be compiled here. The animation is a joke, the music is a joke, the only thing about this show that isn’t a joke are the jokes themselves because of how devoid they are of anything resembling decent humor. As much as this show was obviously attempting to be a comedy, every solitary minute is jam packed with so much annoying and lifeless content that is just becomes an unpleasant headache. It’s like a bad comedian turning to Michael Jackson as a desperate source for easy joke content (actually that’s too accurate since the last hour of the show is dedicated to making fun of Michael Jackson). Bottom line, all of these jokes can be completely outdone by other boring shows that reuse the same boring jokes, for the sole reason that at least they were executed with a bit of moderation and patience.
Finally, after hours of nothing remotely funny or entertaining, a finale that barely even deviates from the normal routine comes and goes, leaving every single aspect of the show unchanged. You could put the first episode right after the last one and it would blend seamlessly. So what was the point of me watching this show in the end? Apparently it was an accidental five hour vasectomy and nothing more.
I refuse to believe that this animation was done in 2006. I may be making a low blow to a legendary show here, but the weaker bits of SDF Macross look like a Mokoto Shinkai film compared to this anime. It’s unbelievably…dead. Yes, that’s the best word to describe it. Nobody gives any level of care if it at least looks decent, and if it did turn out that the animation team consisted of those three survivors of the other anime master of rinse and repeat plotlines, I would buy it without question. Bare bones execution, minimum amount of creativity, though to be fair, it’s not like this content was really deserving of any good presentation. At least it would have been nice to look at some decent artwork to get me through this maze of awful music and torturous writing, but it’s sadly not here.
And thus we get to the music section. It would seem fitting that a musical anime would have a lot riding on the actual numbers, but just like every other aspect in the show, nobody cares if it works or not as long as it fills up time. None of these pieces are the least bit fun, humorous, or worthwhile. They get old as soon as they’re introduced, and you’d better hope you have a high tolerance rate for uninspired generic tunes because you’re going to hear the same soulless ten songs about twenty times over. I couldn’t bear watching more than one episode a day because twenty minutes of the same old song and dance were apparently enough to fill my bullshit tolerance level.
The worst part about the music is that it ends up being impossible for certain tracks to leave your head. The overly simplistic campy renditions of each musical style grind their way into the inner workings of your cranium and refuse to leave because dammit, it’s generic and repetitive. In all fairness, there was one song that sounded at least decent, and I am extremely thankful that it happened to be the ED. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of my daily twenty minute braincell genocide, and unlike every other wretched tune, the singers actually sounded okay. A slow, easygoing tempo with comparatively calming voices was the perfect remedy for the nonstop energetic attempts to make sure viewers don’t lose their attention. I latched onto it from episode one as the single aspect of this anime that would at least keep my sanity.
I didn’t have time to listen to the English dub for the show, mainly because I didn’t want to subject myself to anything more regarding this anime. But the stuff that needs fixing is obvious: Getting performers that aren’t annoying to listen to, people that can actually sing well for more than a tenth of the time, and at least adding in some original lines that bring in a better sense of humor. From the premise I received, I doubt even the best dub in the world could save this anime. The original actors were intolerable and straining to listen to, and since people complain about the original intention being the “correct” intention anyway, I have no problem with completely writing off this sound design.
So when everything comes together, is Nerima Daikon Brothers worth your time?
I don’t think I’ve cringed harder in any other anime. I’ve laughed at how stupid shows were, I’ve psychotically raged about certain shows that exemplify the absolute anus of anime and humanity, but no show has been able to make me completely embarrassed for everyone involved in it, to the point where I faulted myself for being wholly involved in its presentation. After making the mistake of going in blindly and getting absolutely nothing worthwhile, I can easily say that it’s just some mind-numbing little show that nobody really cares about and isn’t remembered. But now, sadly, you know about it’s existence. So I sincerely hope that this knowledge comes with an obvious warning: “Worthless Bullshit Ahead”.
I give this anime a score of 2.4/10 (1 star), and a Highly Unrecommended rating.read more
I actually analyzed this series for a University paper (yeah, you read that right...)
Directed by the infamous Nabeshin, this is exactly what one should expect from him, with a twist. This is the first ever anime musical comedy. While fans of the typical Nabeshin screwball comedy will love it's off the wall flavour, it was also the pioneer of a new subgenre. Unfortunately...the pioneer was drunk off his ass and ran his covered wagon into many a ditch.
The show does have a basic plot that tie all of the events together. Hideki, Ichiro and their cousin Mako have big dreams of building a concert dome on their daikon field in the suburb of Nerima, where they will perform for sold out crowds of adoring fans. The problem? The brothers and cousin are perpetually broke due to freak acts of nature, evil corperations, and Mako's horrible spending habits. The plot, believe it or not, can be heavily paralleled with 'The Blues Brothers' and the main characters even dress similarly to Jake and Elwood Blues.
In all actuality though, the series is actually a scathing political commentary on Japan in the year 2005. Nobody is safe from Nabeshin's satire. Issues dealt with within the series include privatization of land, the Japanese health care system, partner abuse, police corruption, sexual harassment, homosexuality, the horrors of the music industry, the Korean Wave and gambling, to name a few. Some political and social figures are even spoofed. The Prime Minister, Michael Jackson, and Johnny and Associates are all satirized. The political commentary was very clever, but is now unfortunately outdated, and fairly irrelevant to American viewers.
It's...Nabeshin. So expect a lot of eye poping, over the top visuals, and for stuff to literally come out of nowhere. The laws of physics do not apply. This is far from the fluid animation of animes like Fullmetal Alchemist, or with the detailed scenery of Le Chevalier D'Eon. It's zany, cartoony, and it fits. Scenes and visuals are routinely recycled along with musical numbers, which gets slightly grating. Charicatures of real people are often diformed and discoloured (Michael Jackson's counterpart 'Yukel Hakushon' has purple hair, yellow skin and a detachable nose.) There are also plenty of visual references and puns, though with quite a few of them you need a basic knowledge of Japanese, which the English language team tried to adapt, sometimes ineffectively.
Hideki's Japanese voice is perfect for the lead singer of a blues band. The Japanese crew has a much better balance than the English crew, but the dub still manages to convey all the humour of their Japanese counterparts. One main complaint the fandom has is Mako's Southern Belle accent (she speaks in Osakan dialect in Japanese). It can get fairly annoying after prolongued viewing. Another complaint is that the songs, while pretty good, and catchy, get repeated from episode to episode, with different lyrics. Remember what I said earlier about the pioneer for this genre drunkly driving the covered wagon? Well...this is probably a mistake future anime musicals can learn from.
If you knew them in real life, you'd probably want them institutionalized. Since this is an anime comedy however, all disorders can be forgiven for the rule of funny. Hideki wants to marry his cousin Mako, who repeatedly lies to him about how the Japanese constitution bans first cousins from marrying (it doesn't) while Mako herself is in love with Ichiro. Ichiro in turn loves a panda found in the daikon field. A female police officer Yukika 'inspector gadget' also falls in love with the panda, but is torn between her love of the fuzzy panda and the fishcakes found in ramen. And that...that's just the main love tri...octa...love plot.
Characters have a lot of negative traits, though most of these are played for humour. What makes them more sympathetic though is that they are constantly being ripped off and stolen from by larger corperations, clearly making the Brothers underdogs. The one problem is in the later part of the series, the writers try to create drama and tear jerking situations in a Nabeshin comedy, creating mood whiplash at times. It's hard to genuinly feel sorry for someone who was just involved in a high speed chase on a unicycle.
I loved this anime for it's political satire and clever pop culture references. The musical aspect too to an extent, but once songs started to be repetedly recycled, it got kind of old, even annoying. My personal problem was that this series tried to do too much. It tried to be a scathing commentary on the times, a pop culture riddled comedy, a screwball random comedy and a musical. While it was still a fun anime, it just felt like the show could not decide what it wanted to be. At any rate, anyone interested in a social commentary on Japanese life might want to have a peek at this, but keep the internet on hand so you can understand all the references.
Warnings: Nudity (some sexual positions are displayed in the art in Ichiro's Host Club) foul language, bestiality, cousin-love, mind rape (it's Nabeshin) sex based humour and racism against Koreans. Also, cue a pink Darth Vader just for added wtf-value. read more
For lack of a better comparison (never saw Blues Brothers, and I’m not totally well versed in the Blues as a whole) Nerima Daikon Brothers is kinda the closest we’ve ever gotten to an anime version of Elite Beat Agents, except less dancing and more singing. It’s got a rather simple premise, as it takes place in little town called Nerima and follows a goofy trio of that live on a stage in the middle of a daikon field that’s owned a by the leader of the group, a square-jawed daikon farmer named Hideaki. Oh and their mascot, Pandaikon . He along with his cohorts, cousin Mako (the clingy gold digger) and Ichiro (doesn’t seem to care about anything, and oh yeah, he works for a sleazy bar) aim to rake in enough cash to build their own stadium and share their music as the “Nerima Daikon Brothers”, get famous, and become the pride of their city. Most episodes plays out in a rather formulaic path, they normally include get rich quick plots that have the Nerima Daikon Brothers run across rather nasty swindler each episode. The Daikon Bros then take it upon themselves to rid the town of this threat (with the help of a rental object from my favorite afro’d director of course) and get try to get the money they need to fulfill their dreams, the latter failing miserably each time.
The fact that the majority of the humor and story of this show is done through song is what sets this title apart from any other formulaic comedy out there. However, if the term “formulaic” hasn’t been used in this review enough for you to notice, the show’s pretty darn repetitive. One thing worth noting too is that even though this is a musical comedy, the show’s got a rather limited pool of tunes, seriously, it’s got like 5, MAX. They also all play at the same given time each episode. There’s the “I’m the villain and here’s my evil plan” song, the “Mako being a vain bitch” song, the “hey Nabeshin, we’re looking pretty screwed, so give as a random Deus ex Machina to kick some jerk’s ass” song and the “hey we’re the Nerima Daikon Brothers and we’re here to wreck your evil plan and get rich at the same time” song. It’s strange, I honestly suspected that a show this repetitive would’ve worn me down to my last nerve by the time it ended, but it never did. I credit that to the fact that it seemed to me that the show knew which parts to keep the same, and what to change each time in order to keep itself from becoming dull. The length of the series also helps since this is probably the only comedy I liked, finished, and was glad their was never anything more made of it. I’m sure that had it taken another cour of my life, the act would’ve gotten old well before the end.
So what is it that the show did right to preserve the routine? The fact that even though the plot structure and tunes played out similarly each and every episode wasn’t enough to take away from the humorous dialogue and occasional pop-culture reference that we’e different each episode (it has it’s running gags, but these don’t feel overplayed at all and I found them rather funny at least). The fact that the song lyrics we’re always different in order to suit the occasion is what really made this a memorable experience. It also helps that not all the episodes essentially boil down to the same rinse-repeat formula. After the first 3rd or so, the show tosses in police babe Widget who adds her own set of unique quirks to the show (including a romance with a Pandaikon of all things) and a new song, which is something I appreciate given the aforementioned lack of tunes.
The last third of the show also puts a stop to the episodic shenanigans in favor of taking a bit more of serious look at what the Daikon Bros are willing to do accomplish their dreams. It’s great to see a comedy take itself a bit seriously without losing sight of what made it fun to begin with, and that’s something Nerima Daikon Brothers got right….for the most part. The actual ending was a bit too random rushed and anticlimatic for my tastes. Weird to comment on a comedy not having a satisfying ending, I know, but given that the show was actually doing a story arc reasonably well beforehand, I think it’s still worth mentioning. That and the fact that the show also shoehorns in some political commentary into it’s humor a bit too. That’s all fine and dandy, but good luck catching that humor if you don’t have a good understanding of the political arena of 2006 Japan.
Last thing I want to bring attention too is the dub/sub comparison. I personally dig the radical script changes (and in Mako’s case, character change since she’s pretty much turned into stereotypical dumb trailer trash in the dub, and it works) Can’t really comment too much on the Japanese version since I never saw much of it, but I’ve seen enough to know that with each versions you get different jokes, which lends the show some rewatchability. I personally preferred watching the dub version since during the end credits, the actors thank you for buying the show. You can’t beat that.
So yeah, it’s a pretty good comedy I’d say. Just don’t marathon it, something tells me that given the nature of the show, this ain’t something you’d want to watch in large doses. Also best to stay away if you don’t like Nabeshin stuff too, or object to having catchy tunes reverberate in your head. Most importantly, stay away if you just so happen to hate fun things. read more